Meet Our Speakers

The George Fox Conference is bringing together some of the most renowned speakers and professionals in the tunneling industry. Learn more about our speakers and why they are the key to making our conference unforgettable.

Keynote Speaker

Keynote Address | 9:00 am - 9:40 am

The honorable Nuria Fernandez, FTA Administrator

The Honorable Nuria Fernandez was confirmed by the U.S. Senate as the 15th Administrator of the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) on June 10, 2021. She was previously appointed as Deputy Administrator and senior FTA official on January 20, 2021. With more than 35 years of experience, Fernandez made a name for herself as an inspiring leader in the transportation industry. She came to FTA after serving as General Manager and CEO of the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA), where she was responsible for 2,100 employees and oversaw projects, programs, and transit services that provide mobility solutions for more than two million people who live and work in the Silicon Valley.

Among the highlights of her tenure at VTA was the completion of the first Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) heavy rail service into Silicon Valley, a 10-mile, $3 billion line that opened to passenger service in June 2020. She also received federal approval in 2018 to extend the heavy rail service for another six miles. When completed in 2026, the heavy rail service will total 16 miles of rail and six stations that will provide transit alternatives for tens of thousands of commuters in and around the Silicon Valley.

Fernandez is also responsible for the creation of VTA’s Innovation Center, an incubator to encourage collaboration, test the latest technology, and imagine new ways to keep the valley moving forward by leveraging the expertise of Silicon Valley’s high-tech corporations and universities.



Conference Speakers

Catskill Aqueduct Construction: Overcoming the Unknown to Ensure the Flow of Water for Another Century | 11:30 am - Noon

Wendy Sperduto, Portfolio/Program Manager for the Water for the Future Program, NYC Department of Environmental Protection and Dan Peterson, Chief Operating Officer, Schiavone Construction Co. LLC

About the Speakers:

Wendy Sperduto has worked in the water treatment and supply for both private and public, with the NYC Department of Environmental Protection for over 20 years. Ms. Sperduto currently serves as Portfolio/Program Manager for the Water for the Future Program as well as numerous other water supply projects. Ms. Sperduto started her career in water treatment systems design, with experience in water treatment piloting, UV and chemical systems, hydraulics, and has specialized in tunneling projects and large capital program delivery while with the Agency. Ms. Sperduto has a BS and MS from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

Dan Peterson is the Chief Operating Officer at Schiavone Construction Co. LLC.  He has over 30 years experience in various roles in Underground Construction and Heavy Highway construction including; shaft rehabilitation, shaft construction, cut and cover tunnel construction, aqueduct rehabilitation, highway bridge and subway station construction.  As part of his responsibilities, he currently is project oversight for the CAT RR – Catskill Aqueduct Repair and Rehabilitation project for the NYC Department of Environmental Protection.