Liberty Mobility Now begins operation in Athens County; hires Whitaker as Mobility Manager to serve southeast Ohio

Wednesday, May 10 (Lincoln, Nebraska) – Today, Liberty Mobility Now (Liberty) is pleased to announce it will begin operations in Athens County, Ohio on June 1. Liberty has partnered with the Ohio University Innovation Center and multiple departments at Ohio University to further develop its technology and optimize its business model. Additionally, Liberty has hired Ohio University and Ohio State University alumnus Bret Whitaker as the Area Mobility Manager of the Southeast Ohio region.

Liberty offers Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) and partners with local public agencies, foundations, and non-profits to create a one-stop solution for transportation needs that will improve quality of life, access to care, jobs, and enhance safety for citizens through coordinating and enhancing mobility options. Athens County will be the company’s second location in Ohio, following its launch in Van Wert County in February. Liberty also operates statewide in Nebraska and will operate in parts of South Dakota, Colorado, Texas, Missouri and Virginia before 2018. Liberty has been featured in NPR and the Christian Science Monitor for its unique business model, which includes ride-sharing, and rural focus.

“Transportation underpins every aspect of life – work, relationships with family, groceries, healthcare, education and more,” Liberty President and CEO Valerie Lefler said. “Liberty connects users in Athens to all available resources, then adds our drivers as independent contractors where no options are available or gaps are identified.”

Whitaker will work to provide transportation and mobility services throughout the region by partnering with local governments, community organizations, non-profits, medical institutions, rural businesses and public transportation systems within the community.

“Bret is a born leader, and his ability to work with multiple stakeholders to achieve a common mission is clear from his background working in the public and private sectors.  With an MBA and a Masters in Health Science, Bret’s outstanding educational background will be an integral part of serving the diverse needs of Southeast Ohio.”

Whitaker joins Liberty with over 10 years of professional leadership experience in the public sector, including multiple years of program management and working alongside community organizations. He also served six years in the Ohio Army National Guard, where he was the recipient of an Army Achievement Medal for his team-building and leadership efforts.

“I am very excited to join the passionate and dedicated team at Liberty,” Whitaker said. “It’s both a great privilege and responsibility to have the opportunity to work with the people of this community to provide a much-needed service to the region. Athens and Southeast Ohio have long been special places to me. I’m really looking forward to working and partnering with local agencies and the community as a whole to help improve transportation options for everyone in the area.”

In addition to his professional accomplishments, Whitaker holds a bachelor’s degree in English from The Ohio State University, a master’s degree in Recreation and Sport Sciences from Ohio University, and recently earned his MBA from The Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business.