​​CATS Leadership Team

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​John M. Lewis Jr., Chief Executive Officer

Picture of ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​John M. Lewis Jr., Chief Executive OfficerJohn M.Lewis is the Chief Executive Officer of the Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS). He arrived in  September 2015 and is leading CATS through a significant stage of growth to construct the LYNX Blue Line Extension, expand existing light rail platforms to accept three car trains, and advance the CityLYNX Gold Line Phase 2 (streetcar) through final design and in to construction.

Lewis's initial focus is on advancing the long-term transit plan, enhancing customer service to attract and retain customers and on ensuring a safe and reliable transit system for the region.

Lewis brings a wealth of transit knowledge and experience to Charlotte, having previously served as CEO of the Central Florida Regional Transit Authority (LYNX) where he provided strategic leadership to Central Florida’s primary mass transit system. During his tenure at LYNX, he oversaw two design/build projects for the expansion of Orlando’s LYMMO Bus Rapid Transit Line and managed three additional Alternatives Analysis Studies for the U.S. Route 192 Corridor in Osceola County, Route 50 Corridor in Orange County, and the final segment of the LYMMO study (North/South alignment).

Prior to his time with LYNX, Lewis held several leadership positions as the CEO of  the Greater Richmond Transit Company, and director of rail operations and director of bus operations with the Maryland Transit Administration. 


Lewis is a graduate of Allegheny College in Meadville, Penn., ​and holds a bachelor of arts in political science. ​


  • Chief executive officer – Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) (September 2015 – present)

  • Chief executive officer – Central Florida Regional Transit Authority (LYNX) (December 2010 - September 2015)

  • Chief executive officer – Greater Richmond Transit Company (GRTC) (January 2005 - November 2010)

  • Director of rail operations, Maryland Transit Authority (MTA) (February 2001 – January 2005)

  • Director of bus operations, Maryland Transit Authority (MTA) (March 2002 – February 2004)​


  • ​Bachelor of arts in political science from Allegheny College


  • Chair, Leadership APTA Committee, November 2011- November 2014

  • Board member, National Training Institute, January 2008 – present

  • Board member, Conference of Minority Transportation Officials, 2011 – present

  • Board member, National Science Foundation/TOPS Committee, 2013 – present


Allen Smith

Deputy Director of Transit

Chief Operating Officer

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Allen Smith is Deputy director of Transit, and has an outstanding record of achievement in the areas of rail start-ups, revenue operations, customer service, crisis management, effective communication and management of key operating personnel while developing employees, driving business needs, improving on-time performance and significantly impacting growth and ridership for CATS

Picture of ​Blanche Sherman  Chief Financial Officer

​Blanche Sherman

Chief Financial Officer

Blanche W. Sherman is director of the Administration Division, which develops and manages CATS' annual budgets, State and Federal grants, financial reporting, and external financing activities within the Public Transit Department. The Administration Division also provides procurement and contract administration services ensuring CATS compliance with Federal, State and local procurement laws and regulations.

Deputy Director for Development

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