May/June 2013
In this issue...
WTS Annual Conference Review
Program Review: Connected Vehicles & USDOT's Strategic Plan Development Effort
Making Career Connections: WTS @ MnDOT Speed Networking
June Event Review: Lean In Book Discussion
Upcoming Events & Programs
Member Spotlight article: Scott McBride
Members on the Move
New Members   

WTS Minnesota welcomes the following new and returning members:


Sabri Ayaz

WSB & Associates, Inc.


Danielle Mohr

WSB & Associates, Inc.


Mary Prescott 



Glenn Schreiner 

Parsons Brinckerhoff


Katie White 

Metropolitan Council


Transportation YOU Brainstorming Session July 9 
 Interested in mentoring a high school student or have a great idea for transportation-related activities? Please join us for an information and brainstorming session!


Tuesday, July 9, 2013


4:30-5:30 p.m.


Kimley-Horn &

Associates, Inc.

2550 University Ave W.,

Suite 238N

St. Paul 55114


Contact HunWen Westman for more information.

Job Postings  
WTS Minnesota posts job and internship opportunities on our website. Visit our Employment Opportunities page to view all current postings. 
Help us spread the word about available positions by sending new posting information to Bre Grand.


Corporate Partners   

Thank you to our corporate partner:


Kimley-Horn Logo  


See your logo here, and support the advancement of women in transportation! For more information about becoming a corporate partner, visit our website

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View our profile on LinkedIn
Has your email address changed?

Please email Rose Ryan with your new address and don't forget to update your email address with WTS International as well.
Join Our Mailing List
2013 WTS Minnesota
Board of Directors

Fay Simer

Vice President
Molly Stewart

Sara Pflaum

Morgan Abbott 
Past President
Scholarships & Recognitions Director
 Lyssa Leitner

 Programs Director
 Ashley Ver Berg

 Membership Director
Rose Ryan

 Marketing Director
 Bre Grand

 Transportation YOU Director
HunWen Westman
2013 WTS Minnesota
Advisory Board

Donna Allan
WTS Past President

Gina Baas
Center for Transportation Studies

Debra Brisk
Hennepin County

Biz Colburn
WTS Past President

Sandy Cullen

University of Minnesota

Margaret Donahoe

Minnesota Transportation Alliance

Mary Gute


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

City of Richfield

Lisa Raduenz


Dawn Spanhake

Center for Transportation Studies

Amy Vennewitz

Metropolitan Council

Charleen Zimmer

Zan Associates
Laura Amundson
Parsons Brinckerhoff 

President's Column



Greetings WTS Members and Friends:


It's hard to believe that the 2013 board is halfway through our term of service.I am pleased to reflect on the progress we've made toward this year's initiatives. 


Continuing last year's successful public sector membership campaign, WTS Minnesota hosted two events this month to promote participation among public sector employees. Our June 12 speed networking event attracted new faces from the Met Council, Metro Transit and MnDOT. Earlier this week, Ann Johnson and Biz Colburm hosted a book discussion of Lean In, which attracted several new faces from Hennepin County and Honorary Member Hennepin County Commissioner Gail Dorfman. Both of these events introduced public sector employees to the high-quality networking opportunities WTS provides its members and I hope to continue building these relationships at future events.


On the subject of networking, a special thank you to those who welcomed Transportation Commissioner Charlie Zelle at May's members only meet and greet. This was a fabulous opportunity for our members to meet the commissioner in a small setting, and Commissioner Zelle let me know how much he enjoyed meeting WTS members at our event.


Along with our membership outreach and programming, the board continues to make progress toward this year's strategic planning initiative. The recent launch of our Transportation YOU program, as well as changes to WTS International's management of our scholarship account, have made this a timely year to revisit our chapter's strategic plan.  ver the next six months, I hope to convene a small task force to consider how our chapter can best balance support toward professionals, college students, and high school students and the level of volunteer and donor commitment that would be required to effectively reach each audience. Charleen Zimmer has graciously offered her facilitation talents toward that effort.  Please stay tuned for future updates, and feel free to contact me directly at fay.simer@state.mn.us if you'd like to learn more about this process.




Fay Simer

President, WTS Minnesota




WTS Annual Conference Review from Kate Bartelt


I had the pleasure of attending the WTS Annual Conference in Philadelphia this May. Despite being a WTS member for nearly 10 years, this was my first time attending the conference. I can see why so many of my fellow WTS members rave about their experiences. The networking, exposure to women in at all levels of transportation leadership, and time to reflect on my career path was invaluable.


The leadership session by Shelley Row on Intuition was a perfect example of what made the WTS conference so special. Shelley led the training by pulling from her experience as a 30+ year leader in transportation research and introduced us to the concept of needing to hear and use both intellect and Intuition to make it as a leader in today's workforce. The training was held for 50 women at all stages in their careers from across the United States. I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to network with these remarkably driven, hard-working, and intelligent women.  


The motivating stories continued throughout the conference. During the panel on "Women Leaders in Aviation," we heard about the dedication and resourcefulness needed to lead a major airport or airline to success. Gloria Steinem challenged the 500+ audience participants to think about what makes women leaders different from men and why men view women in leadership differently. Brittany Montgomery shared her experiences about making a difference in the daily lives of people in Brazil.


Conference planners filled three jam-packed days with thought-provoking panel discussions, speakers, infrastructure tours, and opportunities to informally connect with WTS members from around the country. Throughout the week's activities, I enjoyed getting to know the only other WTS Minnesota member in attendance, Fay Simer.  In addition, conversations with WTS members from around the country exposed me to the wide variety of ways women are supporting their WTS chapters and creating relevant experiences for their members.  Attending the annual conference increased my appreciation of the WTS mission and the commitment, enthusiasm, and creativity its members offer in supporting women's transportation careers.



