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Operation Lifesaver names new state coordinators in the District of Columbia, Montana, Vermont and Virginia

By Operation Lifesaver
headshots of Bennett Smith Clithero Lamb

WASHINGTON, DC, April 7, 2020 – Four new leaders are in place for rail safety nonprofit Operation Lifesaver, Inc. (OLI) state programs, according to OLI Executive Director Rachel Maleh. The new District of Columbia Operation Lifesaver Coordinator is Jeffrey Bennett,  Colin Smith now serves in the role for Montana Operation Lifesaver, Toni Clithero is State Coordinator for Vermont Operation Lifesaver, and Tracey Lamb leads the Operation Lifesaver program in Virginia.

“Operation Lifesaver is thrilled to have these four terrific safety and nonprofit experts working to make communities safer in DC, Montana, Vermont and Virginia,” says Maleh.

Bennett, a resident of Alexandria, Va., has been involved in Operation Lifesaver since 2007 and became the lead for DC’s Operation Lifesaver program when it restarted earlier this year. Hehas experience in commuter and freight rail operations and capital projects and was involved in the Denton County, Tex., Transportation Authority’s Positive Train Control capital infrastructure safety implementation. He is the Chief of Transit at the DC Department of Transportation where he has oversight of all surface transportation programs in the District.

“With freight, passenger, commuter and light rail service so essential to our region, rail safety education is an important issue in the District,” says Bennett.

Smith, a resident of Helena, Mont., has been involved with Operation Lifesaver since March, when he succeeded former Montana State Coordinator Clark Wheeler. A recent graduate of the University of Montana, Smith’s experience includes serving in the communications department for the Montana Lottery where he managed social media accounts, worked with lottery winners and wrote press releases.

"I am excited to expand visibility for Montana Operation Lifesaver's important mission to save lives and raise awareness," says Smith.

Clithero, who lives in Worcester, Vt., became an authorized Operation Lifesaver Volunteer in January and was named State Coordinator for Vermont in late February, succeeding Alan Franklin. An attorney, Clithero’s experience includes practicing at the New York City law firms Skadden Arps and Chadbourne & Parke, five years enforcing U.S. securities laws at the New York Stock Exchange, and eighteen years working as an attorney for the State of Vermont. She most recently served as an Assistant Attorney General in the Vermont Agency of Transportation.

“I look forward to ensuring the Vermont program’s continued success through rail safety education, outreach and public awareness,” says Clithero.

Lamb, a Midlothian, Va., resident, works for the Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC) and is taking over the Virginia program from Renée Salmon. Prior to joining the SCC, she worked for Virginia 811 for 12 years, educating stakeholders and the general public about excavation safety throughout the Commonwealth.

“Educating the public about rail safety is important, and I look forward to growing our pool of Authorized Volunteers. With recent initiatives to increase rail service on Virginia’s rail lines, Operation Lifesaver’s mission is more important than ever in the Old Dominion,” says Lamb.

Bennett may be reached at and 202-671-4617. Smith may be reached at and 406-465-3943. Clithero may be reached at and 802-595-6743. Lamb may be reached at and 804-371-1588. All OL State Coordinator contact information may be found on the State Coordinators page of the OLI website.

About Operation Lifesaver

Operation Lifesaver is a nonprofit public safety education and awareness organization dedicated to reducing collisions, fatalities and injuries at highway-rail crossings and preventing trespassing on or near railroad tracks. A national network of trained volunteers gives free presentations on rail safety and a public awareness campaign, See Tracks? Think Train!provides tips and statistics to encourage safe behavior near the tracks. OLI leads an international observance of Rail Safety Week each September. Learn more about Rail Safety Week; follow OLI on FacebookInstagramLinkedIn, Twitter and Pinterest




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