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Board of Directors

The legal governing body of Cherriots

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The Cherriots Board of Directors has the authority to make policy and administration decisions. Each board member represents one of seven subdistricts, and their primary responsibility is one of stewardship and trusteeship. The Board establishes priorities, evaluates the performance of the transit system, and approves budgets. The Board also works with community members to improve bus service and address transit-related issues. For correspondence to the full Board, email board@cherriots.org.

Recent changes

From the District’s inception until 2019, local voters elected Board members. With recent changes in Oregon law enacted by Senate Bill 1536, seats on the board have become governor-appointed positions. As of July 2019, the governor has the authority to appoint, or discharge, Board members. Board members will still be required to live in the subdistrict they represent.

SB 1536 also repealed a section of state law, ORS 267.302, that prevented the Board from imposing taxes on local business payrolls without first holding an election. Previously, the Board was required to seek voter approval for all tax increases. But this change won’t happen immediately: the Board’s ability to raise taxes administratively doesn’t take effect until January 2026.

Current Board of Directors

Director Chi Nguyen is a proud product of Oregon’s public education system after she and her family immigrated to Portland in 1990. Her career spans private, public, academia, and more recently, not-for-profit sectors. She has served as a city councilor for King City, Oregon. She was an intrapraneur for a Fortune 500 before founding her startups, AutoMedic, Inc. in 2010 and Zenchi LLC in 2016. Professionally, she is the interim deputy chief executive officer for the Oregon Food Bank. Director Nguyen has served through two budget cycles on the Salem Area Mass Transit District’s Budget Committee before transitioning to the Board of Directors. Additionally, she serves on the Governor’s Racial Justice Council.

Director Ramiro Navarro Jr. grew up in Keizer, Oregon, and graduated from the Salem-Keizer School District before joining the military at age18. Since returning from Iraq in 2010, he has continued to serve his country in other ways, including being the veterans representative at Chemeketa Community College, supporting youth through the Oregon Veterans Youth Challenge, advocating for ADA services, helping organize events to promote inclusivity, serving on the IMPACTS (Improving People's Access to Community-based Treatment, Supports, and Services) Grant Review Committee for criminal justice reform, and is a program coordinator at a local nonprofit organization for people facing mental health disorders. Director Navarro is passionate about serving on the Board to expand access to public transportation as someone who used public transportation frequently in his life. His mantra is “Be the change you wish to see" and he works hard to leave the world better than he received it for his five children and hopefully for his children's children.

Director Sadie Carney has a professional background in policy work, urban and regional planning, transportation planning, and community involvement. She currently serves as a policy analyst and communications manager for the Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development. She formerly worked for Cherriots as the Director of Community Relations. She is an active community volunteer and a strong advocate for equity and inclusion. 

Director Carney has a master’s in Urban and Regional Land Use Planning from Portland State University, and a bachelor’s degree from Middlebury College in Vermont. She lives in the Grant Neighborhood with her family, where she is a bicycle commuter, farmers market regular, and mother of two. Because of their commute differences, she prefers to pay by the trip, while her husband will only use the Universal Pass.

Director Maria Cecilia Hinojos Pressey is a daughter of Mexican immigrants from Chihuahua, Mexico.

Professionally, she is the operations manager for PCUN, which is an organization that advocates for Oregon farmworkers and working Latinx families.

Hinojos Pressey previously worked with a refugee resettlement agency, helping refugees and asylum seekers obtain jobs, navigate public transportation, and settle into new homes. Prior to that she worked as a Latinx community advocate at the Domestic Violence Resource Center.

In addition to her role as a Cherriots board director, Hinojos Pressey is a member of the District’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee.

She holds a bachelor's degree in religious studies from the University of New Mexico and a master's in sociology from Arizona State University.

President Ian Davidson is committed to ensuring affordable, sustainable, and equitable transportation options in the Salem-Keizer area and the broader Mid-Willamette Valley region. Professionally, he is the Justice Reinvestment Program Manager for the Oregon Criminal Justice Commission. His past work experience includes stints at the Oregon Legislature, Bonneville Power Administration, the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board, and the Association of Oregon Counties.

President Davidson is a graduate of Oregon State University’s Master of Public Policy program and has a bachelor’s degree in history from Brigham Young University. Prior to his appointment to the Cherriots board in 2019, he served on the Oregon Citizen’s Utility Board and the Salem City Council Public Transit Committee. He and his wife, along with their two daughters, live in Salem. Together, they enjoy going to the farmers market, hiking, gardening, and remodeling their home.

Director Sara Duncan has lived in the Salem community for most of her life and is a longtime Cherriots rider and advocate of public transit. As a board member, she plans to take an active part to keep community transit service healthy and responsive to future community needs. Director Duncan has served the greater Salem community in a number of leadership and supporting roles that span from non-profits and public service to health care. Professionally, she is the recycling coordinator for Mid-Valley Garbage and Recycling Association. In 2017, she graduated from Concordia University with a bachelor’s of arts degree in biology. “I want to see a downtown that thrives, suburbs that are not isolated from the city, and clean air to breathe. The promotion of Cherriots as a valuable community resource is essential to seeing these goals to fruition.”

Director Charles Richards was appointed in May 2019 by Gov. Kate Brown to represent Subdistrict 7. He has been an active volunteer and advocate for seniors and people with disabilities through organizations such as Northwest Senior Disability Services, State Rehabilitation Council, State Independent Living Council, Veterans of Oregon, and the Advocacy Coalition of Seniors and People with Disabilities. He was elected to the National Silver Haired Congress as a senator and director in 2005, serving the state for four terms where he spent much of his time in Washington, D.C. advocating for Oregon’s senior issues. He learned many things from informed and educated sources that encouraged him to aid in the transformation of the Health Delivery System in Oregon working with the Governor’s Commission. In 2017, he was awarded the “Lee Hazelwood” Advocacy Award in recognition of his devotion to advocacy for seniors and people with disabilities.

When he’s not busy, he volunteers at the Evergreen Aviation Museum in McMinnville. This gives him much joy to share his passion for World War II airplanes and sharing the stories of the veterans who served with people who visit the museum.

He has found there is more he can do in other areas. It is his firm belief that serving on the Board of Directors for Cherriots can be a vehicle for streamlining service delivery to people who may not always understand the issues behind providing services to the community. His interest is in improving the quality of life for Oregonians and its growing population of all ages.

View the Board Subdistrict Map

View the Board Subdistrict Map