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President’s message

January 5, 2015 12:15 PM

The following article contains excerpts from WTS-Boston incoming President Rachael B. Sack’s remarks delivered at the December Luncheon and Annual Meeting on December 18, 2014:

Alison, our Chapter’s success over the past two years really starts and ends with you – you encouraged collaboration, gave people the opportunity to have ownership, and empowered us to make WTS-Boston the best it can be.  From the start, you have worked tirelessly to make sure our members, Chapter leadership, and sponsors benefit from what WTS-Boston provides and that is what has kept our Chapter so strong. Although your term as President is coming to an end, you’re not off the hook just yet. I’m excited to see how the Chapter can tap into the wisdom and experience of the Advisory Board under your leadership as Advisory Board Chair.

When I became Membership Co-Chair ten years ago, I had no idea I would end up speaking to you today.  Like Alison mentioned, WTS does amazing things.  It has given me the opportunity to develop leadership skills, expand my professional network, and expose me to a wide range of topics important to our industry. At Volpe, my work focuses on national problems and national solutions. WTS has exposed me to the on-the-ground perspective, teaching me more about state government and the projects many of you work on. Through this, I’ve learned that it’s really seeing all sides that makes our industry so exciting – from the policy being set to the completion of a project.

With this in mind, my biggest goal for my term as President is to help everyone discover how WTS can help you.  This may sound cliché, but as a planner and facilitator, I’m always thinking about the “What’s In It For Me” factor to help engage citizens or stakeholders.  So WTS should be no different. Maybe you are involved in WTS to give your staff more opportunities to develop, or expand your own network, or something else entirely. 
Last week, WTS-Boston held a strategic planning session with our 2014 leadership. We focused on two major themes, which will serve as our other goals over the next two years:

  1. Improving our Chapter operations so our 50+ volunteers have the tools and support they need to be successful.
  2. Increased public sector engagement to give you more exposure to our State and Federal leaders and help public sector members become more engaged.

We also identified new areas to address, including:

  • Providing new professional development opportunities;
  • Introducing the Baker Administration to WTS; and
  • Introducing new technology to make it easier to register and pay for events.

During my term as President, I’m looking forward to digging deeper into these areas and reporting on our progress in each.  As a public sector employee, I’ve learned that some of the most valuable information is tied to data collection, performance metrics, and having a transparent process. There is a lot of value behind these words.  Like the government that uses your tax payer dollars to provide services, WTS-Boston relies on your membership and sponsorship to deliver successful programming. As we gear up for the New Year, we will be creating goals for ourselves and using that to track our progress.  This includes looking at membership retention and new member rates so we can continue to mold our activities to meet your needs.  This includes working towards a well-proportioned public sector and private sector balance of our membership, and looking at our event prices and types of events to provide a variety of opportunities to get involved. 

Our 2015 Chapter Leadership is an exceptional group of women who no doubt will strive to meet our goals, contribute their own great ideas, deliver exceptional programming, and dedicate countless hours as volunteers. Our 2015 Leadership includes:

Board of Directors

Becky Williamson, P.E. Greenman-Pedersen, Inc. Vice President
Alison Plant Lima, P.E Tetra Tech Past President
Carrie Rocha, P.E. Michael Baker Jr. Secretary
Sarah Dennechuk, P.E. Massport Treasurer
Lyris Bauduy-Liautaud, P.E., MCE MassDOT – Highway Division Director
Shannon Reilly, Esq. Construction Industries of Massachusetts Director
Michelle Muhlanger Federal Railroad Administration Director
Colleen Moore City Point Partners Director
Lori Chicoyne  Kennedy/Jenks Consultants Director
Tammy Powell MBTA Director


Committee Co-Chairs

Sarah Deschaine Parsons Brinckerhoff Communications
Heather Hamilton MassDOT – Highway Division Communications
Christine Breen, PE, LEED Green Associate   Nitsch Engineering  Diversity
Rachel Strauss USDOT / Volpe Center Diversity
Kristine Gorman STV Incorporated Finance
Heather Ostertog, P.E. Fay, Spofford & Thorndike Fundraising
Kristen Whitman, P.E. Jacobs Fundraising
Selma Mandzo-Preldzic, P.E., LEED AP Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc. Membership
Shahpar Negah MassDOT - Highway Membership
Jess Kenney MassDOT - Highway Mentoring 
Holly Durso MBTA Mentoring 
Kim Sousa Sanborn Head & Associates, Inc.              Newsletter
Paige Colton  USDOT / Volpe Center Newsletter
Beth Musachio Parsons Brinckerhoff Professional Development
Carrie Lavallee, P.E. MassDOT - Highway Professional Development
Laurie Carlson MassDOT - Highway Programs
Arzu Kurkoglu HNTB Programs
Lisa A. Brothers, P.E., LEED AP Nitsch Engineering Public Art
Hyun-A Park Spy Pond Partners Public Art
Ali Love STV Incorporated Outreach
Katie Choe, P.E. City of Boston Outreach
Marie Sullivan, P.E. Fay, Spofford & Thorndike Scholarships & Awards
Susie Bailey HDR Engineering, Inc. Scholarships & Awards
Cynthia Carleo, P.E. Geocomp Special Projects
Alison Felix, A.I.C.P. MAPC Special Projects


Advisory Board

Alison Plant Lima, P.E. Tetra Tech Past-President (Chair)
Lisa A. Schletzbaum Lisa A. Schletzbaum Past-Past-President
Janice Martin Bergeron Kennedy/Jenks Consultants Appointments Task Force Chair
Amy Lind Corbett Federal Aviation Administration  
Rachel Winkeller USDOT / Volpe Center  
Liz Levin Liz Levin & Associates  
Stephanie Neal-Johnson MassDOT  
Mary Jane O'Meara HNTB  
Patty Leavenworth, P.E.  MassDOT - Highway  
Margaret O'Meara Parsons Brinckerhoff  
Loretta Girard Doughty, P.E. HDR Engineering, Inc.  


2015 Emerging Professionals
Diane Gunther                    MBTA
Anna Nadler MassDOT – Highway Division




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