YPT-NYC 2015-2016 Board Elections

2015-2016 YPT-NYC BOARD – CANDIDATE STATEMENTS

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 YPTNYC 

Elizabeth Paul – Senior Strategic Analyst, MTA Bridges and Tunnels        

Why are you interested in this position?        

After three years on the YPT-NYC board, I have learned a great deal about what works and what doesn’t work in running an organization like YPT-NYC. I am running for Chair because I believe that I have the vision to see YPT-NYC through another, even more successful year. My goal for the coming year is to create new and relevant events, improve the regularity of our communications and programming, and to expand our membership to students and individuals just entering the workforce. If you elect me as Chair of YPT-NYC I will act on my plan to make these goals happen.

Please describe your previous experience with YPT.        

I started with YPT-NYC as a Co-Chair for Programming in 2012, and then spend the following two years as Deputy Chair.  I’ve gained invaluable experience organizing and attending events over the years. My favorite events are the ones where we tried something new because that is what makes YPT valuable as an organization. For example, the Transportation Scavenger Hunt was an idea that my co-chair and I started, and it has now ran for three straight years with growing participation every year.

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

Having been central in organizing events as the Programs Chair and working closely with all board members as the Deputy Chair leaves me uniquely qualified for the Chair position.  In my job with MTA Bridges and Tunnels, I am a project manager in the Strategic Initiatives department. One part of my job requires that I lead project members through complex tasks to make sure that our work is done on time and on budget. Another part requires me to constantly think strategically about news ways our agency can innovate. I believe these skills will lend well to the Chair position.

What new ideas will you bring to the board?

What I plan to bring to the board this year is a plan for improving how board members work together. I believe that if all board members can contribute efficiently, YPT-NYC can serve our members better by brainstorming new and engaging programming, communicating regularly, and expanding our base for networking.  I plan to advocate experimenting with new event ideas instead of only sticking to what is tried and true.  If YPT-NYC is to remain relevant, it must change along with its membership.

Anything else you would like to add?

I hope to have your vote for Chair of YPT-NYC!

Deputy Chair (1 Candidate)
The Deputy 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.

Mike Banoub – Civil Engineer, HNTB        

Why are you interested in this position?

Having two years of experience on the Board of Directors of YPT-NYC, I’m interested in taking on leadership position where I’m able to utilize my broad-based knowledge and skill sets to further YPT-NYC’s overall mission.  The Deputy Chair position is uniquely positioned such that he/she could work alongside not only the Chair, but the entire Board to ensure the chapter’s success.  With this in mind, my desire to grow YPT motivates me to become the Deputy Chair.

Please describe your previous experience with YPT.

This past year, I served as the Vice Chair of Finance, where I led our financial planning, budgeting, organization, and accounting to ensure the organization’s financial stability. During the 2013-2014 year, I served as a Vice Chair of Programs, where I planned, organized, and managed several high-profile events.  Such events include the Infrastructure Resiliency Panel (with representation from NYCDOT, PANYNJ, and Parsons Brinckerhoff), a roundtable discussion with John Porcari, former Deputy Secretary of Transportation at USDOT in the Obama Administration, and a summer tour of the PATH command center.

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

– Organized, attention to detail

– Strong oral/written communication, transparent

– Motivated and pro-active

– Accountable and reliable

– Positive, collaborative, and results-oriented leadership style

What new ideas will you bring to the board?        

– Continue diversifying the topics of events planned to cover other modes of transportation.

– Plan membership drives with local colleges and universities to reach new potential members.

– Seek at least one corporate sponsorship and hold one dinner event to further establish YPT’s reputation, on par with other professional transportation organizations.

Anything else you would like to add?

Over the years, I continue to appreciate YPT’s active work in supporting and embracing the multidisciplinary nature of transportation.   In particular, I would like to serve on the Board as I believe this organization provides a forum encouraging discussion between all fields within transportation including economists, engineers, urban planners, financiers, environmentalists, academics, and management & policy analysts. A rare opportunity, this interaction between varied professionals allows for a unique and eye-opening experience for all. With this in mind, I would like to continue growing these opportunities and provide leadership to such an organization.

