I begin my term as president excited by all the opportunities that present themselves this coming year. In preparation for future opportunities, I always like to spend a little time reflecting on our accomplishments this past year under the leadership of outgoing President Debby Bezzina. Indeed, 2018 was a great year for ITS Michigan, and we believe 2019 will be even better.
For example, ITS Michigan recently completed a revision and update to our bylaws, which can be viewed on our website (
). This task, originally started by our past Presidents Matt Klawon (AECOM) and Jim Santilli (TIA), was a daunting one, as our last bylaw revision dated back to 2006.
As you can imagine, a lot has changed since 2006, so our main purpose for revising our bylaws was to bring them up to date with the reality of how we function as a chapter today. More specifically, we have transitioned from a membership structure to a directorship structure.
We also made our annual meeting date more flexible, as there are so many events occurring throughout the year that we were running into conflicts with the hard date listed in our old bylaws. Finally, our new bylaws reflect our attempt to become more organized and focused as an organization, so that we can effectively achieve all of our goals.
Another great accomplishment in 2018 was the revamping of each committee charter. This enabled us to better define and reaffirm the purpose of each committee and create more detail as to how it should function.
These changes were included in our bylaw revisions, and we are confident this will help ensure that each committee remains relevant, committed and focused on its individual purposes. In that spirit, it should be known that all of our committees have much more work to do in 2019 and could use your help. If you have the time and are interested, we will help you find the right committee for you. Please contact Belinda Beard at
if you are interested in serving on a committee.
Further, ITS Michigan supported several student initiatives in 2018, and we have plans to continue these activities in 2019. Our organization created its first student chapter at the University of Michigan, and we hope to generate several other student chapters in 2019.
We also sponsored a Center for Connected and Automated Transportation (CCAT) paper competition on smart cities which handed out three scholarships for a total of $1,500. We held a successful bowling fundraiser in March of 2018 and plan to hold another this year, so stay tuned for more information on that.
Finally, we will be organizing a student poster competition at this year’s annual meeting in September, and we are working with SquareOne to host a student-attended technology demonstration at the American Center for Mobility.
In closing, I have had the privilege of serving on this board for over 10 years now, and I have had the pleasure of working with some amazing professionals. Therefore, I’d be remiss to not mention all of those directors, members and volunteers who have made, and continue to make, ITS Michigan the great organization that it is. Their dedication and effort should not go unnoticed as they have all donated their time to work on important enterprises such as student chapter engagement and fundraising events, talent and workforce development, legislative education, technical lunch and learns, as well as planning our annual meeting each year.
I’d also like to take the time to thank those who have supported our events through their generous sponsorships over the years. Your continued support is much appreciated.