March/April 2015
In this issue...
President's Column
Corporate Partner Spotlight: Kimley-Horn
WTS MN Honors Award Winners at Annual Luncheon
Recap: March Program
Mentorship Program Survey
WTS Central Region News
Members on the Move
TYOU Update

New Members


WTS Minnesota welcomes the following new and returning members:


Beverly Farraher



Janet Gronert

SRF Consulting, Inc.


Sue Mulvihill


Save the Dates for Upcoming Programs!

Advancing Women: Happy Hour Celebration

Monday, April 27th

Red Cow, St. Paul


Meet & Greet with Chair Duininck and TPP Presentation

Friday, May 29th

Louisiana Cafe


Joint Fundraiser with ITS MN and NCITE

Monday, June 8th

Tin Whiskers Brewing Co.

Contact Kevin Peterson if you want to donate to the raffle.


St. Croix River Crossing Boat Tour

Wednesday, July 22nd



Visit our Events page for more information including registration.

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 Laura Eash.

 Corporate Partners   


Thank you to our 2015 corporate partners: 






Kimley-Horn & Associates, Inc.



 HDR, Inc.





Bolton & Menk, Inc.


Braun Intertec


HR Green


SRF Consulting


SEH, Inc.


Parsons Brinckerhoff


WSB & Associates, Inc.


Pierce Pini & Associates, Inc.


Professional Engineering Services, Ltd.


Rani Engineering




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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2015 WTS Minnesota
Board of Directors

Vice President

Kelly Agosto
Past President

  Scholarships & Recognitions Director
 Lyssa Leitner

 Programs Co-Director
 Chelsey Armstrong
Programs Co-Director

 Membership Director
Kathleen Mayell

 Marketing Director
Laura Eash

 Transportation YOU Director


Development Director

Special Events Director
2015 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

P.E. Services
 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
Isthmus Engineering

Lisa Raduenz

Olsson Associates

Dawn Spanhake

Center for Transportation Studies

Amy Vennewitz

Metropolitan Council

Charleen Zimmer

Zan Associates

President's Column


Dear WTS Members and Friends,

I might say this every season, but I feel like we are, right now, in the middle of one of my favorite times of year. The rising temperatures, the budding plants, the wafting aroma of waffle cones out of the ice cream shops. Even the thunderstorms and the possibility of a blizzard are exciting in a way that no February storm can be! Soon it'll be graduation season and the energy of interns and new college graduates will revive our spirits.


Spring is also a fun time at WTS. Every April, we honor the contributions of women in the transportation industry at the chapter's annual scholarships and recognitions luncheon. This year, as always, we had much to celebrate, with women being recognized for their roles leading transportation departments, large transit projects, and efforts to diversify the work force. Equally exciting was the overwhelming show of support for our honorees, represented by the many luncheon attendees who had never before attended a WTS program. We'll continue to recognize the advancement of women with a late April reception celebrating MnDOT's Director of Engineering Services Nancy Daubenberger and Acting State Bridge Engineer Bev Farraher.


In May, we look forward to the national conference in Chicago. With the financial support of our local corporate partners, we will have easily the largest Minnesota delegation I can remember. At the end of the month, we have a special opportunity just for members - a chance to chat with Met Council (Employer of the Year!) Chair Adam Duininck.


We also have a couple of passionate young members, Sofia Puerto and Krista Stippelmans, spearheading an effort to re-start a mentorship program. Take advantage of their energy and provide them with input via the survey! (See below for more information.) We hope to have the program rolled out this summer.


Spring! Aren't you just bursting with anticipation? See you out there!


HunWen Westman

President, WTS Minnesota

Corporate Partner Spotlight: Kimley-Horn


WTS Minnesota would like to thank Kimley-Horn for being a 2015 Advocate-Level Partner. Giving at WTS MN's highest partnership level, Kimley-Horn has contributed to the success of WTS programs, scholarships, and educational opportunities in 2015. Please take a minute to learn more about Kimley-Horn in Minnesota and why they support WTS MN.



MN Office Locations

Twin Cities (along the Green Line) and Rochester 

Transportation Services Offered
Planning, environmental, roadway, municipal, traffic, transit, structures, aviation, landscape architecture, and more!





Why Kimley-Horn Supports WTS MN

"Kimley-Horn has proudly supported WTS Minnesota since 2012 for the outstanding professional development, leadership, and educational opportunities afforded to our employees and this region by our local chapter. Over the past few years, we have seen our investment in WTS MN return high-quality programs, premier leadership training, and growing tomorrow's transportation leaders through programs like Transportation YOU." - Chris Leverett, Kimley-Horn Twin Cities

WTS MN Honors Award Winners at Annual Luncheon


In our largest event ever, 160 WTS members, supporters, and partners honored the 2015 award winners at the Annual Scholarships and Recognitions Luncheon. Thank you to everyone who attended. If you were not able to join us, below is a summary of our great honorees! Details on the scholarship winners, who were also recognized, can be found in the last newsletter. More details can be found on the WTS Minnesota website.


 Award winners, from left: Tracy Hatch, Christine Beckwith, Molly Stewart, Sue Mulvihill, Kristin Thompson and Pat Calder.


Scholarship winners, from left: Mandi Spradling, Anna Potter and Kristin Carlson (not pictured: Chelsey Palmateer).


