2013 Western District Candidates

Candidates for Office

The following are the 2013 Western District Board candidates for office for your consideration. All members are encouraged to vote. Regardless of how you vote, please vote and make your voice be heard. The deadline for voting electronically has been set as late as possible to allow you to meet and/or learn about the Western District candidates before voting. Thanks for helping the Western District serve its members efficiently and effectively!

Candidate for President

Karen Aspelin, P.E., PTOE

It’s been a rewarding two years on the board of the Western District. Prior to that time I stated my three main priorities if I were elected as an officer. Below I will review and state my progress on each.

• Fiscal responsibility – I said, “I will vote to spend the District’s money as if it were my own, carefully considering what the District is getting in return for each dollar spent.” In developing the budget for the 2012-2013 fiscal year I studied each and every line item to see where we could make do with less, as our income from dues has decreased in the last few years.

• I said I would strive to “Make student participation in the annual meetings meaningful. Students receive full registrations for our annual meetings for nearly free, with nothing expected in return. We need to ensure that this opportunity is used by these students as a stepping stone into our industry and not just as a junket subsidized by other meeting attendees.” We voted to raise student registration costs again for the upcoming annual meeting to an amount that would weed out students who were not serious about their participation in the meetings, while still keeping the cost affordable.

• Focus on the technical products of our District. I had mentioned that “We often get wrapped up in meeting just to plan the next meeting. Our members and student members have a tremendous amount of knowledge that it is ITE’s responsibility to share among its members.” I will continue to be a proponent of the District’s data collection program and plan to make my “traveling road show” as president of the District a summary of highlights from this very worthwhile program.

Thank you for considering me for your next president. I look forward to continuing my service to the Institute.

Candidate for Vice-President

Carlos Ortiz, P.E., T.E., PTOE

It has been a pleasure to serve as ITE Western District Secretary-Treasurer this past year. I have the opportunity to understand the various financial aspects of our district operations and the needs to properly maintain a healthy budget. I have been working with our Board members, International Directors, and Committee Chairs, to improve the District’s operations. One of my goals is to increase our incoming revenue by promoting private firms, public agencies, and manufacturers to advertise in our website, newsletters, and support us at our upcoming Annual Meeting in Phoenix. Personally, I like to thank Lisa Martellano-Palmer (advertising manager) and Justin Link (website manager) for coordinating this process.

I am honored to be nominated to Vice President and I would appreciate your support to continue to serve you. As an active member of ITE for over 20 years, I have served as President of both the ITE Southern California and ITE Riverside-San Bernardino Sections. Also, I was a member of the Local Arraignment Committee (LAC) for the 2002 Western District Annual Meeting in Palm Desert, California. Also, I have served in a number of related Board positions for ASCE Young Members Forum (YMF) and Orange County Traffic Engineers Council (OCTEC). This experience has provided me with leadership and management skills; and with invaluable knowledge about the Western District, and how ITE functions at the national and local levels.

If appointed to the Vice President position, I will proactively work with the District Board, International Directors, and Committee Chairs on evaluating the best near- and long-term interests of the ITE Western District membership. Achieving this goal will rely on successful implementation of the following objectives (to name a few):

• Increasing ITE exposure locally, nationally, and internationally
• Controlling spending and maintaining a healthy organizational budget
• Increasing membership and participation in local sections
• Augmenting participation in Annual District Meetings
• Promoting ITE sponsorship by private firms and vendors/manufacturers
• Engaging local engineering universities
• Supporting the Student Endowment Fund

As a partner in the realm of transportation engineering, you are important to the ITE organization, and I strongly encourage you to share your thoughts about the direction of Western District ITE with me. Please feel free to connect with me via email at cortiz@rbf.com. Again, I look forward to your continued support and to the opportunity of serving the Western District as Vice President.

Cathy LeongCandidate for Secretary-Treasurer

Cathy Leong, P.E., ITE Fellow

Click Here for Candidate Brochure

I am honored to be selected as a candidate for Secretary-Treasurer for the Western District and look forward to the opportunity to continue serving ITE. As the Chair of the District’s Student Endowment Committee, I have become acquainted with a number of Western District officers and, through this interaction, have developed a keen understanding the goals and needs of the District.

