Published On: February 28th, 2023

The following are the 2023 Western District candidates for office for your consideration. All members are encouraged to vote and make your voice be heard. Thanks for helping the Western District serve its members efficiently and effectively!

Candidate for President

Douglas E. Smith, PE

Hello my name is Doug Smith and I want to thank all of our District membership for the honor of being your Vice President in 2023. Over the last two years I have had the pleasure to serve on the District board with a group of dedicated, professional ITE leaders and I can only tell you that this District is in great hands. I am excited to be the nominee for President of WesternITE. It seems like only a few months ago that I was running for Secretary-Treasurer and over the last two years I have had the opportunity to dive into the operation of the district and make a difference in our organization. It has been a great experience that I look forward to continuing in 2024.

I believe my experience as Secretary-Treasurer and Vice President of the Western District and my involvement in the 2022 Palm Springs LAC has prepared me for the next step in WesternITE district office. While I have learned a great deal about the challenges of leading the District, it has also served to reinforce what I believe the vision of WesternITE is and should continue to be. I want to remind you of what my vision and goals were for my tenure on the board.


Over the last two years, I have seen the challenges we face and I have been reminded that ITE remains the premier professional organization providing information and technical content to transportation professionals. As we move forward, we need to continue to find ways to connect with our full and student chapter membership and provide them with the mentoring, technical and professional support required to be leaders in the profession.

My goals for next year continue to include:

ENGAGEMENT: Develop plans and programs that will increase engagement and involvement of all sections and chapters within the Western District. We need to insure that our Sections are strong and providing members with the best possible experience;

INNOVATION: Improve and increase the virtual meetings and webinars available to our members to provide continuing education programs. We will continue to provide high quality and innovative multi-media meetings and conferences that can be attended in person or virtually. And we will focus on supporting the Sections in their activities;

TECHNICAL EXCELLENCE: Provide technical content and technology sharing so that our members are the most capable in the industry. We must continue to attract and engage our young members and provide them with the opportunity to learn from the veterans of our industry;

COLLABORATION/MENTORING: Focus on improving our programs and providing young ITE members with mentoring to show them the benefits of ITE. Focus on strengthening our local Sections to be the strong local connection to ITE as a organization.

I would appreciate receiving your vote for President of Western District in the upcoming election.

Candidate for Vice President

Pat Marnell, PE

Dear esteemed members of the ITE Western District,

I am writing to express my sincere interest in continuing to serve the district in 2024 as Vice-President. As the 2023 Secretary-Treasurer of ITE Western District, I have gained a deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities in front of our organization, and I am confident that I possess the leadership skills and vision needed to help guide the organization over the coming years.

If elected as Vice-President, I will work tirelessly to continue building on our district’s successes and ensuring that ITE Western District remains at the forefront of transportation education and professional development.

As Vice-President, I intend to focus on sustainable growth of our membership. To achieve this, is I have identified the following three focus areas:

  • Provide Excellent Technical Content,
  • Convert Student Members into Professional Members, and
  • Maintain an Engaging Member Experience.

I am honored to have the opportunity to serve as Vice-President of ITE Western District and look forward to working with all of you to advance our mission and goals.

Thank you for your consideration.

Candidate for Secretary-Treasurer

Ryan Zellers, PE, TE

Hello out there to my extended ITE-family! I’m going to be straight to the point: Someone needs to steer this ship when the current crew leaves. I’m here to learn what is needed to take the helm and keep this boat in smooth waters. I think that my years in leadership in the San Diego Section, involvement with the 2016 Annual Meeting Local Arrangements Committee, and Western District Advertising Manager have prepared me to be on the District’s Executive Board. My goals may not promise monumental change, but instead help make any course corrections that might be needed. Making ITE more accessible to all of our community with an emphasis on diversity and inclusion is something I’m passionate about. Getting the word out to more people and weaving in content that talks about improving our professional life as well as technical topics might bring more depth to our industry. I’d also like to see more involvement from our younger members by encouraging them to shadow current chairs and officers. Volunteering for ITE isn’t as difficult when you have someone guiding you on how to be successful – and it’s contagious. I would like to see a new wave of upcoming members gaining leadership roles and maybe soon being a part of this very board. Let’s make that happen!

In the end, I want to make being a part of ITE useful for all of your careers and an enjoyable experience that you want to participate in. I hope you vote – because I truly believe you’re in good hands, whomever you choose.

Big cheers – Ryan Zellers, PE, TE

Candidate for Secretary-Treasurer

Josh McNeill, PE, TE

I am honored to be nominated for western district ITE secretary treasurer. Serving in a leadership role over a large organization is not an unfamiliar challenge to me. As a former president for ITE Southern California Section I saw an increase in membership to over 800 members. My fellow board members and I were resolute in providing valuable resources and events to our membership. I intend to bring the same commitment and dedication to the Western District Board. I’m grateful to the board for their confidence and I respectfully ask for your vote

Local section activity has become a focal point for the board with good reason. I was able to attend our mid year board meeting where section representatives shared their triumphs and trials. While some sections maintained a steady virtual presence during the pandemic, others struggled. There is now a common theme of reviving participation by providing in person activities while retaining the convenience of virtual events. Several sections are reporting a rebound of engagement from its members as a result of key successful events. As a new board member I will build on our commitment to section growth by highlighting these successes.

I previously served as chair for the career guidance committee where we were able to provide valuable technical sessions at our western district meetings and awards to recognize students, young professionals and mentors. I will continue to foster our support of student chapters and younger members as they need our support now more than ever. We work in a different environment now where most work can be done remotely, and meetings can be attended virtually. Young professionals in our industry will look to organizations like ITE to help fill the mentorship gap that a virtual work place might create.

I have a B.S. and M.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of California, Irvine. I’m a licensed Civil and Traffic engineer in the state of California. I also have my PTOE certification. With 16 years in the transportation engineering industry, I’m currently a Principal Engineer at Iteris. I have the full support of my company and am eager to be elected as Secretary-Treasurer. I appreciate your support and respectfully ask for your vote. Thank you.

Candidate for International Director

Peter Koonce, PE

I am grateful to be nominated as a candidate to serve the Western District on ITE’s International Board of Directors. We are at a critical juncture and will need to work together to insure that ITE continues to offer value to our members. I have been an active member of ITE ever since my first event, the Oregon ITE Traffic Bowl. As a past president of the Oregon Section and active with Western District events throughout my career. I have served as the Westernite Advertising Manager and the Local Arrangements Committee Chair for the 2007 meeting in Portland. That meeting was one of the most successful ever for the Western District and a highlight of my career. I have enjoyed working with colleagues across the Western U.S. and have been honored as a 2-time winner of the Van Wagoner Award. I have served on numerous technical panels and Committees for ITE including the controversial “Guidelines for Determining Traffic Signal Change and Clearance Intervals” document. The technical contributions of ITE members are vitally important to our standing in the world and I am committed to ensure that future work is of the highest quality.

My professional career has given me the opportunity to work in the public and private sector and to collaborate closely within research partners. I feel strongly that the connections within the profession are what makes our community great and if selected to represent you, I will work hard to make sure we can rely on ITE to publish high quality information. We have a lot of work to do to improve the inclusivity of this organization and I am excited to be part of the efforts to reduce barriers to those that are underrepresented. I will work to increase participation, improve our link between policies and practice, and to help us meet the transportation challenges of this era. Thank you very much for considering me for this role, I am excited for this new opportunity, if you have any questions feel free to reach me on Twitter @pkoonce or on LinkedIn.

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