Candidate Statements: 2017-2018

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2017-2018 Board of Directors: Candidate Statements

Elections for YPT-NYC’s Board of Directors begin on 10/17/2017, and end on 10/27 at 8 PM ET. All members in good standing are eligible to vote.

2017-2018 YPT-NYC Board of Directors Nominations

Chair (1 Candidate)

The Chair is responsible for day-to-day implementation of the policy and guidelines of the Board of Directors. The Chair shall preside over Chapter Board meetings, create and appoint members to Committees, and act as chief official representative of YPT-NYC. The Chair shall have served at least one full-year term on the YPT-NYC Board of Directors, or have equivalent experience serving on the Board of Directors of any other YPT chapter or the YPT-International Board of Directors.

Alex Engel, Senior Program Associate, NACTO

Why are you interested in this position?

YPT-NYC provides professional development and networking opportunities – items sorely lacking among many transportation organizations, especially for those just beginning in their career. I believe strongly in the mission of YPT, and have worked over the past year as Chair to rebuild a passionate board that will serve you, our members, to bring opportunities for the future leaders in transportation. If re-elected, I will continue that work, and continue to build a solid foundation for future boards to come.

Please describe your previous experience with YPT?

Over the past year, I have served as YPT-NYC chair, cultivating a passionate board that provides excellent programming, networking opportunities, camaraderie, and career advice. Previously, I served as the YPT-NYC Communications Chair.

What skills do you possess that qualify you for this position?

I believe that I have successfully rebuilt a board where very few board members repeated year-to-year. We are passionate, and we are here for you, our members, to help you take the next step in your transportation careers. In my day-to-day job, I work as a project manager and do the duties of a communications director, successfully navigating sticky situations, and working on all the components that will make YPT-NYC successful: an active and engaged leadership, along with an active events schedule.

What new ideas will you bring to the board?

I will work on an engagement strategy that ensures current members hear from YPT-NYC enough, but not too much to become disengaged, as well as work on a marketing and sponsorship strategy to build successful events – and from there, a wide network for YPT-NYC fellowship.

Anything else you’d like to add?

YPT-NYC is a great organization that continues to expand its profile. Let’s bring the talent here to more people – and help drive conversations among young peers in transportation!

Deputy Chair (1 Candidate)

The Deputy Chair shall help to coordinate activities involving multiple Officers and assist the Chair in his or her responsibilities. In the absence of the Chair, the Deputy Chair shall act in the official capacity of the Chair and perform all duties of that office.

Alexandra Aiello, Strategic Analyst, MTA Bridges and Tunnels

Why are you interested in this position?

As the current Deputy Chair of YPT-NYC, I found I truly enjoyed serving in this role to help develop our board’s leadership. I am running for re-election because I believe that YPT-NYC can be among the best transportation professional organizations in the world and through our dynamic programming, tailored to our members’ interests, I’m confident we can achieve that.

Please describe your previous experience with YPT?

Currently, I serve as the Deputy Chair of YPT International and YPT-NYC. I was also Vice Chair of Programs for YPT-NYC during the 2015-2016 term. Through these experiences, especially with being on the International Board, I am familiar with the organization’s processes, made connections with other chapters, and advocated for better customer relationship management software to progress our growth.

What skills do you possess that qualify you for this position?

I’ve always made myself approachable and available to our members because I believe that communication is key if we are to realize our goals. I enjoy thinking outside the box; this year we had our first international YPT Exchange program with Toronto and developed our first board leadership retreat to review our practices and address our membership’s comments and concerns.

What new ideas will you bring to the board?

I would like to develop an Awards program for YPT-NYC to recognize our members excelling within the transportation industry. Also, in addition to our exchange program, I want to create an international trip for our members to take to learn about another city’s transportation systems and expand their professional network.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Throughout my time on the YPT Board, I have never over promised and under delivered. The reason why I enjoy serving is because I love seeing members make connections or get jobs through YPT. With your vote, if re-elected, I will continue to advocate for your interests and make this an organization you’re proud to be a member of.

Secretary (1 Candidate)

The Secretary shall keep full and accurate records of all business and proceedings at Chapter Board meetings. The Secretary shall prepare meeting minutes, keep accurate organization records, and manage the election process.

Robert Abugel, Data Science Intern, NYC DOT

Why are you interested in this position?

My interest in the secretary position is from wanting to improve my skills in preparing meeting minutes, keeping accurate organization records, and running elections. If elected secretary of YPT, I am interested in working with all of the members of the board and all of the challenges we may face.

Please describe your previous experience with YPT?

I am currently serving as Secretary of TransportationCamp NYC. I was chosen to go represent YPT-NYC in Toronto for the YPT Exchange Program and will be hosting a Torontonian in October as part of the exchange. I have participated in numerous events like the scavenger hunt, happy hours, and speed networking.

