The Nature Conservancy of Oregon has honored TriMet’s own Myleen Richardson with the conservation group’s 2011 “Volunteer of the Year” Award.
As TriMet’s bus stop planner/analyst, Myleen manages a complex database that tracks our 7,000+ bus stops and rail stations—juggling details about their location, the lines that serve them, their Stop ID numbers and amenities such as shelters, benches, sidewalks and crosswalks. In her role at The Nature Conservancy, she uses similar skills to manage their volunteer database and surveys for volunteer satisfaction. This is a critical task, because the Conservancy depends on at least 20 full-time employees worth of volunteer time every year!
One of the reasons I volunteer is that I enjoy helping others. I volunteer for The Nature Conservancy because it’s a cause I believe in.”
Myleen holds two (yes, two) masters degrees: a Master of Public Affairs and a Master of Science in Environmental Science, with a focus on environmental policy and natural resource management. She began volunteering for the Conservancy in 2000, the same year she was hired at TriMet.
Her behind-the-scenes work is helping to protect critical habitats for nature as well as people.
“One of the reasons I volunteer is that I enjoy helping others,” says Myleen. “I volunteer for The Nature Conservancy because it’s a cause I believe in.”
The Conservancy’s program director, Molly Doughtery, describes Myleen as being “key to the organization’s success and an important part of the team.”
“From complex database queries, to communications, to jumping in wherever needed, I can count on Myleen to do the job right,” says Molly.
Without knowing it, TriMet riders count on Myleen, too. The database she manages is used to deliver service information to riders and to coordinate the maintenance of stops and stations. When you come across a stop name or Stop ID number on TriMet’s website or phone system, for example, Myleen’s had a hand in it. On board the bus, when you hear an automated announcement for the next stop, again, that’s Myleen’s behind-the-scenes work.
It’s a lot of responsibility, really, and it occasionally spills over into her personal life. “It’s hard for me to stay in town for a vacation,” says Myleen, “because bus stops are everywhere, and my eyes are always drawn to them, especially when something is in need of attention.”
True to her small-town Midwest background, Myleen is not one to seek the spotlight. Nonetheless, she is a star here at TriMet, as well as at The Nature Conservancy. Thank you, Myleen, for what you do for us and our community!