Secretary/Vice Chair for Administration (2 Candidates)
The Secretary/Vice Chair for Administration shall keep full and accurate records of all business and proceedings at Chapter Board meetings.  The Secretary/Vice Chair for Administration shall prepare meeting minutes, keep accurate organization records, and manage the election process.

Chris Pangilinan – Manager, Service Data Analysis, MTA New York City Transit

Why are you interested in this position?        

After being involved with YPT since 2010, and after 3 years of leadership roles within the organization, I look forward to joining the board of YPT-NYC as Vice Chair of Administration. I believe in YPT’s mission of fostering a community among transportation professionals and would like to be able to contribute to our city’s vibrant chapter.

Please describe your previous experience with YPT.        

I first got involved with YPT as an at-large vice chair with YPT National-DC in 2010. After that year, I moved back to San Francisco and helped lead the creation of the YPT SF Bay Area chapter and stayed on the board for two years overseeing it’s growth to become the second largest chapter behind Washington, D.C. After leaving the board in 2013, I’ve stayed involved through helping the new board plan events, and of course going to events as well.

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

I have 3 years of experience on 2 different YPT boards, including chair and deputy chair, and understand the work and creativity it takes to develop and execute a great calendar of events for YPT members and friends. As a board member in New York, I can keep the chapter organized as Vice Chair of Administration, but I can also draw on my experiences and play a utility role to help out wherever it is needed.

What new ideas will you bring to the board?Having members participate in the decision making process and understand how their chapter is run would be a goal of mine. To reach this goal, I would like to be able to post minutes of meetings on our website and invite members and friends to meetings, if this is not done yet. I would also like to understand where our members and friends live and work to see if it would make sense to have more events outside of Manhattan. Perhaps a Queens month, or a month dedicated to The Bronx, for example. In terms of events, I would like to see our chapter explore current issues affecting NYC today. We could hold panel discussions on Uber/Lyft/Taxis, the Ferry system, and the future of pedestrian plazas, such as Times Square, for example.

Anything else you would like to add?

I am excited at the opportunity to help lead one of the biggest YPT chapters in the country and plan new events that will help bring our community event closer than it is today.

Joseph Steindam – Associate Planner, Parsons Transportation Group

Why are you interested in this position?        

I am interested in increasing my involvement in YPT. To that end, I believe the position of Secretary and administrator will expose me to all aspects of the organization. I believe I have the necessary skills to assist the board accomplish its goals of providing opportunities for networking and professional development for our members.

Please describe your previous experience with YPT.        

I became a member of YPT in 2012 as I returned to graduate school for a degree in City and Regional Planning. I gathered insights from YPT members to prepare myself for the field of Transportation Planning. Additionally, through the YPT summer tours I got to see the inner workings of transit agencies and megaprojects in the region. My experience with YPT has helped get me to my current job and has given me a broad understanding of the transportation field.

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

I have participated in student organizations where I was responsible for running meetings and taking minutes. I have also fulfilled the role of keeping minutes in a professional setting. I have extensive experience with record keeping and data management. I am a strong communicator and can help with other assignments given to the secretary.

What new ideas will you bring to the board?

In addition to the roles established for the secretary, I would like the opportunity to assist other board members on their projects and responsibilities. I believe the secretary can be a position that can provide the board with flexibility to handle larger projects. The secretary can be directed to work with other board members to provide additional manpower to complete assignments.

Anything else you would like to add?

I became a full YPT member in order to take full advantage of YPT programming, and I have not been disappointed in that regard. I have been able to experience amazing infrastructure and develop a deeper understanding of the region’s transportation system. But I accomplished the latter goal more through getting to know and learn from our YPT membership. Through my time with YPT, I have been exposed to the breadth of the transportation industry in the region, acquired knowledge and understanding of the public and private side of the industry, and received help pursuing my career goals. As I left graduate school and started working, I now have the opportunity to return the favor to other members. I get to share my stories of work in the field of transportation planning from the consulting perspective, and I have tried to help other members with their career goals. I have appreciated the opportunity to belong to this organization that has helped me professionally, and I would like to grow my involvement with YPT in this new role.

