November/December 2013
In this issue...
2013 Strategic Plan Available Online
President's Column
WTS @ MnDOT: Public Speaking
WTS MN 2013 Holiday Party
Chapter Leadership Training Overview
Members on the Move
New Members   

WTS Minnesota welcomes the following new and returning members:


Kelly Agosto

Hennepin County


Karen Nikolai

Hennepin County


Jason Staebell

Hennepin County


 2013 Strategic Plan Now Available Online  


WTS Minnesota's 2013 Strategic Plan is now available to view on our website. The plan highlights our updated goals, strategies and key initiatives, which work to strengthen our commitment to transform the Minnesota transportation industry through the advancement of women.   


Thank you again to Charleen

Zimmer (Zan Associates), Dawn Spanhake (CTS), Gina Baas (CTS), Laura Amundson (Parsons Brinckerhoff), Scott McBride (MnDOT), Kristin Asher (City of Richfield), and Wanda Kirkpatrick (Metropolitan Council) for committing their time, energy and knowledge to the development of the 2013 Strategic Plan.


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 2013 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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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.
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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 Burg

 Membership Director
Rose Ryan

 Marketing Director
 Bre Grand

 Transportation YOU Director
HunWen Westman
2013 WTS Minnesota
Advisory Board

Donna Allan
WTS Past President
Laura Amundson
Parsons Brinckerhoff 
Kristin Asher
City of Richfield
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

Lisa Raduenz


Dawn Spanhake

Center for Transportation Studies

Amy Vennewitz

Metropolitan Council

Charleen Zimmer

Zan Associates

President's Column



Season's greetings WTS!


I was delighted to visit with so many colleagues and friends at last week's holiday party. What a fabulous close to a rewarding year as chapter president! Together, 94 guests enjoyed multimodal and inter-disciplinary networking opportunities and raised $2800 toward WTS MN's educational programs. As the year draws to a close, I'd like to highlight four of our chapter's successes in 2013: 

  • We delivered thirteen multimodal and interdisciplinary programs, including a members-only meet and greet with MnDOT Commissioner Zelle and a book discussion of the New York Times Best-Seller, Lean In, with Honorary Member and Hennepin County Commissioner Gail Dorfman.
  • We completed a new chapter strategic plan, which reaffirmed our mission to transform the transportation industry through the advancement of women and defined goals through which we will achieve that mission.
  • Transportation YOU, our mentorship program, is in its second year at Blaine High School, with double the number of mentees and mentors over 2012. Last summer, we sent a pair to a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity at the Transportation YOU Summit in DC thanks to our partner Kimley-Horn, and plan to send another pair in 2014.
  • We were overwhelmed by recent support from our corporate partners. Our inaugural corporate partner, Kimley-Horn, will be joined in 2014 by ten other firms who have pledged or given $16,000 to WTS MN.

These successes would not have been realized without the dedication of members of the WTS community. Volunteers planned and delivered programs, reviewed scholarships and recognitions nominations, planned Transportation YOU activities and mentored those students, lent wisdom to our strategic planning process, and donated or purchased silent auction items. Much credit goes to our 2013 chapter board; they are a group of bright, enthusiastic, and passionate leaders with a strong sense of vision and commitment to our chapter.


I am sincerely grateful for the opportunity to have served WTS as president and I look forward to seeing many of you at our programs in 2014.


Best wishes,


Fay Simer

President, WTS Minnesota




Making Career Connections: WTS @ MnDOT

Public Speaking with Kathy Ziegenfuss


On Thursday, November 14, 2014, WTS MN hosted it's final Making Career Connections - WTS@MnDOT program of the 2013 series. Kathy Ziegenfuss presented to a group of 15 attendees at MnDOT's Central Office. In the hour and a half long training, attendees learned tips and tricks on how to improve their presentation skills, with an emphasis on non-verbal cues.

  • The pause was discussed as a powerful technique to improve a presenter's perceived level of intelligence...just make sure to close your mouth when using the pause!
  • An audience follows the presenter's breathing. If you're breathing high and talking fast, your audience will mirror the tense behavior.
  • Eyes tend to follow a presenter's hands. Be sure to position yourself in a way that your audience can see your hands...and don't place them in areas to which you don't want to draw attention.







WTS Minnesota 2013 Holiday Party


Thanks to all who attended this year's annual WTS Minnesota Holiday Party! It was a night to remember as 94 of our friends and supporters enjoyed music, laughter and networking and raised $2800 toward WTS Minnesota's educational programs.







WTS Chapter Leadership Training Overview


This year WTS Minnesota sent Molly Stewart, Katie Roth, and Morgan Abbott to the annual WTS Chapter Leader Training in San Antonio, Texas. The WTS Chapter leader training is a day and a half Idea to Action gathering where chapter leaders can meet and collaborate, learn about WTS chapter operations, develop new skills, and learn about WTS programs.


Here is a list of the newest WTS benefits introduced at the training:

  • Starting January 1, 2014, annual WTS Membership provides member benefits for all 49 Chapters and will no longer require $30 for additional chapter memberships.
  • Starting February 2014, there will be a new events registration process for all chapters.
  • In 2015, chapters will be recognized through a new annual Circle of Excellence Program for their success in areas of membership and chapter management at the Annual Conference. Tracking begins January 1, 2014.
  • Improvements leading up to the 2015 iteration of the Mid-career Leadership Development Program. This program accepts only 14 candidates interested in dealing with complex issues of people, policy, and politics.
  • Beginning in fall of 2015, an annual Executive Level Leadership Program will provide 14 interested transportation leaders the opportunity to attend a high-level training session geared toward advancing senior level executive women in transportation.








Rose Ryan has accepted a position as a Transportation Planner at WSB & Associates, and will be starting her new role on Jan. 2. Congratulations Rose!


Molly Stewart accepted the position of Project Engineer with Bolton & Menk, Inc., and will be starting on Dec. 31. Congratulations Molly!


Jan Lucke recently accepted the position of Transportation Planning Manager at Washington County. Best wishes to Jan in her new role!





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!