Vision and Goals

• Continued support for the Student Endowment Fund and student initiatives programs. The implementation of the strategic and investment plans that I helped to develop for the Endowment Fund will ensure the sustainability of our student programs.
• Advocate fiscal responsibility for our District including promoting the affordability of District meetings and events.
• Improve District responsiveness to the needs of our members. Coming from the Hawaii Section, I understand that rapid responses are necessary to overcome the physical separation between our sections and chapters.

ITE Service and Leadership Roles

During my 18 years as an ITE member, I have had the opportunity to serve in a variety of service and leadership roles that have provided me with first-hand experience regarding the needs of members at both the student and full member levels. Since 2008, I have served as the Chair of the District’s Student Endowment Fund Committee and have worked to grow the Endowment Fund from $50k to over $330k. Prior to that, I served as the LAC General Chair for the 2006 District Annual Meeting held in Hawaii which was a great success with over 400 attendees. I have also remained active on the Section level serving as mentor for the University of Hawaii ITE Student Chapter for their Western District Data Collection Fund projects.

Professional Qualifications

Currently, I am a Project Manager with the Traffic and Transportation Group at Wilson Okamoto Corporation (WOC) in Honolulu, Hawaii. Over the last 15 years at WOC, I have had the opportunity to work on a wide variety of traffic and transportation projects. In addition, I have been fortunate to receive a number of ITE and professional awards during my career including the following:

• 2011-2012 Individual Achievement Award by the Western District
• 2007-2008 Young Professional Achievement Award by the Western District
• 2007 Young Engineer of the Year, selected by the Hawaii Society of Professional Engineers
• Presidential Proclamation, 2005, for service as 2006 Annual Meeting LAC General Chair

Lee CabellCandidate for Secretary-Treasurer

Lee Cabell, P.E.

Click Here for Candidate Brochure

I am honored to have been chosen as a Western District candidate and am excited about the opportunity to continue giving back to the organization that has played such an integral role in my career. I have been involved in ITE for over 20 years including:

• BYU Student Chapter; 1992-1993 (Founding officer and President)
• Utah Chapter, 1998-2002 (President)
• Intermountain Section, 2004-2008 (President)
• Western District, 2012-current (Public Relations Committee)

Through my years of ITE involvement, I understand and appreciate that it is the members that make our organization so great. Each member, in their own unique way, contributes to the success of ITE. As an officer, I want to do all I can to ensure that our members continue to have opportunities to serve, interact, support, and benefit from their membership.

I fully support the current Western District Leadership’s goals of membership services, fiscal responsibility, student initiatives and endowment fund, and professional relevancy. In that effort, there are three areas in which I would like to see the Western District continue to excel:

1. Member Connections: Our large, geographic area results in many members not being able to actively participate. I would like to address this by more effectively using technology to help members stay connected. This could include implementing web-based video technology such as Skype into regular monthly meetings so that members can participate remotely, helping Sections develop easier-to-maintain web sites with up-to-date content, and ensuring accurate e-mail databases for better communication.

2. Fiscal Responsibility: Basically, this is just making wise choices when it comes to the expenditures of your dues. Each dollar is precious and careful consideration is needed to maximize the return on each investment. This is critical to ensuring the long term stability of the District, providing affordable annual meetings, and delivering the services and products members expect.

3. Public Relations: As a member of our District’s PR Committee, I realize that the Transportation Profession does not always get credit for all we do. We need to get the message out that we do more than build roads – we build futures and improve the public’s safety and quality of life.

Professionally, I am a Principal of Horrocks Engineers with 20 years of transportation engineering experience. I have the full support of my firm to serve as an officer and commit to you, the members, that I will execute my duties to the best of my ability.

John FisherCandidate for International Director

John Fisher, P.E., PTOE

Click Here for Candidate Brochure

I am honored to be nominated for District Director. I want to listen to your thoughts and share with you my qualifications and goals. I hope to earn your trust and your vote.


My career includes 39 years at LADOT, where I served for 13 years as Assistant General Manager over design, maintenance and operations and managed a staff of 550 persons. I am a registered Traffic Engineer and Civil Engineer in California and hold a PTOE certificate. I am a Life Member of ASCE. I served as Chair of the California Traffic Control Devices Committee which advises Caltrans on MUTCD adoption in California.

