November/December 2015
In this issue...
President's Column
WTS Recognition Awards
Reminder: Connect with Coffee
Recap: Annual Holiday Party
Recap: November Program
Recap: Chapter Leadership Training
Recap: November Happy Hour
Opportunity to Attend 2016 WTS Conferences
Members on the Move
New Members
WTS Minnesota welcomes the following new and returning members:

Ryan Bauman

Christine Beckwith
Metro Transit

Rachel Brooks 

Kevin Cullen

Amy DeBruin
Isthmus Engineering

Chelsea Dubreuil

Lisa Elliott

Stephanie Falkers
SRF Consulting Group, Inc.

Melanie Fiegen
American Engineering Testing

Jasna Hadzic

Leslee LeRoux

Kelly Morrell
Metro Transit

BrieAnna Simon
SRF Consulting Group, Inc.

Sarah Tracy

Hally Turner
Washington County

Alexandra Willoughby
Michael Baker International

Caitlin Wotruba

Emily Ziring
City of Minneapolis
Save the Dates for Upcoming Programs!

Negotiations Program
Thursday, February 4th
4:00 to 5:30 PM
Visit our Events page for more information including registration soon.
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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View our profile on LinkedIn
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.
Join Our Mailing List
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

University of MN Parking and Transportation Services

Dawn Spanhake

Center for Transportation Studies

Amy Vennewitz

Metropolitan Council

Charleen Zimmer

Zan Associates
President's Column
Dear WTS Community,

A couple of months ago, I was asked what I thought about signal timing. I don't remember the exact phrasing of the question, or whether it was quite so broad, but I wasn't particularly happy with my response. So, of course, a variety of better answers have been popping into my head at random times ever since.

The latest came in the form of an analogy as I was thinking about all the people who give their time to WTS Minnesota: The idea of signal timing is similar to what we all do every day in our work and our lives. We all have a limited supply of time, and demands coming at us from various directions. We can't possibly serve every request at the time it's made, but we do our best to prioritize. We try to maximize our efficiency, and minimize the negative impact to others. Some requests take priority because the whole system fails if we neglect them too long. Sometimes it's more efficient to address a new request immediately and let another one continue waiting a little longer. Some requesters will get upset and feel unfairly treated, because their perspective is limited. (If you're now thinking "THIS is your better answer??" - yes, the other answer was not good!)

For signal timing, we can collect data and use analysis and technology to arrive at a good, justifiable decision. It's harder with our own time. It's often not possible to determine the impact of the extra time we give to work, family, community, and personal passions, much less quantify and compare. We do our best to judge what feels right.

This holiday season, I leave all of you analytical, over-committed members and friends of WTS this tiny offering: Your dedication to WTS and the WTS mission, in whatever way fit your life, has increased our membership, participation, and funding in significant and measurable ways this year, which means more awareness of and support for the advancement of women in transportation. The numbers will be in the annual report next spring, but know that whatever you made time for this year - whether you organized a program or attended one, ran the silent auction or bid on an item, nominated an award winner or was inspired by them - it contributed to the organization and mission in exactly the way we needed you to contribute this year. Thank you for a successful, satisfying year.

A special thank you to the 2015 chapter board of directors, whose list of accomplishments were cut short from the holiday party acknowledgements due to technical difficulties. I can't say enough how wonderful you are.

Happy holidays to the best of communities! May you close out the year reveling in always-long-overdue time with the ones you love most. 

Warm wishes,

HunWen Westman
President, WTS Minnesota
WTS Recognition Awards - Now Taking Nominations
As 2015 comes to an end, it's a good time to think back on the past year (or beyond) and recognize excellence in our industry. The WTS Recognition Awards provide us with an opportunity to highlight the accomplishments of our colleagues, workplaces, and project teams. Please consider submitting a nomination for WTS Minnesota's Recognition Awards. Recipients of our chapter awards will be recognized at our annual awards luncheon in April. 

The award categories are:
Member of the Year
Employer of the Year
Rosa Parks Diversity Leadership Award
Innovative Transportation Solutions Award
Woman of the Year
*New Category* Honorable Ray LaHood Award

Nomination forms and award criteria are available for download on our website and should be submitted to Adele Hall by Friday, January 8, 2016. 
Reminder: Connect with Coffee

A reminder to all new and existing members - if you are interested in connecting with another WTS Minnesota member, email Kathleen and she will pair up new members (having joined in 2015) with longer-standing members. This program kicked-off this winter and is a great way to get more out of your WTS membership! 
Recap: Annual Holiday Party

Thanks to all who attended our Holiday Party at the Como Zoo and Conservatory this year! We raised over $3,000 for our educational programs through the raffle and silent auction. Thank you to Krista Stippelmans and Morgan Hoxsie for helping solicit donations and organize the auction. Like WTS MN on Facebook for photos from the event soon!

Special thanks to board members Rose Ryan and Hannah Pritchard for the planning and execution of the most multimodal and interdisciplinary event of the season!

