Hello ITE Northeastern District Members!
I am extremely honored to be your District Chairperson this year and I’m excited about all we have planned in 2013. This is going to be a very busy year within the District and there will be many opportunities for members to attend events and get involved. It is my hope that all members will take advantage of what the District has to offer. ITE is not just a provider of outstanding transportation reference material, we are an organization of transportation professionals that can work together to advance and improve our industry. Our meetings give members an opportunity to network and learn from each other, and they give our leaders a chance to mentor and teach our next generation of transportation professionals. The 2013 meeting schedule is especially exciting for the District with the addition of the ITE International Annual Meeting being held in Boston, August 4-7. It’s been several years since the International meeting was hosted by the Northeastern District, and it is an event that every Northeastern District member should experience. The International meeting will never be closer and easier to attend than now, so make sure you put it on your calendar. Another great meeting opportunity is our District Annual Meeting in Northampton Massachusetts, May 22 – 24. This event provides opportunities to earn several Professional Development Hours (PDH) and to attend social events, where you can catch up with old friends and network with other professionals. This year’s event will not only feature ever popular activities such as a bike tour, golf scramble and traffic bowl, but it will include unique activities such as technical tours of the UMASS Driving Simulator and RTIC Center, an emerging professionals group event, and an airport tour and scenic flight opportunity. Registration is open now. Please go to www.neite.org/northampton2013.html to learn more and to register.In addition to these meeting opportunities, The District is pleased to announce that ITE International is rolling out a new program called LEADERSHIP ITE this year. This 9-month program will focus on developing the next generation of ITE leaders and will include three multi – day workshops (held at the Fall meeting of International Directors in Washington DC, the ITE Technical Conference in Miami and the 2014 Annual meeting in Seattle), and several webinars and team projects. Throughout the Leadership ITE program, participants will explore current issues in transportation, develop and hone leadership competencies, and build the professional network required to succeed as leaders in ITE and in their community. The program will require a tuition of $2,995 (which includes registration to the ITE Technical Conference and Annual Meeting held during the program year) and participants will have to pay all their own travel and hotel expenses. There may be scholarship money available for those who need it, but the amount available is yet to be determined. ITE is looking to enlist 30 participants in their inaugural program, which starts this fall. Applications are due by August 12, 2013 and it is strongly encouraged that you have the recommendation and support of your District leadership before applying. If you are interested in this program, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or (518) 453 – 9431, and we can discuss in more detail. You can also find more information about the program and its requirements at www.ite.org/leadership/default.asp.
Speaking of Leadership, election time will be coming up on us shortly. This year we have two important elections. The first is for International Vice President, where the District’s very own John Kennedy is one of the Candidates. John has done a lot for the District and he would be an outstanding choice for International office. Please make sure you support your District when the electronic ballots for this election come out in the next couple months. Also being contested this summer is the District’s representative for International Director. Paula Benway’s term is up this summer, and I want to thank Paula for all she’s contributed over the last three years. She had been a fighter for the Northeastern District and her efforts are greatly appreciated. This year our International Director will come from the New England Section and we have two highly qualified candidates with Gary Hebert and Ken Petraglia. Regardless of the outcome, I am confident the Northeastern District’s representation at the International level will be outstanding. I encourage all District members to voice their opinion through participating in this year’s election. Don’t sit on the sidelines, let your voice be heard. Finally, I just wanted to update you on a couple initiatives we’ve undertaken this year. First is our District Website.Better communications is key to the growth and success of this District and our current website is not conducive to that goal. It is out of date and difficult to update. Our website needs to have current and relevant news, it needs to have links to useful information and it needs to provide resource documentation to assist students, Section and District officers, and members. The website should be a place all members can go to on a daily or weekly basis for the latest news, events and happenings in the transportation world, and my hope is that we can achieve that through a redesign and by using easily managed software and an active web manager. These changes are in the works and will be rolled out by the end of the year. Another project we’ve initiated is a review of the District Bylaws. The Bylaws are the instruction manual for the District. They provide guidance for District leaders and shape how the District moves forward.Currently our Bylaws contain several provisions that have become out of date since they were written decades ago, so our Bylaws Committee Chair, Kim Hazarvartian, is now hard at work reviewing the current Bylaws and he will be providing a report and recommendations at our District Board Meeting in May. It is my hope that we can remove the outdated provisions and add relevant guidelines that will assist upcoming leaders govern the District in the future. With that said, I look forward to serving you throughout the remainder of the year. My goal is to ensure everyone in the District sees the benefit of being an ITE member. However, just like with any organization, it will be what we make of it. Please help me make it strong. If you have any ideas about where we can improve, or would like to volunteer to assist in any way, please give me a call. Take care and I hope to see you all at one of our upcoming meetings.
Michael R. Wieszchowski, P.E., PTOE
Northeastern District Chairperson