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Elected to Conference of Minority Transportation Officials

NEWARK, NJ, AUGUST 2002 -- NJ TRANSIT's Board Director Flora Castillo was elected to the National Board of the Conference Of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO) last month.

Castillo, who became the first Latina to serve on NJ TRANSIT's Board of Directors in 1999, said that she is focused on more diversity in decision-making positions within the public transportation field. To that end, she said one of her first initiatives would be to establish a Leadership Program for COMTO members.

As a native El Salvadorian, whose family moved to the United States in 1981, Castillo knows what it takes to get things done and to evoke change.

"I am very humble and proud to have been elected by the body of this wonderful organization," said Castillo, who lives in Ventnor, New Jersey. "I look forward to working at the national level to achieve the goals of our strategic plan."

Although she is the youngest board member in the Corporation's history, Castillo maintains prominent committee positions, including Chair of the Administration Committee. In that capacity, she reviews the operating budget and capital program and advises the board on financial matters. She also is responsible for reviewing major expenditures, financial policies, labor and personnel matters that affect the operation of NJ TRANSIT.

Castillo also chairs the NJ TRANSIT Board's Customer Service Committee, which identifies and addresses issues that affect passengers.

Despite her busy schedule, she remains an active member of several national transportation industry organizations such as the American Public Transportation Association, Women's Transportation Seminar and Congress of Minority Transportation Officials.

Castillo is an associate vice president of public affairs and marketing with Keystone Mercy Health Plan, a managed care company headquartered in Philadelphia, Pa. She received her bachelors degree of Public Administration, Marketing and Accountancy from Long Island University, Southampton campus.

Castillo's ascension to the National Board represents the latest achievement for COMTO's young New Jersey Chapter. The chapter, which was established this past February, already has recruited more than 100 members and met its financial obligation to the national scholarship fund.

Based in Washington, D.C., COMTO is a multi-ethnic, non-profit national organization founded in 1971 to advocate the transportation-related needs of minorities and women. COMTO has chapters in more than 25 cities and more than 1,500 throughout the United States.

NJ TRANSIT is the nation's largest statewide public transportation system providing more than 761,000 daily trips on 238 bus routes, two light rail lines and 12 commuter rail lines. It is the third largest transit system in the country with 163 rail stations, 27 light rail stations and more than 17,000 bus stops linking major points in New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia.