March/April 2017

In this issue...
President's Column
Corporate Partner Spotlight
Recap: April Luncheon
Mentorship Pilot Program
Membership Drive
Regional Conference Committee
Recap: February Program
MN's Transportation Conference
Members on the Move
New Members
WTS Minnesota welcomes the following new and returning members:
Toni Terwilliger

Molly Weismantel
Save the Dates for Upcoming Programs!

2017 Book Club: Streetfight
June 7th in the afternoon

MSES Networking Event
August 8th Happy Hour

Habitat for Humanity Women Build Day
September 22nd
West St. Paul

Visit our Events page for more information.
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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Has your email address changed?

Please email  with your new address and don't forget to update your email address with WTS International as well.
Join Our Mailing List
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!

I was honored to speak at this year's annual Scholarships and Recognition's Luncheon, which was held April 27th at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. WTS MN is honored to have so many in attendance again this year (approximately 150 total). Notable attendees included Minnesota Commissioner Charles Zelle and ASCE National President-Elect Kristina Swallow. I am always in awe of the level of award winners that we have every year. New this year is our high school level scholarship. We received so many great applicants for it that we ended up awarding two of them! Please take time to review all of the award and scholarship winners in the event summary below. You can also see the amazing photos taken by Sarah Shock (SEH) on the WTS MN web page under Photos.

Looking forward - thanks to the generosity of our corporate partners, WTS MN has awarded grants to 11 WTS MN members to attend the WTS Annual Conference in New York City, May 17 - 19 (which has been announced to be at capacity!). We have two national award winners who will be attending to receive their awards in person. Fay Simer (City of St Paul) for Member of the Year and Philip Schaffner (MnDOT) for the Honorable Ray LaHood Award. Katie Caskey (MnDOT) will be representing WTS MN and MnDOT as a moderator for a breakout session titled Planning Smarter; Tomorrow's Transportation Technology Session. Look for a recap and photos of the conference in the next newsletter.

Our program co-chairs Kristina Nesse (Metro Transit) and Lisa Elliott (MnDOT) have been busy finalizing our program calendar. Fun events include:
  • June's book club, Streetfight,
  • Winter in July event where we'll learn how they manage snow at Minneapolis-St Paul International Airport,
  • Joint networking event with MSES in August
  • NEW Womens Build with Habitat for Humanity in September.
Visit our web page for the downloadable schedule and mark your calendars for exact dates. Feel free to post the calendar around your office!

If you are interested in getting more involved in WTS, please email me with your interest level and I will connect you with a director or committee head who can use your help.

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

Best Regards,

Morgan Abbott
President, WTS Minnesota
Corporate Partner Spotlight: Kimley-Horn

WTS Minnesota would like to thank Kimley-Horn for being a 2017 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 2017. Please take a minute to learn more about Kimley-Horn in Minnesota and why they support WTS MN.

Minnesota Office Locations: Twin Cities (along the Green Line) and Rochester

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

Why Kimley-Horn Supports WTS MNSince 2012, Kimley-Horn has supported WTS Minnesota for their outstanding professional development, leadership, and educational opportunities afforded to our employees and this region by our local chapter. Developing leaders in the work place, awarding scholarships, and mentoring programs like Transportation YOU, we see our investment in WTS growing tomorrow's transportation leaders. WTS provides tools and networking opportunities to connect and build a strong community working towards the advancement of women in the transportation industry.
Recap: April Luncheon

Thank you to the 150 WTS members and friends who joined us at the annual Scholarships and Recognitions Luncheon at the Walker Art Center! This year we celebrated the accomplishments of:
  • Rose Ryan, WTS-Minnesota 2016 Chapter President
  • Minnesota Department of Transportation, Rosa Parks Diversity Leadership Award
  • Professor Catherine French, Woman of the Year Award
  • Isthmus Engineering, Employer of the Year Award
  • Philip Schaffner, Honorable Ray LaHood Award
  • Fay Simer, Member of the Year Award
  • Metro Transit A Line BRT Project, Innovative Transportation Solutions Award
  • Beth Engum and Bridget Rief, 2017 WTS Honorary Members
  • Maria Wardoku, Ella Rasp, Claire Warren, Sini Adam, and Fardosa Osman, Scholarship Recipients
Read more about the scholarship and recognition award recipients and see photos from the event on our website.

