Employee Spotlight on Dan Gilfand
Dan Gilfand is Genfare’s Director of Programs and Services. When he’s not enjoying a round of golf or riding his motorcycle on a sunny weekend, watching movies with his wife or spending quality time with his adorable daughter, you can find Dan at Genfare—working closely with one of his several teams. With coverage over various functions like Program Management, Production, Field Service, and more, Dan’s job is vital to running much of our organization smoothly. We found some spare moments in his busy schedule to discuss his storied tenure here at Genfare.
How long have you been in the transit industry?
I have been in the transit industry for more than two decades, and it was my 19th anniversary at Genfare on the 14th of March.
How did you get your start here at Genfare?
I was working as an industry consultant and Genfare contracted with our company to set up and customize some tabletop I.D. smart card badging systems (that were subsequently integrated into the Genfare farebox system). During the course of that work I got to know the staff here. They were great people to work with and soon after I was recruited into the organization — and here I am almost 20 years later!
What would you say drives you?
Solving problems is what has always driven me. At the beginning of my career at Genfare the systems that we deployed were much simpler than today. Even so, we could still encounter roadblocks over the course of an implementation and I would be responsible for overcoming them. Whether it was working with departments at Genfare, with client stakeholders, conducting root cause analysis, reevaluating processes, etc., I made sure that all issues were resolved to everyone’s satisfaction. At the end of the day, there was a real sense of satisfaction knowing that I was providing a service or a solution. And this absolutely holds true today as we offer more complex and elegant solutions to our client partners who strive to make a difference in their communities.
What would you say inspires you?
The fact that we help to provide a service, not only to our partner agencies, but also to countless riders across our nation and throughout North America; that is very inspiring to me. The fact that our systems are embedded in the infrastructure that allows people to get where they need to be is a worthwhile and inspiring mission.
You oversee several teams here. What would you say they collectively bring to the business?
My teams represent the operational elements of our organization and they bring a tremendous amount of expertise and dedication to the business. They are involved with parts and equipment sourcing, manufacturing, installation services, maintenance training, Program Management and implementation services, and more. Every individual plays an important role and personally contributes to the success of our company. I am very proud of my teams; they strive to represent Genfare in the best possible ways.
What are some of the more significant changes you have seen here at Genfare since you started?
The industry has evolved in so many ways over the years, and Genfare has played a part in helping to drive that evolution. Not only do we continue to secure the cash revenue as we always have, we now provide vertically integrated system solutions. We offer Software as a Service, Mobility as a Service, a full array of options for any possible fare utilization that an agency may want to implement—from smart cards, to barcode scanning/processing, to mobile ticketing, to account-based systems. It’s a big change from our origins as a hardware supplier to a complete solution provider that can offer the most modern solutions available to transit. We began with state-of-the-art equipment, and we built on top of that legacy to evolve into a trailblazing comprehensive solution provider.
What are some of the more significant changes you have seen with transit as a whole since you started?
The adoption of cutting-edge technologies by transit agencies is happening exponentially faster than it did in the past. I think back to a time when magnetic passes were the latest technology, and then the eventual adoption of smartcards over the course several years. Now, with the industry moving towards mobile ticketing applications, account-based systems, open payments, and so on, I view the industry as being much more willing to adopt newer technology at a much more rapid pace.
What is your perspective on the industry and the future since you’ve been a part of it for so long?
I feel lucky to be a part of the industry at this point in time, as new and exciting technologies continue to evolve and advance. As new players like TNCs and autonomous vehicles enter the industry, we want to ensure that we are seamlessly integrating those services into our solutions, further simplifying the rider experience. Cutting-edge technology is no longer something reserved only for the larger agencies. It is a point of pride for me to be able to say Genfare opens the doors to new technology for agencies of all sizes.
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