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About Us

What is Liberty?

Liberty Mobility Now (Liberty) is a rural and small urban Mobility as a Service (MaaS) provider. We are on a mission to connect communities through technology, public-private partnerships, and deploying Liberty Drivers where there is need. We provide advanced smart phone technology designed to work in rural areas for individuals to request trips as well a call center for those who want to visit with a person to set up an account or book a trip.  With Liberty individuals can access multiple transportation options with one tap, click, or call.


How did Liberty get started?

In the summer of 2015, Liberty Mobility Now (Liberty) was funded through a US DOT Federal Transit Administration Small Business Innovation and Research (SBIR) grant.  The Phase 1 project provided the funding to do a feasibility study and beta technology development to determine – will this work and is there need.  The results were dramatic with both intense support and demand in communities nationwide. With the fuel from the SBIR grant, Liberty founders applied for the NMotion Tech Accelerator in Lincoln, Nebraska.  They were accepted as one of the top 6 teams, out of over 160 applicants, and away we went learning how to focus on product development and turn Liberty from a concept into a commercial scaleable solution. Starting in the summer of 2016, Liberty deployed our Liberty Connect software with transit providers in the panhandle of Nebraska.


 See the video below from one of our first customers, Ms. Jonnie Kusek of Panhandle Trails, a rural intercity transit provider in western Nebraska .


In 2017 we will be launching our MaaS and Liberty Drivers in seven states.  We anticipate being nationwide by 2020.  Rural mobility challenges span the globe and we plan to deploy our service internationally in that time frame as well. We work with public transportation providers whenever possible to enhance utilization and awareness of the service.  See the video below from Ms. Carol Prince, of Scotts Bluff County Public Transit to learn what benefits she sees working with Liberty.

 


Who’s leading Liberty?

A multidisciplinary team of individuals passionate about making a difference and improving the quality of life in rural America have come together to make Liberty possible not only as a company but also as a transportation solution for millions of Americans.  Bios for the core leadership team are given below.

Valerie Lefler, President & Chief Executive Officer

Ms. Lefler graduated with honors from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2005 with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration after studying International Economics abroad at the University of Oxford. She received her master’s degree with honors in Public Administration with an emphasis in Public Management from the University of Nebraska Omaha in 2012.  Valerie’s passion for rural communities began from a young age growing up on her family dairy farm in southeast Nebraska. Ms. Lefler has over 15 years of project management experience, involving over $37 million in nationally recognized research, education, and technology transfer initiatives. She has worked extensively with program sponsors at the state and federal levels, including, but not limited to, the National Science Foundation, the U.S. DOT Federal Highway Administration, the Transportation Research Board, the Nebraska Department of Roads (NDOR), and the Nebraska Department of Education. The past 3 years Valerie has worked with rural transit providers and non-profits in Nebraska and across the United States focusing on mobility management, compliance with FTA regulations, and technology enhancement.   Though this experience is where Liberty’s design originated.

Shashank Gajjala, Chief Technical Officer

Mr. Gajjala has a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and over five years of experience in software development and architecture. His most recent experiences include serving as a website architect for the University of Nebraska at Omaha working on a contract for the Nebraska Department of Roads, developing a web-based asset management system for rural transit systems. Prior to working for the Nebraska Department of Roads, Shashank served as a storage solutions architect for UPS in Alpharetta, GA. Mr. Gajjala also served as a storage administrator at Capital One in McLean, Virginia prior to working at UPS. His responsibilities included storage provisioning, LUN migrations, LUN deletions, troubleshooting, and zoning.

Mac Rodgers, Business Development Director

Mr. Rodgers is a consultant focused on assisting companies with strategy and execution using the skills he developed over three decades of managing and leading companies.  Mac has a degree in business administration from Doane University.  He worked at Metromail Corp. (now Experian Marketing Services) from 1984 to 2002.  During that time Metromail experienced a 500% increase in revenues and Mac went from being a shift supervisor to President of two divisions with combined annual revenues in excess of $175MM.  In 2002 he purchased a SaaS start-up which he later sold in 2004. He has additional start-up experience working as the COO for Vente Inc. where he revamped the company’s business strategy increasing annualized revenues by 35% over a 15 month period after which he successfully completed a sale of the company at the request of the founders.  Just prior to starting his consulting practice in 2015 he was President and CEO of World Marketing, Inc., a division of Berkshire Hathaway Media Group, for nine years.

Ken King, Safety & Security Manager

In addition to working with Liberty Mobility Now, Mr. King is the Director of the Western Area Research Test and Evaluation Center (WARTEC) for Naval Facilities Engineering Command.  He served 21 years as a US Marine, retiring as a Chief Warrant Officer 4, and performed combat missions in Desert Storm and Iraq. As part of the combat operations cell Ken was responsible for identifying and responding to varying types of incidents and taking appropriate actions to safeguard personnel as well as get medical treatment administered.  While serving as Officer in Charge of the Quick Reaction Force, Ken organized safe vehicular movement to incidents, assessed the situation, and evacuated personnel.

Vaughn Carter, Talent Acquisition Coordinator

Vaughn’s commitment to creative but sound business practices dates back more than 40 years. Vaughn spent more than 10 years as an executive recruiter – headhunter – recruiting top management and technical talent for high tech companies in the Silicon Valley of California. In 1996 Vaughn founded CMS: Career Management Services, a career counseling and corporate outplacement firm. He consulted to organizations in the areas of recruiting and retaining top talent, stakeholder engagement, and executive coaching. In 2002, the world’s largest corporate outplacement firm, Right Management Consultants, purchased CMS and Vaughn ran Right’s local operations. Vaughn acquired real world management, leadership and organizational skills through owning several businesses, serving as Mayor of a Colorado community, president of a Chamber of Commerce, state president of an industry association and as a member of the boards of three nonprofit organizations. Vaughn has served on numerous boards, commissions, committees and task forces appointed by Governors, County Commissioners and Mayors in two different states, and has been a key note speaker as well as a guest lecturer at a number of Colleges and Universities.

 
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