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MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT

April 19, 2016

WTS-LA Celebrating Achievements

One of my all-time favorite movies is Ferris Bueller's Day Off. Ferris has an outlook on life I think we can all agree on: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” In May, Expo Phase II is opening! And WTS-LA wants to celebrate this moment and bask in this amazing achievement. In true Ferris Bueller fashion, I invite you to take a long lunch on Friday, May 13, and join us for a ride of the extension. We will be accompanied by Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, one of the important influencers of the Expo Line that spearhead its very existence.

I look forward to seeing you there.

Amanda

Amanda Smith Heinke

Fehr & Peers

Photo by John Livzey

 

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Photo by John Livzey

Transportation Résumé Book Mixer, April 21

A student talks with WTS Los Angeles corporate partners during this annual event for students and potential employers chaired by Todd Nguyen of Caltrans. Photo © John Livzey.

 
Photo by John Livzey

Transportation Résumé Book Mixer, April 21

A student talks with WTS Los Angeles corporate partners during this annual event for students and potential employers chaired by Todd Nguyen of Caltrans. 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

CH2M's Heather Anderson introduces Metro Chief Innovation Officer Joshua Schank at our March 18 professional development program. 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.

 
Photo by John Livzey

Working Together: Caltrans - Metro - LADOT, February 23

AECOM's Marlen Alfonso introduces the speakers at our blockbuster February program with an audience of over 230 people. Photo © John Livzey.

 
Photo by John Livzey

Working Together: Caltrans - Metro - LADOT, February 23

LA transportation guru Richard Katz moderates a panel of top agency execs at our blockbuster February program boasting a SRO audience of over 230 people. Photo © John Livzey.

 
Photo by John Livzey

Working Together: Caltrans - Metro - LADOT, February 23

Los Angeles Metro Deputy CEO Stephanie Wiggins discusses WTS as a career differentiator at our blockbuster February program boasting a SRO audience of over 230 people. Photo © John Livzey.

 
Photo by John Livzey

Working Together: Caltrans - Metro - LADOT, February 23

Caltrans District 7 Director Carrie Bowen discusses collaboration between agencies at our blockbuster February program boasting a SRO audience of over 230 people. Photo © John Livzey.

 
Photo by John Livzey

Working Together: Caltrans - Metro - LADOT, February 23

Los Angeles Metro Board Member Jackie Dupont-Walker discusses transportation funding at our blockbuster February program boasting a SRO audience of over 230 people. Photo © John Livzey.

 
Photo by John Livzey

Working Together: Caltrans - Metro - LADOT, February 23

LADOT General Manager Seleta Reynolds looks at collaboration between major agencies at our blockbuster February program boasting a SRO audience of over 230 people. Photo © John Livzey.

 
Photo by Fred Chang

Members Preview the Gold Line Part 2, February 19

Los Angeles Metro employees brief our members during a pre-opening tour of the Gold Line Part 2. Photo by Fred Chang.

 
Ahn Case of Jacobs Engineering Group Introduces Transportation Leaders, September 30

Ahn Case of Jacobs Engineering Group Introduces Transportation Leaders, September 30

Ahn Case introduces our program moderator, BART GM Grace Crunican, on September 30; panelists were author and industry expert Liz Levin, HNTB's Mary Jane O'Meara, CDM Smith's Dana Hook, and retired FAA exec LaVerne Francis Reid. Photo by Koop Films.

 
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.

 
Photo by John Livzey

Jennifer Brogin Discusses How Consensus is Won, August 7

Jennifer Brogin, deputy for LA County Supervisor Michael Antonovich, discussed how transportation policy is developed and consensus is won with WTS-LA members attending a professional development workshop. Photo © John Livzey.

 
Photo by John Livzey

Nicole Englund Talks Transportation Policy Development, August 7

Nicole Englund, deputy for LA County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, discussed how transportation policy is developed and consensus is won with WTS-LA members attending a professional development workshop. Photo © John Livzey.

 
Photo by John Livzey

Paul Backstrom Looks at Policies that Enhance Mobility for Constituents, August 7

Paul Backstrom, deputy for LA City Councilmember Mike Bonin, discussed how transportation policy is developed and consensus is won with WTS-LA members attending a professional development workshop. Photo © John Livzey.

 
Photo by John Livzey

Metro CEO Phil Washington Gets Passionate about Innovation, August 6

Recently appointed Los Angeles Metro CEO Phillip Washington wowed a packed room, discussing his passion for innovation and how that will enhance mobility for Angelenos. Photo © John Livzey.

 
Photo by John Livzey

CH2M's Andres Ocon Welcomes Phil Washington to WTS-LA, August 6

Representing WTS-LA Platinum Sponsor CH2M, Vice President Andres Ocon introduced Metro CEO Phil Washington to a SRO audience, noting Washington's distinguished record for innovation and effective project delivery. Photo © John Livzey.

 
Photo by John Livzey

Dr. Amy Shimshon-Santo Introduces a New Take on High School Outreach, August 6

Dr. Amy Shimshon-Santo of Claremont Graduate University, recently named Adopt-A-School chair for WTS Los Angeles, briefed our audience on new education alliances the chapter is pursuing. Photo © John Livzey.

 
Photo by John Livzey

The FAA's Felicia Boyd Gives a Mission Briefing, July 15

FAA Division Manager Felicia Boyd coached participants in our "members only" Mentorship program on developing essential personal and professional mission statements. Photo © John Livzey.

