Amanda Wanke (wahn-key) is the Chief Executive Officer of the Des Moines Area Regional Transit Authority (DART). She was appointed to the position by the Board of Commissioners in July 2023.
As CEO of the largest public transit system in Iowa, Wanke leads a team of nearly 300 employees who utilize a fleet of 200 vehicles to provide more than 3 million rides a year, connecting central Iowans to jobs, school, doctor’s appointments and much more throughout the Greater Des Moines region.
Wanke came to DART in 2015 as the Chief External Affairs Officer with a valuable cross section of experiences in government relations, stakeholder engagement, public relations, media relations, and team leadership. In May 2020, the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Amanda was named Deputy CEO and Chief Operations Officer, leading 200 employees in DART’s transportation, maintenance, and customer service departments. She left last October (2022) to work for New Flyer and MCI, a leading bus and coach manufacturer.
During her 7-year tenure at DART, Amanda ensured essential transportation services continued throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, launched several new and innovative services—including Flex Connect and DART On Demand, led the deployment of the agency’s first electric buses, successfully negotiated union contracts, improved customer satisfaction and non-rider awareness, increased advertising revenue and added new partnerships to increase transit access and revenue.
Amanda’s prior professional experience includes leading communications, government relations, and team leadership in several industries. Wanke attended Bethel University where she received her BA in Political Science and MA in Organizational Leadership.
Brandon Smiley was appointed Chief Operating Officer in October 2022. He leads more than 200 employees in the Operations, Maintenance and Facilities departments.
Smiley has an extensive career in public transit with the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority in Kansas City, Missouri. He first began working for KCATA as a Transit Bus Operator in 2005, and over the past 17 years has worked as a Transportation Supervisor, Transportation Assistant Superintendent, Transportation Manager and the Director of Transportation for the organization.
At DART, Smiley will oversee DART’s fleet, facilities and the day-to-day operations for all of DART’s service. In addition, he will oversee vital projects supporting the delivery of current and future services.
Smiley graduated with his BA from MidAmerica Nazarene University in 2015 and attained his MBA from American Public University in 2020.
Luis Montoya was appointed Chief Planning Officer in May 2020, leading the Planning and Business Intelligence departments.
He first joined the DART team in 2018 as Planning Manager. Throughout his time at DART Montoya has led the organization through major service changes including the implementation of new service types including DART On Demand, the development and deployment of a new long-range plan for the agency, emergency service updates throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and efforts surrounding the planning of a potential new bus operations and maintenance facility to serve the Greater Des Moines region. Prior to joining DART, Montoya was the Director of Livable Streets for the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency.
Montoya’s community involvement includes serving on the board of the Polk County Housing Trust fund. He was a Des Moines Business Record Forty Under Forty recipient in 2022.
He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies from the University of California Santa Barbara and holds a master’s degree in city planning from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
Erin Hockman joined DART in 2016 as the marketing and communications manager and then moved into the role of Chief External Affairs Officer in 2020. In this role, Erin oversees marketing and communications, business and community partnerships and government relations. Before joining DART, Erin worked for Kemin Industries, a global nutritional ingredient manufacturing company, where she worked in marketing, corporate communications and employee communications. She completed the Greater Des Moines Leadership Institute CLP class in 2020 and was honored in the Business Record’s 2020 Forty Under 40 Class.
Beth Hanson was appointed Chief Administrative Officer in November 2022 to provide leadership to DART’s IT, Procurement, Finance, Human Resources, Training and Safety teams.
Hanson has an extensive history of leadership in central Iowa over the past 18 years, serving in several roles for Goodwill of Central Iowa and Williams Sonoma. She graduated from Central College in Pella and is a Des Moines native who graduated from Hoover High School.
DART's Leadership Team is supported by a team of 15 managers who oversee DART's staff of more than 280 employees. More information on DART's Management Team available here.