Thirty years is a long time. Think back to where you were in 1985 (for those of you who were born). I was starting out my career with the Federal Highway Administration. We were just being introduced to things called personal computers—the ubiquitous use of e-mail, smartphones, and texting were still a long way off. We certainly weren’t talking about connected and automated vehicles, Mobility as a Service, and whether electric scooters were an asset or nuisance.
Last month, the ITE International Board of Direction created the first wholly new ITE District in more than 30 years (http://bit.ly/2Q5wWXC). Combined with the emergence of the Missouri Valley and “new” Great Lakes District, the restructuring of the Florida Puerto Rico District, and the coming elevation of many Chapters to Sections, we are seeing the most significant organizational changes in ITE in a generation or more.
Change is hard. It is not easy to lead an organization with as much success and as many traditions as ITE in new directions. The tendency is to maintain the status quo. However, we know that we can’t stay in the same place while the world around us continues to change and evolve. I give much credit to our Board of Direction for their willingness to look to the future and consider how to set ITE on a path for long-term sustainability. They have worked hard to listen to input from members, and also to move forward with purpose.
Change is also invigorating. It allows us the space to create new ways of doing business and to rethink “the way we have always done it.” I am particularly excited about the potential of the new Mountain District because it provides the opportunity to take the best of the best. We can keep the best of our traditions and create new ones. We can draw from the great legacy of the Western District, but also take leading practices from other Districts. We can design the operation of the District to best meet the interests and needs of our members today. From a staff perspective, this new District will be a bit of a learning laboratory, one where we can figure out how to most efficiently provide needed products and services, and find ways to propagate those new practices and offer those services across ITE.
I have great confidence in the leadership team from across the Mountain states who are guiding the creation of this new District. Having had the opportunity to see them in action, they bring energy, passion, leadership, and great ideas to their work. They also demonstrate a strong spirit of collaboration with each other, the Western District, and ITE staff. I believe this is a recipe for success.
I also want to acknowledge the Western District leadership and the outstanding effort and support they have brought to the ONE ITE effort. Their experience and guidance will be particularly valuable to the new Mountain District. They, too, have an opportunity to create something “new” as they guide a reformed Western District forward while providing support for and working together with a fledgling district.
It is an exciting time to be the ITE Executive Director and CEO, and to be an ITE member. There are great changes and opportunities in our profession and in ITE. I look forward to continuing to support our members so we can continue to grow and improve ITE and the value for membership. As always please e-mail me at email@example.com or connect with me on Twitter @JeffPaniatiITE.This blog post is from the Director's Message in the June 2019 issue of ITE Journal