May/June 2010
in this issue...
Fresh New Look
Join WTS in 2010!
President's Column
2010 Challenge Update
May Program: Complete Streets
WTS Int'l Conference
Professional Development Event
Check out our fresh new look!
WTS Minnesota is pleased to present our revamped newsletter, the WTS Express. 

Thanks to all who sent
in name suggestions,
and congratulations to
Jan Ekern of Mn/DOT
for submitting the
winning name! 

Has your email address changed?

Please email Molly Stewart with your new address and don't forget to update your email address with WTS International as well.
Join Our Mailing List
2010 WTS Minnesota
Board of Directors

Amber Nord

Vice President
Kristin Thompson

Joy Miciano

Christina Miller

Past President

Scholarships & Recognitions Director
Angie Christo

Programs Director
HunWen Westman

Membership Director
Molly Stewart

Membership Co-Director
Karen Allen

Marketing Director
Katie Roth


2010 WTS Minnesota
Advisory Board

Donna Allan
WTS Past President

Laura Amundson
Parsons Brinkerhoff

Gina Baas
Center for Transportation Studies

Biz Colburn
WTS Past President

Sandy Cullen
University of Minnesota

Judy Hollander
Hennepin County

Ann Johnson
University of Minnesota

Connie Kozlak
Metropolitan Council

Jessica Laabs
Kimley-Horn & Associates

Stephanie Malinoff
Center for Transportation Studies

Laurie McGinnis
Center for Transportation Studies

Dan Meyers

Sam O'Connell
Dakota County

Kristin Asher-Osberg
City of Richfield

Lisa Raduenz

Kate Sanderson

Dawn Spanhake
Center for Transportation Studies

Amy Vennewitz
Metropolitan Council

Charleen Zimmer
Zan Associates

Don't Hold Off...Join WTS in 2010!

Are you a non-member who has been considering membership in WTS?  There is no better time than 2010 to take the plunge. Benefits of membership include:
  • Up to 30% discount on programs
  • Networking with colleagues across the transportation industry
  • Access to WTS International job listings and member directory
  • Leadership opportunities
Starting in July, new (or renewed expired) members will be eligible for a chance to win a $100 Visa gift card. The winner will be drawn at our annual WTS Minnesota Holiday Party in December.

To obtain a membership application, click here or contact Molly Stewart.
Amber 1
President's Column 
Amber Nord
I shared the story below at our April Scholarships and Recognitions Luncheon.  I thought it was worth sharing with a wider audience. 

I recently came across a reference to a woman named Emily Roebling and her role in the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge in New York City.  Emily was the wife of the Chief Engineer on site, Washington Roebling.  Emily worked by her husband's side to learn engineering and math skills as he oversaw the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge. After her husband became ill, Emily took over as Chief Engineer in charge of construction until the bridge's completion in 1883. 

While Emily's accomplishments on the bridge were not recognized by the engineering community at the time, a plaque mounted on the Brooklyn Bridge today is inscribed with the following:

"The builders of the bridge dedicated to the memory of Emily Roebling whose faith and courage helped her stricken husband Col. Washington Roebling complete the construction of this bridge from the plans of his father John Roebling who gave his life to the bridge"

It then goes on to say...

"Back of every great work we can find the self-sacrificing devotion of a woman." 

I am proud that organizations like WTS are recognizing the great work of women in the transportation industry today. 

At the Scholarships and Recognitions Luncheon we proudly honored Yer Malisa Yang and Mackenzie Turner with scholarships, Mary Karlsson with the Member of the Year Award, Cheri Marti with the Woman of the Year Award, and the MARQ2 Project with the Innovative Transportation Solutions Award.  Congratulations!!!

Amber Nord
WTS Minnesota President
Clockwise from top left
Member of the Year Mary Karlsson
Undergraduate scholarship winner Yer Malisa Yang with Donna Allan
Graduate scholarship winner Mackenzie Turner
Steve Mahowald accepting for the MARQ2 Project
Woman of the Year Cheri Marti (center) with Ann Johnson (left) and Gina Baas (right)

2010 Challenge Update
Kristin Thompson

Thanks to our generous members and friends, the 2010 Challenge is off to a great start! Since our kick-off in late April, we have received $765 in donations. With the dollar-for-dollar match from WTS Minnesota, the total is $1,530, almost a quarter of the way to our goal of raising $7,000 for our scholarship program in 2010.

