Executive Leadership Team

Debbie Sechler

Debbie Sechler

Executive Vice President, Administration

“Some of my most satisfying experiences have been mentoring and teaching other employees to help them achieve professional goals. People are METRO’s greatest asset, so growing people contributes to METRO’s success.”
— Debbie Sechler

 

Debbie Sechler is an excellent fit for METRO, a place where employees are cultivated, groomed, and encouraged to reach their full professional potential. Before joining METRO, she traveled extensively as a controller in the oil and gas industry, and later as a director with a global technology company managing a multimillion-dollar budget and a worldwide practice. It was a wonderful chapter in her professional life, but she missed being part of a community - so in 2003, she put away her luggage and came to work for METRO.

METRO is a community in the truest sense. It’s a workplace in which long-time employees, who share a common history, welcome newcomers with whom they share a common mission.

Sechler oversees a large section of that community: approximately 250 employees in Information Technology, Human Resources, Procurement, and State of Good Repair. All of those departments and respective employees have to work together as a team when new policies, procedures, and technologies are adopted and implemented. For example, in 2016, Sechler presided over a major financial software transition, upgrading from a system that had been in place since 1991. Changes of that magnitude have the potential to disrupt and threaten operations in any business; Sechler’s departments worked on the project and managed a smooth transition with no major problems. That kind of successful change requires a leadership style that combines respect for the daily job responsibilities of every employee and every department, clear communication, and patient teaching.

Communities are made up of people who understand each other’s needs and concerns. Sechler understands that human resources is about both supporting the workforce and managing the business of human resources. HR is an integral part of managing METRO’s talent and managing the associated costs. In an effort to keep health insurance costs down for employees, Sechler got creative, shopped aggressively, modified plans, and realized significant benefits savings for METRO’s employees.

Beginning in 2013, Sechler has served as chair on both the METRO Non-Union Pension Plan Board and the METRO Transport Workers Pension Plan Board. Working with other board members and advisors to invest and manage funds for METRO employees’ retirement is a crucial function. Sechler understands that employees and their families depend on sound oversight of the pension plans, and she strives to ensure fiscal responsibility.

Sechler is all about community - whether it’s supporting the METRO mission of providing the best possible public transportation, or participating in a neighborhood Alzheimer’s walk. Her “personal community” (also known as her family) includes daughters Jasmine and Madeline, and their dog, Henry Ford Sechler.

Past Positions

  • METRO, Executive Vice President, Finance and Administration, and Chief Financial Officer
  • METRO, Chief Financial Officer
  • METRO, Senior Director and Controller
  • Global Technology Industry-Director
  • Oil and Gas Industry-Controller
  • Ernst & Young, Certified Public Accountant

Professional Associations and Activities

  • Chair, METRO Non-Union Pension Plan Board
  • Chair, METRO Transport Workers Union Pension Plan Local 260, AFL-CIO Board
  • Past Trustee, METRO Transport Workers Union Local 260, AFL-CIO Health and Welfare Trust 
  • Member, Government Finance Officers Association 
  • Member, Transportation Finance Learning Exchange
  • Member, Women in Public Finance
  • Member, American Public Transportation Association (APTA)
  • Past Member, Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants, Houston Chapter
  • Past Member, American Institute of Certified Public Accountants

Civic Activities

  • Houston Independent School District Parent Teacher Organizations
  • Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of America
  • Texas Foster Care

Education and Certifications

  • Certified Public Accountant
  • M.A., Business, Amber University, Dallas, Texas
  • B.S. (Honors), Oklahoma Christian University, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

 

Phone: 713-739-4930