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, Amanda was named Deputy CEO and Chief Operations Officer, leading 200 employees in DART’s transportation, maintenance, and customer service departments. She left in October 2022 to work for New Flyer and MCI, a leading bus and coach manufacturer.
During her seven-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 bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a master’s degree in Organizational Leadership.
Kelley Burgess joined DART in 2024 and oversees human resources, customer experience, safety and training.
Kelley has extensive expertise in human resources. Prior to DART, Kelley was a founding leadership team member of a healthcare startup, Exemplar Care, for three years. As the Chief Human Resources Officer, she was responsible for talent attraction, benefits administration and strategy, performance management, and organizational effectiveness. Prior to this role, she led the human resources service teams and cross-functional projects at McDonald's Corporate offices in Chicago for twelve years. In all her management roles, she has initiated and implemented processes for efficiency, developed teams and helped organizations navigate change.
Kelley serves as an adjunct instructor for the Department of Management and Entrepreneurship at the University of Iowa Tippie College of Business. She graduated with an Executive Master’s in Business Administration degree in December 2019. She also holds dual bachelor's degrees from Iowa State University and Upper Iowa University, as well as certificates in Leadership and Project Management from the Tippie College of Business. She has earned industry certifications from SHRM (Senior Certified Human Resource Management Professional), ProSci (Change Management Professional) and Project Management Institute (Project Management Professional).
Erin Hockman was appointed Chief Strategy Officer in 2024. She leads the organization’s external affairs functions, including marketing, communications, business and community partnerships, government relations and Caravan. She also oversees data analytics and supports the Reimagine DART initiative.
Erin joined DART in 2016 as the Marketing and Communications Manager and then moved into the role of Chief External Affairs Officer in 2020. 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 Lead DSM Community Leadership Program in 2020, was honored in the Business Record’s 2020 Forty Under 40 Class and graduated from the Drake Executive Leadership program in 2024.
Luis Montoya was appointed Chief Operating and Planning Officer in 2024 after serving as Chief Planning Officer since May 2020. He leads the transportation, facilities, fleet, and planning departments and the new Operations & Maintenance Facility project.
He first joined the DART team in 2018 as Planning Manager. Throughout his time at DART, Luis has led the organization through major changes, including implementing new services like DART On Demand, developing and deploying a new long-range plan for the agency, creating of a multi-year strategic plan, responding to service needs during and after the COVID-19 pandemic, and planning a 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).
Dan Washburn joined DART in 2024 and leads the finance, IT and procurement departments.
Dan is a recognized expert in financial reporting, budgeting, operational reviews, risk management, strategy, board reporting, investments, financial systems, and audits. He most recently served as a managing consultant for Forvis, one of the largest audit firms in the nation, where he led multiple client projects that involved completing federal grant budgets and general ledger integrations, improving accounting processes, as well as preparing audits for federal onsite compliance. Prior to Forvis, Dan worked extensively in the financial areas of healthcare, holding Chief Financial Officer and leadership roles for multiple health centers in the Midwest. Throughout his career, he has focused on analyzing performance, improving processes, building financial strategies, and developing teams.
Dan attended the University of Iowa, attaining both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Business Administration. He also holds a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) license.
Vicky Barr joined DART in 2017 and provides leadership for DART’s administrative team as well as coordination and support for the CEO and DART Commission.
Vicky brings extensive administrative experience with expertise in organization, communications, customer service, planning and project management. Prior to joining DART, Vicky provided support services to CEOs and other leadership team members at Des Moines Performing Arts, The Iowa Clinic, P.C. and Aviva Investors North America. She has also held positions in travel, corporate meeting planning and hospitality industries.
Vicky has a bachelor’s degree in Hotel Management and Tourism Management from Cheltenham and Gloucester College in the United Kingdom.
DART's Executive Leadership Team is supported by a team of 18 managers and directors who oversee DART's staff of more than 280 employees. More information on DART's Management Team available here.