Treasurer/Vice Chair for Finance (2 Candidates)
The Treasurer/Vice Chair for Finance shall be responsible for the collection of dues, and the safekeeping of funds, including reporting of receipts, expenditures, and balances at the request of the Chapter Board.

Paul DeGregorio – Associate, Deloitte Advisory        

Why are you interested in this position?        

I am interested in the Treasurer/Vice Chair for Finance position because of my meticulous work ethic and attention to detail. I enjoy working with numbers and am very detailed oriented, attributes that I think are of great importance to this position. Furthermore, I have professional experience dealing with funding, budgeting, and financial reporting which I believe will provide me with relevant skills and knowledge.

Please describe your previous experience with YPT.        

I am a new member to YPT but am excited to become more involved and take advantage of the networking and events that the organization has to offer. I plan on attending the Transportation Camp that YPT set up in November and am looking forward to meeting other young professionals interested in the industry.

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

Through my professional experience in construction management I have dealt primarily with estimating, budgeting, and procurement which has gotten me comfortable with understanding how to work with numbers, money, and people. My work in preconstruction has taught me the importance of planning and the front-end costs necessary to complete intricate projects in the complicated arena of New York City. I feel as though this experience lends itself well to preparing me to deal with all fiscal matters related to the YPT Board.

What new ideas will you bring to the board?

Granted I am not currently familiar with the board’s marketing outreach- I think it would be beneficial for the YPT to reach out to all firms in New York City related to the transportation industry and encourage young professionals starting out in their careers to join. Every year in mid to late summer I would recommend a series of “Welcome to the City” happy hours for all new professionals who are beginning work as a way to meet other individuals in the industry. I think there may also be opportunities to have joint happy hours with other young professional organizations that are represented in New York City that have a similar career focus.

Anything else you would like to add?

I would just like to reiterate that I have a strong interest in transportation infrastructure and planning and would like to grow my network and meet other like-minded individuals in this sector in New York City. Beyond that, I would really enjoy giving back in helping to run an organization that will provide a space for people like myself to learn and grow in the transportation industry. I am involved on another Young Executive Board for a non-profit here in New York and I have seen first-hand how valuable it is to give back and meet other people that share a similar interest.

Eric Turner – Budget Analyst, MTA New York City Transit

Why are you interested in this position?        

I believe YPT-NYC has untapped potential and an ability to grow and provide more unique experiences to its members. I want to build upon the momentum achieved over the last year and continue to push this organization to achieve even greater success.

Please describe your previous experience with YPT.        

As the current Vice Chair of Communication and Administration, I have helped plan and promote the exciting events over the last past year. My primary role is to send out promotional emails and manage YPT-NYC’s online presence. I have been a member of YPT-NYC for two and a half years.

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

For the last three years I have worked as an analyst at MTA New York City Transit’s Office of Management and Budget. This experience, managing and analyzing the agency’s $11B operating budget, has given me the skills to succeed as YPT-NYC Treasurer.

What new ideas will you bring to the board?

I would like to introduce a series of panel discussions as a forum to hear multiple perspectives on a variety of pressing issues. This will serve to expand the focus of YPT-NYC into areas of the transportation industry that have not been the focus in the past. Topics such as Uber and the Taxi industry, access to the region’s airports, and Amtrak’s capital needs on the Northeast Corridor were a few ideas that I would like to follow up on this year.

Anything else you would like to add?

I believe the upcoming year for YPT-NYC will be the most exciting and successful in its history. As Treasurer, I will ensure responsible management of finances, while going beyond the responsibilities of the role to support all board members in the planning and execution YPT-NYC’s goals.

Vice Chair for Communications (3 Candidates)
The Vice Chair shall collect photos and blog posts of events from other board members, update the blog and social media sites with posts about events, news, and job listings, maintain a quarterly newsletter about YPT activities, and support the Programs Chair where necessary.

Alexander Engel – Director, Digital Communications, Municipal Art Society of NY

Why are you interested in this position?                

