Happy New Year! ¡Feliz Año Nuevo!
Wishing you and yours health and prosperity in 2023!
My journey in ITE started, like many of you, as a student. I was part of the first Student Chapter at the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez and President in the second year. It was there my ITE leadership journey started.
When I moved to Tampa, FL, USA in January 2002, I joined the ITE Tampa Bay Chapter and started volunteering with the Chapter. At the end of 2002, I was encouraged to run for Chapter officer. Because English is my second language and because of my accent, I was terrified because that meant I need it to talk in front of people. But my ITE family helped me feel that I belong and encouraged me just to be myself. Since then, I have held different leadership roles with the Florida Section, District 10 International
Director, and now as your 2023 ITE International President.
ITE gave me my first leadership experience as a young professional, and with each experience I have grown as a person, leader, and professional. Joining ITE is one of the best decisions I have made in my life, not only because of the leadership opportunities, but because of the long-lasting friendships I have made along the way. Connecting with colleagues and friends both virtually and in person throughout the year is one of the most meaningful benefits ITE has to offer.
ITE is an international community of transportation professionals, and every member should feel that they belong and can contribute to our organization at the local or international level, regardless of background or career status. Last November we launched a membership recruitment drive to attract more transportation planners to ITE. It’s my hope that they feel ITE is an organization where they can belong and contribute. A diverse community of transportation professionals will strengthen ITE and increase the value we bring to our communities by providing different viewpoints, strategies, and solutions.
This also applies to our Student Chapters. We have the first ITE Student Chapter at a planning school at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. ITE can be the bridge
between planners and engineers starting at the student level. We will be working this year on identifying activities and opportunities to enhance student participation at the Chapter, Section, and District level, and at ITE International Meetings.
This year, the Board will also be working on the 2024-2026 Strategic Plan to identify the organization priorities and new initiatives for the next 3 years. I’m very excited to serve this community as the 2023 ITE International President and to work with the International Board of Directors and ITE staff in helping ITE expand its reach to
a diverse group of transportation professionals. I am very much looking forward to meeting you at the upcoming District Meetings, or at the ITE Annual Meeting and Exhibition in Portland, OR, USA, August 13-16, 2023.
This new year is full of promise for ITE and its members as we embark upon all these and so many other initiatives for 2023. ITE is here to help you in your journey as both a professional and as a member of your community, and we’re always here to listen to your feedback. Please feel free to connect with me on the ITE e-Community. I would love to hear your thoughts on all ITE has to offer this year and what you’re most looking forward to.