January/February 2014
In this issue...
President's Column
February Program: Health (On the Go)
2014 Scholarships and Recognitions Award Winners
CTS Career Expo Recap
Upcoming Events
Members on the Move
New Members   

WTS Minnesota welcomes the following new and returning members:


Janet Creaser

University of Minnesota


 Rachel Haase

 Kimley-Horn & Associates


Gina Mitteco



Juana Sandoval



Catherine Walker

Hennepin County

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 2014 corporate partners:


  Kimley-Horn Logo  

Kimley-Horn & Associates, Inc.



HR Green Logo    

HR Green




 HDR, Inc.


URS Corp.





Bolton & Menk, Inc.


SRF Consulting


SEH, Inc.


Parsons Brinckerhoff


WSB & Associates, Inc.


J&L Steel & Electrical Services


Professional Engineering Services, Ltd.


See your name 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 Kathleen Mayell with your new address and don't forget to update your email address with WTS International as well.
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2014 WTS Minnesota
Board of Directors

Molly Stewart

Vice President
HunWen Westman

Chelsey Armstrong

Morgan Abbott
Past President
  Scholarships & Recognitions Director
 Sara Pflaum

 Programs Co-Director
 Rose Ryan
Programs Co-Director

 Membership Director
Kathleen Mayell

 Marketing Director
 Bre Grand

 Transportation YOU Director
Lisa Rasmussen


 Membership Director
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
  Wanda Kirkpatrick
Metropolitan Council


Connie Kozlak
Metropolitan Council

Jessica Laabs

Kimley-Horn & Associates

Stephanie Malinoff

Center for Transportation Studies

Scott McBride
Laurie McGinnis
Center for Transportation Studies

Dan Meyers


Amber Nord
Jacobs Engineering

Lisa Raduenz

Past President

Dawn Spanhake

Center for Transportation Studies

Amy Vennewitz

Metropolitan Council

Charleen Zimmer

Zan Associates

President's Column


Greetings WTS Members and Friends:


I'm excited to serve as this year's chapter president. Having spent the last six years on the board as Membership Director, Programs Director and Vice President, I am strongly committed to our chapter and excited to continue my service in this new role.

Our chapter ended 2013 in a strong position to further our mission of transforming the Minnesota transportation industry through the advancement of women. We were overwhelmed with support from our corporate partners during our 2014 partnership campaign. To date, twelve firms have pledged a total of $17,000 to our chapter. The corporate partnership funds will allow WTS Minnesota to continue to offer exceptional multimodal and interdisciplinary programs and will support many of our chapter's key initiatives, including sending a mentor/mentee pair to the Transportation YOU Summit in Washington, D.C. this June.

During 2014, key initiatives of the WTS board will include: a financial planning process to identify an action plan to manage chapter finances in a way that best serves our chapter's strategic goals; continuing our support of WTS International's Central Region pilot program; and continuing membership outreach, building on successes at MnDOT and Hennepin County and expanding to other public sector agencies.

I'm honored to serve as your chapter president and work with an energetic board of dedicated professional women. We welcome a few new faces to the board and advisory board this year. Chelsey Armstrong, Kathleen Mayell, and Lisa Rasmussen joined the board and Scott McBride and Wanda Kirkpatrick joined the advisory board. We are fortunate to welcome back many long-standing board and advisory board member as well. We all look forward to an exciting 2014 of chapter activities.

I hope to see many of you at upcoming programs and networking opportunities this year!

Best wishes,


Molly Stewart

President, WTS Minnesota




February Program: Health (On the Go)


"It doesn't matter how much kale you eat if your career is crappy." This was one of many chunks of wisdom on holistic health offered by professional health coach Carrie Vandelac at WTS Minnesota's February program, Health (On the Go). WTS members gathered on February 18 for an interactive and fun session where they learned ways to take control of their health and manage a whole-body healthy lifestyle with a busy schedule.

