Executive Leadership

Stephanie Alexander

Director of Operations

Stephanie Alexander brings over 20 years of dedicated experience in public service and leadership to Southwest Transit. As the Director of Operations, Stephanie is at the forefront of driving operational excellence and innovation within our transit system. Her extensive background spans across managing complex operations, strategic planning, and fostering community engagement in both non-profit and government sectors. Before joining Southwest Transit, Stephanie made significant contributions as the Executive Director at WeCAB, delivering impactful community transportation solutions. Her tenure as an Operations Manager at Ramsey County further honed her expertise in emergency response and public health initiatives, particularly during critical times during the COVID-19 pandemic. With a passionate belief in transit as a vital human service and a key social determinant of health, Stephanie is dedicated to advancing the accessibility and sustainability of our services, with a steadfast commitment to prioritizing the needs and well-being of our staff and community members. She envisions a future where transit is not only environmentally friendly but also seamlessly integrated with the latest technology to meet the dynamic needs of our community. Stephanie holds a Master of Science in Human Services with a specialization in Management of Non-Profit Agencies. Her leadership philosophy centers on inclusivity, collaboration, and continuous improvement, ensuring Southwest Transit remains a premium service in public transportation. When not at work Stephanie enjoys travel adventures with her husband, Alex, as well as various crafts such as crochet, knitting, and quilting. She also enjoys camping and hiking MN's amazing state parks.

Erik Hansen

Chief Executive Officer

Erik grew up on an Iowa farm and then moved to Colorado where he worked in marketing roles in the private sector and served as a County Commissioner, Mayor and Councilmember in the Denver suburbs.  Erik moved back the Midwest to take a position as a City Administrator and has been CEO since June of 2023. He completed his MBA from the University of Denver and BA from Truman State University. Erik lives in Chanhassen; he enjoys spending time with his two college-age kids, is an avid skier, and spends way too much time on Zillow trolling homes and dreaming of his next home improvement project.

Maria Mancilla-Diaz

Chief Administrative Officer

For over 18 years, Maria has thrived in the transportation industry wearing many hats as controller, human resources professional, and operations leader. She honed her skills for 16 years at Republic Services and has had the honor of serving the Southwest Transit (SWT) communities as Chief Administration Officer since 2022. Maria finds contributing to an organization that keeps our communities connected rewarding but her passion for knowledge extends beyond transportation. Maria holds a Juris Doctorate from Mitchell Hamline School of Law and a Bachelor's in Administration from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Giving back is also a core value and she volunteers her legal expertise in bankruptcy and family law with VLN, ensuring those in need have access to vital legal support.

Originally from the vibrant lights of Las Vegas, who now calls the charming community of Eden Prairie home, Maria juggles the joys and challenges of parenthood as a mom of 3.

Erica Schulte King

Director of Marketing

Erica joined the SouthWest Transit team in March 2024 as Director of Marketing. She brings more than 25 years’ experience in strategic marketing, public relations, communications, and community outreach in the organic food and energy industries. Having worked at both the grassroots and senior leadership levels, Erica joins SouthWest Transit with a focus on service to the community, sustainability, and brand growth. In addition, Erica served on the Climate Collaborative Advisory Committee and was a founding Board Member of Citizens for the Minnehaha Creek Corridor. In 2022, Erica founded Kookaburra Meets aka "Minnesota Women", an organization committed to supporting women as well as local, independent businesses in the community. A graduate of the University of Connecticut, Erica moved from coastal Connecticut to landlocked Minnesota and raised her children among the lakes and parks of urban Minneapolis. Now a resident of the western suburbs, Erica spends her time reading, walking, listening to podcasts, spending time on Lake Minnetonka with her husband, and anxiously awaiting texts from her grown children. 


Contact Our Executive Leadership Team!