Program Review: Connected Vehicles and USDOT's Strategic Plan Development Effort 


June marks the annual WTS Minnesota, ITS Minnesota, and NCITE joint luncheon. This year's program, "Connected Vehicles and USDOT's Strategic Plan Development Effort" was held on Wednesday, June 5th, at the Holiday Inn East in St. Paul. Nearly fifty attendees came to hear how Minnesota is involved in the international development of connected vehicles.


James Pol, Team Leader for the Program Management and Evaluation at US DOT, shared insight in the developing world of connected vehicles, which included the strategies in getting newly developed technologies out of the research phase and into deployment. Mr. Pol also explained how agencies, not only nationally but on a globally, are communicating and sharing their research to help develop technology that will benefit transportation systems worldwide. Pol highlighted the importance of professional organizations like WTS in helping to educate our nation's professionals about emerging technologies like connected vehicles.



Making Career Connections: WTS @ MnDOT

Speed Networking Event


On Wednesday, June 12, WTS Minnesota members and friends gave speed networking a try at Axel's Bonfire in Roseville as a part of our chapter's Making Career Connections: WTS@MnDOT series. Attendees enjoyed mixing and mingling over appetizers in a structured setting. Every four minutes, the ringing of a gong signaled rotation, allowing for eight unique connections to be made throughout the hour-long event. After each gong, a new prompt was provided to help guide conversations focused on mentorship. Don't worry if you missed out- with such great feedback from attendees, WTS MN may offer this event again in the future!


  Speed Networking



June Program: Lean In Book Discussion


On Tuesday, June 15, over 20 WTS members and friends gathered at the Ridgedale Library for a book club discussion of Sheryl Sandberg's book Lean In, which has created a national buzz and spurred discussion about how women can overcome barriers in the workplace. Ann Johnson and Biz Colburn (WTS Advisory Board members) led a lively discussion of the book as it relates to experiences in the transportation industry. Attendees discussed the importance of being engaged in our work, sitting at the table, and speaking up to share our ideas. The group also had an honest discussion about the successes and challenges in advancing in our field and negotiating for jobs and promotions. The discussion left attendees feeling inspired and encouraged to pursue our professional and personal goals while supporting others as we work together to advance women in the transportation industry.



WTS Minnesota Upcoming Events


We're already halfway through 2013 but we still have a lot of exciting programs planned for the rest of the year! Don't miss out on these upcoming events:

August 3


Minneapolis Bridges Biking Tour  



Making Career Connections: WTS@MnDOT - Writing



METRO Green Line OMF Tour

+ Social at Christos

September 6


Interchange Site Visit with

Contractor Renee DuFour



Annual Student Program

October 3


Making Career Connections: WTS@MnDOT - Public Speaking



METRO Red Line Tour



Transitway Updates

Speed Sessions



Annual Holiday Party




member spotlight


Scott McBride, P.E.


Title: Metro District Engineer

Company/Agency: MnDOT


As the Metro District Engineer, you have involvement with many aspects of transportation. What is a typical day like for you?

While there is no real "typical" day, any given day might typically consist of:

  • Some ceremony - maybe a ground-breaking or ribbon-cutting or otherwise representing Metro District or MnDOT at a formal function or event.
  • A policy-makers committee - I sit on quite a few.  Some examples are the Transportation Advisory Board, the Central Corridor LRT Management Committee, the SWLRT Management Committee, The Hwy 77 Managed Lane Policy Committee, and the list goes on and on.
  • Internal discussions about the Metro budget, strategy and direction of the district and coordination with Central Office and others.
  • Discussions both internally and with our partners about Metro District projects and their impacts.
  • And probably 2 or 3 things that aren't on this list and that I didn't see coming before I got to the office that day.
  • In other words, a lot (!) of meetings.

 What career path led you to your current position?

After graduating from the University of Illinois I spent 5 years working in construction at the IL DOT. I came to MnDOT and progressed (backward) from final design, to preliminary design to finding a home in planning. After 10 years at MnDOT I left to try my luck in the private sector and spent 13 years at two consulting firms before returning to MnDOT as Metro District Engineer in September of 2008. I think I have the best job on the planet.  


What do you enjoy most about your work?

This is an easy question to answer - I enjoy the people and the public service that comes from working in Transportation. This is an incredible industry full of hard-working, driven, smart, professional and fun people. And the work we do quite literally affects the lives of all Minnesotans every day. It can't get much better than that.


How did you get involved with WTS, and what convinced you to become a member?

I joined WTS a number of years ago to continue to network within the industry, but also because I fully believed in their effort to promote the careers of women in the industry. It's a great organization with a great purpose. It also doesn't hurt that WTS MN has the coolest events at the coolest places.


Where are we most likely to find you when you're not working?

When not working you might find me on a golf course, or at 1st Avenue taking in some music, or in a basement somewhere in the Twin Cities making some music, or getting outside to enjoy nature through fishing, skiing, snow-shoeing, hiking or some other activity. I have one Badger (set to graduate the end of this year) and one Gopher-to-be this fall.  My wife, Kate, and I enjoy being downtown Minneapolis to enjoy the dining and nightlife it has to offer. Oh, and downtown St. Paul too.



Sarah Ott is leaving Minnesota at the end of June and will be starting a new position at the Washington DOT in mid-July. She would love to stay in touch with her WTS friends and can be reached at sarahott5@gmail.com. Best wishes to Sarah in her new adventures!




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