The Oklahoma Turnpike Authority announced Tim Gatz, current deputy director at the Oklahoma Department of Transportation, will serve as the OTA’s new executive director.
He was hired at the OTA meeting earlier this week. OTA Chair Albert “Kell” Kelly said Gatz was the best candidate.
“His work with ODOT has been invaluable, and we believe he will have a seamless transition to OTA’s current initiatives,” said Kelly in a news release.
Gatz began with ODOT in 1990 as a drafting technician and worked his way up the agency, serving as division manager of the project management division and then director of ODOT’s capital programs and information managements. He was named ODOT Deputy Director in 2013.
“We feel Tim will be a great fit for the OTA,” said Gary Ridley, Oklahoma secretary of transportation. “He’s worked on many crucial programs at ODOT during his career, including major improvements to our state’s roads and bridges.”
Former OTA Executive Director Tim Stewart left the state earlier this year to lead the toll road program in Colorado. Former OTA Executive Director and Transportation Secretary Neal McCaleb has served as interim director for most of the rollout of the current “Driving Forward” turnpike program that includes the controversial proposed Eastern Oklahoma County Turnpike. McCaleb will stay on as a consult, said OTA Spokesman Jack Damrill.
Gatz is a graduate of Oklahoma State University and is a registered professional landscape architect. He and his family live in El Reno.
Gatz will begin June 1, 2016.