January/February 2017

In this issue...
President's Column
Corporate Partner Spotlight
Upcoming Programs
Meet the 2017 Board of Directors
Recap: Regional Conference
TYOU Update
Recap: ADA Accessibility Event
WTSI Scholarship
Members on the Move
New Members
WTS Minnesota welcomes the following new and returning members:


Julia Futrell

Collins Engineering


Toni Terwilliger

WSB & Associates

Save the Dates for Upcoming Programs!

New(er)-to-Management Roundtable
Tuesday, March 28th, 2017
7:30 - 9:30 AM
The Freehouse, Minneapolis
Scholarships and Recognitions Luncheon
Thursday, April 27th, 2017
11:30 AM - 1:30 PM
Walker Art Center, Minneapolis

2017 Book Club: Streetfight
Mid-May Weekday Evening
6:00 - 8:00 PM

The Local, Minneapolis

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 2017 corporate partners: 

HDR, Inc.

Kimley-Horn & Associates, Inc.

SEH, Inc.

SRF Consulting Group


WSB & Associates, Inc.
Alliant Engineering

American Engineering Testing, Inc.
Bolton & Menk, Inc.
Braun Intertec
Collins Engineers Inc.


HR Green

WSP-Parsons Brinckerhoff 

Isthmus Engineering
Michael Baker International

Pierce Pini & Associates, Inc.

Precision Testing Inc.
Professional Engineering Services, Ltd.
Rani Engineering


Toole Design Group
The MN Transportation Alliance
Zan Associates
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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Please email  with your new address and don't forget to update your email address with WTS International as well.
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2017 WTS Minnesota

Board of Directors


Vice President


Past President

Scholarships & Recognitions Director

 Programs Co-Director

Lisa Elliott
Programs Co-Director

 Membership Director

Hannah Pritchard

 Marketing Director

Laura Eash

Development Director

 Transportation YOU

Transportation YOU
Anna Potter

Special Events Co-Chair

Special Events Co-Chair

Mentoring Co-Chair

Mentoring Co-Chair

Diversity and Equity Chair

Hospitality Chair

Membership Chair

Central Region Council Member
2017 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

Biz Colburn

WTS Past President

Sandy Cullen
University of Minnesota

Margaret Donahoe
Minnesota Transportation Alliance
Ann Johnson
University of MN

Wanda Kirkpatrick 
Metropolitan Council

Connie Kozlak

Metropolitan Council

Jessica Laabs

Kimley-Horn & Associates

Scott McBride
Dan Meyers


Amber Nord 
Isthmus Engineering

Lisa Raduenz 
University of MN Parking and Transportation Services

Katie Roth 
Metro Transit
Dawn Spanhake

Center for Transportation Studies

Kristin Thompson
Metro Transit
Amy Vennewitz

Metropolitan Council

Charleen Zimmer

Zan Associates
President's Column
Hello WTS Minnesota community!

This newsletter marks the start of our 35th Anniversary Celebration. WTS Minnesota has so many achievements to celebrate, from our record membership growth since our 30th Anniversary Celebration in 2012 (75 members to our current 160 members) to our successful Corporate Partnership Program. All of which has given us the tools to offer diverse programs and provide our members with countless opportunities to give back to the transportation community. Check out our special 35th Anniversary logo, created by Kimley-Horn and Associates. Keep an eye out for fun celebration initiatives throughout the year from our Special Event Co-Chairs, Pamela Fincher and Daniel Baxter.

I am happy to announce that this year we had record interest to serve in leadership roles within WTS Minnesota. We've done some reorganization to our board to accommodate all of the interest! We've added 5 new chair positions which include:
  • Special Events Co-Chair
  • Mentoring Co-Chairs
  • Diversity and Equity Chair
  • Hospitality Chair
  • Membership Chair
There's still opportunity for others to become more involved so, please do not hesitate to reach out to any Director or Chair position and they can help find the right fit for your level of interest.

