Mom, CEO, activist, now Valley Metro chairwoman, has little time to think about lack of sleep


By Diana Whittle

wn070514As a mother of a
month-old baby
girl, Chandler
Trinity Donovan
has reason to be
tired, and does,
frankly, admit to
a lack of sleep.
Then add her duties as an
elected official since 2006; her
full-time position as the Chief
Executive Officer of the nonprofit
Chandler Christian Center;
and her latest role as chair for
the Board of Directors of Valley Metro Regional Public
Transportation Authority—well, one would assume she
must be exhausted.
But, it seems, Donovan balances her many roles
and responsibilities with ease. She says, even though
she’s busy, it’s all work she enjoys, and that makes it
manageable. She also maintains a strong focus on what’s
most important to her—to serve
the public and to meet their human
service needs.
“I developed my interest in
public and human service through
volunteerism at my church while
growing up in Chandler,” said
After becoming an elected official,
she agreed to work on transportation
issues and was appointed by
Chandler’s mayor to serve on the
board of Valley Metro, which is the
agency that provides public transit
and rideshare services in the greater
Phoenix area.
“Transportation is a very
important part of residents’ quality of
life, and the impact (of that) crosses
all income levels,” said Donovan.
“I am extremely interested in what services residents
feel they need.”
Policy direction at Valley Metro
comes from elected officials, who
represent the 15 member cities and
the county. The agency also oversees a
second board that is devoted to lightrail
services and their future growth in
the Valley.
Her recent appointment to lead
the board of directors of Valley Metro
RPTA for the upcoming FY 2014-15
term comes after serving on the transit
board since 2007.
“I’ve learned so much about
transportation issues from working
on both the budget and finance
committees at Valley Metro,” said
“During the recession, the agency
made some difficult choices on route
cutbacks, but it’s important to consider
decisions on a regional level. As the
chair, I expect to gather rider input on
the best transit routes throughout the
“Specific to the East Valley, I
see a need to improve service to the
Price Corridor, as that is increasingly
becoming an important employment
Donovan moved to Chandler when
she was in the second grade and
graduated from Chandler High School.
She has lived in the community ever
since, with the exception of attending
Stanford University, where she earned
a bachelor’s degree in comparative
studies in race and ethnicity, and a
master’s in sociology.
She’s still active in her church
and also performs service projects
internationally. Most recently, she
traveled to Ethiopia with Hope for the
Hopeless to work with an orphanage.
Donovan has earned accolades
Valley-wide for her diverse
accomplishments and humanity. She
was recognized by Phoenix Business
Journal as one of its “Forty under
40,” received the Soroptimist Woman
of Distinction Award, the Chandler
Alliance for Character Award, IMPACT
for Enterprising Women Celebration
of Success Award, and the Stanford
Associates Achievement Award.
It’s quite a resume for a public
servant—but right now her attention
needs to return to her baby, Miss
Micah Rae—and maybe even getting in
a short nap.


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