President’s Message: Moving Forward-Spring Is Here

Monica M. Suter


With spring here, let’s move forward toward positive signs of economic recovery.  Although remaining economic “humps” rest in the road, a portion of the vast market deflation appears to be based in fear and a lack of trust about portions of the system.   If key issues can be addressed (sooner than later), perhaps a faster than expected market recovery could occur which would be helpful to transportation.  While careful caution continues to be wise, let’s hope that sunshine will smile at us from the horizon!

As preferred by many, an economic stimulus package which included some transportation projects was implemented before March 2009.  While some feel it should have been larger, and others think it should have been different or smaller, hopefully it will help to achieve some of our nation’s transportation and economic goals.

During the first five months of 2009, I had the opportunity to visit several Sections, Chapters & Student Chapters.  I was also able to share my “Engineering Recommendations:  Getting to ‘Yes’ With the Public and Elected Officials”* and my “Careers in Transportation”** presentations, where one and two asterisks are shown, respectively, for those locations.  These include:  Arizona State University Student Chapter** March 23, 2009; Arizona Section* April 23, 2009; and the joint University of Arizona Student and Southern Arizona Chapter* meeting on April 24, 2009.   I also had the opportunity to participate in the Quad and Intermountain Section Meetings on May 1, 2009 and May 15, 2009, respectively, and debuted my “Do Speed Limits Really Matter and If So, How Do We Sell Them” presentation.   Both meetings included participants from a broader region and the Quad Meeting includes three District 6 Sections (Washington, Oregon and the Greater Oregon), and two District 7 Sections (The Greater Vancouver and Victoria Sections), which provides a venue to share transportation expertise across US/Canadian Boundaries.  Presidential Proclamations were given to John Pavsek of the Montana Chapter, Terry Little of the Idaho Chapter, Ken Shackman, James (Jim) R. Hanks and Brian Genovese of the Greater Oregon Section (Quad Meeting), Mark A. Madden of the Washington Section (Quad Meeting), Doyt Bolling of the Utah Chapter, and Timothy (Tim) P. Harpst of the Intermountain Section.  Others are already planned and will be reported on in the next newsletter.

I am pleased that a new “student zone” was added into WesternITE by our Managing Editor Rachel Donovan.  This highlights activities occurring within our student chapters.  Stay tuned for other continuing enhancements such as the new “Council Corner” segment.

This issue also contains the candidate’s statements for your review in preparation for our District’s election beginning in early June 2009.  We look forward to your participation in this process and have found that the electronic voting alternative can increase participation.

The preliminary program for Denver’s Annual Meeting on July 12-15, 2009 has been available on the website since March and was also mailed.  Registration can be completed through direct on-line registration, or by mailing or faxing-in the registration form.

For registration information, go to:

For preliminary program information, go to:

Reservations for the conference hotel can be made at:

This is one of the best values in our industry and it includes much more than just program presentations.  We made sure to keep the early registration prices low, especially in light of the economy.  Denver’s Western District meeting is anticipated to be informative, family-friendly, fun and well-planned with several enlightening presentations, vendor exhibits and poster sessions.  We look forward to seeing our extended ITE “family” in Denver this summer and staying current on the latest in our industry!

One of my goals this year has been to enhance communication by “bridging across” the generations for all members, private industry, DOTs (state departments of transportation) and other agencies, ITE International, and our entire District.    One way to achieve this has been to recognize and bring-in leadership from DOTs and other agencies into ITE which I did as a prior Section President and am aiming for as your District 6 President.   Through various Chair, Vice Chair and other Ex-officio Board member appointments and Presidential Proclamations, we have broadened our reach within the District.  This year, we have also highlighted successful projects in WesternITE that were completed by both public and private agencies to provide recognition throughout our region.

In an effort to enhance the interaction of students and younger members with middle-level and more experienced professionals, I have encouraged participation from sections and chapters to provide social and professional mixers, ski and boarding events along with our other more traditional meetings.  By providing alternative “add-on” events to our more traditional meetings and golf tournaments, we further our festive reputation as an organization that extends well beyond our historical technical strengths.  This also furthers our reach within the industry and enhances our relationships with our peers.  Our District 6 diversity is a great strength and I am very pleased with our tremendous team of Chairs and Vice Chairs along with new additions to the District 6 Board leadership.  I have also seen enthusiastic leadership at the student, chapter and section levels. This will serve us well as we pursue our District goals well into the future!spring

With spring flowers and fresh greenery around us, we have a bright future ahead in our transportation profession!


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