Michael Sanderson, Western District President
Over the last several months my presidential duties have given me the opportunity to travel to a number of local section and chapter meetings including: New Mexico, Arizona, Northern California, and Montana. During these visits it was my privilege to meet many ITE members for the first time, and what I consistently found were members who are active and engaged in ITE. These individuals confirmed for me that ITE’s real strength is at the local level. While ITE is a large international organization, the real progress is being made by members who are engaged in their communities on a daily basis solving the real challenges of mobility and traffic safety, and planning the future of our transportation infrastructure. I can say that the future of our profession is brightened by the knowledge, skill and character of ITE members that I have been fortunate enough to witness firsthand.
An ITE member that embodied these traits and represented the best of ITE was Bill Kloos. Bill, who retired after 25 years as the signals and street lighting division manager for the City of Portland, recently succumbed to cancer after a long battle. Bill was a problem-solver and an innovator who contributed significantly to the field of traffic engineering and mentored many young members of the profession. In honor of his contributions, the Western District Board of Directors recently voted to name the Western District traffic bowl the “William C. Kloos Traffic Bowl.” This is a significant honor that will be officially dedicated at the 2010 Annual Meeting in San Francisco.
Unfortunately, I never had the opportunity to know Bill having only met him in passing once or twice. It was only recently that I learned of some of his many contributions to the profession, and learned that Bill was a native of my home state of Montana and fellow alumni of Montana State University. There was much I could have learned and I cannot help but wonder how many other accomplished and distinguished members are in our local sections and chapters waiting for younger members to tap into their vast knowledge and experience? Attend your local meetings and make a point of reaching out to the wealth of knowledge and experience that is all around you. Take advantage of one of the greatest services that ITE provides, the opportunity to network with professionals of the caliber of Bill Kloos.
I am looking forward to meeting more ITE members as I travel and to learning about the interesting and exciting things our members are accomplishing in their communities. In the meantime, your board of directors and technical committee chairs are working hard. One of the projects we are working on is updating the District’s strategic plan. We will be discussing the plan and mapping the District’s future at our mid-year board meeting, which will be held February 5, 2010, in Las Vegas. To prepare, we will be soliciting input from the membership via an electronic survey that you will receive in the coming weeks. Please take the time to respond and provide us with your thoughts. This is your opportunity to participate, but as always, if you have comments, concerns or suggestions, please email me at email@example.com.