Advancing Women in Transportation

2019 WTS-Boston President's Message

Becky-Sarah_Dec_Lunch_2018
Frank Monkiewicz Photography

The following article contains excerpts from WTS-Boston incoming President Sarah Dennechuk’s remarks delivered at the December Luncheon and Annual Meeting on December 19, 2018:

It has been a privilege to work with Becky as her Vice President over the past two years.  Becky, I admire everything you have been able to accomplish during your tenure as President while at the same time managing all the responsibilities of your prominent role at Jacobs. 

Even prior to becoming President, you worked tirelessly on behalf of WTS. In addition to making sure that all members, leadership and Sponsors benefit from WTS, you have always stepped up to lend a hand, no matter the task.  Your attention to detail to ensure that events run smoothly and your search for innovative ways to approach events have helped to keep our chapter strong.  The success of the Boston Chapter over the past two years is directly related to your leadership. Thank you for that.

I have learned so much from you and will miss working closely with you.  I am lucky to have you not only as a colleague but also as a friend.  I know you won’t be far as you chair the Advisory Board and I will definitely be reaching out to tap into your wisdom and experience.

When I joined WTS-Boston twelve years ago, I never envisioned that I would be standing here today taking on the role as Chapter President. I joined the Professional Development committee as soon as I became a member in 2006. I was asked to become co-chair for the committee starting in 2008. Since then I have never looked back, and being a part of leadership has been an extremely rewarding experience.  Through WTS, I have been able to develop and expand my leadership skills, mentor others, expand my professional network and gain exposure to a wide range of industry projects and initiatives. My entire career has been centered around airport work, mainly airside (think runways and taxiways), so this exposure to other projects through WTS has allowed me to learn more about other transportation projects and technologies being implemented. This in turn has allowed me to incorporate new project elements and lessons learned into my aviation work. 

On a personal note, the friendships I have established with other members of WTS-Boston are invaluable. It is key to have a supportive network of people with whom to compare notes and consider strategies for tackling workplace issues and work/life balance.

I am really excited about all of the new faces in our leadership for 2019 and the opportunity to lead WTS-Boston. 

Earlier this month, WTS-Boston held a strategic planning session with our 2018 leadership. We focused on developing three major goals for the next two years:

  • Building the pipeline for younger members in both the private and public sector;
  • Expanding the reach of WTS to areas of transportation that have low representation; and
  • Adapting to the changing workforce and needs of our membership.

The goals are ambitious but necessary to ensure that we are changing as the industry changes and empowering our upcoming leaders. Currently there are four generations in the workplace, technology is changing how we approach projects and the industry is evolving through the use of alternative project delivery methods. As part of achieving our goals, we will explore how to expand access and awareness of WTS to the industry, increase our diversity and expand our membership base to include those areas in which we have traditionally had low representation – such as construction and construction management firms, IT firms, Legal firms – while adapting our programming to fit the needs of all our membership.

In addition to taking a holistic approach to the operation of the chapter as a whole, WTS-Boston also plans to enhance our professional development opportunities and workshops for our membership.  We are in the process of rolling out a formal mentoring program and we will be gearing up for our 40th anniversary celebration in 2020. We are also very excited to be hosting the WTS International Conference in Boston this May. If anyone in the audience would like to share ideas as we embark on these efforts, please reach out to any of our incoming leadership.

Our 2019 Chapter leadership is an exceptional group of women who no doubt will strive to meet our goals, contribute to their own great ideas, deliver exceptional programming, and dedicate countless hours as volunteers.  Our 2019 Leadership includes:

 

Board of Directors

Marie Sullivan, P.E.

Stantec

Vice President

Rebecca Williamson, P.E.

Jacobs

Past President

Sarah Bergman, EIT, LEED AP

WSP

Secretary

Joanne Scannell

CDW Consultants

Treasurer

Teryne Alexander

Massport

Director

Genevieve Cahill

Michael Baker International

Director

Theresa Carr, AICP

VHB

Director

Gina Fiandaca

City of Boston Transportation Department

Director

Selma Mandzo, P.E., LEED AP

VHB

Director

Gina Solman

U.S. DOT / Volpe Center

Director

 

 

Committee Co-Chairs

Lauren Dale, EIT

WSP

Communications

Sasha Gambarov, EIT

RND Consultants

Communications

Lauren Ballou

VHB

Diversity

Elizabeth Ulloa-Murray

MBTA

Diversity

Carrie Lavallee, P.E.

MassDOT

Finance

Lindsey DiTonno, P.E.

GPI

Fundraising

Crystale Wozniak, CPSM

HMMH

Fundraising

Christine Mizioch

AI Engineers

Golf

Karin Marshall

S&R Corporation

Golf

Heather Audet, P.E.

GZA

Membership

Nicole Rando

Talent Collaborative Group

Membership

Caroline Leary

Dye Management Group

Mentoring 

Kristen Whitman, P.E.

Jacobs

Mentoring 

Stefanie Bridges, P.E.

Weston & Sampson

Professional Development

Heather Hamilton

BSC Group

Professional Development

Kate Maker, P.E.

Michael Baker International

Programs

Alyssa Peck, P.E.

Weston & Sampson

Programs

Lisa Brothers, P.E., LEED AP

Nitsch Engineering

Public Art

Hyun-APark

Spy Pond Partners

Public Art

Stefanie Beaver, P.E., LEED ENV SP

VHB

Outreach

Heather Moulton

STV

Outreach

Jacqueline Davis

HDR

Scholarships & Awards

Erica Blonde

HNTB

Scholarships & Awards

Aly Kleiman, AICP

CTPS

Special Projects

Britt Bursell

Geocomp

Special Projects

Carly Soderholm

Stantec

Student Chapter

Pam Degan

Whiting Turning Contracting Company

Student Chapter

 

 

2019 WTS International Conference Co-Chairs

Lori Chicoyne                 

BSC Group

Colleen Moore

City Point Partners

 

 

 

 

Advisory Board

Rebecca Williamson, P.E.

Jacobs

Past-President (Chair)

Rachael Sack

U.S. DOT / Volpe Center

Past-Past-President

Luciana Burdi, Intl. Assoc. AIA

Massport

 

Kristine Gorman

Jacobs

 

Danny Levy

MBTA

 

Alison Plant Lima, P.E.

Tetra Tech

 

Michelle Muhlanger

Federal Railroad Association

 

Diana Nicklaus, AIA, LEED BD + C

saam architecture

 

Shannon Reilly, Esq.

Construction Industries of Massachusetts

 

Margo Souza

MassDOT Highway Division

 

Audrey Stuart

Kleinfelder

 

 

 

2019 Emerging Professionals

Michelle Cantor                  

MBTA

Jasmine Meadows

MBTA

Birgit Wurster

MBTA

 
 

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