Communications is an essential part of any organization, but unfortunately is all too often rushed or ignored. A successful communications strategy will enable YPT-NYC to reach more people, growing the organization, and allowing more people to access incredible resources available through YPT’s connections and members.

Please describe your previous experience with YPT.        

I’ve been a part of YPT-NYC for several years, beginning while I was working for the NYC DOT under Janette Sadik-Khan. The organization helped broaden my appreciation for all that is happening in the transportation field outside of my particular agency.

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

As a communications expert, with a focus in new media, I’ve helped steer NYC DOT’s social media following (increasing it from 10,000 to over 150,000), and currently run the digital communications efforts at the Municipal Art Society: helping to drive membership and increase participation in events.

What new ideas will you bring to the board?

When New Yorkers were complaining about the state of their roads after a series of snowstorms in 2011, I launched a Tumblog called the Daily Pothole, introducing New Yorkers to their first road repair mascot: Warmy. The New York Times, Popular Mechanics, NBC, and many others have featured this blog over the years as an example of how to cleverly communicate what might be a mundane topic to some. I’d love to bring the same creativity to YPT.

Anything else you would like to add?

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

Joseph Steindam – Associate Planner, Parsons Transportation Group

Why are you interested in this position?        

Communication is the key to maintaining an active membership in YPT and getting strong attendance at our events and programming. It is our best tool for reaching out to potential friends and members. I know that e-mails from YPT have helped to keep me engaged in the organization. Our communication efforts currently focus around our events, which are skewed towards the summer. I feel we need a stronger, year-round presence on social media and e-mail to ensure we maintain and grow our membership.

Please describe your previous experience with YPT.        

I became a member of YPT in 2012 as I returned to graduate school for a degree in City and Regional Planning. I gathered insights from YPT members to prepare myself for the field of Transportation Planning. Additionally, through the YPT summer tours I got to see the inner workings of transit agencies and megaprojects in the region. My experience with YPT has helped get me to my current job and has given me a broad understanding of the transportation field.

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

As a volunteer coordinator for Prospect Park, I was responsible for assembling a monthly newsletter that highlighted upcoming events and accomplishments in the past month. It was a useful tool to keep the general public interested in volunteering at the Park and publicizing larger events and volunteering opportunities. We distributed the newsletter as handouts and online to our membership, and on our social media pages. I have experience getting out messages via email and social media.

What new ideas will you bring to the board?

I would like to work closely with the vice chairs for membership and student relations to devise ways our communications efforts can best achieve our membership goals. Many of our members are good at bringing friends and colleagues to our open events, but I would like to include additional appeals to bring non-members to YPT events in our event invitations. I would like to discuss with the board additional means of communicating with our membership and broadening our message beyond our members to attract new people. I would like to revive our organization’s presence on LinkedIn, which has been dormant for two years. I became a full YPT member in order to take full advantage of YPT programming, and I have not been disappointed in that regard. I have been able to experience amazing infrastructure and develop a deeper understanding of the region’s transportation system. But I accomplished the latter goal more through getting to know and learn from our YPT membership. Through my time with YPT, I have been exposed to the breadth of the transportation industry in the region, acquired knowledge and understanding of the public and private side of the industry, and received help pursuing my career goals.

Anything else you would like to add?

As I left graduate school and started working, I now have the opportunity to return the favor to other members. I get to share my stories of work in the field of transportation planning from the consulting perspective, and I have tried to help other members with their career goals. I have appreciated the opportunity to belong to this organization that has helped me professionally, and I would like to grow my involvement with YPT in this new role.

Danny Yoder – Project Manager, NYCDOT

Why are you interested in this position?        

In the two years that I have been actively involved with YPT-NYC, I have enjoyed many great events and formed a strong network of young professionals in a wide range of transportation fields. YPT provides high-quality opportunities for networking, questioning, career exploration, and fun! I would be excited to contribute my time, energy, and skills to strengthening YPT-NYC and ensuring that we continue to have a platform for meaningful engagement with other young transportation professionals.

Please describe your previous experience with YPT.        

