November/December 2011
In this issue...
Corporate Sponsorship
2012 Board
Minnesota GO Program
Members on the Move
Holiday Party

Last chance to get HALF OFF your New WTS Membership 


The half off WTS membership discount for public sector employees was extended!  Complete your application by December 31st to receive the discounted rate. 


WTS offers professional development programs where you can network with peers, learn about the latest innovations in transportation, and promote the advancement of women in the transportation industry. 


Apply online or contact Andrea Arnoldi with any questions. 


New Members 

WTS Minnesota welcomes the following new members:


Sarah Ott

Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc



Ashley Ver Burg

Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc


Welcome, Sarah and Ashley!


Take the VERY SHORT Transportation YOU survey!


Please help us determine the best ways to engage the WTS Minnesota community in the Transportation YOU initiative by taking this quick 6-question survey. Thank you!


If you haven't seen the Transportation YOU Facebook page, click here to check it out, "Like" it, and share it with everyone you know in transportation... and everyone you know who would be a great asset to the transportation industry in 5-10 years!


Follow us on Twitter

TRB Annual Meeting 
The WTS Winter Reception at TRB will be held Sunday, January 22, 2012, at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C. Click here to RSVP.  



Has your email address changed?

Please email Andrea Arnoldi with your new address and don't forget to update your email address with WTS International as well.

Join Our Mailing List
2011 WTS Minnesota
Board of Directors

Kristin Thompson

Vice President
Katie Roth

Joy Miciano

Christina Miller

Past President
Amber Nord

Scholarships & Recognitions Director
Fay Simer

Programs Director
Molly Stewart

Membership Director
Andrea Arnoldi
Marketing Director
HunWen Westman


2011 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

Kristin Thompson

President's Column

Kristin Thompson 


Dear WTS Minnesota Members & Friends,


As the year draws to a close, I'd like to thank you all for your support of WTS Minnesota. During my time as chapter president, I've had the chance to see first-hand the remarkable community that has formed around our organization. There are a few things about WTS involvement that I think are true:

  1. The more you put into WTS, the more you will get out of it. I first joined WTS in early 2006 on the advice of two mentors, Connie Kozlak and Kathie Doty. I was finishing up grad school and wanted to meet people in the field. For nearly the first year of my membership, I didn't attend any programs or get involved in any way-- unless you count reading the newsletter! It finally occurred me, one day, that I wasn't going to get anything out of WTS unless I went out and did something. I responded to a request for committee volunteers in the newsletter, and haven't looked back. During my time on the board, I've had opportunities to award scholarships to deserving students, travel for leadership training, meet and introduce speakers at programs, and get to know fellow members locally and around the country. My involvement has enriched my career-- and my life.
  2. The more people who invest their time in WTS, the better the organization will be. WTS Minnesota has some exciting opportunities ahead in 2012. We will be ramping up our involvement in Transportation YOU, a new joint initiative between WTS and USDOT that offers girls ages 13-18 an introduction to a wide variety of transportation careers through mentorship and hands-on experiences. The chapter will also celebrate its 30th Anniversary, and we are in the early stages of planning a celebration event. All this will be on top of our normal activities, including high-quality programs, scholarships, and recognition awards. The board will need the help of engaged members and volunteers to pull it all off with aplomb. The more people who get involved, the more can be done to achieve WTS's mission of transforming the transportation industry through the advancement of women.

By now, you can probably guess the direction I am heading with my comments. I'd like to ask all of you to weigh your involvement in WTS, and think about participating at a higher level in 2012. If you are not yet a member, consider joining. If you attended one program in 2011, attend a few more this coming year-- and bring a friend or co-worker! Do you have an hour or two a month that you could invest in yourself and in WTS? Please think about joining a committee. When you contribute your ideas, time, and energy to WTS, the rewards are abundant-both for you and for the chapter.


Happy holidays, and best wishes for a wonderful New Year!





Kristin Thompson

President, WTS Minnesota


WTS MN Corporate Partnership Program 


In 2012, as WTS Minnesota celebrates its 30th Anniversary, the chapter will launch its corporate partnership program. While the chapter has long enjoyed support from area companies, a formal annual partnership program will provide structured recognition opportunities and other benefits to partners. The partnership program will help to support student outreach, including new Transportation YOU initiatives, and expanded member benefits. More information is available on the WTS Minnesota website


If you are interested in corporate partnership, or have any questions about the program, please contact Katie Roth or Kristin Thompson.