ITE Activities

ITE has been the most significant factor in contributing to my professional growth, and I believe that we gain more than we give when we contribute to it. I am a Fellow Life Member, having been active for over 40 years. I am the head of the ITE Delegation to the National Committee on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, which advises the FHWA on the all-important MUTCD. In this capacity and as a voting member, I have reflected the perspective of the under-represented West. I am also on the executive board of the Public Agency Council. Recently, I served on the ITE Task Force on Connected Vehicle Technology. In previous years, I served as Western District Technical Coordinator and Southern California Section President. I have been a speaker at 17 international and Western District ITE conferences and have authored seven articles in ITE Journal.


As District Director, I will share my experience and wisdom and apply common sense in decisions that impact members. One of my initial goals is to attract more entering college students into the transportation engineering profession and to continue their involvement in ITE as they transition from college to professional employment. In addition, I want to improve the quality of technical sessions at annual meetings and ensure that there are more applicable “nuts-and-bolts” workshops. Further, I would like to see ITE consider more sites for annual conferences in order to keep the meeting costs down and to allow members to see attractive mid-size cities. Certainly, I welcome your ideas on how to improve ITE.

Finally, I encourage all ITE members to observe the three P’s for success:
• Be Politically savvy;
• Always be Professional; and
• Be Proud of how you contribute to a better world.

Steve OroszCandidate for International Director

Steve Orosz, P.E., T.E., PTOE

Click Here for Candidate Brouchure

My name is Steve Orosz and I am asking for your vote as District International Director. I have been an active member of ITE since 1981, holding a variety of positions in several Chapters and Sections in California. I have three areas that I would like ITE to improve and focus on in the years ahead.


I would encourage our members to attend your local Student Chapter meetings. Offer a mentor ship to a student, offer to come speak to the students, or hire a student. The more we connect with the students; the more they will connect with us in the profession. Together we can enhance our profession with quality young professionals worldwide. As International Director, I will work to develop more accessible programs for students and mentor programs for the professional.


We want to meet your need for information. This will assist you with addressing current challenges and will provide a forum for you to share your experiences. ITE offers many conferences to expand your knowledge. ITE also has a significant on-line resource for educational opportunities. Support these conferences! As International Director, I will strongly encourage finding ways to make these conferences affordable, sharing cutting edge strategies, and utilizing technology and social media to the fullest.


For the past 30 years, this is one theme that has always been a struggle. Our nature as engineers is to make it work. As a profession, we need to continue to develop creative solutions to our daily challenges; seek the advice and support of our fellow professionals; develop better products and provide more service than expected. We must then let the public, elected officials and boards know what we have accomplished something GREAT!

Did you know that there is an American Public Works Week and National Engineers Week each year? Agencies acknowledge their accomplishments each year and Public Works Professionals are highlighted. Where are we? If we want to be recognized, grow our profession and elevate our status, we need to do something about it! I urge you to start a recognition program this year. At a recent Section meeting, one speaker noted; “We (Traffic Engineering Professionals) make things happen. Any engineer can design a road; only a Traffic Engineering Professional can give it life and keep it moving!” I agree.

Officer Elections

Electronic Voting
The Western District is again offering its members the convenience of on-line voting. Your on-line ballot to vote in the Western District election will be accessible beginning Monday, June 10, 2013, and on-line voting will close Monday, July 15, 2013 at midnight EDT. If you are a voting member of ITE and had a valid email address on file with International Headquarters as of May 1st, you will receive an email message from Elections OnLine with instructions on how to vote electronically. Login at www.electionsonline.us/election with your username and the password provided in the email message from “election” with the subject of “Vote Now!”

Paper Ballots
Members wishing to vote by paper ballot can request them via phone (949) 472-3505, fax (949) 837-8007, e-mail:  cortiz@rbf.com, or by regular mail to:

Carlos Ortiz, P.E., T.E., PTOE
ITE Western District Secretary-Treasurer
RBF Consulting
14725 Alton Parkway
Irvine, CA 92618

Paper ballot requests must be received no later than Monday, July 1, 2013, and completed ballots returned to the Secretary-Treasurer no later than Wednesday, July 10, 2013.  Completed ballots may also be returned in person at the Annual Business Meeting on Tuesday, July 16, 2013. If you need help voting electronically or have questions on the electronic or paper ballot, please contact the District Administrator, Rory Grindley, at (253) 798-7250 or rgrindl@co.pierce.wa.us.

Don’t Mix Them Up
Elections for ITE International officers may be occurring simultaneously as Western District’s, so you may receive multiple messages from ElectionsOnLine. Please be sure to read each one to ensure that you vote in both elections.