Annual Election Meeting was held on Monday June 24th at 10AM PDT. Following that meeting and an online balloting process, the 2019 Zephyr Membership selected the following two individuals to join the Zephyr Board:

  • Julie Dunbar, Dunbar Transportation
  • Jonathan Erhrlich, Metropolitan Council (MN)

Since Jonathan and Julie currently recide in Minnesota and Illinois respectfully, this greatly rounds out our midwestern representation.

Welcome to our new board members and thank you to all the nominees for participating.

2019 Ballot

Here are your nominees for the two board slots open for the 2019 election. In alphabetical order by first name:

Alireza Ermagun, Mississippi State University   Academia

Self-Identified Diversity Identity: Grew up in Iran
I am deeply honored to be one of the nominees for the Zephyr Board of Directors, and I am thrilled by the possibility of the Zephyr Foundation drawing on my research activities and background. I am an Assistant Professor of Transportation at Mississippi State University. I earned a Ph.D. in Transportation Systems Engineering along with a Master of Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Minnesota. My work on research and curriculum development has focused on identifying novel solutions, developing advanced methods, and introducing innovative theories to understand travel behavior and human aspects of mobility more realistically. If elected to the Board of Directors, I will advocate for enhancing the awareness and impact of the Zephyr Foundation through the Foundation’s goals: (1) support, (2) education, (3) guidance, (4) encouragement, and (5) incubation. I am committed to a respectful and open dialogue to include the diverse perspectives of the stakeholders we serve. I will work tirelessly with my Zephyr colleagues to continue establishing our voice for the betterment of society and quality of life through impactful and compassionate travel analysis. I will also work to expand our outreach in terms of contribution and solidarity. I will join you as a Director who is eager to better understand the needs of our members, to diversify opinions and backgrounds, to engage in the examination of current initiatives, to pursue new initiatives, and to continue efforts to assure the well-being of the foundation

Ben Stabler, RSG   Industry

Self-Identified Diversity Identity: None
I’m interested in joining the Zephyr Transport Board because I believe in the organization’s mission to help improve the practice of transport analysis. My interest in bettering our practice draws from my experience as a modeler at the Oregon Department of Transportation, a software developer at PTV, a model developer at Parsons Brinckerhoff, and now as Director of Transport Software at RSG. Throughout my 17 years in the industry, I’ve developed a keen interest in collaborative initiatives such as open source software, open data standards, and open science methods. I’ve served on the TRB Urban Data and Network Modeling committees, co-created the open matrix standard for sharing data, and helped modernize Dr. Bar-Gera’s Transportation Networks for Research repository. As a consultant, I’ve played key roles in fostering two open tool development projects – the ActivitySim open platform for activity-based modeling sponsored by a consortium of transportation planning organizations and the VisionEval strategic planning framework sponsored by an FHWA-led pooled fund. My commitment to Zephyr’s work is evidenced by my involvement in the software badging committee and the Generalized Network Model Specification committee. I would love the opportunity to help shape Zephyr’s activities, to cooperate with our organizational members and leaders, and to work diligently to realize the goals we set for ourselves. Thank you for considering me for the board!

David Ory, WSP   Industry

Self-Identified Diversity Identity: None
Zephyr provides opportunities to support our community in ways that other venues cannot. I would like to see Zephyr pursue grants, partner with other non-profits, continue to coordinate volunteers, and continue bringing the community together. I would like to be a part of that. Thanks.

Farzad Alemi, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Davis   Academia

Self-Identified Diversity Identity: None
Farzad Alemi recently completed his Ph.D. in Transportation Technology and Policy at the University of California, Davis, and he has been working as a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute of Transportation Studies of UC Davis. Farzad received outstanding student of the year award from University Transportation Center program (U.S. DOT) and National Center for Sustainable Transportation in recognition of his achievement in and contribution to transportation research and education. His research interests include travel behavior, travel demand modeling, travel survey methods, emerging transportation services, autonomous vehicles, AI, and sustainability and policy analysis. Prior to coming to Davis, Farzad received his MS in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Greenwich, and his BS in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the Iran University of Science and Technology. He is currently working on several projects related to better understanding and modeling the impacts of new shared mobility services and vehicle automation on travel demand and vehicle ownership.

Jonathan Ehrlich, Metropolitan Council   Public Agency

Self-Identified Diversity Identity: None
I lead the travel modeling and research team at the Metropolitan Council in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. I've been at the Council for twelve years and in the travel forecasting industry for twenty in both private- and public- sector roles. I'm proud that the Council has been among the first half-dozen organizational members. I've been helping for years to bring innovative planning methods to my agency with some successes and know from the front lines the need for incubation and guidance that are among Zephyr's core goals. I've been watching Zephyr's emergence with great interest and excitement over the past three years and look forward to helping guide project and overall growth. Whether I am on the board or not, I will be working on project management groups, working to grow membership, and working to promote the use of resources that emerge from existing efforts.