What skills do you possess that qualify you for this position?

I’m a good listener and I want to learn. I’m good at using both Google and Microsoft Office Suites. I am also easy to get a hold of.

What new ideas will you bring to the board?

I think we can do better working with other networks and professional organizations.

Anything else you’d like to add?

I’m a Staten Islander.

Treasurer (2 Candidates)

The Treasurer shall be responsible for the collection of dues, budget forecasting, and the safekeeping of funds, including reporting of receipts, expenditures, and balances at the request of the Chapter Board.

Darian Jefferson, Staff Analyst, MTA- New York City Transit

Why are you interested in this position?

The YPT treasurer is in a potent position to be involved in all aspects of the chapter. As the current treasurer, I’ve enjoyed the responsibility of helping plan of all our YPT programs to be financially sound and the flexibility to assist in other capacities to ensure we put out the best events we can.

Please describe your previous experience with YPT?

I joined YPT a few months after moving to New York and I quickly found it welcoming and intriguing. YPT has given me the opportunity to network and experience NYC in a way that I never expected. I greatly value the connections I’ve made and the experiences being a part of tours, happy hours, and creative events like scavenger hunts and trivia.

What skills do you possess that qualify you for this position?

I naturally look for ways to improve and streamline any process. I have had the pleasure of being YPT’s treasurer for the last year and would be happy to carry forward what I’ve learned into a new year with lots of great ideas and momentum.

What new ideas will you bring to the board?

This year saw a wonderful, dedicated board that had to learn quite a bit on the fly and with those lessons and experience I see ways for this position to better support the cohesion of our administrative and planning roles and coordinate with our partnering organizations.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Transportation Camp Oct 21st — See you there!!!

Robert Abugel, Data Science Intern, NYC DOT

Why are you interested in this position?

My interest the treasurer position from wanting to improve my skills in collection of dues and safekeeping of funds. If elected treasurer of YPT, I am interested in working with all of the members of the board and all of the challenges we may face.

Please describe your previous experience with YPT?

I am currently serving as Secretary of TransportationCamp NYC. I was chosen to go represent YPT-NYC in Toronto for the YPT Exchange Program will be hosting a Torontonian in October as part of the exchange. I have participated in numerous events like the scavenger hunt, happy hours, and speed networking.

What skills do you possess that qualify you for this position?

I’m a good listener and I want to learn. I’m good at using both Google and Microsoft Office Suites. I am also easy to get a hold of.

What new ideas will you bring to the board?

I think we can do better working with other networks and professional organizations. Most of our jobs overlap with other fields that can be helpful.

Anything else you’d like to add?

I’m a Staten Islander.

Communications Manager (1 Candidate)

The Communications Manager shall run YPT-NYC’s communications, including its website, newsletter, and social media presence. (S)he should have a background or interest in graphic design and/or photography, and an ear for inspiring language.

Tyler Green, Software Engineer, Intersection

Why are you interested in this position?

I would like to be the YPT Communications Manager because I believe that words can be simultaneously inspiring, impactful, and fun! I love using Twitter to spread ideas and good cheer, especially surrounding transportation topics.

Please describe your previous experience with YPT?

I’ve only been a YPT member for 4 months, but through hikes and happy hours, I’ve enjoyed the camaraderie of people who have not only heard of The Power Broker, but have a personal story on how it impacted their lives. Meeting people from many of the local transportation employers has made the region feel smaller and more effective already!

What skills do you possess that qualify you for this position?

The only thing I enjoy more than sending emails on time is closing them with a solid hashtag. I realize that it’s both cliché to say I have attention to detail, but also a requirement for a Communications Manager.

What new ideas will you bring to the board?

I would like to bring a rich voice to YPT-NYC communications. I understand that when you craft a brand with a distinctive voice, your institution becomes larger than the services you provide. I am up for the challenge of creating this voice for our local chapter.

Anything else you’d like to add?

I was giddy when I learned #WhyIYPT is a hashtag. My communications repertoire is available at https://twitter.com/greent_tyler.

Sponsorship Director (1 Candidate)

The Sponsorship Director shall be responsible for coordination and management of YPT-NYC’s sponsorship program, as well as partnerships with other organizations. As such, (s)he will: actively pursues sponsorships; maintain/update the list of prospective and active sponsors; be knowledgeable about YPT-NYC’s sponsorship policies; provide recommendations to amend the sponsorship policies; act as the liaison between YPT-NYC and these sponsors;  and report on updates at monthly board meetings.  The position will also help liaise between YPT and like-minded organizations, broadening YPT‘s reach and membership. Previous sponsorship and/or fundraising experience for non-profit organizations is helpful, but not required. Applicants are responsible for ensuring that they will have no potential conflicts of interest (generally speaking, public sector workers are unfortunately ineligible for this position).

