It has been an honor and privilege being your 2016 SDITE President. I reflect back with a range of emotions from joy and relief to sadness. These past 3 years have confirmed my belief that SDITE is comprised of great volunteers who have a passion for the transportation profession and are willing to give back to it through this great organization. It has been a very busy, productive, and fun year with some of the 2016 highlights being:
- A successful SDITE Annual Meeting in Nashville
- Continuing to develop, refine, and report on performance measures
- Change the Strategic Planning Team to Member Services, which now includes the following teams:
- Annual Meeting
- Information, Communication, and Outreach
- Leadership Development
- Technical Knowledge
- Workforce Development
- Young Member Services
- Initiate a new Strategic Planning effort- Imagine SDITE
- A working session took place on November 4, 2016 and the framework for the plan will be developed in the next few months.
- The goal is to present final Strategic Plan recommendations at the spring board meeting in Columbia, SC
- Formed an ad hoc committee to examine refreshing our website.
- A revamped website will go live in early 2017. It will have a fresh new look and cost SDITE much less annually to maintain it.
- The Member Services- Leadership Development and Workforce Development Committees, in partnership with Beverly Langford, developed new communication modules for leadership training.
- The SDITE Board approved more communication training for 2017 including sessions at the Annual Meeting and train the trainer sessions.
- Signed a contract for a join SDITE and Mid-Colonial meeting in 2019
- Through the efforts of the Member Services Technical Knowledge Team we have revitalized the Technical Paper Competition with awards to be given to the Best Technical Paper and Best Young Member Technical paper.
Tim White and I had the opportunity to interview several past presidents as a part of our Imagine SDITE process and I was encouraged by their answers. Our discussions with them further solidified my believe that SDITE is very healthy and offers opportunities to grow professionally. We do not however, need to rest on our laurels and live too much in the past. We need to respect our past, embrace many of our traditions, but be willing to change and adapt to an ever-changing world. They provided insightful comments and suggestions about young members being involved and about how we need to stay relevant. One past president observed that SDITE offers the opportunity to become a leader, through committees and/or board service, and noted that opportunity might not otherwise be available to them. When ask about SDITE’s best attributes their answers included: the people, very active members, being dynamic, the culture of southern hospitality, the ability to see what other states are doing, it being uplifting and empowering, and the family atmosphere. I think they nailed it; all of those things are what SDITE is all about. I am looking forward to helping Jennifer Bhil and the other Board members transition to their new roles. I also want to thank those past presidents with whom I served who helped me grow including Bill Seymour, Kirsten Tynch, and Martin Bretherton.