From The Leadership: A Year in Reflection

A letter from Paula Hammond, WTS International Chair

Dear WTS Members, Friends, and Colleagues,

The strategic priorities I outlined when I began my term as the 2020-22 WTS International Board Chair reflected an ever-changing environment … but I vastly underestimated the “change” we would all endure.  It is safe to say my term was an unusual one. In March of 2020, our world was dramatically altered by the pandemic, in both our professional and personal lives. However, I believe because of this massive disruption and the evolving workforce impacts, our WTS mission and vision becomes more clear and more valuable than ever.  As our industry progresses, our responsibility is to help prepare, promote, and advance a diverse workforce that will provide transportation that helps communities thrive and support a strong economy. The future for our WTS organization is bright under the leadership of our next chair, Jannet Walker-Ford.

I have been honored to serve the WTS community as your Board Chair for the last two years. I am especially proud of the accomplishments of the full board and staff, including:  

  • Our creation and implementation of WTS International’s Strategic Plan: The plan includes uniting all entities of WTS under a “One-WTS” model, emphasizing collaborations and partnerships, and establishing a clear focus on our equity and inclusion goals.
  • Moving forward with Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion benchmarking: WTS International has created a baseline for our ED+I goals and has collected information to both measure our progress to date and ­­­­continue on our path. This included updating our membership applications and demographics collected for our scholarship and recognition award winners.
  • Continuing to provide premier professional development and networking opportunities in safe and accessible learning formats: In 2021, WTS International pivoted from a planned in-person program in Richmond, VA to our first virtual conference. While we look forward to convening in-person this year, we did learn valuable lessons in a virtual setting, including the opportunity to engage and connect with audiences we traditionally have not reached.
  • Strengthening relationships with WTS chapters and regions: Under the “One WTS” theme, we continued to reinforce collaboration and connection between all entities of WTS International, including relationship building with the WTS Foundation and executing regional council workplans.
  • Building strategic partnerships across the industry: We are stronger together! WTS International continued our collaborative engagement with industry partners and others and began to explore new entities for partnership in recruiting a diverse workforce, education, outreach, and programming.

WTS International is an organization whose time has come, and I’m looking forward to even greater strides in gender equity and diversity within our transportation workforce. I am ever grateful for our corporate partners, industry friends, and our members who continue to support this special organization and its mission.

Yours in gratitude,





Paula Hammond

2020-22 WTS International Chair