Every month, operators from King County Metro’s seven transit bases select their fellow drivers who make positive contributions to Metro and recognize them as Operators of the Month. The operators selected demonstrate safe driving skills; show courteous and helpful attitudes toward customers; and pay conscientious attention to job requirements such as attendance, appearance and discipline.
We want to introduce you to some of our recent Operators of the Month. Please join us in congratulating them. Additionally, the Operators of the Month later come together to vote on who among them will be Metro’s Operator of the Year!
(Information and photos provided by the operators)
July: Anwar Saadi
After spending years riding the bus, Anwar decided to become an operator and DRIVE the bus. He started as a part-time operator in September 2016 and went full-time 10 months later. Anwar has earned a three-year Safe Driver Award, and five commendations during his time with Metro.
Born and raised in Seattle, Anwar is the eldest of four children. A Seattle native and Shorecrest High grad, Anwar stays busy with his wife and two-year old daughter, whom he describes as “my world.” When not working, Anwar enjoys playing table tennis and spending time outdoors.
Anwar’s advice for other operators:
“At times, I have found myself complaining after a tough day. One day another operator said to me, ‘Did you make it back safely?’ I realized that no matter what, a safe day is a good day.”
August: William Jackson
William Jackson has been with Metro since July 1999, and has earned a five-year Safe Driver Award and five commendations. A Seattle native, the Franklin High grad became a transit operator to serve his community and see his family through school. When William’s not working, he enjoys bicycling, hiking, and reading.
William’s advice to other operators:
“Stay present in the moment, and don’t take everything personal. Keep your mind open to learn and expand.”
July: David Harger
David began with Metro in 2001 as a part-time operator and has been full-time since 2003. Along with the 17 commendations he has received, David has earned a 15-year Safe Driver Award and has finished in the Top 10 at Metro’s Roadeo.
Metro helped David expand his family, using his 2008 retro check to purchase Luke, the family dog. He is married with two children.
David’s advice for other operators:
“Buckle up, be nice to passengers, and pick trolleys at least once for the experience.”
August: Jon Murphy
Jon is in his fourth decade with Metro. He started as a part-time operator in 1981 and became a full-time operator in 1990. During his time behind the wheel, Jon has earned a 34-year Safe Driver Award, and over 20 commendations.
Along with driving, Jon’s other passion is music, which is evident from his ever-expanding collection of CDs. In his free time, Jon enjoys fishing and seeing his favorite musicians live.
Jon’s advice to other operators:
“Keep your eyes on your mirrors as much as possible. Watch your following distance, and show respect to your passengers and you will get it in return.”
July: Amy Cannon
Coming from a family of truckers, driving is in Amy’s blood. She learned from her grandfather and uncles how people should drive, and many colorful words for those who did not. A part-time operator who joined Metro in May 2013, Amy is sharing this award with Dawn Miller, a part-time classmate who made an impact on her life.
Amy loves making art, mixing liquid colors, drawing, painting, beading, and embellishing anything that inspires her creativity. Whenever she goes somewhere, she always brings home a rock or stick for future creations, which fits with her favorite quote from Albert Einstein, “The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge, but inspiration.”
Amy’s advice for other operators:
“Life’s too short to match socks.”
August: Ivan Alexander
July: Mohamed Nuh
August: Rodney Brown
Moving to Seattle from Tennessee, Rodney joined Metro as a part-time operator in 2016 and went full-time a year later. He became a transit operator to become familiar with the Puget Sound area. Rodney has earned a three-year Safe Driver Award and has received one commendation.
He’s been married 11 years to the woman he came across the country to be with and they are the parents to three girls and twin boys.
Rodney’s advice for other operators:
“Always stay positive.”
July: Linda Weidemann
After a friend suggested that Metro was a good place to work, Linda became a part-time operator in 1998 and went full-time in 2000. After taking her friend’s suggestion, and enjoying it so much, Linda has convinced both of her sisters and her nephew to join her behind the wheel as Metro operators!!
Linda likes reading, shopping, and talking to people.
Linda’s advice for other operators:
“Love what you do and be kind to others”
August: Damon Burfect
Damon enjoys being on the move and interacting with people, so being an operator was the perfect job! A grad of Garfield High School, Damon started as a part-time operator in 2015 and went full-time in 2016, earning 15 commendations and a four-year Safe Driver Award.
When not on the move, Damon uses his spare time to work as a licensed massage therapist and real estate broker.
Damon’s advice for other operators:
“Get plenty of rest. Always respect the elders. Use all of your senses. Think before you speak.”
July: Kelvin Gutama Ortiz
Kelvin joined King County Metro as a part-time operator in February, 2016, and went full-time in September 2016. He has earned a three-year Safe Driver Award and three commendations.
August: Alonzeo Cyprian
A Seattle native, Alonzeo, also known as “Zo”, joined Metro after deciding he needed a change from being a finance manager. Zo started as a part-time operator in 2010 and went full-time in 2012. He has earned seven commendations.
Zo raised two children as a single parent, an adult son and high-school aged daughter, both of whom are doing “very well in life.” Zo enjoys staying active and is into physical fitness, football, and traveling.
Zo’s advice for other operators:
“Stay consistent and make good decisions.”
July: Larry Mcghee
Larry has been a part-time operator for Metro since 2001, taking the position as an extra job. During his time as an operator, Larry has earned a 14-year Safe Driver Award and 25 commendations.
Married with four children, Larry enjoys listening to jazz and folk music.
Larry’s advice for other operators:
“Do not stress out over things you cannot control. Take a deep breath and chill.”
August: Kevin Devine
Kevin, also known as DEVO, started with Metro as a part-time operator in 2012 and went full-time in 2015. He’s earned an eight-year Safe Driver Award and nine commendations.
A Tacoma native and a grad of Mount Tahoma High School, Kevin’s been married for 25 years and has two children and two grandchildren. In his spare time, he loves riding his Harley, playing golf and senior league softball, and spending time with the grandkids.
DEVO’s advice for other operators:
“Never show anger and frustration. Always be happy, have fun at work, and stay safe.”