WTS Central Virginia 2023 Winter Newsletter

Letter from the President

Dear Central Virginia Chapter Members and Supporters,

As 2023 ends, I would like to reflect on the year and what we have accomplished as a chapter.  Over the year, we have focused on the mission of WTS, which is to attract and advance women in the transportation industry.  We have focused on this mission in two areas, Transportation YOU and programming.

The mission of the Transportation YOU program is to develop the next generation of the transportation industry by growing the involvement and interest of girls and young women in STEM studies and more.  In the Central Virginia Chapter, the Transportation YOU committee embodied this mission through webinars, in person events, and other programming designed for middle school students.  This year we took the next step in expanding our Transportation YOU program by partnering with NextUp RVA and Richmond City Public Schools to host an after-school program at the Lucille M. Brown Middle School.  We look forward to continuing to further the mission of WTS through our Transportation YOU program.

In 2023, we focused our programs on Central Virginia’s female leaders in transportation.  Many of our programs focused on women who spoke about their experience in the transportation industry.  This included a spotlight on DRPT Director Jennifer DeBruhl, who shared her experience in public service over her 30-year career.  Our annual State of Transportation featured three women executives Cathy McGhee (Deputy Commissioner, VDOT), Cathie Vick  (Chief Public Affairs Officer, Port of Virginia) and Jennifer DeBruhl (Director, DRPT).  Through these programs, we can show women what is possible and encourage more women to seek out leadership roles in their career paths.

As my term as president ends, I thank you all for your continued support of the WTS chapter.  We appreciate your commitment to advancing women in transportation.  And we hope that you will continue to support the chapter through sponsorships, volunteering and attending our programs. 

I also want to thank the outgoing board for all their hard work throughout 2023. Without your efforts none of this would be possible.

Lastly, congratulations to the 2024 Board of Directors.  I cannot wait to see what you accomplish in the next year.

I wish you all a happy and healthy 2024.

Rebecca Sial


Welcome Central VA 2024 Board of Directors!

The Central Virginia Chapter is excited to introduce the following individuals as our incoming Board. 

S VanDyke Headshot

Stephanie VanDyke, MBA



A Overeem Headshot
Vice President

Alexa Overeem, EIT




N McGhee Headshot


Nicolas McGhee



I Leoncio Headshot

Iris Leoncio, SE, PE


B Collier Headshot
Director at Large

Brennan Collier, AICP




L Parkins Headshot
Director at Large

Lorna Parkins, FAICP



C Rice Headshot
Director at Large

Caroline Rice, PE, MBA





    Fall Program Recap

    Annual Reception and Recognition Awards

    On September 28, 2023, the Central VA chapter held the Annual Reception and Recognition Awards at the Virginia War Memorial. 2022 Woman of the Year and keynote Speaker Cathie Vick delivered a captivating and inspiring keynote and we recognized all the award members for their contributions to the Central VA region. Read about the winners here.

    Spooky Canal Tour

    In October, the Central VA chapter learned about the history of transportation in Richmond during a Spooky Canal Tour.  During this narrated tour on the James River and Kanawha Canal attendees learned about the history of Richmond and the city’s importance as a transportation hub. 

    November Giving Event

    WTS Central Virginia ran a successful Diaper Drive for YWCA Richmond. We collected several boxes of diapers, wipes, and pull-ups. YWCA Richmond echoed that these are invaluable resources to them and the community. For more information on how to contribute or support the YWCA mission please see their website: https://ywcarichmond.org/get-involved/

    Annual Membership Appreciation Event

    In December, chapter membership and supporters gathered at Hardywood Brewery to network and reflect on the chapter's accomplishments from the past year. Thank you to all who attended, and to all who participated in our programs, fundraising initiatives, and outreach events this year! If you couldn't make it and would like to collect one of the remaining Membership Appreciation gifts, please contact Stephanie VanDyke at [email protected].

    We're Accepting Scholarship Applications!

    The Central Virginia Chapter offers local scholarship awards in the amount of $500 for each of a number of scholarship categories for eligible recipients ranging from high school girls interested in undertaking careers in transportation; junior college scholarships for women pursuing transportation-related study at community and trade colleges; and scholarships for graduates and undergraduates pursuing degrees in transportation.

    WTS's vision is the transformation of the transportation industry through the global advancement of women. To facilitate that goal, the next generation of leaders must be fostered and supported in their pursuits. Our Scholarship Program is one way that we demonstrate support.  Please encourage future leaders in transportation careers and your interns to apply!  Applications are now being accepted and can be found on WTS Central Virginia website here. The deadline to apply is January 1, 2024.

    Upcoming Events

    Keep an eye on your inbox or check out our Events page for details on the following upcoming events:

    • Annual Transportation Trivia & Fundraising Program - February 2024
    • Transportation YOU Outreach Series - Spring 2024

    Thank you to our Sponsors

    Each year, our Platinum and Benefactor sponsors go above and beyond to support not only our chapter, but also our local community and women across the transportation industry. As we close out the year, we would like to take moment to spotlight these groups. Keep an eye on our social media pages for updates on the work each has done lately. In the meantime, we invite to use the links below to learn more about our sponsors.

    CDM Smith
    Dovetail Cultural Resource Group


    Schnabel Logo


    Employer of the Year 2020


    Moffat Nichol




    Kimley Horn Logo




    Looking to Get more Involved?

    Join a Committee

    Make the most of your membership by joining one of our committees. Committees include communications, sponsorship, membership, programs, scholarship, and Transportation You. If you're interested in taking a more active role within the chapter, please contact our Chapter President, Rebecca Sial, at [email protected].

    Transportation YOU Volunteers Needed

    Every Thursday evening from 5-6 PM the Central VA Chapter will be leading hands-on, interactive, lessons with students at Lucille M Brown Middle School. Our weekly sessions begin January 18th and will run until March 21st. Current members, in good standing, interested in volunteering their time should complete the volunteer form found here. Unable to volunteer your time, but still want to help out? Contact Savannah Amor Kappeler if your company is interested in sponsoring one of our weekly sessions.

    Board Meetings

    The WTS Central Virginia Board meets the second Tuesday of each month at noon via Zoom! To learn more about chapter business, upcoming events, and committee options, we invite you to check out a board meeting. Dial-in information is below:

    Join Zoom Meeting: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/6728450837

    Meeting ID: 672 845 0837

    Mobile +13052241968

    Find your local number: https://us06web.zoom.us/u/keD4FZnKJe

    Annual Sponsorship Campaign

    With the new year, we are offering the opportunity to support our chapter through corporate sponsorship. If your firm is interested in becoming a sponsor in 2024, please contact Kaitlyn Jenkins at [email protected].