The first networking event I attended as a transportation grad student was a YPT happy hour. Everyone that I met was friendly, fun, and willing to freely share their knowledge. In the following years I attended talks, tours, happy hours, and scavenger hunts, all of which provided valuable opportunities to meet and learn from like-minded people. Now that I’ve made the transition from transportation student to professional, the first thing I tell people who are interested in transportation is to join YPT!

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

I served on the board of a non-profit organization where I gained valuable administrative experience and learned first-hand what it takes to make organizations successful. Before switching careers to transportation planning, I spent several years working in marketing, communications, and web design. I have extensive experience managing institutional social networking accounts, email campaigns, and websites.

What new ideas will you bring to the board?

One of my favorite parts of any YPT event is meeting people who are engaged in interesting work and learning about aspects of transportation that are new to me. As the Vice Chair for Communications, I would highlight individual YPTers on YPT-NYC social media accounts and membership emails in order to present the human face of YPT and foster a greater sense of connection between members. I would establish an annual communications schedule to ensure that members hear from YPT frequently enough to stay connected but not so much that they stop reading YPT emails. I would support the work of other board members by developing communication strategies to publicize all YPT events and initiatives.

Anything else you would like to add?

I hope you will give me the opportunity to serve YPT as a board member!

Vice Chair for Programs (4 Candidates)
The Vice Chair for Programs is the “project manager” responsible for the planning and execution of all events and the development of a full year schedule of engaging events, while drawing upon other board members for event ideas and logistical support.

Alexandra Aiello – Transportation GIS Analyst, NJ Transit

Why are you interested in this position?        

My favorite part about being a YPT member is attending our events but I do think that there needs to be more input from our members regarding what they’d like to see from our calendar. I always hear such great event ideas being bounced around from informal conversations but I’d like to develop a web form in which members can communicate with the board so that we can see if we can transform these ideas into reality. I believe that with a more dynamic events schedule, we’ll be able to attract more members and retain our current ones.

Please describe your previous experience with YPT.

I joined YPT in April 2015 after our chapter’s Transportation Trivia event and Transportation Camp- New England, in which YPT-Boston was a partner. Through those events, sponsored by two different chapters, I was able to see the community that YPT sparks, which led me to become a member. In just five months, YPT gave me the opportunities to meet peers, interact with industry leaders like Jay Walder, and explore an inactive subway station.  These experiences enriched my view of our industry and I realize that is true for why our members remain involved.

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

In 2012, I was a Field Organizer on President Obama’s Florida campaign in which I developed volunteer political outreach programs. To succeed, I immersed myself within the community to create events that supporters would attend. I interacted with elected officials and celebrities to have them surrogate to draw crowds, from mayors to Bill Nye the Science Guy. This required me to be organized yet delegate tasks to my committee to ensure a smooth event, including retrieving attendees’ feedback and suggestions. I believe these skills can be easily applied to the Vice Chair of Programs position, if elected.

What new ideas will you bring to the board?

I would like to create technology and career development workshops for our members to take part in. Among my peers and colleagues, I hear that they’d like to be better at skills such as GIS, data management, public speaking, and interviewing. I think it would be great if we could provide at least one skills workshop a month to ensure that YPT is committed to offering relevant and topical professional development. As an instructor with Maptime NYC, a map and civic data development group, I am confident I can create a robust and intriguing curriculum that will provide a supportive, informative, and fun learning environment. If elected, I’d like to send out a survey asking our members what they’d like to learn from these skills workshops so that we can tailor the topics around our chapters’ interests. Regarding my leadership qualities, I am a very empathetic listener. I truly believe that an organization is just as strong as the members’ commitment to it. I promise to make myself visible and approachable to our members so I can hear them out about not only what they’d like to see within programs but what they want for our chapter as a whole.

Anything else you would like to add?

We are in such an exciting time in our industry with technology enabling us to be more collaborative than ever before. If elected, that’s exactly what I want to focus on. I want to listen to all of you to see what you want out of our organization and I’m going to do my absolute best to respond to your ideas. Please feel more than free to interact with me on Twitter @alexaiello or e-mail me at AielloAM@gmail.com and we can get the conversation started now about what we want to see for the next year of YPT. Thank you so much for your consideration and I absolutely appreciate your support.

