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President's Message

March 8, 2018

President's Message

Greetings, APWA-MN! Thank you for being a part of this great organization made up of outstanding professionals that make a difference to so many, every day. As 2018 APWA-MN President, I wanted to take this opportunity to tell you a little about myself. I was born and raised in Minneapolis; I started my college experience pursuing a sociology degree, but eventually graduated from the University of Minnesota as a civil engineer. My first job out of school was with MnDOT in their Rochester office; I completed their graduate rotation program before becoming the District 6 Assistant Traffic Engineer. I then left there to return to Minneapolis and worked as a Bridge Designer at Parsons Brinckerhoff for many years. The only bridges I worked on and ever had the pleasure of seeing in person are a series of I-494 bridges near the Mississippi River, and you know that I point them out every time I’m in the area! I have such fond memories of designing that skewed abutment.

I am now with the City of Richfield and have been for over 14 years. I was originally hired to deliver the Lyndale Bridge over I-494, and am currently serving as the Public Works Director. I attended my first APWA event shortly after I started with the City, in tow with my predecessor, Mike Eastling. Mike was very excited for me to get involved in the chapter, and for that I am very grateful.

It’s hard for me to imagine the past 14 years without APWA. Wow - what I would have missed. I have attended every conference since 2005 simply because the conference content is always impressive and relevant. I have a great time catching up with my colleagues and meeting new people. The people in this field are simply top-notch and I enjoy chapter events which allow for us to reconnect, share experiences, and learn from each other. I cannot say enough good things about the cast of characters that makes up our Public Works world. Where I have gained the most, however, is through my ongoing involvement in the chapter – which led me to my current role as chapter president. If you are at all inclined to get involved do not hesitate it is an unforgettable and rewarding experience.

As President, I’m excited to be leading an update to the APWA-MN Strategic Plan. Our chapter volunteers are developing a strategic plan to guide initiatives in the coming years. In line with APWA National, our four overarching goals while developing the plan are:

  • Value of Public Works – APWA will define the value of public works and enhance its visibility.
  • Voice of Public Works – APWA will be the voice of public works to government leaders and media.
  • Education & Training – Ensure excellence in learning opportunities for our membership.
  • Membership – Create a dynamic chapter and be a model for other chapters.

All four goals emphasize advocacy:

  • Advocacy for our profession and the future leaders of public works;
  • Advocacy for public works issues at the legislative level; and
  • Advocacy for our members and the value they receive from their membership.

We would love to know how your involvement in APWA has served you and what we can do to bring added value. Do these goals reflect what you want to see in public works around the state? Have you been involved in initiatives like these or anything else in APWA-MN that stands out? I would love to hear your experiences and ideas. Please connect with me on these topics.

No matter your interest, the APWA-MN chapter would love your support. Please contact Beth Engum if you are interested in getting involved. We’ve got a job to do people, and that job is to make sure the future is bright for our communities. Thank you so much for the great work you do!

Best Regards,

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