Rebranding as “ITE”

The ITE International President, Bruce Belmore, recently sent out an email to all District, Chapter, and Section presidents about rebranding the Institute of Transportation Engineers organization as “ITE” as a way to grow, modernize, and enhance the value of ITE to the transportation community. In order for ITE to be successful in the long run it needs to adapt. This post is a summary of his email that lays out the rational (as such, some of the language is his and copied over).

An all-member survey was conducted earlier this year town hall sessions were held at each of the District meetings and at the ITE Annual Meeting.  One of the issues identified is the branding of ITE. Although ITE has strong brand recognition among current members, it is a barrier to attracting new members as many prospective members believe that ITE is an organization “just for engineers.”  Part of this perception is related to the name “Institute of Transportation Engineers.”  Although ITE has started using the tag line – A Community of Transportation Professionals – the effort to advance this approach has been limited and, as a result, has had limited market penetration.

At its recent meeting the International Board of Direction expressed their intent to comprehensively rebrand the organization as “ITE” in lieu of using the “Institute of Transportation Engineers,” and to more aggressively try to change the perception of ITE as a Community of Transportation Professionals.  The goal would be to retain the strong brand recognition that is associated with “ITE” while at the same time attracting and meeting the needs of the larger transportation community. 

ITE staff will be developing a communications and implementation strategy for implementing this change. The Board is asking for our input on how we can most successfully advance this effort.  If you have any thoughts or would like to talk about this initiative, please let me know. If necessary, I can prepare a response by the Central Coast Section, but will have to have it in to ITE  by October 1.

Tom Mericle, President, Central Coast Section

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ITE Diversity Scholars Program

ITE has established a new Diversity Scholars Program. The program was developed to help bring first generation, underrepresented minority students into our profession.  Each recipient receives annual financial support (for up to 5 years of undergraduate education), peer support through membership in the student ITE chapter, mentorship from a local ITE member and an internship with a transportation firm or public agency.  The first two ITE Diversity Scholars were recently selected and are enrolling in school this fall.

This program was developed by the ITE Legacy Committee which is comprised of ITE Past Presidents, and provides stewardship and support for the ITE Legacy Program, including the Diversity Scholars Program.  Committee members are committed to reaching out to individuals and companies to secure long-term commitments and support for the Diversity Scholars Program and a fund-raising campaign will be initiated this fall. 

The Committee has asked all of the Sections to consider contributing to the program and we will be doing so when we develop our 202 budget over the next few months. However, given out section’s small size and limited budget it is likely we will not be able to. If you or your company are interested in participating in the program and helping out this ITE wide initiative, please let me know.

Tom Mericle

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9/17 Luncheon in Buellton

Our September Luncheon will be held on Tuesday, 9/17 in Buellton at Pea Soup Andersen’s. We’ll have an engaging presentation on recent and future changes to the CA MUTCD, presented by Rock Miller. Please register and pay online via Eventbrite by 12:00 PM on 9/16. We hope to see you in Buellton!

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Continuing Education Opportunities

As transportation professionals we need to continue to grow and learn about our profession. This can happen by attendance at local section meetings, district meetings, or international meetings. It can also happen through training programs focused on keeping you updated with current practices. I want to highlight a particular program in California that has been serving training needs for professionals for over 70 years.

UC Berkeley Tech Transfer will be giving an upcoming webinar class on “Meeting the Challenges of Transportation Liability”.  The class focuses on what public agencies may want to do to be better prepared for litigation over traffic crashes.  It is delivered on Monday and Wednesday from May 11 to May 20.  The presenters are Nazir Lalani and Rock Miller.  They provide an introduction to the legal process and what agencies can do.   This webinar sold out when offered last year. – Posted 3-9-20

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New Video Promoting Transportation

The ITE Western District Public Relations Committee recently produced a video to promote transportation and ITE. The video can be viewed here:

ITE Western District Transportation Video

Please take a look and find opportunities to share this with your colleagues, friends, family, and whenever you have a chance to visit a school to talk about transportation.

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2019 ITE Annual Meeting Updates

Both The ITE Western District and ITE International met this summer in Monterey, CA and Austin, TX respectively. Both meetings were very well attended and a lot of good information was shared during the sessions.

The Western District meeting in Monterey was joint hosted by our section and the SF Bay Area section. We had a comprehensive technical program and a great Family Night event at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. A special thank you to Justin Link of our section for his leadership as Co-Chair of the conference. You can review the technical program here.

The meeting next year will be in Honolulu, HI. They are already accepting abstracts if you want to participate.

Congratulations to Joe De La Garza from the San Diego section on being elected as the incoming Western District Secretary-Treasurer. His term will start In January 2020. The current list of new District officers in on their website (

The ITE International Meeting was held in Austin, TX and there were over 1,400 attendees. There were a variety of workshops before and after the technical conference days and lots of opportunity for networking with ITE professionals across the world. The Meeting next year will be in New Orleans, LA and you should consider attending.

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