Joseph Milanese – Civil Engineering Associate / Transportation Planner, Michael Baker International

Why are you interested in this position?        

My name is Joseph Milanese, a civil engineering associate/transportation planner for Michael Baker International.  I’m running for the Vice Chair for Programs because I see a lot of potential to improve the programs that the organization runs and have ideas to make the improvements happen.  I think this organization sets itself from other professional organizations in that it is open to all disciplines throughout the spectrum of transportation, not just one particular profession.  Because of the potential wide-range of the members of YPT-NYC, I would like to expand the frequency, locations, and focus of the events that we sponsor.

Please describe your previous experience with YPT.

I have been an active member of YPT for over a year and a half and in that time have attended a wide range of events including speaker events, tours, networking events, and social events.  I’m also the reigning Transportation Halloween Costume contest champ from the Halloween party last year (a title I’d like to retain).  I was drawn to YPT because it consists of and is run by peers with a similar, limited level of professional experience encompassing all related transportation fields.

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

If elected Vice Chair for Programs, I would bring extensive experience in program planning acquired throughout my professional career.  I’ve been involved with the public outreach and event planning for numerous clients over the past few years.  Most recently, for the Pulaski Skyway Rehabilitation Program I coordinated several large-scale events and programs over the last year including an exhibit for Engineers Week at the Liberty Science Center.  Additionally, as part of an employee development steering committee for my firm’s NJ operations, I founded and currently lead the Professional and Personal Networking Committee.

What new ideas will you bring to the board?

As Vice-Chair for Programs, I would like to:

1) Expand and diversify the avenues and locations through which we set up events in an effort to promote and expand our group.

This involves reaching out to new organizations for tours and planning more tours/events in NJ, NYC outside of Manhattan, and Long Island.  This would appeal to members and potential members of YPT based throughout the NY-Metro region; especially those reluctant to join an NYC-based organization because of distance.  Through working at a Central Jersey-based office, I’ve noticed that many younger professionals from organizations outside of the Manhattan area are unaware that YPT-NYC even exists and the potential benefits that membership entails.

2) Plan more social events.

I believe that team-building and non-work related social events are undervalued in most organizations, particularly within an industry as mentally and time demanding as transportation is.   This is why I’d like to plan one social event each month, whether it be a happy hour, ski trip, winery/brewery tour, golf outing, etc., to get the organization together for something fun.  Not only will social events allow for fun and greater networking opportunities, but it will also increase the visibility and exposure of our group.

Anything else you would like to add?

Just to let you know a little more about myself, I work for Michael Baker International as a Civil Engineering Associate and Transportation Planner, primarily working out of our Hamilton, NJ office.  I’ve worked in the Planning and Transportation Engineering Department for the last 7 ½ years (internship and full time), since my freshman year at The College of New Jersey.  I graduated TCNJ in 2012 with a BS in Civil Engineering, and am an EIT in New Jersey.  This November, I will be sitting for my AICP exam and next April, I will hopefully be sitting for my PE examination. Thank you for considering me as candidate.  I welcome the opportunity to serve on the YPT-NYC Board of Directors, and helping the organization in any way that I can.

Joseph Steindam – Associate Planner, Parsons Transportation Group        

Why are you interested in this position?        

The programming sponsored by YPT is the face of the organization. Our programs must keep existing members engaged and attract new members. The summer tours are what first brought me into YPT, and I hope to continue and grow that program, with the potential for additional tours throughout the year. I would like to expand our program offerings to include volunteer activities and additional opportunities build networks among our friends and members.

Please describe your previous experience with YPT.        

I became a member of YPT in 2012 as I returned to graduate school for a degree in City and Regional Planning. I gathered insights from YPT members to prepare myself for the field of Transportation Planning. Additionally, through the YPT summer tours I got to see the inner workings of transit agencies and megaprojects in the region. My experience with YPT has helped get me to my current job and has given me a broad understanding of the transportation field.

