WTS Chapters


MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT
Celebrating 30 Years of Service

AmandaSmith_e4441

This year we celebrate 30 years since our chapter’s founding. Our proudest accomplishment is the honing of leadership skills for women who have served on our board. Many have gone on to shape our industry, playing prominent roles in public agencies and consulting firms.

Highlights of our 30 years of service include an extensive scholarship awards program, creation of a model outreach program for high school students and a robust event sponsorship program for college students, presenting the 2001 WTS Annual Conference, and hosting tours of transportation projects in England, Panama and Australia.

In keeping with our belief that access is everything, we are traditionally the first area transportation organization to welcome newly appointed CEOs of transportation agencies. Our monthly programs offer extraordinary access to industry leaders—both at the podium and in the audience.

So, in celebrating 30 years of our chapter, we are also celebrating you, our members, who make this excellence possible.

Amanda Smith
Fehr & Peers

Photo by John Livzey

Photo by John Livzey

FTA Senior Advisor Carolyn Flowers Visits, April 15

Federal Transit Administration Senior Advisor Carolyn Flowers is warmly welcomed by our chapter - including a large contingent of Metro staff and execs - at the Jonathan Club in downtown Los Angeles. Photo by John Livzey.

 
Photo by John Livzey

"Leadership at All Levels" Scores a 10 with WTSers, March 27

In 2015's first Professional Development roundtable, Emily Buss (Parsons Brinckerhoff) hosts Marcy Szarma (Destination Enterprises), Samantha Bricker (Expo Construction Authority) and Gwen Williams (L.A. Department of Water and Power). Photo: John Livzey

 
Photo by John Livzey

Exposition Metro Line Construction Authority COO Samantha Bricker Welcomes WTS Members

WTS Los Angeles Director at Large Samantha Bricker welcomes 28 chapter members to 2015's first professional development roundtable, chaired by Emily Buss of Parsons Brinckerhoff. Photo by John Livzey.

 
Photo by John Livzey

County Supervisor Hilda Solis, March 6

County Supervisor and Metro Board Member Hilda Solia, former U.S. Secretary of Labor and an advocate for working families, discusses her vision for accessible transportation. Photo by John Livzey.

 
Photo by John Livzey

WTS Members Talk with Supervisor Solis

Monica Villalobos (AECOM), chapter president Amanda Smith (Fehr & Peers), and event chair Elizabeth Ramirez (Group Delta) talk with County Supervisor Solis (third from left) after the program. Photo by John Livzey.

 
Photo by John Livzey

Metro Planning Update, February 10

Martha Welborne, Metro Chief Planning Officer, opens our year with a "standing room only" audience of 270 people as she looks at what the agency has planned for 2015. Photo by John Livzey.

 
Photo by John Livzey

2015 Board Retreats to Advance Strategic Plan, February 6

On February 6, our board met in the beautiful Ming Hsieh Boardroom at the University of Southern California to identify their goals for the coming year, with chapter president Amanda Smith of Fehr & Peers facilitating the discussion. Photo by John Livzey.

 
Photo by Melanie Nelson

2014 and 2015 Boards Celebrate the Holidays at Annual Dinner, December 8

On December 8, 2014, members of the outgoing and incoming boards met to celebrate the season at the board's annual holiday dinner. Held at Soleto Trattoria, dinner was festive and convivial, and included a dash of magic. Photo by Melanie Nelson.

 
Photo by Melanie Nelson

Holiday Magic at Our Annual Board Dinner is Just That -- Magic! December 8

WTS Los Angeles supporter Calvin Yoshitake, PLS, RLS, mystified our board at its annual dinner. The L.A. area manager for Guida Surveying, he is an accomplished magician who performs for parties at the world famous Magic Castle. Photo by Melanie Nelson.

 
Photo by John Livzey

2014 Annual Scholarship & Awards Dinner, November 13

High school scholarship recipients proudly display their certificates. Photo by John Livzey.

 
Photo y John Livzey

2014 Annual Scholarship & Awards Dinner, November 13

Emcees Metro Deputy CEO Stephanie Wiggins (left) and SCAG Executive Director Hasan Ikhrata (right) join Scholarship Chair Elisabeth Rosenson (center) in congratulating college scholarship recipients. Photo by John Livzey.

 
Photo by John Livzey

2014 Annual Scholarship & Awards Dinner, November 13

Members of the Year Amanda Smith (Fehr & Peers) and Lisa Karwoski (Hatch Mott MacDonald) are recognized for the delivery of outstanding programs in 2014. Photo by John Livzey.