Recap: November Pedestrian Planning Program

Forty WTS MN members and friends gathered in downtown Minneapolis on the morning of November 10th for breakfast, networking and a panel presentation on pedestrian planning. First, Mackenzie Turner Bargen from the City of Minneapolis talked about the city's numerous initiatives, including its Parklet Program, Plaza Pilot Program, Painted Curb Extensions pilot, 1st Avenue Walkway and 36th St. Protected Pathway. Then, Kelley Yemen from Hennepin County discussed pedestrian planning around transit; 44 stations are being planned in the county currently.

Next, Jasna Hadzic from MnDOT updated the group on the first ever Statewide Pedestrian Plan. Priority populations for engagement during the planning process include American Indians, children and youth, low income urban residents, older adults, people with disabilities and people living in small towns. The last panelist was Rose Ryan from WSB & Associates who spoke about prioritizing pedestrian improvements in suburban communities. For example, the City of South St. Paul has developed an Arterial Sidewalk Network to link destinations. The program concluded with a dynamic question and answer session between the attendees and panelists.

Thanks again to our speakers, Ciara Schlichting from Toole Design Group for moderating and Toole Design Group for hosting!

Recap: Chapter Leadership Training in Boston
By Anna Potter

In November, Rose Ryan (Vice President), Kelly Agosto (Treasurer), Laura Eash (Marketing Director), and I (Anna Potter, incoming TYOU Co-Director) convened in Boston for the WTS International Chapter Leadership Training. This training was a wonderful experience. Not only did we learn about all the resources available from WTS International and glean ideas from other WTS Chapters, we also had the opportunity to explore Boston and try a few cool modes of transportation, like water taxis. I took a water taxi from the airport to downtown Boston!

Just like the Minnesota contingent present, attendees of this training represented the diversity and complexity of the transportation industry. I met other consultants in the private sector, multiple dedicated public servants, and lobbyists, advocates, and researchers at non-profits or other agencies. Attendees hailed from all geographic regions, came with varying levels of tenure in the industry, and had every skin color and culture under the sun. There's no doubt in my mind that the conversations were as fruitful as they were in large part due to the diversity present in the room.

We didn't convene in this place to get a diverse group thinking about transportation though. No, we were there because we are all passionate about transportation, and we want to share that passion in order to improve the industry. We were there, volunteering our time (on a Saturday, no less!) not to sell our product or promote ourselves; we were there to learn and improve. We were there to listen to other
ideas and creatively think about how to apply the success stories of other women to our own chapter. Discussions focused on leadership and on creating the best WTS Chapters we possibly could so that in the future no good transportation ideas go unsaid because as showcased at this training, the most fruitful conversations and solutions arise when all voices are given the chance to speak. 

For this reason, I am excited to be a new Co-Chair of the Transportation YOU program with Tara McBride.  For those of you who don't know, Transportation You (short version: TYOU) is WTS's mentoring program aimed at getting high-school girls to think about careers in transportation before heading off to college. Other Chapter leaders were extremely impressed when I shared with them that the Minnesota TYOU Program meets monthly with Blaine High School students to do transportation activities, games, and field trips. Significant credit goes to departing TYOU Chair Lisa Rasmussen for sustaining and leading this successful program for the last two years. The program would not continue to thrive in Minnesota without her creativity and dedication. I am honored to build upon the foundation that those before me have set and to do my part at making sure the leaders of the transportation industry includes all the voices, especially women's.

Do you want to be a part of this awesome program and shape the demographics of the transportation industry? Contact Tara or I. We're always looking for great TYOU mentors!

Recap: November Celebratory Happy Hour

A happy hour was held at Day Block Brewing to celebrate three women who have recently made advancements in the Twin Cities transportation industry. Kristin Asher was promoted to the Public Works Director for the City of Richfield, Kristin Thompson (Metro Transit Assistant Director of Scheduling, Analysis, and Data Collection) was named one of Mass Transit Magazine's Top 40 under 40, and Arlene Kocher was promoted to Minnesota FHWA Division Administrator. It was a wonderful time networking, catching up with old friends, and celebrating these great accomplishments.

Opportunity to Attend 2016 WTS Conferences

There are two WTS conferences coming up in 2016, and the Minnesota chapter wants our members to experience them! Thanks to the generosity of our corporate partners, the chapter is again offering grants to offset some of the cost of attending. If you are interested in attending either the 2016 Central Region Conference in Indianapolis, IN, Feb 19-20, or the 2016 Annual Conference in Austin, TX, May 18-20, please send an email to HunWen Westman. We are currently accepting applications for the Central Region Conference (applications due January 3!), but are also gauging interest in the Annual Conference for budgeting.

If you're not a member, it's not too late to join and take advantage of these opportunities!

Congratulations to Rachel Dammel (nee Haase), who got married last month!

Congratulations to Danielle Steeg (nee Mohr), who got married this past autumn!

Congratulations to Molly Stewart, who joined SRF as a Senior Engineer in their Transportation And Environmental Planning Division!

Congratulations to Kim Zlimen, who started a position at Metro Transit as a Principal Engineer!

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!