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Association Briefs: LRW, WTS

Written by Marybeth Luczak, Executive Editor
The WTS-Sacramento chapter has recognized California High-Speed Rail Authority as Employer of the Year.

The WTS-Sacramento chapter has recognized California High-Speed Rail Authority as Employer of the Year.

The League of Railway Women (LRW) has teamed with Forius Association Management Services. In addition, the California High-Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) and HDR have earned awards from the Women’s Transportation Seminar (WTS) Sacramento and Colorado chapters, respectively.

LRW President Amanda Trainor Patrick

After a competitive Request for Proposal process, LRW signed a two-year contract with Forius Association Management Services (Forius AMS) for staffing resources and support for executive, administrative and finance activities. There is an option to extend the contract, starting in December 2024. Forius AMS’s Leslie Thomas on Jan. 1 became LRW’s Executive Director overseeing the new services.

LRW’s new contact information is: 8441 Wayzata Blvd., Suite 270, Golden Valley, MN 55426; 763-253-4311.

“To manage our individual membership and corporate partnership growth plan for a sustainable and strategic focused future, and continue to provide opportunities to connect and cultivate women in rail and promote diversity in our industry, we need more support staff and additional expertise to help us,” said Amanda Trainor Patrick, President of LRW—which is one of the five Coordinated Mechanical Associations supported by the Railway Supply Institute (RSI)—and Vice President, Trade Shows and Board Relations for RSI.

“Forius AMS is excited to use our extensive association management knowledge and experience to help LRW continue growing as an organization and advocating for women in the railroad industry,” Thomas said.

CHSRA Board Vice Chair Nancy Miller

The WTS-Sacramento chapter has recognized CHSRA as Employer of the Year. The annual award is presented to a transportation organization for “outstanding leadership in mentoring women in the transportation field, providing opportunities for upward mobility for women, and having women at the highest levels of leadership,” according to the association.

Women represent more than half of CHSRA’s total workforce as well as the majority of the executive team. Major initiatives and programs led by women at the CHSRA include strategic delivery; legal counsel; strategic communications; legislative affairs; information technology; planning and sustainability; administration and human resources; diversity, equity and inclusion; and regional leadership.

“A talented, highly-capable and diverse staff is a pre-requisite for success on a project of this magnitude,” CHSRA CEO Brian Kelly said. “This recognition validates our approach and is a testament to the tremendous work that our diverse staff has done and will continue to do in advancing the California high-speed rail program.”

“I am proud of the staff and leadership of High-Speed Rail in promoting diversity in the workplace and asking our partners in the rail industry to do the same,” CHSRA Board Vice Chair Nancy Miller said. “It is heartening to attend meetings with the engineers, the attorneys, the systems operators and planners to find a group of diverse and knowledgeable staff assisting at every level.”

California’s high-speed rail program is currently under construction over 119 miles in the Central Valley. By mid-2022, CHSRA expects to have environmentally cleared 422 miles from the Bay Area to the Los Angeles Basin.

Central Region Bridge Leader Tammy Heffron accepts the Employer of the Year Award from WTS Colorado on behalf of HDR.

The WTS-Colorado chapter named HDR Employer of the Year, and presented the award on Jan. 27. The annual award recognizes an organization that “consistently supports the professional development of women in transportation, has multiple women in executive or senior positions, and encourages new women to enter the transportation field as students or interns.”

Additionally, the Front Range Passenger Rail Alternatives Analysis project earned the WTS-Colorado chapter’s Innovative Transportation Solution of the Year award. “The study examined the feasibility for passenger rail along the Colorado Front Range that extends nearly 180 miles, crossing communities with diverse needs,” the chapter noted. “HDR Senior Strategic Consultant Carla Perez helped lead a stakeholder engagement strategy that resulted in strong public support for the corridor. The team of more than 50 involved on the project included more than 30 women, including 18 in leadership positions.”

“HDR has a long history of collaboration with WTS and support of their mission,” Colorado Transportation Manager Jason Wenger said. “These awards are a wonderful recognition of the value we place on making sure that all of our employees are supported throughout their careers.”

More than 250 HDR women and men are members of WTS, including more than 50 serving in leadership roles in local chapters across the country.

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