Hello ITE Northeastern District Members!
It’s hard to believe that six months have already passed since my becoming Northeastern District Chair. And losing my mentor Kim Fabend in running the District. Thanks Kim! Seems like time goes slow in winter, then rushes upon us with the spectacular May annual meeting up in the woods of New Jersey and then summer sets in. I know we don’t like to think about it but in a few months winter will be here and I’ll being passing the torch on to your 2018 District Chair, Bill McMenamin. For the remainder of my term, I am continuing to work on my two goals I have identified upon ascending into the position: Website improvement and training for District/Section/Chapter officers.
For website improvement, Paul Pfleuger of Watts A&E has done a yeoman’s job in getting the website back up and running. Thank you Paul! I am currently working with a webmaster on a proposal to revamp the website and provide a more sustainable maintenance of the site into the future. I will be presenting the proposal to the District Board at our October 12, 2017 meeting in Waltham, MA.
Once I get the website plan of action in place, I am going to reach out to other sections about officer training, building upon the legacy of Gordon Meth, past chair of the District, in his initial considerations for an overall training plan.
The District was involved in a couple of ITE elections this year. I’d like to congratulate Jeff Lebsack for being elected as the 2017 District Secretary/Treasurer, and Mike Salatti for being elected as the District’s New International Director. Mike has begun serving a 3-year term, providing a voice for us at the International level. Mike is a true ITE professional and dedication that has motivated me in the past to get involved at the District level.
The District hosted meetings at the District and International level this year. Our District Annual Meeting at Crystal Springs Resort in northwest New Jersey was a great event at a beautiful and historic venue. It featured several training sessions; a technical workshop; a hiking tour; golf; and several social events, including a horseshoe tournament. There were more than 150 attendees at the meeting. A special thank you goes out to Lynn LaMunyon and Grace Van Kirk for their efforts as Meeting Co-Chairs. As expected, Lynn and Grace led a great committee in another wonderful Met Section hosted annual meeting.
In addition, the District is the adjacent District to the Canadian District, who is hosting the International Annual Meeting in August. This meeting will be held in Toronto, Ontario, Canada and provides most of the District membership with one of our best opportunities to attend an International Meeting without extensive travel.
In 2018, the Upstate Section will be hosting the District Annual Meeting at Lake George, NY. Mark your calendars now for May 21-23. This is an event you won’t want to miss as Mike Wieszchowski, past District chair and known to be as subtle as they come in his leadership, is chairing the meeting with an upstart committee for sure.
Notable award winners this year included Gordon Meth, who was presented the Harvey B. Boutwell Distinguished Service Award by the District. Gordon has been a great asset for this organization for many years and I thank him for his service and support. Other District awards this year include the Met Section, winner the Section Activities Award once again and on a winning streak that other Sections envy; and UMASS-Amherst, winner of the Student Chapter Award. Congratulations to all the award winners for this year!!!
This new program sponsored by ITE International provides participants with leadership training and tools they can use to be successful leaders within the District and in their professional and personal lives. The one-year program has participants attend three live training workshops and several webinars throughout the year. The program provides networking opportunities, where participants can learn from each other, and it requires work on case studies and team projects to help participants hone their leadership skills. Twenty-five participants were selected for the 4th annual LeadershipITE program, and I am proud to say that we have two from the Northeastern District. Congratulations and good luck to Jeff Lebsack(Secretary/Treasurer for the District) and Asheque Rahman for your selection in this exciting new program.
Student chapters are running strong in the District and I am pleased to announce Anthony Mariani as the District Student Outreach Chair. I believe the District now has a dozen chapters. Students are our future, so let’s support these Chapters to the fullest extent possible, and let’s give these students the tools they need to be able to grow into great transportation professionals.
Joseph C. Balskus, P.E., PTOE
Northeastern District Chair
Dear ITE Northeastern District members, friends, associates, affiliates and interested transportation professionals:
I am honored to serve as your District Chair for 2017, thank you for allowing me to ascend to this position. I look to continue the tradition of the Chair presiding over the District and furthering the needs of our members. I have goals for this year: Ensuring the continued success of our wonderful annual meetings, supporting our Sections and Chapters (including students), and a promise to revamp our website in the coming year. Paul Pfleugger is our current webmaster and is working diligently to make it a better website volunteering his time as so many of us do for this great organization. However a revamp is needed and I will propose to the Board structural changes to the management of the website in the future.
Please see our link to the 2017 Annual meeting being held May 10-12 at Crystal Springs Resort in Mount Vernon, New Jersey, hosted by the ITE Met Section this year. I encourage you to participate in the meeting by attending and interacting with meeting attendees and seminar presenters to further your knowledge of transportation.
And speaking of transportation, what a wonderful time to be in the transportation industry. Fundamental changes are coming to our industry. Changes which are likely to reshape the way people and goods are transported by the advent of autonomous vehicles. Clearly we are on the cusp of a new paradigm, a revolution of sorts similar to the changeover from horse and buggy to the horseless carriage generations ago. Some have opined that there is an earthquake of change across several industries from the technology advancement which will reshape our economy. Some of foreseen a negative effect to the average worker. I see the possibility that a traffic engineer’s role in our society could be undermined by the new technology. Regardless, technology is going to change and we need to learn to adapt to the coming changes. No matter your position, it is an exciting time in our history.
Again, I look forward to serving the membership and doing the best I can to keep us on the cutting edge of knowledge of the technologies forcing change in our industry.
Joseph C. Balskus, P.E., PTOE
Northeastern District Chairperson