 
Photo by John Livzey

2014 Annual Scholarship & Awards Dinner, November 13

Gwiin Correa of Caltrans is honored with our Diversity Leadership Award. Photo by John Livzey.

 
Photo by John Livzey

2014 Annual Scholarship & Awards Dinner, November 13

On behalf of the Port of Los Angeles, Dina Aryan-Zahlan, Harbor Engineer and Chief of Design, accepts our Innovative Transportation Solutions award for the Berths 142-147 Backland Redevelopment Project. Photo by John Livzey.

 
Photo by John Livzey

2014 Annual Scholarship & Awards Dinner, November 13

Executive Director Doran Barnes of Foothill Transit accepts our Employer of the Year award on behalf of his agency in recognition of outstanding employee and community programs. Photo by John Livzey.

 
Photo by John Livzey

2014 Annual Scholarship & Awards Dinner, November 13

CEO Amy Grat of International Trade Education Programs is recognized as Educator of the Year for her leadership in expanding career horizons for high school students. Photo by John Livzey.

 
Photo by John Livzey

2014 Annual Scholarship & Awards Dinner, November 13

Executiver Director Gina Marie Lindsey of Los Angeles World Airports is our Woman of the Year in recognition of her stewardship of one of the nation's business airports and its capital development program. Photo by John Livzey.

 
Photo by John Livzey

Career Day, October 17

Los Angeles area high school students -- representing faces of our future -- interact with volunteers who present career opportunities in all facets of the transportation sector. Photo by John Livzey.

 
Photo by John Livzey

Career Day, October 17

USC students and their transportation animations are a huge hit with high school students attending our annual Career Day at Caltrans District 7 headquarters. Photo by John Livzey.

 
Photo by John Livzey

Career Day, October 17

Public Information Officer Tina Backstrom, PE, of the City of Los Angeles engages high school students about marketing and communications careers in the transportation sector. Photo by John Livzey.

 
Photo by John Livzey

Career Day, October 17

Patrick Harder, chair of the Nossaman LLP Infrastructure Practice Group, discusses careers on the legal side of public transportation projects. Photo by John Livzey.

 
Photo by John Livzey

LA Welcomes Seleta Reynolds, October 15

Los Angeles welcomes newly appointed LADOT General Manager Seleta Reynolds! Photo by John Livzey.

 
Photo by John Livzey

Seleta Reynolds Meets A Youthful Constituency, October 15

Newly appointed LADOT General Manager Seleta Reynolds meets area college and graduate students who attended our reception for her. Photo by John Livzey. Photo by John Livzey.

 
Photo by John Livzey

We Celebrate the People Who Make Our Chapter Great, October 2

Volunteer Chair Jeff Markwardt of ICF welcomes many of the over 200 volunteers who contribute their services to our first Volunteer Appreciation event as Port of Long Beach exec (and chapter Director at Large) Eric Shen looks on.

 
Photo by John Livzey

Volunteers Get Plaudits and Mingle at Our Appreciation Event, October 2

Volunteers who attended our October 2 appreciation event mingle with each other and board members; each one received a beautifully framed certificate acknowledging their contribution. Photo by John Livzey.

 
Photo by John Livzey

Insights from the Boardroom, September 3

Jacki Bacharach (South Bay Cities COG), Jackie Dupont (Metro Board), Katherine Perez-Estolano (CaHSRA Board), Lou Anne Bynum (Port of Long Beach Commission), and Valeria Velasco (LAWA Commission) appear in our "Boardroom" program. Photo by John Livzey.

 
Insights from the Boardroom, September 3

Insights from the Boardroom, September 3

The volunteers who make our chapter so successful welcome guests to our blockbuster Boardroom program at the beautiful Millennium Biltmore Hotel indowntown Los Angeles. Photo by John Livzey.

 
Insights from the Boardroom, September 3

Insights from the Boardroom, September 3

Guests mingle with panelists at our "standing room only" presentation by several of California's most influential women in transportation. Photo by John Livzey.

 
WTS-LA Welcomes Carrie Bowen, June 3

WTS-LA Welcomes Carrie Bowen, June 3

LA City Councilmember Tom LaBonge presents an official certificate to newly appointed Caltrans District 7 Director Carrie Bowen. Photo by John Livzey.

 
Lunch & Learn, April 29

Lunch & Learn, April 29

Nancy Michali of AECOM discusses how transportation changes cities. Photo by John Livzey.

