AMES, Iowa — Thomas R. Gerend, executive director of the Kansas City Streetcar Authority (KSCA) in Kansas City, Mo., is a recipient of the 2016 Design Achievement Award presented by the Iowa State University College of Design.

The award recognizes outstanding creative and professional achievements of alumni in all of the college’s disciplines, which include architecture, art and design, community and regional planning, environmental graphic design, graphic design, industrial design, integrated studio arts, integrated visual arts, interdisciplinary design, interior design, landscape architecture, sustainable environments and urban design.

Gerend, a Rockford, Ill., native who now lives in Kansas City, received a Bachelor of Science in community and regional planning from Iowa State in 2000. He will be honored during Homecoming at the ISU Alumni Association’s 85th Honors and Awards Ceremony, beginning at 1:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 28, in Benton Auditorium, Scheman Building. A dessert reception will follow. The ceremony and reception are free and open to the public.

Since 2014, Gerend has served as the first executive director of the KCSA, a nonprofit corporation established to oversee the operation and maintenance of the KC Streetcar system. He also chairs the city’s Smart City Advisory Board, where he works to help advance Smart City implementation in downtown and along the streetcar route, and is a member of the Downtown Council of Kansas City, Missouri Public Transit Association and Kansas City Regional Transit Coordinating Council boards of directors.

From 2006-14, Gerend served as the assistant director, then co-director of transportation planning for the Mid-America Regional Council (MARC), where he led regional transportation planning, streetcar planning and public transit coordination across the eight-county, bi-state Kansas City region. While at MARC he led the region’s efforts to win a $50 million federal Transportation Investments Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER I) Program grant and secured critical funding to launch KC Streetcar’s initial planning. The MARC Transportation Outlook 2040 long-range transportation plan was recognized as a Best Planning Practices in Metropolitan Transportation Planning case study by the Federal Highway Administration in 2012.

Prior to joining MARC, Gerend was a regional planner and program manager for the Tri-County Regional Planning Commission in Peoria, Ill., for six years.

Gerend received a Master of Business Administration from the University of Illinois Springfield in 2004. He completed a regional leadership program for local government officials in 2007 and a regional sustainability leadership program in 2008. He was recognized with the Kansas City Economic Development Council’s 2016 Cornerstone Award for the KC Streetcar project and Innovation Award for the Smart City Advisory Board.

He is an annual member of the ISU Alumni Association.

Tom Gerend, Kansas City Streetcar Authority, (816) 627-2525,
Heather Sauer, Design Communications, (515) 294-9289,