In this month’s ITE Journal you will read about the new ITE Strategic Plan for 2021-2023, recently adopted by the International Board of Direction. I want to thank ITE Past President Shawn Leight for his leadership of this important effort and the many ITE leaders who contributed to its development.
While I have always been very focused on having a clear strategy in place for the organizations, programs, and activities that I have been charged with leading, I have not always been a fan of the formal strategic planning process. Oftentimes, so much energy goes into developing a great plan that that mostly ends up sitting on the shelf collecting dust. The
plan and process should be robust enough to set a clear direction, yet flexible enough to react to unanticipated changes, with energy primarily funneled into implementation.
The 2018-2021 Strategic Plan prepared under the leadership of ITE Past President Steve Gayle has served us very well in this regard. Focused on three key pillars—Membership, Technical Programs, and Institutional Sustainability—volunteers and staff working collaboratively have made great strides in implementing the plan’s goals and strategies. Membership has reached a 10-year high, exceeding 16,000, our technical initiatives have positioned ITE at the forefront of our profession, and the ONE ITE initiative has resulted in new Districts and Sections, tightening our bonds across organizational lines. Building off the success of the current plan, the new Strategic Plan maintains the three pillars while setting out new horizons for the organization. It calls for us to continue to diversify and grow our membership and to strive to be a true Community of Transportation Professionals; seeks to further strengthen our Councils and Committees and to more clearly assert ITE’s leadership; and challenges us to take advantage of the structural changes that we put in place through ONE ITE. I encourage you to review the summary of the plan in the article beginning on page 27 of the November 2020 issue of ITE Journal and the full plan online at www.ite.org/strategicplan.
On a personal note, in late October I reached the five-year milestone as the Executive Director and CEO of ITE. When I look back, I can see a tremendous amount of growth and change as an organization. I am pleased to have had the opportunity to help guide the evolution of ITE and position the organization for continued success. I have been fortunate to serve with outstanding ITE Presidents who have worked in partnership to set a cohesive vision for ITE, and Board Members who have worked collaboratively and rolled-up their sleeves to help make it happen. Critical to this success has been the day-to-day support of a talented, dedicated ITE staff.
This year was like no other in my lifetime and the impacts of COVID-19 will linger for a long time. Despite these challenges, I am excited about the future of ITE. We have managed to navigate difficult waters while reimagining existing products and services and creating new value for our members. Guided by the new Strategic Plan and with the strong leadership of 2021 International ITE President Alyssa Rodriquez, Vice President Beverly Kuhn, and Past President Randy McCourt, I am confident that we can reach new heights. I look forward to being part of it. You can reach me on the ITE e-Community or on Twitter: @JeffPaniatiITE.