more info /
railLA is a California non-profit public benefit corporation originally started as a collaboration between the Los Angeles Chapters of the American Institute of Architects (AIA|LA) and American Planning Association (APA). railLA has quickly become a growing partnership of architects, city and regional planners, and engineers working with business and community leaders as one voice to guarantee that the promise of high-speed rail becomes a reality.

Jeremy Stutes, Chairman of the Board
Jeremy Stutes is an independent film producer, director, event producer, actor, educator, and artist living and working in Los Angeles. Jeremy has been a participant in numerous flash mobs with nationally recognized group Flash Mob America and was a lead dance instructor for the world-record smashing Thrill the World Los Angeles at LA Live in 2009. He was instrumental in organizing railLA's LA Beyond Cars event at CicLAvia in April of 2011, and produced Dapper Day on the Subway in 2012.

Jeremy holds a Bachelors of Arts in Performing Arts, Media, and Community Studies from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA. During his time at Evergreen, Jeremy chaired the Search and Recommendations committee to develop a new Center for Community-Based Learning and Action for the institution that is still in operation connecting students to needs within the local community.

Robert W. Vanech, CFO / Founding Board Member
Robert “Bob” Vanech is Treasurer of railLA and Co-Chair of Sponsorship and Finance Sub-Committee. Robert Vanech is an outspoken advocate for creative entrepreneurial catalytic change as a means to improve broken social and economic systems. His public experience ranges from educational reform as a Founding Director and Treasurer with the most successful charter school in LAUSD to a gubernatorial run in his homestate of Connecticut. On the private sector side, Robert Vanech is a leading Venture Capitalist, as partner at ETF Group, a $250M Swiss-based technology fund, and a well-known Serial Entrepreneur who has funded and started successful technology companies including Eureka Broadband Corporation where he served as President and Director and CADFORCE, Inc. where he served as President, CEO and Chairman of the Board. Raising over $70M in venture capital for these ventures, Eureka was sold for over $100 million in 2005 to Broadview Networks and CADFORCE sold in 2009 to global engineering firm, Neilsoft Pvt. Ltd.

Robert Vanech holds a Bachelor of Finance from the Carroll School of Management at Boston College and contributes as an active alumnus of Choate Rosemary Hall. Robert Vanech lives in Venice, CA with his three children and is an avid football coach, basketball player, and competitive Scrabble player.

Pam O'Connor, Board Member
Pam O’Connor is a City Councilmember in Santa Monica, CA. She has served as Mayor Santa Monica five times. She is particularly interested in issues that advance sustainability and mobility.

Pam is a member of the Regional Council of the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG), the nation’s largest metropolitan planning organization. She serves on SCAGs Executive Committee and is Chair of SCAG’s Legislative and Communications Committee. As SCAG’s President in 2012 she led the 84-member Regional Council in the unanimous adoption of the region’s first Sustainable Communities Strategy. She represents SCAG on California’s Road Charge Technical Advisory Committee.

O’Connor is the First Vice-President of CalCog, the state association of Councils of Governments. She is Vice-Chair of the Local Government Commission and a member of the Boards of the National Association of Regional Councils, the California Transit Association and Democratic Municipal Officials. She is a member of the Board of ICLEI Local Governments for Sustainability, USA and is Chair of ICLEI’s North America Regional Executive Committee.

Pam O’Connor is Chair of the Exposition Metro Line Construction Authority Board that oversees building of the light rail line from Downtown Los Angeles to Santa Monica. She served on the Los Angeles County Metro Board from 2001 to 2015 steering the planning, coordination, design, construction, and operation of the transportation/transit system for the nation’s most populous county. As Metro Board Chair in 2007 she established Metro’s Sustainability Committee and currently serves as Chair of Metro’s Sustainability Committee.

Pam O’Connor serves on Advisory Boards for the Santa Monica College Public Policy Institute and UCLA’s Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies. She participated in the U.S. Conference of Mayors and is an active member of the National League of Cities having served on its Transportation Infrastructure and Services Committee, Information Technology and Communications Committee, and on the Board of Women in Municipal Government.

O’Connor also served on the California Coastal Commission as an alternate from 2010 to 2012. This quasi-judicial regulatory body oversees land use issues that impact California’s coastline, with the goal of protecting and conserving the environment and preserving public access to this natural resource.

Pam O’Connor’s achievements have been recognized with the LA Streetsblog Elected Official of the Year 2013, by the Southern California transportation coalition Mobility 21 as Public Sector Leader of the Year Award (2012), Move LA Award (2012), LA League of Conservation Voters Environmental Champion Award (2012), Los Angeles County Chair’s Green Leadership Award (2008), American Planning Association—LA Distinguished Leadership Elected Official (2006) and she was recognized as one of the 25 Most Influential Women in Transportation in Southern California by the Women’s Transportation Seminar (2010).

As a professional urban planning consultant, Pam O'Connor specializes in historic preservation. She has worked on significant historic buildings throughout Southern California including the Los Angeles City Hall Seismic Rehabilitation, and at institutions including the University of California Los Angeles, University of Southern California, California State University campuses, Los Angeles Community College, and Occidental College. Her expertise includes environmental review and rehabilitation of historic resources. Other previous positions of note include: Director of the National Trust for Historic Preservation's Northridge Earthquake Recovery Partnership Program; Planner for the City of Pasadena; and Research Associate at the Survey Research Center, Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan.

Pam O’Connor holds Masters’ degrees in Planning and in Technology Management from Eastern Michigan University and a B.S. in Communications from Southern Illinois University.

Tanya Paz, Board Member
A Los Angeles native, Tanya began her work with MASS Design Group to help build their US practice and focus on using design methodologies to improve our domestic healthcare system, Tanya lead the development team and served as a design lead on a variety of projects including a design kit for USAID, the Community Hospital of the Future in New York, the final phases of work with Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.

Recently returning to Los Angeles, Tanya transitioned into an advisory role with MASS and joined the team at SOM Los Angeles aiding with the design and development of the city’s new Federal Courthouse in Downtown Los Angeles.

Tanya’s work has taken her through Latin America, most notably as a Fulbright Scholar funded to evaluate the Valparaiso School and Open City Group’s process as a model for architecture and planning in resource limited settings. Tanya has also previously worked with Mansilla and Tunon Arquitectura in Madrid, the Architecture and Design Curatorial Team at MoMA, and with a variety of health care research teams.

Born in Santiago, Chile, Tanya received her Bachelors of Art from Tufts University and her Masters in Architecture from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design.