K&A Partners with The Rapid to Recruit New CEO

K&A Partners with The Rapid to Recruit New CEO

The Rapid in Grand Rapids, Mich., hires Deborah Prato as its new CEO

Prato brings more than 30 years of public-sector experience, including tenures at New York City Transit and New Jersey Transit.

Feb. 1, 2021
Deborah Prato

The Rapid in Grand Rapids, Mich., on Friday announced the hiring of Deborah Prato as its new chief executive officer. The Rapid’s board of directors formalized the contract with Prato last Wednesday as part of its regular January meeting.

Prato replaces former CEO Andrew Johnson, who resigned last June. She brings more than 30 years of public-sector experience to the role, most recently as senior vice president – people and business transformation at New York City Transit. According to her LinkedIn profile, she has also worked at New Jersey Transit as assistant executive director of human resources and at Rochester-Genesee Regional Transportation Authority in Rochester, N.Y., as chief administrative officer.

Stephen Kepley, chair of The Rapid’s board, expressed optimism about Prato’s hiring. “[She] brings the necessary leadership experience and skills to guide and implement The Rapid’s planned services for meeting the needs of West Michigan for years to come,” he said.

Prato will officially begin her role as CEO on March 8.

“I am honored and humbled to be appointed CEO of The Rapid,” said Prato. “Together and alongside all of the dedicated employees at The Rapid, we have the talent to continue to deliver exceptional service to our customers and create extraordinary value by connecting our communities.”

The Rapid started the CEO search process in July 2020, at which time Win Irwin was hired to serve as interim CEO. Irwin will be working with The Rapid’s board, staff and Prato to assist with the transition.