Sound Transit names director of new communications department

Publish Date

Joni Earl, acting Executive Director of Sound Transit, today named Ric Ilgenfritz Chief Communications Officer. Ilgenfritz will manage all communications for the agency, including government relations, community outreach, marketing, customer service and media relations.

"Ric will add tremendous communications expertise and know-how as we work closely with our community to address the region's transit needs," Earl said. "I am very excited to be coming to Sound Transit at such an important time," Ilgenfritz said. "The voters asked us to build a regional transit system that meets their needs, and our success will depend in part on expanding our efforts to reach out and involve people in the effort."

Ilgenfritz served most recently with the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) as Columbia Basin Coordinator and External Relations Manager, where he coordinated salmon recovery efforts in the Columbia/Snake river basin and the outreach plan for managing the federal government's decision on breaching Snake River dams last year.

Ilgenfritz is an 11-year staff veteran of Washington's congressional delegation. He previously worked as Legislative Director for U.S. Senator Patty Murray. He also worked for the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Transportation and its chairman, former Rep. Al Swift, where he helped coordinate the resumption of Amtrak service between Seattle and Vancouver, B.C.

A native of Mercer Island, Ilgenfritz graduated from Mercer Island High School. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from the University of Oregon in Eugene.

Ilgenfritz will begin work at Sound Transit on May 14. His salary is $129,000. In announcing Ilgenfritz's hiring, Earl also reaffirmed her reorganization plan for the agency, which she announced on April 11. Key elements of the reorganization are integration of corporate functions and lines of business to effectively deliver services, structuring systems to support the Board's goals for accountability and transparency, and providing clarity and balance to staff workloads.

Sound Transit is building and operating a regional transit system in the urbanized areas of King, Pierce and Snohomish counties. The integrated transportation system includes Sounder commuter rail, Link light rail, ST Express buses and improvements to transit centers, park-and-ride lots and HOV access. More information is available on the Sound Transit web site at www.soundtransit.or or by phone at (800) 201-4900.


# # #

Sound Transit plans, builds and operates regional transit systems and services to improve mobility for Central Puget Sound.