We hardly ever talk about work. I am sometimes amazed about the things my wife, who works in a much smaller town, worries about. What's a big deal for Loretta is very different. My son is also a traffic engineer and my daughter-in-law is a civil engineer, so I get to hear a lot of different perspectives.
How did you get into ITE? How many years have you been active?
My mother and father wanted me to become a doctor, but my parents were really strict so I didn't want to live at home for that long. I decided to go into a career where I could graduate earlier, and I decided on engineering. I took a transportation class and really enjoyed it, and my teacher approached me about starting an ITE student chapter at my college when I was a sophomore. I have been active in ITE for 27 years now.
Has being an International ITE officer always been a desire of yours?
No. I never, ever thought I would even be District president, much less anything International. Going through the selection process for International VP was amazing.
What do you look forward to serving in your new position?
I like to seek out people to talk to, and I try to talk to everyone. One time I started a conversation with a young man who was looking kind of lonely on my way to a conference. I discovered that we both happened to be going to the same conference, and we became friends. This student eventually graduated and started his career, and recently gave ITE $15,000 dollars. I asked him why he was doing this so early in his career, and he said that he hoped other students would get the opportunities he had as a student.
What do you consider your biggest accomplishment as a professional?
During the mid 80's, it took 3-4 months to install conduit for signals. A client came to us and asked for the conduit to be installed in 30 days. We thought it was impossible. Coming home one day, I saw a cable TV installation, where they were making cuts in the ground and putting their conduits in PVC pipe and I wondered- "Why wouldn't that work for us?" I decided to propose this tactic, and it worked! And now what used to take 3-4 months can be done in 4 hours.
I am also very proud of my kids. My wife and I have been very fortunate to spend a lot of time with them, being very active in their schools. We live under the mantra that "it is better to give than to receive" and we have instilled that value into our children; they routinely work in shelters and I have worked with a program where we gave away approximately 450 bikes last year.
What is something you hope that younger members get out of being involved in ITE?
Jobs, of course, are one aspect
|Bob Stammer - SDITE Intl Director (L) and Zaki Mustafa (R) - ITE VP-Elect|
I hope to help younger members with. But, the main thing is that I hope younger members acquire the appreciation and ability to contribute to society. We need to do whatever we can to help others and our profession gives us the opportunity and ability to do that.
Are you looking forward to SDITE / GLDITE 2012 Joint Annual Meeting?
I might not be able to make it. We are going to cut back on the traveling of the officers. Campaigning costs a lot of money, and not all the officers need to be at every meeting.
5 Quick Questions:
Coke or Pepsi? Pepsi
Dogs or Cats? Dogs
Favorite color? Green
Telephone or email? Telephone
Pen or Pencil? Pencil
Cats or Cards? I don't really follow sports
Other Notes: Zaki also wanted to say that while traveling around during the ITE election, he got to meet a lot of great people and has really enjoyed seeing people and their families grow on Facebook.
[Editor's Note: I am very appreciative of Zaki's willingness to do this interview. He has been very accomodating and very responsive since the first time I spoke with him earlier this year. Thanks Zaki if you're reading this!]