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

I previously worked as a volunteer coordinator at Prospect Park, where I organized events for the general public and groups to help preserve and maintain Prospect Park. I designed 3-4 hour activities and events that accommodated groups as large as 200 volunteers at a time. I also organized outings and trips to reward top volunteers at Prospect Park. I am an experienced coordinator who understands the process of event planning from conception through execution.

What new ideas will you bring to the board?

I would like to find volunteer opportunities that I can bring to the board to diversify the program offerings of YPT. I believe that offering a wider variety of programming may help YPT capture additional membership from our existing base of friends of YPT. The YPT program calendar is also heavily skewed towards summer due to the tour offerings, but this makes it easy for members and friends to become disengaged with YPT. I would like to commit the YPT board to organizing monthly programming going forward, as another way to maintain and expand our active membership. I became a full YPT member in order to take full advantage of YPT programming, and I have not been disappointed in that regard. I have been able to experience amazing infrastructure and develop a deeper understanding of the region’s transportation system. But I accomplished the latter goal more through getting to know and learn from our YPT membership. Through my time with YPT, I have been exposed to the breadth of the transportation industry in the region, acquired knowledge and understanding of the public and private side of the industry, and received help pursuing my career goals.

Anything else you would like to add?

As I left graduate school and started working, I now have the opportunity to return the favor to other members. I get to share my stories of work in the field of transportation planning from the consulting perspective, and I have tried to help other members with their career goals. I have appreciated the opportunity to belong to this organization that has helped me professionally, and I would like to grow my involvement with YPT in this new role.

Boris Suchkov – Principal Transportation Planner, MTA New York City Transit

Why are you interested in this position?        

I am interested in this position because I believe in the YPT mission of providing excellent networking, educational, and social opportunities to its members. As Vice Chair for Programs I will use my event planning experience to improve the variety and quality of our programs. We are a diverse group, and I will work to ensure everyone can get good value out of their YPT membership through exciting and relevant events, speakers, and tours that are as “multimodal” as we are.

Please describe your previous experience with YPT.        

I have been involved with YPT since 2011, first attending meetings with the national chapter in DC as a summer intern at US DOT, and later joining the NYC chapter. I have been to a variety of networking events, socials, the annual transportation trivia event, and several facility tours.

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

I have been organizing speaker tours, concerts, meetings, and other events since college. I first got involved in event programming as the president of the Jewish-Russian Club at Cornell University. In that capacity I organized numerous social events and concerts. I booked event spaces, negotiated honoraria, arranged hotel rooms, wrote grant applications, and introduced performers on stage. More recently I was involved with event planning in graduate school and as a volunteer with Transportation Alternatives. This included, for example, bringing the West Coast planner and artist James Rojas to Staten Island to do a workshop on pedestrian wayfinding.

What new ideas will you bring to the board?

The leading question I hear from YPT members, and potential members, is “what value do I get out of joining as a paid member?” I will encourage the board to look for new ways to engage with members and friends of YPT and find ways to measure the success of our events quantitatively. Analyzing what we are doing right and what we are doing wrong will help us improve our programs and give people new reasons to join YPT. I will also look for ways to help YPT stay on top of policy trends and themes that may not fall neatly into an existing event category, but are of interest to YPT members. For example, I will bring up Vision Zero and Complete Streets as potential topics for programs.

Anything else you would like to add?

Aside from my job at the MTA, I’m also a recreational sailor. Given the opportunity, I would love to organize an event about the history of working sail – the days before steamships – in New York Harbor.

Vice Chair for Membership (1 Candidate)
The Vice Chair for Membership utilizes the resources of YPT to manage the membership records and works to provide maximum value for all members, increase the membership of YPTNYC, 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 Programs Chair where necessary.

Raimy Cheyne – Leadership Fellow, Port Authority of NY & NJ

Why are you interested in this position?        

I am very committed to YPT’s mission as a forum to bring together professionals of various backgrounds with a shared passion for transportation issues. I think YPT is a fantastic organization, because it provides top-notch programs and networking opportunities at a price that is affordable for young professionals. I have tremendously enjoyed being on the Board this past year as Vice Chair for Membership and look forward to continuing to expand our membership this upcoming year.

