Juan (John) Garcia
Vice President & Chief Auditor
“I think people should know that METRO is one of the most diverse companies in the country, and we are doing everything we can to be the best public transportation company in the United States.”
— John Garcia
John M. Garcia’s life is in transit.
He likes to relax and catch up on a good book while taking the Park & Ride from Cypress every morning, but once he gets downtown, he’s all business.
“‘There’s no substitute for hard work’ is what my mom always told me growing up,” he says.
Garcia’s job as chief auditor is making sure METRO’s mission to provide excellent customer service is on track, inside and out.
“The one thing that really gets me going is the opportunity to make something better,” says Garcia.
You might think of auditing like running a household - watching your money and overseeing a budget, checking to see if there are ways to make daily life run smoother, ensuring all members are doing their part, and that things around the house are in good working order.
Garcia started laying the foundation for eventually overseeing METRO’s house more than two decades ago.
Before joining the Authority, he was an audit manager at a number of leading Fortune 500 oil and gas companies and with KPMG, one of the largest public accounting firms in the world.
Over the course of 20 years, Garcia worked, for a month or more at a time, in more than 20 countries, and all over the United States.
He now serves on METRO’s Executive Leadership Team, overseeing an audit department of nine professionals with nearly 200 years of combined experience.
METRO’s Audit Department reviews and audits other departments and processes to ensure compliance with internal policies and procedures, as well as federal and state regulations.
“I see METRO as an organization with limitless diversity that has the ability to innovate on a scale like no other governmental organization,” says Garcia. “We as an organization are in a perfect situation to bring more value than ever before.”
Garcia sees the value first-hand and not just during his daily commutes.
He likes taking the METRORail Red Line, soaking up the scenery of a diverse, growing city and looking for new restaurants along Main Street as he travels to Texans games.
He’s also a Cougar at heart, graduating from the University of Houston with honors, but he’s found college football can test family loyalty.
His son is a Red Raider, attending Texas Tech University, which has dominated games between the two since the 1990s.
Garcia’s wife, Martha, is a Longhorn, having graduated from the University of Texas.
They’ve been married 25 years and also have a daughter who’s in the ninth grade.
It was Northbrook High School in Spring Branch ISD where it all started for Garcia.
A teacher told him he had a natural talent for accounting, as he excelled in classes that his mom, an accounting clerk, made him take.
Garcia still found time to letter in tennis and run track.
His love of running continues today and may help balance what he calls his “addiction to food.”
The Houston native has a lot of favorite places to eat out but has also developed a taste for being a chef. He does meal planning and most of the cooking at home.
Garcia calls honesty, transparency, collaboration, and teamwork key ingredients in METRO’s recipe for success serving the public.
They are all at the core of METRO’s culture.
Garcia says his focus is: “Figuring out where we are, how we got here, and where we need to go.”
While he’s no George Jetson and none of the family’s three dogs is named Astro, Garcia’s looking down the road at a day when we’ll likely be riding in autonomous vehicles while using free WiFi to watch TV and movies.
In the meantime, he’s driven to help make sure METRO’s firing on all cylinders, in every department, so you get service that’s safe, reliable, accessible, fast, and friendly.
- Big 4 Public Accounting, Senior Manager of Internal Audit
- Oil and Gas Industry, Manager of Compliance and Internal Audit
- Local Government, Audit Manager
- Oil and Gas Industry, Financial Analyst
Professional Associations and Activities
- Member, Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants
- Member, Internal Auditor Association
- Member, Association for Certified Fraud Examiner
- Member, Association of Local Government Auditors (ALGA)
- Volunteer PEER Reviewer, ALGA
- Past Member, American Institute of Certified Public Accountants
- Guest Speaker Hispanic Business Student Association and Internal Audit Association, University of Houston
- Volunteer, Loaves and Fishes
- Volunteer, Star of Hope Women and Children’s Shelter
Education and Certifications
- Certified Public Accountant
- B.B.A. (Honors), University of Houston
- Vice President of Beta Alpha Psi – International Honors Organization for Accounting, Finance and Information Systems Students at University of Houston
- St. Maximilian Church – Assistant Ley Director for WATCH Program