Management Team

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

Maria has been with SouthWest Transit since January 2022. Maria grew up in Las Vegas where she relied on public transportation to get to work and school. She worked for Republic Services of Southern Nevada and attended school at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Throughout her career, she has held various roles including HR Coordinator, Controller, and CFO. Maria is the Treasurer of the Eden Prairie Chamber of Commerce as well as a Pro Bono Attorney for Volunteer Lawyers Network. She earned her Juris Doctor from Mitchell Hamline School of Law. Maria, her husband, and 3 children reside in Eden Prairie. Outside of work you can find her coaching soccer and participating in girl scouts.

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.

Alvin Halaas

General Manager, Transdev

Al started his adult career path in the finance business, then transitioned into the insurance industry when he opened his own insurance agency. After about eight years, he was recruited to be a District Manager for an insurance company. Al stayed for a few years then decided to leave the insurance industry and bought a candle factory in northern Minnesota. Al grew company that for 10 years, then sold it off to a competitor. He went back into sales for about five years. With needing clientele to build his sales, Al decided in 2005 to get a job driving bus, here at SouthWest Transit. He had a morning shift that allowed him to still make sales. He discovered to enjoy transit business and decided to focus solely on transit. Al became the Safety Manager here at SouthWest Transit, then transferred to one of First Transit’s other locations to head up the safety department for a very large operation. Missing SouthWest Transit, Al returned 2 ½ years later as the Assistant General Manager until August 2019 when he accepted the position of General Manager for First Transit (now Transdev) at SouthWest Transit. His initial education was based around financial planning and business administration. He has taken many training classes as well as Safety and Security courses. Al hold a Class B CDL including airbrakes with Passenger and tanker endorsements. Al really enjoys being part of a premier transit agency such as SouthWest Transit, he loves working with the people that he does, and interaction that he can have with customers. He still enjoys driving a bus from time to time as well. Al’s wife and him are really into family and enjoy spending quality time with their four grandchildren. Al is an auto enthusiast, so he tries to attend as many cars shows as he can find time.  He enjoys building things, mostly wood as the medium. Plus, he can get into a good movie from time to time. He used to do a lot of fishing and golf, but haven’t had a lot of time recently, he guesses he will try to do more of that when he retires in a few years.

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