 
Portland Spirit Evening Cruise, May 14

Portland Spirit Evening Cruise, May 14

WTS Los Angeles members (L to R) Cynthia Sugimoto, Emilie Gino, Linda Bohlinger, Lynda Bybee, Rachel Vandenberg and Amanda Smith enjoy the reception marking the opening of the 2014 WTS conference hosted by WTS Portland.

 
There's More to LAWA Than Meets the Sky, May 8

There's More to LAWA Than Meets the Sky, May 8

Cynthia Guidry, Interim Deputy Executive Director of Capital Planning and Programming at LAWA, chats with attendees before her presentation. Photo by John Livzey.

 
There's More to LAWA Than Meets the Sky, May 8

There's More to LAWA Than Meets the Sky, May 8

Lisa Trifiletti, Director of Environmental and Land Use Planning at LAWA, describes what's next for the region's largest airport. Photo by John Livzey.

 
There's More to LAWA Than Meets the Sky, May 8

There's More to LAWA Than Meets the Sky, May 8

Attendees network before the presentation begins. Photo by John Livzey.

 
Lunch & Learn, April 29

Lunch & Learn, April 29

Esther Margulies of AECOM talks with WTS-LA members during the informative lunch presentation. Photo by John Livzey.

 
Lunch & Learn, April 29

Lunch & Learn, April 29

WTS-LA Vice President of Programs Amanda Smith and member Lillian Burkenheim-Silver engage with the presentation. Photo by John Livzey.

 
Trends in Transportation, April 16

Trends in Transportation, April 16

WTS-LA Professional Development Chair Avygail Sanchez welcomes Tim Papandreou of San Francisco's Municipal Transportation Agency. Photo by John Livzey.

 
Trends in Transportation, April 16

Trends in Transportation, April 16

Director of Strategic Planning at San Francisco's Municipal Transportation Agency Tim Papandreou identified elements important to the future of transportation. Photo by John Livzey.

 
Metro Executives Reception, April 9

Metro Executives Reception, April 9

WTS-LA members gather at a roof garden reception to welcome the new members of Metro's top executive staff. Photo by John Livzey.

 
Metro Executives Reception, April 9

Metro Executives Reception, April 9

Metro CEO Art Leahy gives opening remarks. Photo by John Livzey.

 
Metro Executives Reception, April 9

Metro Executives Reception, April 9

WTS-LA President Lynda Bybee and Programs Chair Lisa Karwoski stand with Metro's Bryan Pennington, Stephanie Wiggins, Lindy Lee, Greg Kildare and Noelia Rodriguez. Photo by Melanie Nelson.

 
Ground Transportation, March 17

Ground Transportation, March 17

LA City Councilmember Mike Bonin chats with attendees before his presentation. Photo by Koop Films.

 
Ground Transportation, March 17

Ground Transportation, March 17

WTS-LA President Lynda Bybee and Program Committee Chair Becca Kalauskas welcome LA City Councilmember Mike Bonin to the podium. Photo by Koop Films.

 
 
 


AS WTS-LA CELEBRATES ITS 30TH ANNIVERSARY, WE LOOK AT HOW THE WHOLE THING STARTED

Sunnie_4x6_CropAfter several decades of helping women find opportunity and recognition in the Los Angeles-area transportation industry, WTS-LA now celebrates its 30th anniversary—a perfect time to hear from the women who founded WTS and learn why its original name was “Women’s Transportation Seminar.”

In 2005, Mass Transit magazine explored the 1977 founding of Women’s Transportation Seminar. The magazine found that including “seminar” in the organization’s name served as an ingenious stratagem. In those days, companies rarely paid for women to attend professional meetings. They would, however, pay for educational “seminars.” To read more about the societal restrictions that led to the organization's establishment, click here.


LOS ANGELES BOARD RETREATS TO PLAN STRATEGIC ADVANCES

WTS_e2223With new chapter president Amanda Smith of Fehr & Peers at the helm, the 2015-16 WTS Los Angeles board held a retreat on February 10 in the beautiful Ming Hsieh Boardroom in Ronald Tutor Hall on the University of Southern California campus.

Smith described the retreat’s primary objective as establishing a two-year business plan. As part of establishing that plan, board members brainstormed on creating a greater operating budget and increasing the Los Angeles chapter’s membership. Woven through these discussions were preparations for the 2015 celebration of the chapter’s 30th anniversary. For more about the board's deliberations, click here.

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