Fall 2019 Professional Development Recap
On Wednesday, November 13th, members of WTS Sacramento welcomed six amazing women in transportation for our Fall Professional Development Women in Transportation Panel.
Celia McAdam, Principal at AIM Consulting, Inc. was the evening’s moderator. Celia served as Executive Director of the Placer County Transportation Planning Agency (PCTPA) and as Executive Director of the South Placer Regional Transportation Authority (SPRTA) for more than twenty years before shifting to her current position as Principal at AIM Consulting in 2018.
Our panelists included: Susan Bransen, Liz Diamond, Sabrina Drago, Stefanie Kemen and Kiana Valentine.
Susan Bransen serves as the California Transportation Commission’s (CTC) Executive Director, reporting to the thirteen-member Commission. She is responsible for directing the affairs of the Commission including responsibility for programming and allocating billions in transportation funding annually for the construction of highway, passenger rail, transit and active transportation improvements throughout California. Ms. Bransen’s career spans more than 25 years in transportation. Prior to being a part of the Commission, she previously served as the California Department of Transportation’s Director of Audits and Investigations.
Liz Diamond is the Director of Engineering and a Project Manager at Dokken Engineering and has 40 years of municipal and regional public works experience, with much of it centered on delivery of transportation projects. Prior to joining Dokken Engineering in 2007, she served in various public sectors roles, including past Director for the El Dorado County Department of Transportation and City Engineer for the City of San Mateo.
Sabrina Drago is the Sacramento Transportation and Infrastructure Office Lead at WSP. Over the course of her 15-year career, Sabrina has been a bridge engineer, project manager, marketing manager, and a quality director. Sabrina has had the privilege of being involved with WTS for most of her career, serving as a mentor in the local Phoenix Chapter and was admitted into the 2016 class for the WTS Mid-Career Leadership Program in Washington DC.
Stefanie Kemen manages the Engineering Division of Public Works for the City of Roseville. In this role, she oversees city traffic engineering, traffic signal maintenance, road, bridge, traffic signal, storm drain, bike trail, and City owned building design and construction, and floodplain management. Stefanie has nearly 17 years’ experience in the design and management of civil engineering and infrastructure improvement projects, including transportation facilities; water and wastewater infrastructure; and residential and commercial development projects.
Kiana Valentine is a Partner at Politico Group, Inc. and Executive Director of Transportation California. She has more than 15 years of policy experience in transportation, infrastructure, housing, land use, and local government issues. With a deep understanding of transportation policy and funding, she has played a lead role in the passage and implementation of all major state transportation policy and funding decisions over the last decade including Proposition 1B (the 2006, $19.9 billion transportation bond), the 2010 transportation fuel tax swap, and most recently the successful passage of SB 1 – the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017 – and the defeat of Proposition 6 on the November 2018 ballot.
Celia McAdam was an enthusiastic Moderator who’s experience in the industry made her adept leading the conversation with the panelists. With about a dozen questions asked during the evening, the panelists provided some insightful and meaningful responses for the audience, with some answers getting quite personal. It was an honor and a pleasure to get to better know these amazing women and we hope those who attended were able to take away some useful concepts to implement in their own lives.
Some of the advice given during the evening included to: know you have a voice and that your opinion does matter; don’t be afraid to try new things and new experiences (this also includes public speaking practice); and know that mistakes do happen, but be honest and learn from them.
A huge thank you to these inspiring women and all who attended the event!