By Alyssa Reynolds, P.E., PTOE,
Western District President
I recently listened to a presentation by a speaker, Rebecca Ryan. Ms. Ryan is an economist and founder of a consulting firm that helps clients attract and retain talent, particularly young professionals. Her presentation focused on how our country is currently experiencing “winter” in our economy, development, and growth. This presents an opportunity. Organizations can use this wintertime to plan and prepare and ultimately emerge in spring as a sleek, efficient animal.
What does this have to do with ITE? Well, the Western District is feeling the chill of winter, too. We’ve all experienced decreases in membership, participation, and funds. And when we do (finally!) reach spring, will our organization be ready to thrive or will we wither? Here are a couple of my thoughts on steps we can start to take, but I’d love to hear from you. Please send any ideas or proposals my way.
- Consider information availability.
- Is the information our members need readily available and easy to find? People expect to be able to tap the answers out of their smart phones.
- Have we documented our officer and committee duties, bylaws, history, and traditions well enough for future leaders to continue what we’ve started?
- Even simpler, are we posting and advertising our meetings in the right format so that people can attend if they’d like to?
- Voting. One of the biggest ways to make an impact on any organization is to choose the right leaders.
- Are we making it easy for people to vote?
- Do they have the information they need to make an informed decision?
- Many of the section and chapter bylaws do not allow electronic voting. Now could be the time to make that change.
Ms. Ryan also discussed how this preparation needs to address the next generation of professionals. What are their needs and requirements, and how can we anticipate and address them? There will be an influx of new professionals ready to join the transportation workforce. How does ITE attract, engage, and retain these folks? Within the last 45 days, we have approved the charter and/or bylaws of three student chapters: UC Denver was reactivated and Cal State Fullerton and USC started new chapters. That brings our student chapter tally to 37. They’re ready to be involved in our organization. Let’s be ready for them.