SEPTA Board Chairman Pasquale T. Deon, Sr. and SEPTA General Manager Jeffrey D. Knueppel, P.E., have announced the promotion of Richard G. Burnfield to the position of Deputy General Manager. Mr. Burnfield will also continue to serve as the authority’s Treasurer, a position he has held for the last seven years. He will report directly to the General Manager, Mr. Knueppel.
Over the course of his 36 year career at SEPTA, Mr. Burnfield has focused on transforming financial business practices, introducing strategic planning innovation, and advancing critical investment in the authority’s assets. Prior to becoming CFO, he served as Senior Director of Budgets and Manager of Capital Budgets. Mr. Burnfield’s career in public transit began working for the New Jersey Transit Corp.
“Rich has played a major role in establishing and maintaining fiscal stability at the Authority, ” Chairman Deon said. “At the same time, he has introduced new business strategies to help keep SEPTA on solid ground moving forward.”
Under Mr. Burnfield’s leadership, SEPTA has achieved balanced budgets for sixteen consecutive years – often in the face of uncertain funding support. With a focus on business innovation, his staff has introduced many initiatives including the largest station naming rights program in the United States, and an award winning Sustainability program.
“The skills, talent and expertise Rich brings to the General Manager Team – and the authority as a whole – are invaluable,” said Mr. Knueppel, who was named the new General Manager last month. “I’m thrilled to have Rich as our new Deputy General Manager.”
In his new role, Mr. Burnfield will oversee SEPTA divisions and departments responsible for financial efficiency, resource management, business partnership development, employee development, labor relations, communications and information technology. His Treasurer duties include managing the authority’s financial interests, such as the $1.3 billion operating budget and $534 million capital budget. Mr. Burnfield has also worked to present SEPTA’s complex budgets in a clear, concise and transparent manner to the public. Those efforts have been recognized by the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) of the U.S. and Canada with the “Distinguished Budget Presentation Award” in each of the last 10 years – putting SEPTA among a small group of transit agencies to receive the honor.
Mr. Burnfield earned a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Carnegie-Mellon University, a Masters Degree from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from Penn State University. He was honored as one of the region’s top CFO’s by the Philadelphia Business Journal and many of the authority’s finance achievements were recognized by the American Public Transportation Association’s through the 2012 Outstanding Public Transit System Award.