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By Mr. Jeffrey Paniati P.E posted 17 days ago

Our much-anticipated return to an in-person ITE Annual Meeting and Exhibition took place in New Orleans last month, and I wanted to share some exciting highlights from the event.

A productive International Board of Direction meeting included the acceptance of new charters and bylaws for three New England Sections—Northern New England, Connecticut, and Southeastern New England—and approval of our first new international Chapter in many years. This new Chapter in Pakistan is a direct outgrowth of our establishment of a Student Chapter there several years ago and helps grow our global professional footprint. The Board also took note of the strong progress being made by our Districts to recharter all our Student Chapters, accepted the annual audit report certifying our finances are strong, and worked on our 2023 initiative to attract and engage more transportation planners to ITE.

Then it was time for the main event! Sunday provides an unofficial and busy start to the conference. The Council Leadership Team meeting kicked off the day. Our first-time attendees tour and reception for our more than 150 first-timers jumpstarted the process of connecting with others. The Opening Reception in the Exhibit Hall provided a great opportunity for attendees to reunite and build new relationships.

At our Opening Session, we recognized our three new Honorary Members—Jenny Grote, P.E., PTOE, PTP (H), Zaki Mustafa, P.E. (H), and Robert Wunderlich, P.E. (H)—I provided my annual State of ITE presentation, and our International President Beverly Kuhn, Ph.D., P.E., PMP (F) moderated a dynamic panel discussion with USDOT Deputy Secretary Polly Trottenberg and Louisana DOT Secretary Shawn Wilson. This was the first of more than 40 sessions, 40 poster presentations, 25 Council and Committee meetings, nine workshops, and four tours delivered over the next 2.5 days. Another Sunday highlight was the Traffic Bowl Grand Championship.

Day two started with our Plenary Panel on Safety. Moderated by our International Vice President Rosana Correa, P.E., PTOE (F), leading experts from government and the private sector discussed reducing traffic fatalities. The Annual Awards ceremony recognized ITE and industry leaders, and celebrated the graduation of our ninth LeadershipITE class. Congratulations to all our recipients and especially to Jeff Lindley, P.E. (F) on receiving the Theodore M. Matson Award. The day closed with a high-energy reception overlooking the mighty Mississippi, giving participants another great networking opportunity.

The meeting wrapped-up on Wednesday with a TED-talk style plenary presentation on the future of transportation electrification by Nick Nigro, a leader in the field. Thanks to all who made the meeting such a success. ITE’s new Senior Director of Meetings Adam Martin led the charge supported by all the ITE staff, especially Kathi Driggs, Jeff Lindley, Colleen Agan, Pam Goodell, and Stephen Byrd who all played major roles. Thanks, too, to our local leaders Alison Catarella-Michel, P.E., PTOE, PTP, RSP1 (F) and Diane Hammonds, P.E., PTOE, RSP1 (M) for all their support. Finally, thanks to all the presenters, exhibitors, sponsors, and volunteer leaders who contributed. Can’t wait until next year’s Annual Meeting and Exhibition with the Western District in Portland, OR, USA. As always, contact me on the ITE e-Community or on Twitter: @JeffPaniatiITE.