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MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT

July 2017

There is most certainly an "I" in leadership…

Amelia Earhart said, “The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity.” How do you not love that? Merely tenacity. Ms. Earhart is talking about leadership. At its core, leadership is the decision to act. But there is a misconception when it comes to leadership. People always think of it only in grandiose terms. If you talk leadership, people think presidents, generals, CEOs, board chairmen. But in fact, leadership often starts quite small. It’s one decision on one project. It’s one choice when you’re driving. It’s one moment in a meeting when you speak up. Those are moments you build on to become a leader. And that’s because real leaders are not born. They are made, cultivated and mentored by leaders that came before them, people who made one small decision and then many subsequent ones. Unfortunately, real leaders take time to emerge. And nature abhors a vacuum. So, what happens?

People get drawn to what they think leaders should look like. They habitually go for people that are charismatic, attractive, and promise to have all of the answers. Often, those leaders end up being nothing more than slick, snake-oil salesmen, and are found out eventually. But think about the venerated leaders in our history. Some of our greatest leaders were awkward, shy, unassuming, genteel, unattractive even, and not particularly inspirational at first glance. But once they started making decisions, taking stands, owning the responsibility for each and every decision, people responded to them. The blowhard charlatans eventually fall or fail, mostly because they lack the stuff true leaders learn to cultivate—the mettle to act with accountability. So, what am I on about with this?

We need leaders, good leaders, real leaders, not paper tigers. WTS-LA is in the business of training real leaders for the transportation industry. But it can’t be all on us. It’s never a passive endeavor. We can help enlighten you. We can help train you. We can help empower you. But we can’t make you a leader. That’s on you. And it’s time to step up. So, what do I want you to do?

First, write down what Amelia Earhart said. Put it in your pocket. If you want, type it into the notes on your smartphone. Memorize it. Then, use it. At work. At home. On your commute. With your kids. Even at the gym. Refer back to it during the day. Then, decide to act. And note it. Be aware of it. Remember it. Build on it. And then act again, and again, and again. Notice your pattern of making decisions and accepting responsibility for them. This sounds simple, something that most people do every day. It’s not. And they don’t. More people react out of fear than act out of determination, tenacity, and responsibility. Make yourself a leader by being mindful of your actions and decisions. Cultivate your own leadership skills. And then come to us, at WTS-LA, to help you refine it and take it to the next level. Oh, and one other thing.

The law of unintended consequences dictates that there will be unexpected results in taking these actions. Fortunately, they’re all positive. But there is one that you should be aware of. By acting decisively and taking responsibility for it, you are becoming a role model to everyone around you—your spouse, your boss, your reports, your kids. And it’s infectious. When you start acting this way, when you demonstrate this kind of accountable leadership, others will not only follow you, but they will become leaders through your example. Yes, it’s that effective.

The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. It is time for us all to act tenaciously and become the leaders we so desperately need right now. 

Kathy Simons 
President
LKG-CMC, Inc.

Photo by John Livzey

 

Welcoming Supervisor Janice Hahn

Welcoming Supervisor Janice Hahn

On February 22, 2017, WTS-LA welcomed Los Angeles County Supervisor and Metro Board member Janice Hahn. Photo © John Livzey.

 
Photo © John Livzey

Welcoming Supervisor Kathryn Barger

On January 27, 2017, WTS-LA welcomed newly elected Los Angeles County Supervisor and Metro Board member Kathryn Barger. Photo © John Livzey.

 
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Regional Rail Connects Communities, October 13, 2016

Jennifer Bergener (LOSSAN), Michelle Boehm (CAHSRA), Elissa Konove (Metrolink), and Bryan Pennington (Metro) discuss what's new in SoCal rail moderated by the Honorable Yvonne B. Burke (former LA County Supervisor, 2nd District). Photo © John Livzey.

 
Photo © John Livzey.