Anne Patrone, Senior Transportation Planner, Arup

Why are you interested in this position?

I served on the YPT-NYC board in 2017 as Vice Chair for Sponsorship and developed the different packages available to private companies looking to sponsor YPT. I am looking forward to building on this work and further developing partnerships between the YPT-NYC branch and local businesses.

Please describe your previous experience with YPT?

I have served on the YPT-NYC board for one year and have been a member since 2014.

What skills do you possess that qualify you for this position?

I have a large network of contacts at different organizations (through YPT, WTS, and personal networking) and I think this network helps to start conversations about how companies can benefit from supporting YPT-NYC.

What new ideas will you bring to the board?

I would like to come up with new ways to solicit sponsorship, building on relationships YPT already has with companies in the NY area.

 

Events and Programs Managers (2 Positions/3 Candidates)

The Events and Programs Managers are responsible for the planning and execution of all events, including event registration management, and the development of a full year schedule of engaging events, while drawing upon other board members for event ideas and logistical support. Events range from tours to lectures to social opportunities.

David Andrew, Sustainable Transport Wonk, Self-employed

Why are you interested in this position?

I see events and programs as essential to YPT-NYC’s mission of connecting young professionals in transportation and supporting their ongoing professional development. I am currently serving in this role and hope to continue to build on my work in the coming year.

Please describe your previous experience with YPT?

I’ve been a member of YPT-NYC since spring 2016 and I currently serve as one of two Vice Chairs for Programming. In this role I have planned or helped to plan numerous events, including Transportation Board Game Night, Transportation Trivia, the Transportation Scavenger Hunt, and several happy hours. I also coordinated this year’s tours of East Side Access.

What skills do you possess that qualify you for this position?

I have extensive experience planning and hosting events, and I excel at creating welcoming environments and building community. I approach YPT’s mission with creativity and genuine enthusiasm, and am consistently seeking ways to build upon our success.

What new ideas will you bring to the board?

As your Events and Programs Manager, I will develop exciting new social and professional experiences that enhance our members’ understanding of contemporary transportation issues in NYC and globally. I will plan social events that help to build relationships between members and expand YPT’s membership base by welcoming students and new members. I will work to position YPT-NYC as a vital part of the broader NYC transportation community and to connect our members to the best ideas in transportation.

Anything else you’d like to add?

It’s been a pleasure to serve YPT-NYC and I look forward to continuing this service in the coming year.

Olya Arakhouskaya, Field Engineer, NJ TRANSIT

Why are you interested in this position?

I am interested in “Events and Programs Manager” position, because I like organizing events and activities in my social life and I would like to utilize my people and time management skills as well as creativity to share new ideas with YPT NYC members.

Please describe your previous experience with YPT?

I’ve been a YPT NYC member for 2 years. Recently, I also became involved in planning for Transportation Camp NYC 2017 as “Purchasing coordinator” in order to learn more about researching and booking venues, budget awareness, promoting the event, and time management.

What skills do you possess that qualify you for this position?

It seems to me that my ability to create good relationships with people is my strongest skill. Self-motivation would be the second strongest skill. YPT NYC will benefit from my organizational skills, my ability to multitask, and my energetic, passionate and dynamic personality.

What new ideas will you bring to the board?

I have a strong desire to learn from other YPT members and develop as a professional, and this is already demonstrated through my work with NJ TRANSIT Future (internal program that provides employees with professional development opportunities) by organizing tours of NJT’s facilities (rail, bus, light rail) and educational forums with various department heads. I believe I can bring real passion and energy to the board.

Anything else you’d like to add?

I think it’s important to add that I am a foreigner and having international work experience brings a lot of professional and personal benefits to the table: resilience, flexibility, “fresh” outlook and self-motivation. With that said, I am keen to learn new skills required to work with YPT NYC from every YPT member.

Ai Yamanaka, Senior Policy Analyst, The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

Why are you interested in this position?

I hope to continue the strong record that YPT has of providing approachable, consistent, and enriching events to our members by drawing on my past experience organizing professional development and networking events. I believe this position is a great opportunity to foster new connections with people.

Please describe your previous experience with YPT?

I had the pleasure of serving as your Student Vice Chair in the 2016-2017 Board.

What skills do you possess that qualify you for this position?

I enjoy meeting new people and am excited to organize and carry out new programs that can contribute to our YPT community. I also serve on the Board of my graduate school’s alumni program where I work with a team of people to coordinate events.

What new ideas will you bring to the board?

