Meet the Staff

PCTPA has been around for a while, with a history that dates back to 1978.  Many of our projects and programs can be seen throughout Placer County, from highway improvements to public transportation that is accessible for everyone to Freeway Service Patrols to bikeways to repavement programs.  What you may not be familiar with, however, is who we are...

Leading the agency is Executive Director, Mike Luken. Mike comes to PCTPA with more than 20 years of experience in local government. Most recently, Mike served as the Deputy Director of the Yolo County Transportation District. Mike has also worked in transportation planning and economic development for the Cities of West Sacramento and Sacramento, Yolo County, and as the Director of the Port of West Sacramento.

So how does one become involved in transportation planning?  You can ask Luke McNeel-Caird, Deputy Executive Director at PCTPA!  While he originally wanted to be an architect, Luke became interested in helping people get from one place to another after working for a surveyor while attending Marysville High School.  Now Luke manages regional transportation projects throughout Placer County including the reconfiguration of the I-80/Highway 65 interchange and the widening of SR 65. In between overseeing funding for PCTPA’s seven member jurisdictions, Luke loves spending time with his two daughters and 4-year old son.  A huge fan of the Sacramento Kings, he enjoys playing recreational basketball, snowboarding at Sugar Bowl in Tahoe, and hanging out with his family at Golfland Sunspash in Roseville.

Planning Administrator and Board Secretary, Solvi Sabol believes that her career was “meant to be.” She’s a Placer County native whose family includes three generations of public servants at the County, so it was a perfect fit when she started work for Placer County 25 years ago. Sabol was first employed with the Placer County Public Works Department. At that time, Placer County Transportation Commission (PCTC), now known as PCTPA, was housed under Public Works. As PCTPA became its own agency, the Executive Director saw Sabol as a perfect candidate for the Administrative Assistant position and convinced her to apply. She has been with PCTPA ever since, and feels that she “grew up with the agency.” For Sabol, transportation projects are “more than roads, bus routes, and bikeways,” because she believes these projects represent a potential to improve the quality of life for Placer residents. It’s about getting people to where they need be efficiently and safely. Sabol enjoys living in Newcastle with her husband and finds that Placer County has been an ideal place to raise her two children.

Funding is the key to keeping our transportation projects moving. Fiscal / Administrative Officer, Shirley LeBlanc, is the person that works with the variety of federal, state, and local funding sources, and making sure that all of the accounting, budgeting, and reporting requirements for each program are handled correctly. On top of that, Shirley handles accounting and benefit administration responsibilities along with managing our property. Shirley makes sure we jump through all the hoops to keep our funding flowing, our reporting transparent, and our audits clean – all critical roles in Keeping Placer Moving. “I love both the variety of my work and the cyclical patterns of the financial management of PCTPA and our transportation programs,” she explained. Born and raised in the SF Bay Area, she loves to travel and looks forward to the next vacation adventure with her husband, daughter and son. Shirley enjoys spending time with family and friends, cooking, baking, attending her kids’ soccer games, and relaxing with the occasional binge-worthy TV.

Senior Transportation Planner David Melko originally came from Wallingford, PA and has served at PCTPA for the past 11 years. David brings 36 years of planning experience involving not only transportation, transit, and airport, but also land use, flood control and environmental issues. David currently works on Airport Land Use Commission, the Freeway Service Patrol Program, the Western Placer Consolidated Transportation Services Agency, and many transit studies. David finds planning work satisfying because transportation planning is a collaborative process. When many different stakeholders provide their input, they can combine their expertise to create better plans for local transportation projects. Without stakeholder feedback, PCTPA would not be able to plan effective and safe connections between communities and their destinations. When David is not coordinating with the Airport Land Use Commission or working on a transit study, he is running, bicycling and going to the gym. David’s favorite band the Beach Boys, circa ’66 to’73, also paved the way for his favorite type of music – progressive rock (aka “prog music”). And although he cheers for Penn State football, David is the biggest fan of his son and daughter.

Senior Planner Aaron Hoyt originally found his way into the transportation planning field through a college internship with a traffic engineering firm. He wanted to help improve the way people travel around their communities by planning, designing, and implementing transportation projects. Through his internship he discovered the incredible challenges that transportation planners face.  Hoyt’s role at the agency has included a wide range of responsibilities such as long-range regional planning, bikeway planning, and coordination and implementation of the Transportation Development Act. He also provides communication and outreach support for PCTPA.  A Roseville resident himself, he knows how the Placer community as a whole reaps the benefit of well-maintained highways, roads, bike lanes and trails. When he is not working to plan for the Placer region’s future, Aaron enjoys camping around Lake Tahoe with his family and wakeboarding at Rollins Lake in Colfax.

Assistant Planner Kathleen Hanley is the newest member of the PCTPA team. As a Placer County native, she is excited to improve transportation in the region she is proud to call home. Before joining the agency, Kathleen worked in community planning at the City of Philadelphia where she discovered her passion for making places safer and more useful for their residents. Kathleen holds degrees in architecture and city planning from Harvard and the University of Pennsylvania. When she’s not working, Kathleen enjoys gardening with her grandmother, teaching herself to cook, and watching HGTV.