Southern California Port Leaders Discuss Future

Antonio Gioiello (POLA), Rick Cameron (POLB), and Kristin Decas (Port of Hueneme) discuss their plans to improve the Southern California ports on a panel moderated by Eric Shen (Maritime Administration of the USDOT). Photo © John Livzey.

 
Members Get Coached by an Expert, July 16

Member Benefit: Coaching by an Expert, July 16

Business coach Katie Carr, a principal with Fehr & Peers and Left Lane Advisors, leads a half-day professional development workshop for WTS Los Angeles members on the USC campus. Photo © John Livzey.

 
Photo by John Livzey

Metro Planning Chief Therese McMillan Gets a Warm Reception, July 13

Therese McMillan, Los Angeles Metro's newly appointed Chief Planning Officer and a WTS Los Angeles member, is welcomed by a SRO audience. Photo © John Livzey.

 
Photo by John Livzey

Mid-Career Members Get Extraordinary Mentoring, July 15

On July 15, WTS-LA launched its pilot mid-career mentoring program, pairing members with directors-at-large on its board - all senior executives in the public sector. Photo © John Livzey.

 
Photo by John Livzey

High School Students Get the Inside Track on Transportation Careers, July 15

On July 15, WTS-LA Adopt-A-School chair Amy Shimshon-Santos, ITEP's Christiana Faulkner, and POLA's Mahsa Pan moderated a workshop for high school students at the Port of Los Angeles. Photo © John Livzey

 
Photo by Melanie Nelson

Members Tour the Landmark Gerald Desmond Bridge Replacement, July 22

WTS Los Angeles members and bridge staff toured the construction site for this signature project, notable for the innovative technologies used to meet significant challenges. Photo by Melanie Nelson of Berg CM.

 
LA and Orange County are Serious about Streetcars, June 16

LA and Orange County are Serious About Streetcars, June 16

OCTA Rail Program Manager Mary Shavalier briefs our audience on their streetcar program as LA Streetcar Program Manager Shane Phillips and Bringing Back Broadway Executive Director Jessica Wethington McLean listen in. Photo by John Livzey.

 
Photo by John Livzey

Our Prez Welcomes Elena Studier and Stevie, June 7

Elena Studier, a National Association of Railroad Passengers intern, and her bike "Stevie" are traveling the US on Amtrak this summer, and were welcomed to Los Angeles by chapter president Amanda Heinke. Photo © John Livzey.

 
Photo by John Livzey

The Next Generation

Student Nancy Wuitron of Banning High School attends our 2014 Career Day. In 2015, Nancy won a WTS Los Angeles scholarship, and will attend Cal State Northridge this Fall. Photo © John Livzey.

 
Photo by John Livzey

WTS Los Angeles Board Member Champions Students

Longtime WTS-LA board member Emilie Gino, retired LAUSD administrator, has sponsored student attendance at programs and underwritten student memberships for two decades. Here she is with USC's Kaitlyn Zhang and CSUN's Raiwan Alijamal. Photo © John Livzey.

 
Photo by John Livzey

LAWA Capital Program Briefing, May 26

Mott MacDonald's Tony Purdon, Western USA Managing Director, introduces speakers Cynthia Guidry and Ellen Wright at our standing-room-only program on capital development at LAWA. Photo © John Livzey.

 
Photo by John Livzey

LAWA Capital Program Briefing, May 26

Cynthia Guidry, Deputy Executive Director, Planning and Development Group, briefs a SRO audience on projects coming up at LAWA. Photo © John Livzey.

 
Photo by John Livzey

LAWA Capital Program Briefing, May 26

Ellen Wright, Director of Terminal Planning and Design, Planning and Development Group, briefs a SRO audience on projects coming up at LAWA. Photo © John Livzey.

 
Photo by John Livzey

Expo Phase 2 Pre-Opening Tour, May 13

Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, instrumental in development of the Exposition Metro Line Construction Authority, led a windshield tour to the new destination in Santa Monica for WTS-LA members. Photo © John Livzey.