I'm honored to serve as your 2017 chapter president and work with an energetic board of dedicated professional individuals. We welcome some new faces to the leadership of our chapter this year. Juana Sandoval (HNTB) and Lisa Elliott (SEH) have joined the leadership team on the Board of Directors, and Morgan Hoxsie (Kimley-Horn), Daniel Baxter (Michael Baker International), Pamela Fincher (HNTB), Hally Turner (Washington County), Jasna Hadzic-Stanek (MnDOT), Chelsea Dubreuil (HDR), and Becky Alper (TLC/St. Paul Smart Trips) have joined as Chairpersons. Lastly, Nikki Farrington (SEH) has been approved by WTS International to represent WTS Minnesota on the Central Region Council for the 2017-2018 term. We all look forward to an exciting year of chapter activities in 2017.

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

Best Regards,

Morgan Abbott
President, WTS Minnesota
Corporate Partner Spotlight: HDR

WTS Minnesota would like to thank HDR for being a 2017 Advocate-Level Partner. Giving at WTS MN's highest partnership level, HDR has contributed to the success of WTS programs, scholarships, and educational opportunities in 2016. Please take a minute to learn more about HDR in Minnesota and why they support WTS MN.

Minnesota Office Locations: Minneapolis (2), Rochester, and Thief River Falls

Transportation Services Offered: Planning, design, traffic, transit, bridges, design-build, strategic communications, construction services, rail, environmental, project controls.

Website: www.hdrinc.com.

Why HDR Supports WTS MN
: HDR is proud to partner with WTS at multiple levels. Two HDR staff - Mike Schneider and Maggie Walsh - currently serve on the WTS International Board of Directors, and another - Dorri Raposa - is the recent past chair of the WTS International Foundation Board Chair. This spirit of involvement in the WTS mission is present in HDR offices across the company. In Minnesota, we're honored to support our local chapter. Our company culture embraces the strengths and differences of the communities we support. This includes the many talented women engineers, planners, and professionals solving Minnesota's most complex transportation challenges. Together, we make great things possible.
Upcoming Programs - Mark Your Calendar!

New(er)-to-Management Roundtable
Tuesday, March 28th
7:30 - 9:30 AM
The Freehouse, Minneapolis

The transition from a technical expert within an organization to a management position can be the most challenging shift of a career. Join us for facilitated discussion on the challenges and opportunities of these roles, led by WTS MN's own Nikki Farrington (SEH) and Kristin Thompson (Metro Transit). 
Click here for more information and stay tuned for an invitation email to register.
2017 Book Club: Streetfight
Mid-May Weekday Evening
6:00 - 8:00 PM

The Local, Minneapolis
Join us for a lively conversation on Streetfight: Handbook for an Urban Revolution (Janette Sadik-Kahn), as well as appetizers, and HH drink specials in the cozy back room of The Local.

Note on Upcoming Event: The Highwaymen and Reception
(Registration is full)
Sunday, February 26th
12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Appetizers and conversation at Black Sheep Pizza in St. Paul, MN
2:00 p.m.
(Tickets distributed at 1:45 p.m.)

The Highwaymen at MN History Theater in 
St. Paul, MN
Email Kristina with questions. 
Meet the 2017 Board of Directors

Front row: Laura Eash, Becky Alper, Hannah Pritchard

Second row: Michelle Julius, Kelly Agosto, Jasna Hadzic-Stanek, Daniel Baxter, Nikki Farrington, Stephanie Smith, Hally Turner

Third row: Kristina Nesse, Juana Sandoval, Morgan Hoxsie

Back row: Morgan Abbott, Rose Ryan, Adele Hall, Lisa Elliott, Chelsea Dubreuil, Anna Potter

Not Pictured: Chelsey Hendrickson, Pam Fincher
Recap: Regional Conference

By Nikki Farrington

In February, Katie Roth and myself, Nikki Farrington, represented the WTS Minnesota chapter at the Central Regional Conference held in Columbus, Ohio. The conference drew over 100 participants from the central region states of Illinois, Minnesota, Nebraska, Indiana, Missouri, Ohio, Kansas, Iowa, South Dakota, Michigan, North Dakota and Wisconsin.