Election Results: 2012 Board of Directors


Thanks to all who voted in our first ever online election! The 2012 WTS Minnesota Board was announced at the holiday party, with the results as follows:


President:   Katie Roth

Vice President:   Fay Simer

Past President:   Kristin Thompson

Secretary:   Sara Schmitt

Treasurer:   Christina Miller

Programs Director:   Ashley Ver Burg

Membership Director:   Andrea Arnoldi

Scholarships & Recognitions Director:   Nikki Farrington

Marketing Director:  HunWen Westman


Welcome 2012 Board!




Excited to work with these fantastic women? The board is always looking for more volunteers to fill the following roles: 

  • Programs Committee - help develop program ideas and take an active role in planning 1-2 programs a year
  • Membership Committee - assist with initiatives to better serve members and increase membership
  • Scholarships & Recognitions Committee - assist in the annual scholarship and recognition awards processes
  • Transportation YOU Liaison and Committee - develop local initiatives to connect girls ages 13-18 with opportunities in transportation
  • Webmaster - update chapter website and tweet local transportation news 

Feel free to contact any current board member listed in the sidebar if you have questions about the duties involved or the level of commitment.



Minnesota GO Program

Fay Simer 


Philip Schaffner presenting on Minnesota GO

What should future transportation systems do for our state?  This is the question that drove Minnesota GO, MnDOT's recently concluded effort to create a 50-year vision for transportation in Minnesota.



At WTS MN and ITSO's joint October luncheon, MnDOT planner Philip Schaffner presented an overview of MnDOT's visioning process to WTS members and UMN students.  Schaffner explained that the Minnesota GO brand describes the evolving process of creating a vision for Minnesota's transportation future.  Though it is led by MnDOT, the vision looks beyond the state agency and asks more broadly what transportation can do for society.  Unlike common projects in the transportation field, the visioning process was meant to answer the question "what are we trying to achieve?" as opposed to "how will we do it?" 



To develop the vision, MnDOT worked with the Center for Transportation Studies and the Citizens League to engage citizens on multiple levels of the process.  The vision was guided by a 31-member steering committee, including representatives from state agencies, the business community, unions, tribes, and others, including WTS member Gina Baas for the University of Minnesota.  MnDOT convened three advisory groups to discuss the topics of environmental health, quality of life, and economic development.  In addition, local academics discussed how upcoming changes in their field like vehicle automation and privacy laws could impact future transportation in 14 interviews available on the project website.  The visioning process incorporated extensive on-line engagement tools including Citizing polls, discussion starters, YouTube feeds, and Twitter and Facebook posts.  In addition, MnDOT solicited youth opinions on the transportation future through the Citizens League's Students Speak Out program.


The centerpiece of the visioning process was scenario planning conducted in regional meetings throughout the state.  MnDOT presented three alternative future scenarios to the public and asked them what values they would prioritize should these outcomes describe a real future. Using these as discussion points, MnDOT gained valuable insight into citizens' desires from their transportation systems. This directly shaped the guiding principles in the final vision, which include topics such as "leverage public investments to achieve multiple purposes," "build to a maintainable scale," and "use partnerships."  The 50-year vision and its guiding principles represent an inclusive and collaborative process that will guide future decision-making at MnDOT.


Since Schaffner's presentation to WTS, MnDOT has finalized and adopted its 50-year vision.  It is available at www.minnesotago.org.


 Minnesota GO program audience






At the end of November, Robin Caufman was promoted from Manager of Public Involvement for the Central Corridor LRT project to Assistant Director of Administration, Communication and Public Involvement for Metro Transit's New Starts Program.  She will be overseeing the administration, communication and outreach functions for both Central Corridor and Southwest light rail projects.


Katie Roth will be starting 2012 with two new roles - president (of our WTS chapter) and wife! Congratulations to Katie on her recent nuptials! 



Have member news to share? Send in snippets about job changes, life milestones, and other accomplishments to HunWen Westman at so we can keep track of and recognize our colleagues! 




2011 Holiday Party and Scholarship Fundraiser
Thank you to all who came out for the annual Holiday Party and Scholarship Fundraiser! Members and friends, old and new, had the opportunity to catch up over food, beverages, and raffle-winning strategy. The silent auction featured the always popular cabin retreats and many homemade items highlighting the considerable talents and generosity of the WTS community. Congratulations to Laurie McGinnis, who went home with the coveted Kindle Fire raffle prize! (Ask her about her strategy!) Special thanks to Richardson, Richter & Associates for the use of their photo printer!  
Ann, Laurie, Amy  Kristin, Carl, Kim
Table 2
Mackenzie, Rose, Fay
Laurie McGinnis, winner of Kindle Fire raffle
Table 1