From the Leadership | Inspired and Motivated: #WeAreWTS
April is one of my favorite months, even as it is typically one of the busiest and most stressful. As the WTS community finalizes plans to gather next month in Atlanta for the 2023 WTS International Annual Conference, I continue to marvel at how many priorities we balance and how much we accomplish – not only in the work of WTS International and the WTS Foundation, but especially within our 67 Chapters and members across North America. Our members continually inspire and motivate me, achieving remarkable goals in educational programming, networking events, professional support, and uplifting the next generation of leaders through scholarship development.
So along with preparing for our largest WTS event this month, we also celebrate National Volunteer Month. Our volunteers are the most knowledgeable, experienced, and dedicated volunteers that I’ve had the privilege to work with. Working with our members, whether at the Board, Region Council, committee, or chapter level is one of the most fulfilling aspects of my job. Our volunteers are creative and determined, “do-ers” in every sense of the word, with truly inspired ideas and passion for building a better future for their communities and their industry. I think that leadership starts at the top, with our WTS International and WTS Foundation Board of Directors. It’s an honor and privilege to implement their vision for our organization. Led by Jannet and Karen, our Board members are bold in their vision of who we want to be, but are also willing to put in the work, hold the tough conversations, and challenge me, and all of us, to be and do better. Our organization is better because of our volunteers. Thank you especially now, during National Volunteer Month, but thank you every day for all you do.
I also asked the WTS International staff to provide a few words of thanks and appreciation:
Kia Davis, Director of Membership and Chapter Relations: “It is indeed a pleasure to work so closely with the chapters as they serve as an invaluable wealth of knowledge and expertise for the organization by leading the charge in promoting and boosting the overall vision of the WTS mission.”
Renita Gross, Director of Meetings and Events: “It is my pleasure to produce events with the support of the Programs and Local Conference committee volunteers. I appreciate the opportunity to bring together members and industry colleagues to advance the WTS International mission and vision and look forward to exploring new opportunities that include networking and engagement.”
Alma Hundiak, Director of Finance: “My favorite part of working with WTSI volunteers is their passion to get it right. They dedicate the time to learn new systems, processes, and procedures to get their chapter working and serving their peers. They do it with a smile and grace when things are a bit more cumbersome or aren’t working as expected. Always friendly and eager to get it right. Thank you!”
Lindsay Shelton-Gross, Director of External Relations and Strategic Initiatives: “I am consistently impressed by not only the intelligence of our members – experts on complex topics in a complex industry – but how willingly they support one another. A friend of mine coined the term “I don’t shine if you don’t shine,” and it is such an apt turn of phrase when it comes to WTS. The volunteer leaders I have had the privilege of meeting or working alongside are accomplished, but also fiercely loyal, supportive, and will do anything to ensure success for not only their peers, but also the next generation.”
Kim Williams, Associate Membership Systems and Data Analytics: "Thanks to everyone who has welcomed me and helped me learn how to best support your chapters. I’m grateful for your honesty and keep those thoughts with me as I work every day."
Varsha Ravichandran, Associate, Marketing & Communications: “The best part of my job is seeing how involved chapter leaders and members are with all aspects of WTSI – from the website changes to social media, to their individual newsletters, and more. Knowing that each of these members have full-time jobs outside of WTS and are incredibly hardworking and busy, yet still choose to volunteer so much of their time to a greater cause, makes me hopeful for the future of transportation and the future of humanity.”
Carolyn Cokley, Administrator Executive Office, Board, and Operations: “I enjoy the learning. My role as Administrator touches on all parts of the organization and I rarely have a day when I do not learn something new about the history of and continued advancement of women within the transportation arena. 'When you learn, teach. When you get, give.' – Maya Angelou.”
MeKayla Washington, Senior Engagement Specialist, Membership & Chapter Relations: “My favorite part of working with WTS volunteers is their willing spirit. At our 2022 Annual conference, whether we needed help stuffing bags or checking in attendees, there was someone there to help.”
We hope to see you soon: 37 days until #WTSAC2023!
WTS International President and CEO