I’d like to propose “Lunch and Learns,” as well as smaller informal meet & greets with transportation professionals around a specific topic. I’d also like to form working groups around technical skills that our members might be interested in learning.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Thank you for your time in reading this & voting!

Membership Manager (1 Candidate)

The Membership Manager utilizes the resources of YPT to manage the membership records and works to provide maximum value for all members, increase the membership of YPT-NYC, increase the visibility of YPT, explore business development opportunities and provide other services to meet the needs of the members of YPT, and support the Events and Programs Managers where necessary.

Jeffrey Brauner, Principal Transportation Planner, The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

Why are you interested in this position?

Having served in this position on the YPT-NYC board for the past year, I enjoyed helping grow the membership of YPT.  Whether it was being on-hand at our events and talking to current or prospective members, or setting up meetings outside of events to troubleshoot technical problems that inevitably cropped up, I was always glad to support YPT-NYC’s membership.

Please describe your previous experience with YPT?

I served this past year as the Membership Manager of YPT-NYC.  In addition to helping to grow and maintain or membership, I took the opportunity to plan and run events.  I arranged for Philip Mark Plotch to speak on Politics Across the Hudson, guided a tour of the 65th Street Rail Yard, and continued our Book Club with Conquering Gotham.

What skills do you possess that qualify you for this position?

The systems used by YPT to track and manage membership are a bit clunky, to put it kindly.  Having built up knowledge on how to work within this system and stay organized to provide the best results for members has been critical.  I also enjoy regular communications with members, making sure we are providing the best experience possible.

What new ideas will you bring to the board?

I would like to work with our Professional Development Manager to better share our experiences in the workplace.  While we often talk about what we might do at happy hours and events, it would be helpful to provide opportunities to share some of the interesting things that we are working on in a more formal setting.

Anything else you’d like to add?

It has been my pleasure to serve as your Membership Manager on the YPT-NYC Board of Directors for the past year.  I hope to have the opportunity to continue to grow and serve in 2017-2018.

Professional Development Managers (2 Candidates)

The Professional Development Manager shall work with the Membership and Events and Programs Managers to create professional development programming, including student outreach. The ideal candidate would have connections with local schools/student groups that could be leveraged.

Ai Yamanaka, Senior Policy Analyst, The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

Why are you interested in this position?

I strongly believe in YPT’s mission to bring growth and educational opportunities to emerging transportation professionals through our events. As former Student Vice Chair, I’ve worked with our Events Program Managers to lead one of our most successful YPT-Student Networking events with over 50 participants. I hope to continue in the same capacity providing more opportunities for professional development.

Please describe your previous experience with YPT?

Drawing from my previous experience as a YPT Board Member as well as a Board Member for my graduate school’s alumni association, I believe I have the experience and network that can positively contribute to the enrichment and growth of YPT as an organization.

What skills do you possess that qualify you for this position?

I believe I’m highly-motivated, friendly, curious, and passionate about connecting with folks about transportation and social policy. I particularly enjoy forging meaningful connections and working together with people on new and exciting ideas and projects.

What new ideas will you bring to the board?

For the upcoming YPT Board year, I hope to continue to work with our Events and Programs Managers to provide continuing and professional development opportunities not only to students but to our other members as well, through panel discussions, webinars, and insider tours and lectures.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Thank you for your time in reading this & voting!

Dash Henley, Recent Graduate and TV Producer, Hunter College/CUNY TV

Why are you interested in this position?

This position is an exciting opportunity to develop a robust professional development program that better connects students’ education with employer needs, promotes meaningful internships, and connects members with experienced professional mentors.

Please describe your previous experience with YPT?

I have been involved in YPT for several years and have been a full member since last year. I did the first YPT Exchange in San Francisco, where I learned about local agency best practices and TNC companies’ visions of the future. I’ve also participated in scavenger hunts, speed networking, trivia nights, and of course the famed summer tours.

What skills do you possess that qualify you for this position?

I am in the unique position of having hired and supervised interns as well as having been an intern at nine different organizations across the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. As part of a research course, I studied planning graduate internship experiences and made well-received recommendations to the program director. I also have experience organizing events and professional development workshops.

What new ideas will you bring to the board?

We need to engage hiring managers and school administrators to mend the disconnect between employers and emerging professionals in terms of expected skills, experience, and job roles.

We should recognize and promote the many benefits of paid internships. We should also harness experienced members’ networks to better connect mentors and mentees based on member interests and career goals.

Anything else you’d like to add?

I believe this position should be focused on improving the professional opportunities for students and emerging professionals not just through events, but through directly engaging employers, school administrators, and partnership organizations such as APA, WTS, and Municipal Engineers of the City of New York.