Julie Dunbar, Dunbar Transportation   Industry

Self-Identified Diversity Identity: caucasian female
I am excited about the opportunity to serve Zephyr as a Board Member. I have an extensive back ground in the application of travel models for public sector clients (MPOs, Public Transit Agencies and State DOTs) and believe the need to provide better, more affordable tools and training to assist agency staff in responding to decision maker inquiries is of great importance. The development of recruitment programs to encourage a diverse work force of technically skilled analysts that are also good communicators is also important to me. I have a long history of volunteer work with the Transportation Research Board community, as a committee member, committee chair and conference coordinator. This volunteer experience, combined with my decades of work experience in the application of travel models for public sector clients provide the basis for my interest in serving as a member of the Zephyr Board.

Peter Bosa, Metro (Portland, OR)   Public Agency

Self-Identified Diversity Identity: None
For thirteen years I have worked for an organization whose mission is to Make a Great Place. It’s an ethos forged in the idea that through thoughtful, deliberate, and well-informed planning policy, we can work together to create a prosperous community that is equitable, sustainable, and all-inclusive for current and future generations. My contribution to this mission has been the development and application of nationally-recognized transportation analysis tools and methods to provide decision makers the best possible data. In an effort to improve our own tools, I have partnered on federal research utilizing state-of-the-art traffic and transit assignment methods. I was most recently the Technical Program Chair of the 2019 TRB Transportation Planning Applications Conference, and know the satisfaction of working with a team of dedicated individuals in an effort to educate and advance the state of the profession with the hope of improving decision-making in our communities. The Zephyr Foundation shares this commitment to support decision-making, and seeks influence beyond a single region or planning organization. It would be a privilege to serve on behalf of this ideal and to expand my contribution from Making a Great Place to Making a Great Profession. I bring dedication, team-work, and a desire to collaborate with others to this position, and appreciate your consideration.

Thank you so much to all of them for being willing to put in the time and put themselves out there!

Election Processes

I. Open Seats

Open seats are determined by the sum of:

A. Board members with expired terms;
B. Board members who have expressed a desire to rotate off the board early;
C. Any increase in the number of board seats.

The Secretary will confirm the number of board members with expired terms and any increase in board seats based on organizational records. The chair will confirm the desires of individual board members to serve for the following year and relay any additional seat information to the Secretary.

II. Nominations

The Secretary will compile a list of board seat nominations from the Board as well as from an open nominations form distributed to members no later than ten days before the election. The Secretary shall confirm with each nominated party that they would like to appear on the ballot.

III. Eligible Members

Eligible members per the Bylaws are determined the evening prior to the announcement of the Annual Member Meeting/Election. The Secretary will be responsible for compiling a list of eligible members and giving them access to voting.

IV. Meeting Scheduling and Announcement

The President is responsible for scheduling the annual member meeting/election. The Secretary is responsible for sending out an announcement of the meeting and the election to the membership. The election announcement can be combined with a call for nominations.

V. Ballot

The Secretary is responsible for finalizing the ballot, which should appear in the online election as well as distributed via email. Each candidate may write a short paragraph about themself (maximum 200 words) to aid the voting members in understanding their perspective and background. The Secretary reserves the right to edit these for clarity or request revisions.

VI. Election

There are two main avenues for casting votes in the election:

A. Online poll
B. Member Meeting

The online poll will commence no later than two days prior to the member meeting and cease 24 hours after the member meeting closes. Votes cast via the online poll are in lieu of any votes cast at the member meeting and are anonymous.

Members also have the opportunity to publicly cast their votes at the member meeting, but must declare their voter-ID in the online poll so as to preclude any double-counting. Declaring a fraudulent voter-ID is grounds for membership termination.

Member Meeting / Election

The main purpose of the member meeting/election is to discuss board elections.

Results Certification

The Secretary will certify the results no later than 72 hours following the poll closure and will be responsible for announcing the results to the membership and posting to the website.


The 2019 election schedule is as follows:

Date Time Item
Monday June 10th Midnight PDT Eligible Member Finalization
Tuesday June 11th   Meeting Announcement
Thursday June 13th Midnight PDT Nominations Close
Monday June 17th COB PDT Ballot Finalization
Wed June 19th When you get your email Online Voting Opens
Monday June 24th 10AM PDT Member Meeting
June 25th Midnight PDT Online Voting Closes
June 26th   Results Certification by Secretary
June 27th   Results Announcement
June 28th   Annual Board Meeting