Participants took stock of their stress factors through a pop quiz on "Busy Women's Syndrome," and discussed health goals and challenges in small groups. Carrie focused on arming busy WTS members with three strategies to keep health at the core of their busy lives:

  • Release SNS dominance, the "fight-or-flight" syndrome. When we're always on-the-go and focused on the next thing on our to-do list, our bodies can't take the time to properly heal themselves. Releasing disruptive emotional behiavior, getting enough sleep, and reducing caffeine intake can help our bodies get out of fight-or-flight mode.
  • Plan ahead for the 3:00 p.m. slump. Sometimes, we need joy more than we need that mid-afternoon cookie. WTS members brainstormed ideas for non-food ways to get out of the slump-things like taking a walk, listening to music, or otherwise shaking up the day.
  • Plan for snacks on the go. Having healthy food alternatives at the ready can keep our energy levels up and keep us from making poor food choices. Carrie shared ideas for snacks that combine fat and protein-like hummus and veggies, goat cheese and rice crackers, or a high-quality beef jerky.

Many members left Carrie's session feeling amped up and ready to take on challenges to achieve their health goals, keeping in mind a simple mantra about small steps: "If you do one new thing a week, you'll be able to do 52 new things a year."

Thank you to Kimley-Horn & Associates for sponsoring this program!

Learn more about our speaker. Did you attend this program? Take a quick survey to give Carrie valuable feedback.

2014 WTS Minnesota Recognition Award Winners


Each year, WTS Minnesota recognized members of the local community for their achievements in the transportation field, and awards scholarships to women pursuing transportation careers. Members and friends are invited to celebrate with our winners at the annual Scholarships and Recognitions Luncheon on April 9 (details about the luncheon will be emailed and posted on the website soon). WTS Minnesota is honored to congratulate the following award and scholarship recipients this year:


  • Employer of the Year: Hennepin County
  • Innovative Transportation Solutions Award: I-494/34th Avenue S. Diverging Diamond Interchange (Metropolitan Airports Commission)
  • Member of the Year: Scott McBride, MnDOT
  • Rosa Parks Diversity Leadership Award: Fostering an East Side Transit Equity Conversation
  • Woman of the Year: Metropolitan Council Chair Susan Haigh
  • Scholarship Recipients: Beth Burton, Nadine Chalmers and Kate Christopherson


Congratulations to all of this year's award winners and scholarship recipients!

WTS Minnesota Participates in CTS Career Expo


WTS Minnesota was proud to participate again in this year's Center for Transportation Studies Career Expo at the University of Minnesota. Molly Stewart and Bre Grand met many enthusiastic students at the WTS Minnesota exhibit, while Fay Simer, Kathleen Mayell and Michael Corbett reviewed student resumes and Lyssa Leitner hosted a roundtable discussion about planning.


Students who would like more information about 2014-2015 scholarships can visit the Scholarships page on our website or contact Sara Pflaum. Students interested in volunteering to help out with WTS Minnesota events should contact Rose Ryan or Katie Roth.


Tuesday, March 11
Risk Management in Transportation


Join WTS Minnesota at WSB & Associates at 7:30 a.m. on Tuesday, March 11, where Risk Management expert Phil Barnes will give an overview of public sector risk management and how a project owner's level of uncertainty becomes crucial as management plans are being developed. Phil will discuss risk, strategy performance, and cost effectiveness ideas that can lead us to better public resource decisions. You'll leave with a better understanding of how to manage risks in transportation projects, big and small.


WTS MN has applied for AICP CM credits for this program. For more information and to register, visit the event page on the WTS Minnesota website.


Wednesday, April 9
WTS MN Scholarships and Recognitions Luncheon


WTS MN Scholarships and Recognitions Luncheon scheduled for April 9, 2014.


More information to follow. Contact Sara Pflaum with questions. 



Fay Simer recently accepted a planning position at Stantec. Congratulations Fay!


Kathleen Mayell recently accepted the position of Investment Planning Director at MnDOT. Best wishes to Kathleen in her new role!


Mackenzie Turner Bargen recently became the new Pedestrian Planner for the city of Minneapolis. Congratulations Mackenzie!




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!