TransConnect WTS Triangle

WTS NC Triangle Newsletter
April 2014

In this Issue

Note from the President
April Programs
Get to Know Your Board
Request for Donations
Featured Business

Featured Events

Transportation YOU

April 24, 2014


Go Gala

May 20, 2014


Negotiate Your Worth Breakfast

June 3, 2014 

Board of Directors



Kim Levine,

Asset Management Associates, PLLC


Vice President

Jenny Fleming, PE, Ecological Engineering



Memory Washaya, NCDOT



Jessalyn Abril, PE, LEED AP,



Past President

Amy Simes, PE, CPM, NCDENR

Quick Links

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2014 Partners

Advocate Sponsor




Patron Partner
Emerging Business
Supporter Partner 




Leslie Tracey, PE

City of Durham


Hatch Mott MacDonald

Taruna Tayal

Nicole Bennett, AICP
Parsons Brinckerhoff 

Hello to all! I hope everyone is having a productive spring season and ready for the warmer months ahead. Here at the WTS NC Triangle Chapter, we're getting ever closer to the Go Gala, our biggest fundraiser of the year!


This year, the Go Gala will be May 20th at the Cardinal Club in Downtown Raleigh. It's going to be a night of socializing, networking, presenting awards, and - most importantly - FUNDRAISING to support the scholarship and student outreach programs that our chapter sponsors throughout the year. Your attendance and participation in this event helps middle and high school girls learn about STEM-related careers through our program, Transportation YOU. And it also enables us to provide annual college scholarships to young women pursuing careers in transportation-related fields.


WRAL's Elizabeth Gardner will emcee the Gala, and throughout the evening, you'll be able to bid on a number of items in the Silent Auction - we want everyone to go home a winner - so bid on all your favorite items and bid often! To see a current list of items in the Silent Auction, visit our website. New items will be added until the day of the event.


New this year, Bartley Photography will be on site to take professional headshots. We hope to see you there!


Kimberly J. Levine

President, WTS NC Triangle Chapter

Upcoming for May

Go Gala

Elizabeth Gardner, meteorologist for WRAL-TV, will emcee this year's Go Gala event, which will be held May 20 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Cardinal Club in Raleigh. Ms. Gardner is a Raleigh native, and she joined the TV station in 1998. She graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1989 with a Bachelor's Degree in journalism and then from Mississippi State University in 1997 with a Bachelor's in geosciences. She holds a Broadcast Meteorologist Certification by the American Meteorological Society, and in 2001, she was awarded a regional Emmy for Best Weathercast. Gardner is married and has two children.


Go Gala is the chapter's annual fundraiser for the mentorship program, Transportation YOU, which encourages middle-school girls to consider math-, science- and engineering-related disciplines, and the scholarship program, which awards college scholarships to young women studying in transportation-related fields. During the evening, there will be a cocktail reception, silent auction and the chapter's annual Transportation Innovators Awards will be presented (click here to see a list of recipients). Tickets are $45 and can be purchased here through May 16.


There are still sponsorship opportunities available for the event, with 25 percent of all monies going directly to the WTS NC Triangle Foundation. Sponsorships start as low as $250 and include many marketing opportunities. For more information, contact Jenny Fleming or click here.

Get to Know Your Board

Treasurer Jessalyn Abril, PE, LEED AP 

Jessalyn Abril, PE, LEED AP, is a North Carolina native, and the current WTS NC Triangle Chapter Treasurer. The North Carolina State University graduate has been involved with WTS since 2008. She was first introduced to WTS after accepting a job with Parsons Transportation Group in New York City.  After more than 3 years in New York, Ms. Abril returned to North Carolina and joined the NC Triangle Chapter.


"I enjoy being involved in something," she said. "WTS is rewarding to me as it feels more personal and comfortable. Even though it's a professional setting, I can step out of my professional shoes and network as myself."


Ms. Abril is a Structural Engineer specializing in bridge design, and recently joined URS Corp., where she is part of a team working on the Triangle Transit Light Rail project. In addition to Treasurer, she chips in where needed, helping with other committees, including Transportation YOU, the Small Business Committee, and the Gala Committee.


"WTS is a great group, a great network," she stated. "It's a really good place to make connections, and many of us are great friends."


Outside of her professional dealings, Ms. Abril is hoping to soon return to her love of running. With one Boston Marathon under her belt, she is eager to cross the finish line again. She and her partner Nick welcomed their 14-month-old son Maddox last February.

In Case You Missed It ...
Membership Event at Dave & Buster's

WTS NC Triangle Chapter held its first membership event of the year at Dave & Buster's in April. More than 40 attendees enjoyed dinner, drinks, socializing and games, and they learned more about WTS and how to join. To see more pictures from the event, click here.
Habitat For Humanity

Some WTS NC Triangle Chapter members volunteered on a Habitat for Humanity build site in Raleigh in March. To see more pictures from the event, click here.

Go Gala

WTS is currently soliciting donations for our Annual Silent Auction to raise funds for college scholarships and outreach programs for middle and high school students. Your support of a silent auction gift will help us mentor more young women, and help them on their way to a successful college degree and career. For more information, or to make a donation, please contact Nichette Hill.

Featured Business

It has been one year since VHB and Martin/Alexiou/Bryson, P.C. joined forces. 
The merge has been a successful one and within the past year some staff  
changes have occurred. Lyle Overcash has been promoted to Managing Director of the Raleigh Office. Lyle succeeds Bill Martin who has taken on the role of Mid-Atlantic Transit Rail Director.
As Managing Director, Lyle is overseeing office operations in Raleigh as VHB continues to grow to better serve our clients. In Bill's role as Mid-Atlantic Transit Rail Director, his focus is to grow this important practice across the VHB's Mid-Atlantic region which includes offices in North Carolina, Virginia, and Maryland.
In addition, the firm announced the hiring of Megan Knapke as a Roadway Design Engineer. Megan comes to VHB with roadway and traffic engineering experience. She has worked on many large highway and interchange design projects, assisting at all levels of the design phase. VHB's roadway practice continues to grow and the hiring of additional staff reflects that growth.
In project news, VHB's combined talents and experience have led them to secure several important projects including, the City of Raleigh Transit Technology Feasibility Study, James City County Mooretown Road Extension Corridor Study, the NCDOT Strategic Highway Safety Plan, and college campus improvement projects at George Mason University and Duke University.

Professional Connections

For those looking for networking opportunities within the Chapter, consider joining the Professional Connections program. Each quarter, the members of the program are split into groups of four or five, and each group plans a lunch meeting. It's a good way to meet others and learn about their careers, hobbies and interests. For more information, or to sign up, contact Karen Reynolds.
Follow WTS NC Triangle on Facebook and Twitter
We have updated our Facebook and Twitter pages. Click below to "Like" us on Facebook or "Follow" us on Twitter.

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Call for Volunteers

We are looking for volunteers for our Communications Committee. We need people who can edit WTS material, as well as help with social media outreach and website development. Do you have a way with words? An eye for editing? Are you a wizard with Twitter? If so, please consider volunteering to be on the committee. Contact Leslie Tracey or Paddy Jordan to volunteer.



WTS NC Triangle