It is truly an honor and privilege to serve as your 2016 SDITE President. So many great people have served as president of this organization and my hope is that I can make advancements in SDITE just like each of them did. I want to extend a special thanks to my predecessors: Bill Seymour, Kirsten Tynch, and Martin Bretherton. They have served SDITE well and I am fortunate to follow in their footsteps. I am looking forward to an exciting year full of challenges, changes, and continuing with our rich traditions.

I have three primary goals for 2016 which are:

1. Continue developing, refining, and reporting performance measures

Developing and using performance measures was initiated last year by Bill Seymour and everyone to whom I’ve talked believes it is a great idea. I think so too. Performance measures will help us quantify the health and vitality of SDITE and be able to identify and address weaknesses quickly. The performance measures developed by the Board through Bill’s leadership are easy to understand and relatively easy to track.

2. Change the Strategic Planning Team to Member Services

The Strategic Planning team, led by Cindy Pionke, does great work and in some ways is a victim of their own success. This team has evolved into doing much more than strategic planning, hence the name change to Member Services. In fact, it is providing many of our core member services through its five teams:

  1. Annual Meeting
  2. Information, Communication, and Outreach
  3. Leadership Development
  4. Technical Knowledge
  5. Work Force Development

I am adding one more team to the Member Services Team- Young Member Services. This committee also provides member services to an important group in our organization. Thus, the new “Member Services” team will be comprised of six groups with a focus on serving our members and meeting their professional needs. The Member Services group will continue doing what they have been over the last few years, but with a slightly different emphasis.

3. Initiate a new Strategic Planning effort

It is time for SDITE to examine itself and to plot our future. As a part of my third goal, I have asked Becky White to lead a new strategic planning effort in 2016 that will likely carry over to 2017. Like international ITE, I believe that SDITE is at a crossroads. There are significant issues that lie before us, and we need to address them methodically and systematically. We are a strong and vibrant organization, but how do we address an ever changing transportation industry while meeting the needs of our members? A new strategic planning effort will help guide SDITE over the next 10 years. Looking back over the last 12 years made me realize how much we’ve accomplished from the first strategic planning effort. That plan has been realized and made us a stronger organization. The 2016/2017 SDITE Strategic plan will do the same, and I am looking forward to developing it under Becky’s leadership. Becky will be seeking lots of feedback and support, so I hope many of you will help.

As you know, SDITE is an all-volunteer organization so each committee member, board member, or worker within our institution chooses to be a part of and serve it. Being from the Volunteer state, I realize how important it is to have passionate leaders who are making a difference in the transportation industry. I am grateful to the dozens of people who give their time and talent to make SDITE a great organization.

I want to thank those SDITE members who volunteer to lead and be a part of our committees. The leaders include:

  • Awards- Martin Bretherton (2016)
  • Education and Student Chapters- Rob Baker
  • Historical Records- Bob Stammer
  • Membership- Jennifer Bihl
  • Nominations- Kirsten Tynch
  • Student Scholarship Traffic Bowl- Richard Caudle
  • Website- Mike Reese
  • Member Services: Overall- Cindy Pionke
  • Member Services: Leadership Development- Chris Kirby
  • Member Services: Technical Knowledge- Steve Strength
  • Member Services: Workforce Development- David Low
  • Member Services: Annual Meetings- Lindsay Walker
  • Member Services: IC&O- Meredith van Duyn and Jeff Stephenson
  • Member Services: Young Members- Carla Holmes
  • 2016/2017 Strategic Plan- Becky White

Several committee leaders are new in 2016. Rob Baker took over for Kate D’Ambrosio who is taking on different ITE responsibilities. Chris Kirby is replacing Becky White as the Leadership Development leader. As already mentioned, Becky White will lead a new strategic planning effort. Meredith Van Duyn and Jeff Stephenson will share directing the IC & O team that was under the direction of Scott Walker. Finally, Carla Holmes remains the leader of the Young Members Committee but I assigned that team to Member Services.

I want to encourage everyone to attend the SDITE Annual Meeting in Nashville, TN on April 10-13. The Nashville LAC and ABD have been working hard to make this a meeting that you do not want to miss. Nashville is the home to country music, so you’ll want to bring your cowboy boots and cowboy hats and have some fun. And by the way, you can see old friends, meet new ones, and maybe learn a few new things during this crammed-packed conference.
I hope everyone has a wonderful and blessed 2016.