Member of the Year: Kristin Thompson, Metro Transit

For most of the past decade, Kristin Thompson has played a key leadership role in making the WTS Minnesota chapter the strong and high-quality organization it is today. Her leadership by example, both in and out of the office, serves as a strong example for younger women coming up in the agency.


Women of the Year: Tracy Hatch and Sue Mulvihill, MnDOT  

In MnDOT's history, there has only been one other woman Deputy Commissioner, and never a pair as dynamic as Sue and Tracy. In July 2013, Commissioner Charlie Zelle appointed two women to the Deputy Commissioner role - Susan Mulvihill as Deputy Commissioner/Chief Engineer and Tracy Hatch as Deputy Commissioner/Chief Financial Officer/Chief Operating Officer.


Employer of the Year: Metropolitan Council

Metropolitan Council and its two operating divisions focused on transportation issues, Metro Transit and Metropolitan Transportation Services (MTS), have worked diligently to create programs to support and encourage a diverse workforce including the advancement of women in transportation. The nomination highlights the positive trend in women moving into leadership positions at Metro Transit, Metropolitan Transportation Services (MTS). Metro Transit and Metropolitan Council employees that attended the luncheon are shown as a group below.



Rosa Parks Diversity Leadership Award: Pat Calder

Back in 1995 the then Manager of the Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity said we need to build our DBE program.  Pat Calder took that on as a personal challenge.  Creating change in government is not always easy and surely changing peoples' mind about a system that was around for years seemed daunting.  But she did it. The bottom line is her leadership in promoting the transportation field is outstanding and she is a tireless advocate for promoting and assisting women and minority small businesses.


Innovative Transportation Solutions Award: Christine Beckwith for the METRO Green Line

Christine Beckwith held key leadership roles throughout project development of the METRO Green Line that resulted in the project opening on June 14, 2014, on time and on budget.  She has risen in the ranks to the present day where she now oversees two projects (each over $1 billion). Christine serves as a leadership role model to other women in the delivery of the innovative and largest single public works project in the State of Minnesota.   


We would also like to recognize this year's honorary members, Lisa Bender, City Councilmember, Minneapolis (below, left) and Kathy Lantry, Public Works Director, Saint Paul (below, right). Keep an eye out for a dueling cities book club event this summer hosted by the honorary members!



Recap: March Program

Our March program, Flood Vulnerability @ MnDOT, was hosted at MnDOT's Central Offices in St. Paul on March 19th. Philip Schaffner, the Policy Planning Director in MnDOT's Office of Transportation System Management, shared insights from MnDOT's work on flood vulnerability and the next steps the agency plans to take related to resiliency planning and climate change. MnDOT was selected as one of 19 pilot projects in the nation to conduct climate vulnerability assessments to transportation infrastructure. As part of these assessments, MnDOT measured the sensitivity of Minnesota's trunk highway system from flash floods in two districts in northeast and southeast Minnesota. Attendees enjoyed learning about this groundbreaking work and how it improves the resiliency of Minnesota's transportation system. More information on the project can be found here.



Mentorship Program - We Want Your Opinion!


WTS Minnesota is in the midst of creating a new mentorship program. The hope for our mentorship program is to encourage sharing of experiences, advice and knowledge in a safe and comfortable environment. Through regular presentations and mentor-mentee meetings, we would like to give extra tools to help you advance in your career while building a strong community within the transportation field. In order for us to craft a successful, customized and lasting mentorship program, we would like to hear from you about your interest in participating. Your opinion is very valuable to us and will serve as the foundation for a successful mentorship program. Please set aside a few minutes of your day to answer a few questions by May 8th. Thank you for your time, and we look forward to hearing from you!


Click here to take the survey


WTS Central Region News


The Spring 2015 issue of the WTS Central Region's newsletter is out, and it includes updates from our neighboring chapters: Greater Chicago, Columbus, Greater Indianapolis, Greater Kansas City, Michigan, Northeast Ohio, and Wisconsin. Also, be sure to check out the last page if you are attending the Annual Conference next month in Chicago! Click here to view the newsletter.


Congratulations to Greta Alquist, who recently joined Toole Design Group as a Transportation Planner!



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


TYOU Update

It was another successful year for the WTS Minnesota Transportation You program! We wrapped up this years' 2014-2015 Transportation You program, with an all-day program focused on bikes. Mackenzie Turner Bargen from the City of Minneapolis started off the day with an overview of the different types of bike infrastructure that is being built in the City of Minneapolis, the girls then hopped on the Green Line LRT and met up with Nice Rides staff in downtown Minneapolis. After an overview of the Nice Rides bike program, the girls snapped on their helmets, hopped on Nice Ride bikes and headed out for a biking tour of downtown Minneapolis; checking out the Hennepin Avenue Bridge over the Mississippi River, St. Anthony Main and the Stone Arch Bridge. The girls ended the day learning how bikeways are planned with a presentation from Rose Ryan (WSB and Associates)! Thank you to everyone that helped make this year a success!


We are happy to announce that WTS Minnesota will be sending Miranda Rice (sophomore at Blaine High School) and Janet Gronert (SRF Consulting Group) to the DC Summit, which will be held in Washington DC this June!


Please contact Lisa Rasmussen if you are interested in the program or have questions!