Commute Seattle is thrilled to announce our newest Executive Director, Kevin Futhey. Kevin takes the helm of an organization poised to help businesses navigate an increasingly changing transportation environment within downtown Seattle. Kevin has served as a Senior Program Manager at Commute Seattle since 2017. He has been a key contributor to the successful launch of the Free Waterfront Shuttle, which has now carried over 166,000 passengers and Commute Seattle’s commuter benefits outreach programs.
Kevin is excited about this opportunity and shared more about his love for transportation and the organization.
What attracted you to Commute Seattle?
I followed Commute Seattle for a while before I started working here. I loved that they help promote ORCA for Business programs to employers and that they collect and publish the Center City Mode Split data. I was working in social service nonprofits for a while, which I loved, but a growing passion of mine was transit and urban planning. When the opportunity came to combine my nonprofit background with an exciting mission tied to urban mobility, I couldn’t pass that up.
What excites you about the work Commute Seattle does?
When we do our job well, connecting more commuters to great benefits and amenities, not only do employee commutes improve, but their health can improve. Employers will see the ROI in terms of productivity and retention, and we reduce congestion and pollution at the same time. Our job is about transportation, but it really gets to the heart of economic vitality and public health in our downtown and our city.
What are your biggest goals and priorities for the organization?
We have an incredibly talented team, so a big goal of mine is just to make sure we have a workplace that enables them to do their best work, to bring their own vision and leadership and to grow their skills. Additionally, I want to make sure that we are building a community around our shared objectives, that we’re connecting meaningfully with employers, property managers and commuters to keep the momentum going on using our transportation network as efficiently as possible.
What is the one thing you would love to accomplish within the first year on the job?
Encourage even more employers to start offering commuter benefits, especially in industries where they aren’t yet standard. The Commuter Benefit Ordinance that goes into effect January 1, 2020 will be a great opportunity to initiate conversations about this with businesses downtown and across the city.
If you could be one type of transit what would it be?
A subway! I’m a regular bus commuter, and I do like buses, but I love the reliability of a system that can’t get stuck in traffic. I lived in Seoul for a year and commuted by subway every day. That’s largely why I got so interested in transit. When I came back to Seattle after that year, it felt like a major downgrade not to have a subway that could take me to all my favorite places.
What do you listen to while taking transit?
In the morning, podcasts. In the afternoon, happy music. I like listening to reggae to chill out during the occasional stop-and-go traffic back to my home in Snohomish County. Also, I got a Nintendo Switch for my birthday, so sometimes I play Zelda.
What is your favorite place to visit using transit?
I love being on the water, so I’m going to say a ferry ride to any of the islands in Puget Sound. On a clear day, these might be the best views from transit anywhere in the world. We are so lucky to call this place home.
Prior to joining Commute Seattle, Kevin served as Program Manager at Pike Place Market Food Bank and United Way of Snohomish County/Everett. Kevin has worked within the nonprofit sector for more than 10 years. Kevin earned a Bachelor’s degree in International Studies from the University of Washington and a Masters of Public Administration from the University of North Dakota. If you have more questions for the Executive Director, email Kevin.
The entire team is excited for the next chapter of Commute Seattle!