SATA Staff

Responsible for the day-to-day operations of the metropolitan transportation organization.  The MPO Director serves as the administrator of the Saginaw Area Transportation Agency SATA which is the Metropolitan Planning Organization for Saginaw County.  The Director’s primarily responsible for the continuous, cooperative, and comprehensive transportation planning process for the SATA metropolitan planning area, assists the Transportation Policy Board in setting vision, goals, and priorities for local, state, and federal transportation funding.

The director and staff work closely with local, state, federal agencies, and officials in a cooperative fashion to ensure that available transportation, planning, and improvement resources are used to their maximum value and that the local transportation planning process is effectively identifying and addressing local needs from a regional perspective.

Executive Director

Demetra M. Manley


Ms. Manley has over 30 years of experience serving the citizens of Saginaw County. She was born and raised in Saginaw and has also raised her 2 children – her precious gifts and inspirations Destiny and Jeremiah, in Saginaw as well.

She began her career as a Child Support Caseworker for Saginaw County Prosecutor’s Office and then later served as the Office Manager for the Saginaw Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) – SMATS – Saginaw Metropolitan Area Transportation Study that was governed by the Saginaw County Planning Commission. The MPO was also the designated planning agency for the Saginaw County Solid Waste Program and the Saginaw County Housing Program administered under the late Eddie Patrick who passed away shortly before the passing of the MPO Director Douglas Bell.

While waiting on the search for a new director, Ms. Manley continued to “get the job done” by managing the MPO. She performed duties outside of her job description to keep the MPO compliant with federal and state regulations in order to receive millions of transportation dollars coming to Saginaw. A new director came aboard; however, his stay was short and sweet as he resigned in November 2019. Then, Mr. Phil Grimaldi, friend/mentor to Ms. Manley for many years, and transportation planner with SMATS passed away. With Mr. Grimaldi’s passing, the Saginaw MPO family (a small staff to begin with) suffered its 3rd loss within 4 years leaving Ms. Manley to adjust and once again, manage the MPO alone.

Ms. Manley says: “life’s journey is like a classroom full of learning experiences, lessons, ups and down’s personal and professional wins and defeats,” however, she has always been able to face challenges and difficult situations head-on.
After the deaths of Eddie, Doug, and Phil, Ms. Manley single-handedly kept the transportation program going in her area, and on September 30, 2020, she retired from the Saginaw County Governmental Center.

A new chapter began October 1, 2020, when she accepted the position of SMATS Executive Director. Ms. Manley
spear-headed the re-designation of SMATS to become the Saginaw Area Transportation Agency (SATA), an independent MPO for the Saginaw Urbanized Area separate from the Saginaw County Planning Commission.
Ms. Manley is a graduate of Saginaw Public Schools including Saginaw High School. She received a Bachelor of Science in Human Services and Management from the University of Phoenix in 2009 and her Master of Special Education in 2011 from Grand Canyon University graduating both with Magna Cum Lade academic honors.

The horizon has dawned, and a new day has come. Ms. Manley is optimistic and sees a great future for Saginaw.
Her goals for the transportation system include creating a seamless system that will attract new business and take advantage of the great talent pool in the area. Ms. Manley recently stated: “Improving economic development in my opinion hinges on good infrastructure as well as safety of the system.” She will continue to work with local stakeholders, partners, and transportation agencies to accomplish this moving forward.