September/October 2015
In this issue...
President's Column
Membership Updates
Corporate Partner Spotlight
Recap: October Program
Recap: September Program
TYOU Update
Members on the Move
New Members
WTS Minnesota welcomes the following new and returning members:

Kjensmo Walker
Newtrax, Inc.
Save the Dates for Upcoming Programs!

Happy Hour Celebration

Wednesday, November 18th

4:30 PM - 6:30 PM

Day Block Brewing Company


Annual Holiday Party

Thursday, December 10th

5:00 PM - 7:30 PM

Como Park Zoo & Conservatory


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
Greetings WTS Members and Friends!

I was going to share with you some inspiring experiences I had recently, but had second thoughts when I realized they were all about women. I hesitate to extol the virtues of women too much, for fear of (further) alienating the majority of our colleagues in the transportation industry. We are still trying to spread the message that the organization welcomes everyone - that the WTS mission to transform the transportation industry through the advancement of women is better achieved with the involvement of all. 
On the other hand, what I wanted to share didn't result from thinking about what interesting things women had done recently. Instead, I had experiences that made an impression on me, and it happens that all are products of women. I'll spare you the parts about how Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor and U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar restored my faith in government (you can watch the justice's part online if you'd like to be similarly inspired), but here's what I wanted to share about our activities closer to home:
Our WTS Minnesota September and October programs weren't your standard presentations, and were about as different as two programs could be. September's book club meetings were thoughtful discussions about providing the environments and opportunities for all styles and personalities to contribute and thrive. The October transitway update speed sessions were fast-paced, interactive roundtables, allowing participants more opportunity to direct the conversation. Either program could have been a standard presentation but these program formats were thoughtfully chosen (by women) to provide information in more engaging, fun, and productive ways. They were hugely collaborative efforts, with more than ten facilitators/presenters between the two events (noted below). They provided energy and excitement about the projects we work on and the people we work with. 
Women are doing wonderful things, making significant contributions, inspiring thoughtfulness, compassion, and respect. Why shouldn't we recognize that?

Until it's well accepted that women, as a generalized whole, bring valuable traits different from men, and as such can better serve a segment of the population (half of the population!), why shouldn't we shine the brightest of spotlights on the achievements of our women colleagues?

So let's recognize and celebrate! The board has some thoughts, but we'd love to hear from you too. What are you doing to highlight the contributions of women, and what would you like WTS to do?

Warm wishes,

HunWen Westman
President, WTS Minnesota
Introducing two new opportunities for WTS MN members! 
We are happy to announce two new membership opportunities - a membership drive and a new program called Connect with Coffee!

The membership drive will last from now until our Holiday Party, and is designed to help you encourage your friends and colleagues to become members of WTS MN. Anyone who refers a friend to join will be entered into a raffle and recognized at the holiday party. To enter into the raffle, have the new member email Kathleen after joining with both their name and your name. 

Connect with Coffee is a new program designed to pair existing members up with new members and give the pair a chance to meet for coffee and get to know one another. If interested, let Kathleen know and she will make arrangements, including providing a gift card to enjoy coffee on WTS! We're starting with new members defined as any of those who joined in 2015. If interested as either a new or existing member, please let Kathleen know.
As always, if you have any ideas as to how to make more out of our membership, please let us know!

Help us celebrate the accomplishments of our members!

We're using the Holiday Party as an opportunity to celebrate the success of women in transportation in 2015. Know any members who have been promoted or received awards? Let us know so we can celebrate their success at the holiday party! Nomination form available here.
Corporate Partner Spotlight: AECOM

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

MN Office Locations
Minneapolis, Fort Snelling, and Duluth

Transportation Services Offered
AECOM offers services in planning, design, construction and more for transportation services including aviation, transit/freight/rail, ports and marine and highways and bridges.


Why AECOM Supports WTS MN
"AECOM shares WTS' vision for promoting lifelong careers in transportation for women, closing the workforce gap. We have been a supporter of WTS not only at the local level, but also the national level for many years. The programs offered by WTS MN such as book club, networking events, professional development sessions, and Transportation YOU, provide a conduit for our employees to connect with other transportation professionals, sharing ideas and thoughts that benefit the transportation industry as a whole. Personally, I have been a member of WTS since 2002 and owe much of my advancement in my career to the connections I have made through the programs offered by WTS." --Kim Proia, Senior Project Manager, Transit, AECOM
Recap: October Program
WTS Minnesota's October program was a choose-your-own-adventure of transitway updates. In each of four fifteen-minute rounds, ten local transitway projects were available to choose from to discuss in a roundtable format. In the small group setting, participants were better able to ask questions and direct the discussions to their areas of interests compared to the standard large group presentation. The short rounds followed by the scramble to secure your next seat (while also greeting friends and nabbing some food and drink) provided a fast-paced, high-energy environment - which paired perfectly with the excitement in the room for transit. Katie Roth (Metro Transit) expertly facilitated the event, keeping participants moving with clear and timely instruction. Participants took some time to wind down and enjoy the company afterward. 

The format of the program meant that each presenter talked about their project(s) four times - what great sports these presenters were!
  • Charles Carlson, Metro Transit - A Line and C Line
  • Nathan Koster, City of Minneapolis - Nicollet-Central Modern Streetcar
  • Michael Mechtenberg, Metro Transit - Midtown Corridor Alternatives Analysis
  • Christina Morrison, Metro Transit - METRO Orange Line BRT
  • Sam O'Connell, Metro Transit - METRO Green & Blue Line LRT Extensions
  • Mike Rogers, Ramsey County Regional Railroad Authority - Riverview and Rush Line Corridor Studies
  • Hally Turner, Washington County - METRO Gold Line (Gateway BRT)

Recap: September Program

In September, WTS MN sponsored two book club events hosted in St. Paul by City of St. Paul Public Works Director Kathy Lantry and in Minneapolis by City Council member Lisa Bender. The book discussed at both events was 'Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking' by Susan Cain. There was lots of great discussion on if participants identified themselves as introverts, extroverts, or a mix, as well as how our work life and personal life can have different personalities because of the positions we hold. Also discussed was how these traits fit together with gender, culture and age in the workplace.

TYOU Update

The Transportation YOU program is in full swing - we just had our second program on October 27!  The Center for Transportation Studies (CTS) hosted seven Blaine High School students on the U of M campus, giving the students an overview of CTS, facilitating various tours to the Human Factors Lab and Civil Engineering building, rode the LRT train through campus, learned about Nice Rides and provided the students an opportunity to meet existing college students! The next Transportation YOU program is on November 17. If you are interested in participating in the TYOU program as a mentor, please contact Lisa Rasmussen.  

Congratulations to Becky Alper, who will be joining St. Paul Smart Trips next week as their Workplaces Program Manager!

Congratulations to Mona Elabbady, who has been promoted to Principal - Transit at SRF Consulting Group!
Congratulations to Lisa Elliott, who is now a Planner within the Transportation Planning group at SEH!
Congratulations to Mary Gute, who is now a Senior Transportation Planner at Bolton & Menk!

Congratulations to Chelsey Armstrong and Kristin Peterson, who both recently received AICP certification!

Congratulations to Kristin Asher, Arlene Kocher and Kristin Thompson, whose accomplishments will be celebrated at the happy hour on November 18th.

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!