Meet our Team:

  • Megan Owens, Executive Director
  • Deb Freer, Assistant Director
  • Petra Mihalko, Design Specialist (part-time)
  • Lukas Lasecki, Community Engagement Intern (part-time)
  • Spencer Coplan, Data/Communications Intern (part-time)
  • Joel Batterman, Community Engagement Manager (on leave)
  • Claire Nowak-Boyd, Communications and Operations Manager (on leave)

Megan Owens, Executive Director

Megan on Channel 7's Flashpoint program
Megan on Channel 7’s Flashpoint program
  • Plans, manages, guides, and oversees all TRU’s work.
  • Frequently quoted in area media.
  • Served on Advisory Councils for the RTA, SEMCOG, Oakland County Transit, and M-1 Rail.
  • 25 years’ experience in progressive advocacy.
  • Training from University of Michigan and Leadership Detroit

Deborah Freer, Assistant Director

  • Leads TRU’s event planning, membership engagement, and fundraising.
  • Project Manager for the Michigan Towards Equitable Electric Mobility cohort.
  • Engagement Manager for the Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority for several years.
  • Degree in Urban Planning from Eastern Michigan University.

Petra Mihalko, Design Specialist

  • Designs TRU reports, factsheets, outreach materials, and most graphical assets.
  • Urbanist advocate for Ann Arbor-Ypsilanti and Downriver.
  • Former Intern for the City of Detroit and U-M Bus Driver.
  • Studying Urban Technology and German at the University of Michigan.

Joel Batterman, Community Engagement Manager

  • Manages TRU’s volunteer team and activism.
  • Leads TRU’s Detroit bus advocacy.
  • Co-coordinator of Transit Riders of the United States Together (TRUST), a national network of transit advocates
  • PhD in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Michigan

Claire Nowak-Boyd, Communications and Operations Manager

A woman with long hair smiles into the camera. Stenciled on plywood next to her are the words
Claire poses with a passage from the Gary, Indiana, Citywide Poem.
  • Coordinates TRU’s administration, board, and social media.
  • Former Executive Director of Preservation Detroit and Planner for the City of Flint.
  • Degrees in Urban Studies and Economics from Wayne State University