 
Photo by John Livzey

METRANS "Meet the Practitioner" Series, March 23

Grace Crunican, general manager of BART, welcomes at SRO audience to this WTS-LA co-sponsored "Boots on the Ground, Flats in the Boardroom" event for USC and CSULB students and industry practitioners. Photo © John Livzey.

 
Photo by John Livzey

METRANS "Meet the Practitioner" Series, March 23

Prof. James Moore II (USC), Mengzhao Hu (KOA Corporation), Dana Hook (CDM Smith), and LaVerne Francis Reid (formerly with the FAA) are "Boots on the Ground, Flats in the Boardroom" panelists. Photo © John Livzey,

 
Photo by John Livzey

Metro Exec Joshua Schank Talks Innovation and Careers, March 18

WTS Los Angeles members welcomed Metro Chief Innovation Officer Joshua Schank on March 18 for a professional development program discussing career strategies. Photo © John Livzey.

 
Photo by John Livzey

Metro Exec Joshua Schank Talks Innovation and Careers, March 18

Stantec's Eileen Ryder moderates a "members only" Q&A session with Metro Chief Innovation Officer Joshua Schank on March 18. Photo © John Livzey.

 
Photo by John Livzey

Metro Exec Joshua Schank Talks Innovation and Careers, March 18

Foothill Transit exec Michelle Caldwell participates in the Q&A during our March 18 program. Photo © John Livzey.

 
Photo by John Livzey

Metro Exec Joshua Schank Talks Innovation and Careers, March 18

Goods movement expert Robin Owen of Caltrans poses a question from the audience at our March 18 event. Photo © John Livzey.

 
Photo by John Livzey

Metro Exec Joshua Schank Talks Innovation and Careers, March 18

USC Price School of Public Policy student Ariana Seymore poses a question during the Q&A portion of Joshua Schank's March 18 meeting with our members. Photo © John Livzey.

 
BART General Manager Grace Crunican Moderates a Panel of Women Leaders, September 30

BART General Manager Grace Crunican Moderates a Panel of Women Leaders, September 30

Grace Crunican, who co-authored the new book "Boots on the Ground, Flats in the Boardroom: Transportation Women Tell Their Stories" with industry leader Liz Levin, makes a point in our September 30 panel discussion. Photo by Koop Films.

 
Photo by John Livzey

WTS Welcomes LAWA's Deborah Flint as She Takes the Reins, September 21

A "members only" audience welcomed new Executive Director Deborah Flint, who now leads the largest public sector capital program in Los Angeles and one of the largest airport systems in the world. Photo © John Livzey.

 
 
 


IF IT'S GOOD ENOUGH FOR WARREN BUFFETT . . .

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Annual reports matter. In fact, when asked how he became so successful in investing, Warren Buffett said, “We read hundreds and hundreds of annual reports every year.” A comprehensive profile, an annual report provides essential information on organizational accomplishments. But it also points towards future success. So, it is with great passion and pride that we present WTS-LA’s recently released 2015 Annual Report. Produced by Curt Pringle & Associates Director of Community Outreach Elizabeth “Liz” Ramirez, the 2015 WTS-LA Annual Report offers a perfect encapsulation of the chapter’s mission, goals, and activities. Please click here to view and download WTS-LA’s exceptional yearly review.

Photos © John Livzey.

 

Upcoming Events

Jul

26

Reception Welcoming New Port of Long Beach Executive Director, Mario Cordero


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Sep

29-7

WTS International London - Rotterdam- Amsterdam Tour

September 29 to October 7. WTS tour of London, Rotterdam, and Amsterdam with an optional Lyon project.
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Nov

9

2017 WTS-LA Annual Scholarship and Awards Dinner

WTS-LA will be holding our Annual Scholarship and Awards Dinner on November 9, 2017.
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