About Us

Our Mission Statement

An independent resource to support excellence in transportation.

Our History

The Kern Transportation Foundation was created by a group of business and government officials to support transportation programs in Kern County, California. Since its incorporation, the Kern Transportation Foundation has funded and prepared several studies that include identifying street and highway deficiencies and funding shortfalls as well as rail passenger terminal location studies. The KTF has hosted several forums, symposiums, and conferences since 1992 that have addressed transportation needs and community alternatives. Today, KTF is staffed by volunteers dedicated to informing the residents of Kern County about the transportation needs, challenges, and plans to expand and maintain our roadway, bicycle, pedestrian, public transportation passenger, and aviation systems in Kern County.

Melinda Brown

– Chair –

Melinda Brown is Vice President of Business Development at Kern Economic Development Corporation. Melinda has been with the Kern EDC for 17 years. Her primary focus with the Kern EDC is with the Logistics, Transportation, Advanced Manufacturing, Value Added Agriculture, Healthcare Services and Renewable Energy industries.

Gary Blackburn

– Treasurer –

Founder of Accu-Trans Inc 1981, a leading logistics company in the agriculture industry. Former Chair of the KTF 1997-2007. Current adjunct Professor at Bakersfield College, School of Business, Logistics Management Dept.

Troy Hightower

– Secretary –

Troy Hightower retired from Kern COG as a Regional Transportation Planner in 2015. He then founded the firm TDH Associates International. He has over 30 years’ experience with transportation projects.

Dee Allen

– Board Member –

Dee Allen is President and Co-owner of Bakersfield Quality Distribution Center, Inc., founded in 1993. The company is a BNSF Premier Transload Facility. He has over 35 years of designing and executing first mile – last mile multi-commodity rail/truck projects. He has served as CEO and CFO of Calvary Bible Church, and Board Chair of Kern County Teen Challenge.

Ricardo Perez

– Board Member –

Ricardo Perez is Transit Planner at Golden Empire Transit District. He represents GET at a number of transportation organizations, including the Kern COG Regional Planning Advisory Committee.

Ron Wareham

– Board Member –

Owner of California Consulting LLC. Transportation Consulting/Real Estate Development. Created and Developed the International Trade and Transportation Center (The Wonderful Park). Developed projects in USA, Canada and China. Appointed and Served as delegate to the Transportation Infrastructure Board in Washington DC. Background in Transportation and Real Estate for last 50 years.Co-Founder and Vice Chairman Kern Transportation Foundation

Paul Pasquini

– Board Member –

Paul Pasquini LEED A.P.® is a Project Manager with Colombo Construction Co., Inc. He has 35 years’ experience in the
Construction Industry, with focus on Design/Build Projects for the Agricultural, Manufacturing, Industrial and Distribution Facilities

Lloyd Ponder

– Board Member –

A Bakersfiel native, Lloyd joined Cox Petroleum 20 years ago as a dispatcher. Over the years, he has also worked as a dispatch manager, terminal manager, and regional manager, handling operations for multiple sites. As the company restructured, these experiences prepared him well for his role as the Vice President of Operations. Today with his recent promotion, he oversees multiple departments, including the support of the Operations, Safety, and Maintenance.

Tim Ferrari

– Board Member –

Tim Ferrari currently serves as the Central California Private Markets Manager at Granite Construction. Prior to his current role, he held executive positions including Executive Vice President at Papich Construction, Inc. and Sierra Pacific Materials, Inc., Vice President at California Coastal Development, Inc., Vice President/Director of Operations at Inland Pacific Builders, Inc., and also served on the Board of Directors at Leaders Contracting, Inc. He has over 21 years’ experience with transportation projects.

John Schuler

– Board Member –

John Schuler is a Partner in the firm of Ruettgers & Schuler Civil Engineers, founded in 1980, with an emphasis on transportation. He is a registered Civil Engineer in the State of California, with over 40 years of engineering experience, the last 30 of which has involved transportation projects within Kern County.