 
Photo by John Livzey

LAWA's Roger Johnson Talks $7 Billion in Capital Improvements, July 9

Los Angeles World Airports Deputy Executive Director Roger Johnson presented an engaging look at LAX's massive and complex capital improvement program. Photo © John Livzey.

 
Photo by John Livzey

Stantec's Pattie Antich Introduces Rail Panel, June 2

WTS Los Angeles Board Treasurer Pattie Antich of Stantec, a WTS-LA Platinum Sponsor, introduces the moderator and panel of passenger rail experts at our June 2 program. Photo © John Livzey.

 
Photo by John Livzey

Passenger Rail Panel Presents Current Trends and Issues, June 2

Jeanet Owens (Los Angeles Metro), Michelle Boehm (California High Speed Rail Authority), Art Leahy (Metrolink), and Don Sepulveda (Los Angeles Metro) talk to a "standing room only" audience. Expo COO Samantha Bricker moderated. Photo © John Livzey.

 
Photo by John Livzey

Ports of Los Angeles, Long Beach and Hueneme Execs Discuss Marine Cargo and Infrastructure, April 29

Tony Gioiello of the Port of Los Angeles and Jon Slangerup of the Port of Long Beach look on as Kristin Decas of the Port of Hueneme opens our April 29 discussion of ports infrastructure. Photo © John Livzey.

 
FTA Senior Advisor Carolyn Flowers Visits, April 15

FTA Senior Advisor Carolyn Flowers Visits, April 15

Councilmember Tom LaBonge joins us to welcome Ms. Flowers back to Los Angeles. Photo © John Livzey.

 
FTA Senior Advisor Carolyn Flowers Visits, April 15

FTS Senior Advisor Carolyn Flowers Visits, April 15

Foothill Transit Finance Director Michelle Caldwell joins us at the Jonathan Club to welcome Carolyn Flowers. Photo © 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 © 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 © 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 © John Livzey.

 
 
 


TinaBackstrom_e3614ON BALANCE, TINA BACKSTROM HAS WORK AND LIFE ALL FIGURED OUT

Tina Backstrom knows about leadership and work-life balance. And they were lessons hard learned. Noting that her “first foray into leadership” was motherhood, she raised her family and rose through the ranks of the Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT). In her WTS-LA newsletter member profile “Balance Beaming: Tina Backstrom on Raising a Family and a Career,” Backstrom explains how she did it and the philosophy she developed in the process. Read Backstrom’s inspiring and instructive story about managing life and a career. Photo © John Livzey.



KyraTao1_e3996KYRA TAO EXPLAINS WHY THE DIVIDEND JUSTIFIES THE DREAMS

There is a quid pro quo. When someone volunteers for WTS-LA, they give of their time and expertise. But they also get something in return, something of equal and sometimes even greater value. And in the WTS-LA newsletter article “Kyra Tao Takes the Lead: Volunteering for the Greater Good,” Tao explains exactly how that works, what volunteers do, and what they get in return for their highly prized service. Read her story and discover the wonderful benefits for both volunteers and the chapter. Photo © John Livzey.


 

Melissa_e4329MELISSA DE LA PEÑA’S PRESIDENTIAL PROFILE ENCOURAGES

Leading isn’t easy. Perfecting leadership is even harder. But WTS-LA provides one of the greatest forums for advancing leadership skills—serving as WTS-LA president. And in her WTS-LA newsletter presidents series profile “High-Speed Grail: Melissa de la Peña’s Leadership Training for Women,” Melissa de la Peña provides an insider’s perspective on what it takes to lead WTS-LA, and what that experience means to one’s personal and professional life. Read de la Peña’s compelling account of what a chapter president learns and how it shapes their career for future decision making. Photo © John Livzey.
 

DevonDeming_e7436DEVON DEMING TAKES THE LEAD AFTER WTS COURSE CONNECTION

Epiphanies are rare, but they happen. Devon Deming’s experience in the highly selective WTS International Mid-Career Leadership Program in Washington, DC, was an epiphany. It transformed her career and her life and helped her grow. And in the WTS-LA newsletter article “Devon Deming: An Uncommon Metrics System for Creating Outstanding Leaders,” Deming explains how the experience has profoundly changed her personally and professionally, and what has happened since she took the empowering course. Read Deming’s illustrative account of just exactly how one learning experience can make a very real difference. Photo © John Livzey.

 

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Featured News

Kyra Tao Takes the Lead: Volunteering for the Greater Good

Wednesday, April 27, 2016 - It’s a catch-22. Leadership can only be learned through experience—by leading. But no one gets to lead when they’re in an entry-level position. So how does one gain leadership experience without being given opportunity? WTS-LA Volunteer chair Kyra Tao of WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff has the answer—volunteering.
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High-Speed Grail: Melissa de la Peña’s Leadership Training for Women

Tuesday, April 26, 2016 - Cordoba Corporation regional manager Melissa de la Peña views her 2011-2012 WTS-LA presidency as challenging, rewarding, and enlightening. But it was more than that, too. It provided a consummate training ground for leadership and a forum for access, providing personal introductions to top federal and regional officials.
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Balance Beaming: Tina Backstrom on Raising a Family and a Career

Saturday, April 23, 2016 - Project manager/team lead and WTS-LA Diversity and Recognitions chair Tina Backstrom, PE, has used her talent and expertise to help the Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) keep Los Angeles moving in a variety of ways for more than 20 years. And the LADOT has returned the favor. Today as LADOT project manager and team lead, Backstrom manages capital projects built by Metro. But she joined LADOT as an engineering assistant and worked her way up through the ranks.
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