Our new round-up campaign, which allows program attendees to make a scholarship donation along with their program fee, has proven popular already. Starting at our next program, round-up donors will be invited to wear an "I Fueled the Fund" sticker in recognition of their generosity. Please consider rounding up the next time you attend a program--it's an easy way to help fund our scholarships.
May Program:  Complete Streets Panel
HunWen Westman

Complete Streets Panelists (left to right): Jim Daisa, Kristin Asher Osberg, Lisa Freese, and Julie Skallman
May 2010 Panel

Early in the morning on May 27, nearly 40 WTS members and friends gathered at the Midtown Global Market in Minneapolis for a panel discussion on Complete Streets.  The state legislature had just the previous week passed a bill calling for consideration of all users in the design of roadways.  The panelists--Kristin Asher Osberg (City of Richfield), Lisa Freese (Scott County), Julie Skallman (Mn/DOT), and Jim Daisa (Kimley-Horn and Associates, sharing a national perspective), moderated by Debra Brisk (Kimley-Horn and Associates)--discussed the opportunities and challenges presented by the implementation of Complete Streets.

The common theme throughout the discussion was collaboration, both as an opportunity and a challenge.  As the road design process changes, there are opportunities for state, county, and city officials to work together, as well as opportunities for engaging the public.  There are opportunities to hear what everyone needs and wants, opportunities to educate each other about how our needs differ.  The challenge, of course, is working through all of the conflicting visions and persisting with the collaboration. This is true of redesigning roadways as well as of redesigning the standards and procedures for designing roadways, the extent of which is still to be determined.

WTS International Conference: A Student Perspective
Avital Barnea

Through a funding grant from the University of Minnesota's Center for Transportation Studies (CTS), I had the opportunity to attend the 2010 WTS Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. This conference was much smaller than others I have been to, but was equally, if not more, valuable in content.
The conference included sessions pertaining to the success of being a female leader as well as topics on highway transportation, high-speed rail, transportation legislation, sustainability, and much more. Notable speakers included Polly Trottenberg (Assistant Secretary for Transportation Policy, U.S. DOT), Therese McMillan (FTA Deputy Administrator), Cynthia Burbank (Vice President, Parsons Brinckerhoff), Cheryl L. King (Assistant General Manager for Planning, Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority), Stephen J. Gardner (Vice President, Policy and Development, Amtrak), and Mariia Zimmerman (Vice President for Policy, Reconnecting America and a graduate of the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute at the University of Minnesota). I learned interesting, valuable, and useful information at each session, in addition to having the privilege to ask questions of and meet with respected female leaders in transportation from around the country. Furthermore, I had the opportunity to hear from an impressive panel of keynote speakers including U.S. Representative Loretta Sanchez of California, Political and Legal Analyst for MSNBC Michelle Bernard, and U.S. DOT Secretary Ray LaHood.

Perhaps most of note, I was invited to witness Secretary LaHood and WTS President Elaine Dezenski sign a memorandum of cooperation in pursuit of joint efforts promoting Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education through WTS chapters. I was ushered on stage with about twelve other students and had the opportunity to shake Secretary LaHood's hand and be part of a photo op with him and the other students. Secretary LaHood wrote a lengthy piece in his blog about the significance of this event.

Attending the WTS Annual Conference also allowed me to meet and network with many other WTS members from around the county. I met a woman from the Denver Public Works Department who offered to be my mentor, as well as women from the New York Port Authority who proposed that I stay with them in their homes if I were ever to visit their agency. I also had the opportunity to get to better know Amber Nord (WTS Minnesota Chapter President) and Gina Baas (Assistant Director of Education and Outreach for CTS), the only other women from Minnesota present at the conference.
Attending the WTS Annual Conference was one of the most empowering experiences I have had both as an aspiring transportation professional and as a woman. I never had a greater ambition to excel in my career as I did when I was surrounded by so many successful, welcoming, and admirable women. I am so thankful to CTS for providing funding to me to make all of this possible.

Avital Barnea is a second-year Master of Urban and Regional Planning student at the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute at the University of Minnesota. She is currently interning at Metro Transit.
Branding U:  What is Your Personal Brand?
Karen Allen

WTS Minnesota's March professional development event was enjoyed by members and friends. Sarah Wuest presented interesting and thought-provoking material while leading a group of 20 professionals through an evening of self-assessment and discovery, culminating in the creation of our own brand statements.

First off was a discussion of what exactly a brand is, and how identifying a brand can focus your career, achieve more career satisfaction, and facilitate advancement. Then we identified attributes that describe us individually, and discussed these attributes with a discussion partner. Attendees answered questions about how we operate in groups and work settings, and other self-assessment questions. We reinforced our answers through lively discussion with our partners.

Finally, we began the process of developing our first draft of our brand statement. The two- to three-sentence brand statement is intended to be a clear professional statement about yourself. It is a living statement that is revised as you grow and change. We learned that with a brand statement, you'll always have an answer when an interviewer says, "tell me about yourself".

The seminar is designed to be a beginning, not an end-all, to start each of us on a journey of continual self-discovery and assessment.

Sarah has conducted her copy-righted seminar to many groups including St. Thomas MBA students, Best Buy employees, and many other professional groups. This process can be used for work groups, and organizations as well as individuals. For more information, contact Sarah Wuest.