TransConnect WTS Triangle

WTS NC Triangle Newsletter
May 2014

In this Issue

Note from the President
June Programs
Go Gala Summary

Featured Events

Negotiate Your Worth Breakfast

(Register by June 2) 

June 3, 2014


STI Implementation Luncheon

June 26, 2014


WTS Chapter Mid-Year Review

July 16, 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 

This year's GO Gala has come and gone, and we had a great night and raised a lot of money. With about 80 attendees, we raised almost $3,000 for the chapter's scholarship fund. Everyone had a great time socializing and bidding on the great items in the Silent Auction. We also presented our Transportation Award recipients - you can read about them below.


Now it's onto summer, and we're not slowing down! We'll be holding the second breakfast series of the year and second luncheon of the year in June. We're looking forward to two great programs. The breakfast program will focus on salary negotiation, and the luncheon will feature an update on NCDOT's Strategic Transportation Investments implementation.


Both programs will be great chances to network with your fellow transportation professionals. We hope to see you there!


Kimberly J. Levine

President, WTS NC Triangle Chapter

Upcoming for June

David Wasserman, PE, with the NCDOT Prioritization Office, will be the guest speaker for next month's luncheon on June 26, from noon to 1:30 p.m. at the Cardinal Club in Raleigh. Mr. Wasserman will give an update on NCDOT's Strategic Transportation Investments (STI) implementation. STI establishes the Strategic Mobility Formula, a new way of allocating available revenues based on data-driven scoring and local input. On May 14, 2014, NCDOT released the data for the approximately 1,300 multimodal and 500 highway projects in its current database based on criteria contained in STI. Providing this initial data is the first step in the process to fully implement the new formula, established in June 2013 by the Strategic Transportation Investments Law. Click here to register.


Breakfast Series - Negotiate Your Worth

Next month's Breakfast Series on Professional Development will feature Nicki Holleman with Matrix Resources. The program on June 3 will focus on the topic of negotiating salaries and raises. One of the most difficult aspects of getting or having a job is making sure you are being paid what you are worth. All too often people do not know how to determine their worth or ask for adequate compensation. More importantly, they do not know the negotiation techniques that will create a result beneficial to all parties' - both employee and employer. Ms. Holleman will outline some strategies that can be used to request a higher salary. So join the WTS NC Triangle Chapter for breakfast - there is a $5 registration fee that covers bagels and coffee, and the program runs from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. at Stewart Engineering, 421 Fayetteville St., in Raleigh. Registration ends on Monday, June 2nd, click here to register today!  

Go Gala Summary

The 2014 GO Gala was a great success. This is the biggest fundraiser of the year for the WTS NC Triangle Chapter, and this year's event grossed $2,000. Combined with the money raised from sponsorships, the chapter's scholarship fund increased by $2,800.


Thanks to this year's event sponsors: Champion Sponsor AECOM; Advocate Sponsors Dewberry, Ecological Engineering and Parsons Brinckerhoff; and Friend Sponsors Ramey Kemp, CH Engineering, ICA Engineering, VHB and Simpson Engineers Associates.


In addition, the chapter honored its annual Transportation Award recipients:

Woman of the Year - Karen Fussell, PE, NCDOT

Karen Fussell, PE, has advanced the reputation and credibility of women in the transportation industry during her 23-year career in the North Carolina Department of Transportation. In 2012, Ms. Fussell became the first woman in North Carolina to be appointed to the role of NCDOT Division Engineer when she took the helm of Division 3, headquartered in Wilmington. A native of Wilmington, Ms. Fussell graduated from North Carolina State University in 1988 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering. After joining NCDOT, she worked in the highway maintenance section, as Assistant District Engineer, District Engineer and County Maintenance Engineer, and in the construction section, as Resident Engineer. A trailblazer from the start, Ms. Fussell was the first female Assistant District Engineer and first female County Maintenance Engineer in NCDOT.  

Jenny Fleming, PE, has been a vibrant member within the WTS-NC Triangle Chapter since the day she signed up in September 2011, bringing her energy, knowledge, organization skills and creativity to several committees within the chapter. In her role as Fundraising Chair, she has helped to increase the chapter's budget and Foundation Fund, setting the chapter up as a leader in the industry. She continues to serve in this role while taking on the additional responsibility of chapter vice president this year. One of Ms. Fleming's main contributions to the chapter has been the formation of the "Partner Program," which raises funds for chapter programs and the Foundation Fund through yearly sponsorships. This year, the program has already raised $14,250. 

HDR Engineering is a company that is committed to excellence and quality in its services. It is ranked No. 7 of the "Top 50 in Transportation" by ENR (Engineering News-Record). The Raleigh office consists of 26% women, which is higher than the average for the civil engineering field, and there is a commitment to promoting women and minorities at all levels of the company. Many opportunities exist for students to intern at the company and to start their careers at HDR Engineering upon graduation. HDR supports WTS at both the national and local levels. The company was named "Employer of the Year" by WTS international in 2013. This commitment to the WTS organization starts at each local chapter. In 2013, HDR Engineering was the largest monetary supporter of the NC Triangle Chapter. 

The North Carolina Department of Transportation is supporting efforts to reduce transportation-related emissions with a three-year $6.2 million award for the Clean Fuel Advanced Technology (CFAT) project. This project, led by the NC Solar Center at North Carolina State University, is the third phase of an initiative that began in 2006 and was previously administered with $3 million in state and federal funding. The grant awarded to the NC Solar Center is funded with federal dollars through the Congestion Mitigation Air Quality (CMAQ) program that is administered annually by NCDOT. The CFAT project focuses on improving air quality in the 24 North Carolina counties that are in non-attainment or maintenance status for national air quality standards. The project centers around three primary activities: education and outreach, emission reduction sub-awards, and recognition of exemplary efforts among fleets and organizations that implement clean transportation-related policies and practices.

Julie White, executive director of the NC Metropolitan Mayors Coalition, is one of the top lobbyists in the state on transportation issues. The coalition represents the state's 27 larger cities and their 3.5 million citizens. Since 2001, the coalition has been a nonpartisan, mayor-driven organization advocating on urban issues with the goals of promoting job creation, protecting local revenue streams, investing in infrastructure and keeping the cities safe. Ms. White's legislative and executive transportation summary updates, generated almost daily during state legislative sessions, are received by more than 1,000 locally elected officials, NC Department of Transportation staffers, NC Board of Transportation members, private sector transportation professionals, MPO and RPO staffers, and others. Her live tweets from legislative transportation committees are followed widely across the state, and she is frequently quoted in news media reports on legislative actions that affect transportation.

Nadia Aboulhosn, EI, has been a great asset to WTS. She takes initiative and offers a hand in all areas of the organization, with special emphasis on the Transportation YOU program, chapter planning, and special events. She is currently chair of the chapter's Transportation YOU Program, which focuses on encouraging middle-school-aged girls to develop an interest in science, math and engineering disciplines. She is active in the transportation community not only with WTS, but also the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IESNA), North Carolina Airports Association (NCAA), Toastmasters International, and she volunteers as an instructor for the NC State's General Shelton Leadership Center camp. Ms. Aboulhosn is a Design Engineer with Atkins' Aviation Transportation Unit working with the Airfield Electrical Group. She has almost four years of experience in the transportation industry. 

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.

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.
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