I am pleased to have attended the US Presidential Inaugural Opening Ceremony on Sunday, January 18, 2009, while visiting family in the D.C. area. Hopefully, before you even receive this WesternITE issue, an economic stimulus package with several important infrastructure projects will be on its way to invest in our nation’s transportation system and our economy. If so, that will also be historic and good news for our industry!
Among others, one of the memorable phrases of our new US President’s speech on January 20, 2009 was “…know that people will judge you on what you build, not what you destroy….” Although it was stated within a different context, it holds true regarding the value of our transportation industry and ties-in with the goal to invest in our transportation system.
During the first quarter of 2009, I had the opportunity to visit several Western District sections, chapters & student chapters and share my “Engineering Recommendations: Getting to ‘Yes’ With the Public and Elected Officials” presentation for those locations where an asterisk is shown. These include: Southern California Section* January 21, 2009; Riverside San Bernardino Section* February 19, 2009; Idaho Chapter* & Student Chapter/Younger Member Forum (YMF)/Professional Follow-Up Event February 20, 2009; Montana Chapter* & Montana State University Student Chapter Event(s) March 6, 2009.” Additionally, we had a productive Mid-year Board Meeting on February 6, 2009 followed by participation by some in the Colorado-Wyoming Section’s Ski-Train Event in Winter Park, Colorado.
I am also pleased to report that our Student Endowment Fund has surpassed the $150,000 mark at $157,575, and it is on the way to pass the $160,000 level with your assistance. Although times are tight, we appreciate members continuing to find a way to contribute to this important goal. To help recognize contributors, please note the new Student Endowment Fund (SEF) spotlight section of WesternITE added last November 2008. Special thanks to SEF Chair Cathy Leong for her initiative in helping to bring this fund to a new level. We also congratulate and thank our newest Platinum level contributors: Riverside-San Bernardino Section and Julia and Clark Townsend for Platinum Group/Corporate and Individual Contributors, respectively. We look forward to being able to recognize more members as they also reach this level of contribution and will provide full acknowledgement as appropriate at Denver’s Annual Meeting July 12-15, 2009.
I am also pleased to congratulate our new District 6 Officer and International Director candidates for 2009-2010 as follows:
- President: Michael Sanderson
- Vice President: Edgar Perez
- Secretary Treasurer:
Alyssa Reynolds and Scott Thorson
- International Director:
Dalene J. Whitlock and Larry Wymer
Please be sure to read their candidate statements in the upcoming May-June WesternITE issue. This will be our 3rd year of electronic voting. Look out for the electronic ballot to arrive in your e-mail inbox in early June 2009.
We are looking forward to an informative, well-planned and festive Annual Meeting in July. Despite the uncertainty of the economy, several exciting abstracts were submitted for review by the Local Arrangements Committee. Appropriate notifications will be sent out soon. We look forward to seeing our extended ITE “family” at the meeting to stay fresh on the latest in our industry and within our unique Western District.
As winter begins to melt away and the spring flowers blossom, let’s work together through these times to continue to make a difference in our transportation profession.