Earlier this year, Metra announced the appointment of John A. Milano as the agency’s Deputy Executive Director for Administration effective February 1. Metra, of course, is the Northeast Illinois Regional Railroad Corporation, Commuter Rail Division of the Regional Transportation Authority.
Milano, 50, who was Metra’s Deputy General Counsel, will serve as the top administrative officer for the Chicago area commuter rail agency under Executive Director/CEO Don Orseno. He was selected from a field of 10 candidates after a nationwide search.
“John brings the perfect combination of extensive experience and solid expertise to this role,” Orseno said. “I am confident that he can help make Metra’s administration work better for its customers, employees and vendors. In addition, at a time when Metra faces a tidal wave of retirements, he represents the next generation of transportation leaders.”
In his new role, Milano will be responsible for planning, developing, organizing and directing the administrative activities at Metra.
Milano joined Metra in 1998 and since then he has served in various capacities under different Metra administrations, including serving recently as Deputy General Counsel and as a Senior Corporate Director overseeing the Real Estate, Marketing, and Revenue Development for Metra. He has worked with all major administrative departments and is currently overseeing the internal audit department function. And he’s worked extensively with the Board of Directors and was involved in various major procurements.
Milano also served as counsel to the General Counsel, Board of Directors, Executive Director, and senior staff involving corporate, legal and board governance matters. His major projects included oversight and liaison of the Audit Department and the Corporate Law Division, which included delivering legal and business advice to various departments on complex matters. He supervised and negotiated Law Department budget, hired and managed outside counsel in areas including corporate governance, board matters, employment law, EEO/Civil Rights, ethics, procurement, DBE, FOIA, Finance/budget, labor, and special projects. He participated and directed major procurement purchases, advised on Title VI, developed strategies to respond to major crisis involving government investigations, following the departure of former CEO. He assisted in the review and drafting of employment and procurement policies and various ordinances and communicated and advocated on Metra’s behalf on U.S. DOT matters, such as procurement system review audits and triennial review audits. He managed Law Department support staff and was Metra’s co-representative on the RTA Pension Committee.
Before he joined Metra, he worked for the Illinois Department of Transportation as an assistant chief counsel from 1989-1998, where he handled a variety of assignments involving public transportation, rails, and highways. Milano brings an extensive level of commuter and passenger rail experience and crisis management to the position. He is a published author on articles on government grants and procurements and has worked on crafting transportation legislation.
“I was immediately impressed with John when I came onto the board,” said Metra Chairman Marty Oberman. “He is a tremendous resource and the type of critical, independent thinker Metra needs.”
A first-generation American born in Chicago, Milano graduated from Northwestern University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and received his law degree with honors from Notre Dame University. He lives with his wife and children in Arlington Heights.
John traces his Italian/Sicilian roots to sister towns in northwest Sicily — Cinisi and Terrasini. His railroad roots also trace back to Italy. His grandfather, Michelangelo Milano, worked as the railroad station agent at the Cinisi/Terrasini Station. Picolo mondo, John is the nephew of the highly beloved Italian community leader and successful businessman, Paul Butera. John’s mom, Rosalia, is Paul’s sister.