The conference kicked off with a quick history lesson of transportation within Columbus with fascinating insight from Ed Lentz, Executive Director of Columbus Landmarks Foundation. Katie shared the success of Metro Transit's A Line Bus Rapid Transit line as part of a panel discussion session. A technical session on safety has me more aware of railroad crossings after viewing crash videos that transportation professionals are using to better design adjacent signalized intersections. The first day ended with a panel of representatives from Ohio, Illinois, Kentucky and Wisconsin DOTs discussing the current transportation FAST Act and upcoming challenges in increasing transportation funding. My favorite presentation was on Friday morning by Jennifer Harper with the Missouri DOT. She talked about the Road to Tomorrow initiative that is looking to implement solar roadways, truck platooning technology, electric vehicle infrastructure and innovative funding sources such as using their existing infrastructure (camera poles, bridges, signs) for leasing by private companies. Look for more information on their website

Throughout the conference there were opportunities to meet and visit with other WTS members from the region allowing for new connections and new appreciation for all the great transportation work that WTS members are leading. Stay tuned, Minnesota is the front runner for hosting the the next Regional Conference!

WTS Central Region Council Update

As the new representative for the Minnesota chapter, I also participated in my first in-person meeting of the Central Region Council at the Regional Conference. The meeting's focus was to update the 2-year strategic plan for the region and determine specific objectives of the council to focus on implementing. The meeting became a brainstorming session and a recap of past successes to determine what programs the region considers most beneficial to WTS members. Things such as All-Region calls for chair members, for example  a group call with all Program Chairs to share experience and initiatives that are working for individual chapters that could be implemented by others, was one opportunity the board was excited to continue. The Central Regional Conference has also shown to be a success, growing each year in the number of participants and expanding in the type of sessions provided and will likely remain a focus of the council. Other initiatives such as a regional Transportation YOU Summit, salary survey and educational webinars will continue to be explored and vetted with the region's chapters to determine their potential benefits to members.
TYOU Update
We started the 2017 school year in January with an exciting interview-and-report-out session on how to write a successful DC Summit application. In February, we spent the day with the Saint Paul Department of Public Works. We heard from Kathy Lantry, Public Works Director, before touring the Street Maintenance Department and experiencing their equipment first-hand. In the Traffic Operation Division, we saw the traffic sign shop and learned how road signs are created. We ended the day on Raspberry Island talking with a bridge inspection team and learning about the equipment they use when inspecting bridges. Next month we're looking forward to choosing a mentor and mentee pair to attend the transportation summit in Washington DC this summer! 

Recap: ADA Accessibility Event

WTS MN kicked off 2017 with the January program - Mastering the Art and Science of ADA Document Accessibility on Tuesday, January 31st. Many thanks to Toole Design Group and Community Design Group for hosting, as well as esteemed ADA Document Accessibility experts and speakers, Katie Caskey (MnDOT) and Jake Rueter (Metro Transit). Attendees had the opportunity to learn the what, why, and how of document accessibility and work through test documents to better understand common issues in documents and their interaction with screen readers over a two-hour session.

Scholarship to attend Eno Leadership Development Conference
Thanks to the generosity of Diane Woodend Jones, WTS Chair, one of the 2017 Eno Center for Transportation's Leadership Development attendees will be a WTS member that attends at no cost. Apply by Monday, March 6th! Details here

Congratulations to Nicole Mardell, formerly with the City of St. Louis Park, on her new Planner position at Deschutes County in Bend, Oregon!

Congratulations to HunWen Westman and her husband Nick, who welcomed a baby girl, Ruth Ying Rui Westman, to their family on January 1st!


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!

WTS Minnesota | c/o WTS Minnesota | Minneapolis | MN | 55415