Check out the WTS HOT Chapter's second quarter recap and learn more about upcoming events!
The 2017 WTS Heart of Texas Chapter Gala was held May 5, 2017 at the JW Mariott in downtown Austin. It was a fantastic evening of award presenting, heads-or-tails playing, and opportunities to win great prizes. Award winners included:
  • Innovative Transportation Solutions: Mobility35
  • Rosa Parks Diversity Leadership Award: Beverly Silas & Associates
  • Honorable Ray LaHood "Man of the Year": Ashby Johnson
  • Woman of the Year: Ashley McLain
  • Employer of the Year: Texas Department of Transportation 
In April, our program luncheon featured Burnet County Commissioner Joe Don Dockery to talk about transportation concerns and issues in rural areas and taking a regional approach to addressing transportation needs. In May, we had the pleasure of hearing about plans for our ever growing and changing downtown from Downtown Austin Alliance President and CEO Dewitt Peart.
Chapter President Lindsay Wood and Transportation YOU Chair Mary Jo Galindo attended the DC Summit in Washington DC June 21-25 as chaperones and mentors for two young ladies from the Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders high school. The DC Summit included:
  • Traveling Washington via the METRO subway system
  • Panel sessions at the US Department of Transportation with representatives from FAA, FTA, and FHWA
  • Special presentation from the lead investigator from NTSB for the TWA Flight 800 crash on the findings of the investigation and tour of the reconstructed plane
  • Hands-on tours at the labs of the Turner Fairbank Research Center to learn about the latest research in connected and autonomous vehicles, concrete mixtures, hydraulics, and driving simulations and testing
  • Tour of the US Capitol (our tour guide spoke 61 languages!)
  • Special behind the scenes tour of Union Station including past, present and planned improvements
  • Opportunity for the students to work in teams to present recommendations for a Safe Routes to School project
  • Workshop on presentation skills
  • A special scavenger hunt through the DC monuments
  • Dinner cruise on the Potomac River
Eight members of the Heart of Texas Chapter headed to Brooklyn, NY to attend the annual WTS International Conference May 17-20. The conference provides valuable professional development on a wide range of topics including leadership and career development as well as technical on technology, multi-modal projects and multi-agency coordination. Two of our own Heart of Texas Chapter members (Ashley McLain and Gayle Heath) were invited to participate in the Women Owned Business forum, where women business owners could share their lessons learned from challenges and successes. Keynote speaker Arianna Huffington, founder of the Huffington Post and Thrive Global as well as author of many books, provided an eye-opening address that focused on the importance of taking care of yourself, disconnecting from distractions and being present in the moment, and getting enough sleep as key elements to make you more successful in all facets of life, including business. 

Alliance is led by its Chief Executive Officer, Gayle L. Heath. Gayle, a co- founder of the company, through strategic initiatives, has developed and implemented comprehensive and integrated plans for diversity and inclusion in Alliance's work force. Alliance actively hires a diverse workforce and has placed women in key decision-making roles in its organization. Almost 50% of its staff are women. 

Now celebrating 20 years in business, Gayle has guided Alliance through periods of industry change and growth. This includes leading the Board of Directors and the Executive Management Team, and remaining true to Alliance's founding belief in serving our communities, developing sustainable relationships and sharing successes. Alliance makes people's lives better through our commitment to improving all modes of transportation.

Alliance is an active WTS Platinum Corporate Partner for both the Heart of Texas and Louisiana Chapters and supports staff to actively participate in WTS. Gayle was a founding member of the WTS Heart of Texas Chapter, currently serving her second term on the Heart of Texas Chapter Advisory Board, participates in the WTS international conferences and WTS Women Business Owners Roundtable, and most recently joined fellow women leaders in the transportation industry as a panelist for the Women in Leadership February Program Lunch. Gayle is also an active member of the WTS Louisiana chapter.

Realizing the intrinsic nature of an organization that fosters relationships, creates leadership and professional development opportunities, has ties to more than 5,000 members, and provides access to the highest levels of the transportation industry - G&AI has been active as members of WTS for the past 15 years, and is a corporate partner for the Greater Dallas Fort Worth Chapter, the Heart of Texas Chapter, and the Houston Chapter. 

In addition to the financial support provided as a corporate partner, G&AI has donated nearly $30,000 to WTS Scholarship Funds, contributed as a sponsor to the Annual Gala and Scholarship Fundraiser for each member chapter, golf tournaments and special events, served as the sole sponsor for the 2012 WTS Houston Chapter Men's Membership Drive Event, sponsored an elegant evening reception for participants of the first Texas Statewide Leadership Conference, and sponsored lunch during the second Texas Statewide Leadership Conference.

Ms. Strachan is an active member of the WTS Greater Dallas/Fort Worth Chapter, Society for Marketing Professional Services, and Society of American Military Engineers.

Ms. Strachan is a licensed professional engineer with 23 years of progressively responsible and diverse technical, managerial, and business development experience in the geotechnical engineering and construction materials testing and inspection consulting industries. As the Area Manager for the Geotechnical Engineering and CMT Services departments for Gorrondona & Associates, Inc. Ms. Strachan is responsible for overseeing daily aspects of the groups, including projects, laboratory services, and administrative management. Ms. Strachan has been involved in numerous projects throughout Texas serving public and private clients. Her specialization includes foundations, expansive soils, slope and erosion protection, retention structures, excavation and utilities, and pavement design.

Learn more about Gorrondona and Associates online