Please describe your previous experience with YPT.        

I have been Vice Chair for Membership for the past year. In that time, our membership has increased by over 40% (from 184 paid members to 261 at last count), due to a successful transition to limiting popular events to paid members only, combined with outreach via my existing networks and diligent follow up to make sure current members renewed their membership. I organized several events this past year, including two summer tours (WTC Transit Hub and Port Authority Bus Terminal), a happy hour in Jersey City, and YPT’s first joint event at the NYC Transit Museum. I attended most of our other events this year (Scavenger Hunt, Transit Trivia, Jay Walder, assorted happy hours) and look forward to taking more of a leadership role in helping plan and execute some of those events in the future.

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

I would say the most important skills I bring to the Board are my enthusiasm and dedication. I am a committed Board member, willing to take on responsibility for organizing and promoting events that will help attract members. On a technical level, I am familiar with using CiviCRM after a year of managing our membership records, and have worked with YPT-International to resolve technical issues that have cropped up. I also have begun to build contacts at local colleges and universities, and look forward to working with the new Vice Chair for Student Relations to build up membership in that area.

What new ideas will you bring to the board?

One of the things I want to do this year is seek more input from our current members about what they want out of YPT, so we can tailor our programs and offerings to meet those needs. I would also like to provide more opportunities for members to get involved in planning events. The most successful strategy to bring new people to YPT events has been word of mouth (existing members bringing friends and colleagues) and I’d like to capitalize on that more, by explicitly asking our active members to promote YPT and making it easy for them to do so. One thought is to hold a ‘bring a friend’ membership kickoff happy hour in the fall. We can draft an ‘intro to YPT’ e-mail talking about the benefits membership to YPT-NYC offers and inviting people to the happy hour, and ask that members forward it along to their friends and colleagues.

Anything else you would like to add?

It would be a privilege to serve as Vice Chair for Membership for another year. I look forward to the opportunity to continue building up YPT-NYC.

Vice Chair for Student Relations (1 Candidate)
The Vice Chair for Student Relations shall work with the Vice Chairs for Membership and Programs to create programming targeted at students in the NYC region. The ideal candidate would have connections with local schools/student groups that could be leveraged.

Vineela Pentyala – Graduate Student, Rutgers University

Why are you interested in this position?        

As a student pursuing education in urban planning, I believe that this would be a great opportunity to work productive means of networking between the student and professional transportation communities. I also believe that this would be a great opportunity to interact with fellow students, share and develop ideas that involve transportation with them and bring those ideas to life through the YPT platform.

Please describe your previous experience with YPT.        

I have been on tours organized by YPT. Although I am in the field of planning, I have learned a lot about the Engineering and Operations aspects of transportation through these tours. I got to meet various professionals, experienced in the field and new to it, like I am.

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

– Currently a student – connected to the student community and have a first hand idea as to what students are mainly interested in and are looking for in YPT

– Previous experience involving organization of an annual convention as an undergraduate student

– Current experience in administrating a Chess Academy with nearly 150 students

– Interest in assisting fellow transportation students

What new ideas will you bring to the board?

– Conduct events in coordination with student bodies in nearby chapters like Boston and Philadelphia

– Creating a system of connecting a student with a mentor and/or another who is already in the field of transportation (based on their interests/background) and could help the student in networking

– Try to make a portion of sign ups for the YPT tours and/or events accessible to the student community in advance

Anything else you would like to add?

As a Vice Chair of student relations, I would be an active and judicious representative of the student community on the board. I would use this position to expand the presence of student body in YPT by developing various student-oriented events. Lastly, I would like to let you all know that I would be a willing facilitator of the ideas and changes that members of YPT (students and non-students) would like to see.

ELECTIONS PROCESS

  • October 12, 2015:  All eligible voters will receive an email with voting instructions.  Online voting for National and Chapter elections opens at 10:00 AM EST.
  • October 23, 2015: Online voting for National and Chapter elections closes at 6:00 PM local time.

Pending any runoff elections, the results will be made available to the YPT membership in early November.  The new Board term for all winning candidates will begin on November 1, 2015.

 

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