Our 2017 award winners
Mentorship Pilot Program
WTS MN is creating a Mentorship Pilot Program. Join us to develop a great program for our chapter!

Committee co-chairs Stephanie Smith and Hally Turner are asking for volunteers interested in serving on the committee to organize the program and plan events. The committee will meet 3-4 times this year and will be scheduled for convenience. Please send an email to Stephanie Smith or Hally Turner if you are interested in volunteering. Prospective committee members will be contacted to schedule the first committee meeting in May/early June.

We will be looking for mentors and mentees soon as well. If you have an interest in participating in the program, please send an email to reserve a spot in the pilot. At this time, it is expected that participants will contribute 10 hours of time for the program over 5 months. More details coming soon!
Membership Drive

At the Scholarship and Recognitions luncheon on April 27th, we rolled out our 2017 membership drive! In honor of WTS Minnesota's 35th Anniversary, we are proud to offer a $35 rebate for the first 35 new chapter members. In addition for showing your support for WTS MN's mission to transform the Minnesota transportation industry through the advancement of women, chapter membership benefits include:
  • Networking and professional development opportunities at all career levels
  • Reduced registration costs for programs
  • Access to members-only events
  • Access to the WTS international membership database
  • Entry into our annual membership drawing at the Holiday Party
Once your new membership is in our records, WTS MN Membership Director Hannah Pritchard will be in touch to invite you to "Connect with Coffee" to get to know an established member of the chapter and get the rebate sent your way. WTS MN can offer the $35 rebate in a couple of different ways (sorry, wish we could've done a discount when joining, but the membership sign up process is out of WTS MN's control). If you have any questions, or want to find out what the rebate options are prior to joining, please feel free to contact Hannah Pritchard directly. Our chapter's strength is driven in large part by our members, and we hope you'll consider joining us today!
Join the Regional Conference Planning Committee 
Minnesota will be hosting the WTS Central Region Conference in September 2018. As the Regional Board representative, Nikki Farrington is looking for volunteers to be on the planning committee to assist the regional board in delivering a successful conference. Members of the committee would be responsible for recommending to the chapter board conference dates and venue, developing program content and schedule, creating a conference budget and coordinating final logistics (AV equipment, catering, volunteers, etc). The first meeting will be in June with another two or three meetings through 2017. In 2018 meetings will likely become monthly as we approach the conference. Please contact Nikki Farrington if interested in volunteering to help showcase transportation in Minnesota to the rest of the region!
Recap: February Program

WTS MN members and friends and Transportation YOU (TYOU) students teamed up for a joint event on the last Sunday of February. After a pre-show get together for lunch, everyone attended the closing performance of The Highwaymen, a new production at the History Theatre in St. Paul about the construction of Interstate 94 and its devastating impact on the Rondo neighborhood. After the excellent performance, most attendees were able to stay for an informative afterthoughts discussion that included Rondo residents (below). 

WTS MN Leaders at MN's Transportation Conference
WTS MN had a strong presence at Minnesota's Transportation Conference in March, with WTS MN chapter leaders and members attending, organizing and presenting at the event.

WTS MN Special Events Co-Chair Daniel Baxter (Michael Baker International) presented on bridge engineering case studies. 

WTS MN Membership Director Hannah Pritchard (Toole Design Group) presented on quantifying bike and pedestrian trends.

WTS MN Advisory Board Member and Past President Katie Roth (Metro Transit) presented on new Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) buildouts.

Congratulations to Lisa Elliott, formerly with SEH, on her new Principal Planner - Environmental Review Specialist position at MnDOT!

Congratulations to Fay Simer, formerly with Stantec, on her new Pedestrian Safety Advocate position at the City of St. Paul!


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