Center News /
September 18, 2019

Meet our Team

Have you met our team yet? The Minnesota State Transportation Center of Excellence is made up of three hard working and talented individuals. Below we did a little Q&A with each of our team members. You can find their professional bios and more about the Center here.

Chris Hadfield

Director | LinkedIn Profile

Q & A
  • What is your favorite childhood memory?
    Riding in the truck with my dad to other people’s farms to help fix their milking equipment or a tractor.
  • People would be surprised if they knew:
    that I enjoy listening to classical music in person at a concert.
  • What are your hopes for our industry?
    Many of us are already here, but someday I hope that we all will put people before profits.
  • Least favorite Food?
    Lima beans. Seriously. Yuck.
  • What does true leadership mean to you?
    2 words. Servant leadership.

Steve Hoemberg

Director of Outreach | LinkedIn Profile

Q & A
  • What are your hopes for our industry?
    To reduce the stigma sometimes associated with transportation related careers.
  • What do you like to do on your days off?
    My days off are either spent doing activities with family, or working on the side as a truck driver and heavy equipment operator.
  • What does true leadership mean to you?
    The best leaders bring out the best in those around them – they server to empower and inspire.  A true leader stands firm to their principals and excels at fostering safe and encouraging environments to work and and be creative.  A leader talks about the things that “we” did instead of what “I” did.
  • What kinds of hobbies and interests do you have outside of work?
    My main hobby after switching industries in 2016 is music.  I direct a community men’s chorus of around 40 men ranging in age from mid-teens to mid-eighties.
  • What has been the most important innovation you have witnessed in your lifetime?
    The smart phone.

Cassidy Jelen

Project Coordinator | LinkedIn Profile

Q & A
  • Would you rather be a tiny elephant or a giant hamster?
    A giant hamster, hands down.
  • What are your hopes for our industry?
    That we can help students and parents realize that a career in transportation, whether in the air or on the ground, can offer great opportunities.
  • Motto or personal mantra?
    Appreciate the small things in life, they add up!
  • What does true leadership mean to you?
    True leadership means empowering others and giving them the opportunity to grow.
  • What do you like to do on your days off?
    Go for a hike, hammock, and enjoy the outdoors.