Bernard Schmidt was named Vice President of Automation for the Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA) in January of 2019. In this role he is responsible for providing strategic and technical leadership to the JTA’s Automation Division. He is responsible for engaging key stakeholders and elected officials in forging cross functional working relationships across both public and private sector organizations. Through the launch of the Ultimate Urban Circulator (U2C) initiative and other innovative projects the JTA aims to better interconnect people and places around downtown Jacksonville through the use of Autonomous Vehicles (AV) and other technologies. By Leveraging both public and private sector funding and under Bernard’s leadership the JTA and the City of Jacksonville have fully committed to being one of the first cities in the U.S. to implement such highly visible and complex projects. Prior to the JTA, Bernard held multiple executive and senior leadership roles both domestically and internationally across various organizations. His most recent role was with Amazon® as General Manager in Jacksonville, FL where he led the deployment and operation of a 955K Sq. Ft Amazon Robotics fulfillment center with over 3000 employees and $3.5 Billion dollars of annual sales revenue. Prior to that, Bernard spent 10+ years at United Technologies Corp. where he served as General Manager of UTAS Customer Service Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul business based in Dubai, UAE. He had overall leadership responsibility and was the designated post holder under FAA, EASA, and GCAA regulations for the business. The facility provides component MRO solutions across multiple products and aircraft platforms for customers worldwide. Bernard also previously served as the Operations Director at TEC (Turkish Engine Center) a Pratt & Whitney joint venture with Turkish Airlines in Istanbul, Turkey. He provided operational leadership to develop and execute overhaul plans, cost reduction strategies and initiatives to meet the quality, cost, testing and delivery requirements for CFM56 and V2500 aircraft engines. Prior to these roles, Bernard was a Global Materials Manager of Pratt & Whitney Engine Centers in Connecticut, Georgia and international sites. He also served as Asst. Business Unit manager and Operations Supervisor. Prior to his tenure with UTC, Bernard held a variety of positions of increasing responsibility across multiple organizations including General Dynamics Electric Boat and Dominion Nuclear Energy Company. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from University of Rochester and a Master’s in Management from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He is a graduate of the Darden Business School Executive Education program and MIT Sloan School of Management Artificial Intelligence Certificate Program (CSAIL). He is also a certified Six Sigma Master Black belt, ACE Associate, and Quality Auditor. Bernard is a member of NSBE (National Society of Black Engineers) and of the LEAD360 Senior Leadership Organization. Bernard is passionate about coaching, mentoring and developing leaders in achieving a global and growth mindset. He is married with 4 children, speaks 5 languages and is a recreational drone pilot.