On September 30, 2022, Tom Hardecopf will retire from his role as LIFTS director, a position he has held for 13 years since first joining Linn County in 2009. During his tenure as director, Hardecopf helped advance the LIFTS Department by overseeing a move to a new building that provides indoor parking for buses (an operational benefit in Iowa winters), updated staff training, and updated the fleet of buses to enhance operational efficiency. Hardecopf is a certified Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) coordinator and served on the Linn County and Cedar Rapids ADA Commission.
When asked what he is most proud of during his time as LIFTS director, Hardecopf replied, “Our staff! No question. It has been a privilege to work with such dedicated people, serving the residents of Linn County. Our residents are the reason we are here. I have enjoyed waking up every day and knowing that I have a great job where I can interact with our clients and know that we make a positive difference in their lives,” Hardecopf said. “Thank you to the Board of Supervisors for their unending support and thanks to all Linn County departments for their assistance and partnerships.”
Hardecopf noted that throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, LIFTS never shut down and assisted the community in many ways, including delivering donated food to people in need.
“I was part of the hiring committee when we interviewed Tom and I remember he was from a completely different industry. But during the interview, he was already talking LC3 language (customer-centered culture) before it was even a thing here with Linn County,” said Linn County Supervisor Ben Rogers. “Tom has been a tremendous advocate for people with disabilities. Through his work with the ADA celebrations, working to improve customer satisfaction, and looking at how can we better serve people and families that find themselves challenged, Tom’s legacy is a system much improved for people with disabilities.”
Carter Baldwin will succeed Hardecopf as the new LIFTS Director. Baldwin’s first day with Linn County is September 26. He most recently worked as Director of Transportation for the Iowa Northland Regional Council of Governments and was a previous Operations Supervisor for Johnson County SEATS, a paratransit bus service for seniors and people with disabilities. Baldwin also previously worked for Linn County as Associate Director of Options of Linn County from 2005-2010.
“I am excited about returning to Linn County and I look forward to contributing to LIFTS and collaborating with our local, state, and federal partners to serve the community,” Baldwin said.
Linn County LIFTS is a public transit service providing door-to-door rides for eligible elderly and disabled residents in the metro area of Cedar Rapids, Marion, and Hiawatha, and public transportation to all Linn County residents outside the metro area. As a paratransit service provider, LIFTS gives priority to people who are unable to use city buses because of a disability or a disabling health condition. For more information, visit Linn County’s website LinnCountyIowa.gov/LIFTS.
Tom Hardecopf Carter Baldwin