The District was involved in elections at all levels this year. I’d like to congratulate Kim Fabend for being elected as your new District Secretary/Treasurer, and Ken Petraglia for being elected as the District’s Next International Director. Ken will be serving a 3-year term, providing a voice for us at the International level. I am confident he will be effective in that position. A special congratulations also goes out to John Kennedy of the New England Section, who was elected to the position of International Vice-President for 2014. John has been an active leader within the District for many years and he looks to use his ample talents and experience to make a true difference at the top level of our organization. I wish John much success in this position.
The District hosted meetings at the District and International level this year. Our District Annual Meeting in Northampton, MA was a great event at a beautiful and historic venue. It featured 14 training sessions; a technical workshop; a bike tour; golf; and several social event, including virtual horseracing, that was a favorite for many. There were more than 280 attendees at the meeting. A special thank you goes out to Mike Knodler and Joe Balskus for their efforts as Meeting Co-Chairs. You both did a great job!In addition, the District hosted the International Annual Meeting in August. This meeting was held in Boston MA and provided most of the District membership with one of our best opportunities to attend an International Meeting without extensive travel. The local arrangements committee was lead by Ken Petraglia, and he and his team did a great job. The even went off beautifully and the Beantown Beach Party, which gave the international attendees a taste of what the Northeastern District has to offer, was one of the most entertaining events in Annual Meeting history. (well, I’m not sure about that, but it was a blast!!!)In 2014, the Met Section will be hosting the District Annual Meeting on the Jersey Shore, at the Ocean Place Resort in Long Branch NJ. Mark your calendars now for May 14-16. This is an event you won’t want to miss.AwardsNotable award winners this year included Gary Hebert, who was presented the Harvey B. Boutwell Distinguished Service Award by the District. Gary 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; and UMASS-Amherst, winner of the Student Chapter Award. At the International level, Sections within the District won two of the three available Newsletter Awards, the NY Upstate Section and Editor Christina Doughney won for circulation below 250 and the New England Section and editor Sam Gregorio won for circulation over 500. Congratulations to all the award winners for this year!!!
This new program sponsored by ITE International provides participants with the 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. Thirty participants were selected for the inaugural LeadershipITE program, and I am proud to say that four were from the Northeastern District. Congratulations and good luck to Amir Rizavi, Andy Kaplan, Adam Allen and Grace Van Kirk for your selection in this exciting new program.Student ChaptersStudent chapters are running strong in the District and I am pleased to announce the addition of a new student chapter at the College of New Jersey. I believe that brings the District up to an even 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.
Finally, I’d like to mention the District Website. Months ago I promised a more modern and easy to update website design for the District. I want everyone to know that, though it is taking longer than expected, we are still working on it and I’m hopeful that the new site will be up and running by the end of January, though content will continue to be added and updated throughout the year. To be a true conduit of communication, the site needs to be fluid and current, and it is my hope that changing platforms to make it easier to update will help facilitate that for the future.It has been a pleasure servicing you this past year. Thank you for the opportunity.
Michael R. Wieszchowski, P.E., PTOE
Northeastern District Chairperson