Sound Transit names new deputy executive director, unveils new structure

Publish Date

Sound Transit acting executive director Joni Earl today named Vernon Stoner deputy executive director of the regional transit agency.

"Vernon brings a wealth of management experience and knowledge to this job," said. Stoner's most recent management position was city manager of Vancouver, Wash., one of the fastest growing areas in the country. During his four-year tenure, Stoner promoted downtown redevelopment and oversaw one of the largest annexations in state history, which overnight made Vancouver the third largest city in Washington. "Vernon led Vancouver through an incredible period of growth and redevelopment. His ability to manage and motivate will be indispensable at Sound Transit," Earl said.

Prior to his work in Vancouver, Stoner served five years as the commissioner of the Washington State Employment Security Department, which manages the state's employment services, unemployment insurance, job training programs and labor market information. He has also held city manager positions in Saginaw, Mich., and Lacey, Wash.

A native of Hagerstown, Md., Stoner holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Maryland and undertook graduate study in public administration at Western Michigan University. He is also a graduate of a program for senior executives in state and local government at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. Stoner has served on the board of directors of the Portland Urban League, Olympia YMCA and the United Way chapters in the Portland and Olympia areas. He has two sons.

In announcing Stoner's hiring, Earl also unveiled a new organizational structure for Sound Transit.
"This is a restructuring that will help the agency succeed. Sound Transit's internal structure has to be aligned to meet the challenges facing the agency," she said. 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.

In a memo to Sound Transit staff announcing the changes, Earl wrote, "We are no longer a start-up company. We must move to a sustainable organization, and run the agency like the multi-faceted business enterprise it is. This includes a renewed focus, setting priorities and establishing reasonable business practices-all important in being able to achieve our broad mission."

Earl said the restructuring is designed to meet and exceed the expectations of the public and Sound Transit board and employees for organizational effectiveness and credibility.

Created by voters in 1996, 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 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.