Black History Month: Featured Employees

RTD's first featured employee for Black History Month is Brandon Brown, RTD mechanic:

Brandon Brown Mechanic

How did you get your start in the transit industry?  

  • My Dad Mike Brown was a driver for 20 years, so he recommended that I give it a try.

Who throughout Black history has inspired you and why? 

  • Martin Luther King Jr. because he persevered by not giving up and striving for peace. 

What does Black History Month mean to you? 

  • Acknowledging Black history and remembering the past and striving for a better future. Trying to make things better  in the present. 

Anything else you'd like to add? 

  • I would like to quote Barack Obama “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” 

 

Next is bus operator Christi Balance:

Christi Balance, RTD bus operator

How did you get your start in the transit industry?

  • I envied my auntie when she was driving for RTD in the 80’s. When the opportunity arose, I applied at RTD in 2017. 

Who throughout Black history has inspired you and why?

  • Folks like Rosa Parks, who stood their ground and made a difference.  My uncle who coached college basketball for several universities and was the first black head coach at the University of Idaho and my dad who played semi-professional basketball for the Chicago Clowns. 

What does Black History Month mean to you?

  • A chance for everyone to see the accomplishments that we as black people have contributed to the community, nation and the world.  We should be celebrated all year long, not for just for a month. 

Anything else you'd like to add?

  • I’d just like to say thank you to my ancestors who paved the way and have given us the opportunities that we have today. 

 

Kevin Whitaker in Service and Cleaning:

How did you get your start in the transit industry?

  • Kevin Whitaker, Service and Cleaning

    Came home from the Navy and was recommended by a good friend Lisa Gonzalez 

Who throughout Black history has inspired you and why?

  • Martin Luther King Jr. because he always had the vision that all people were created equal. 

What does Black History Month mean to you?

  • Celebration of our culture and to give thanks to the people who paved the way for the rest of us to follow in their footsteps. 

Anything else you'd like to add?

  • I want to express my love, appreciation and respect for all races and cultures. 

 

Tameka McMillan in Customer Care:

How did you get your start in the transit industry?

  • Tameka McMillan, Customer Care

    My current employer was relocating and I did not want to make the commute to the new location. A friend told me RTD was hiring and the rest is history. 

Who throughout Black history has inspired you and why?

  • Michelle Obama. She was the first Black First Lady. She brought education to millions of girls worldwide. She was an advocate for our children. Working to get them healthier food options in school and promoted being active. She lead by example in both areas. Despite her husband being president, she never lost herself and continued to work on herself and her goals. A positive example for young brown and black girls.   

What does Black History Month mean to you?

  • It's a celebration of Black history; being proud of  our accomplishments, heritage, and excellence. A time to reflect on those that came before us, while providing an opportunity to bring recognition to our contributions and achievements in American history. It’s about family, friends, and food! (Well pre-pandemic 😀) While I appreciate having a month, I’m proud of the accomplishments of my people every month.