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President's Message

February 12, 2019

President's Message

Happy 2019! 

I hope you’re all settling into and enjoying the New Year. We’ve had a rather wintery start with cold temperatures, heavy snowfall and many days off of school! I’m finding myself busy in my new role as Chapter President and am very thankful for the opportunity to further serve the Chapter. We have such a great group of members here in Minnesota!

For those of you that don’t know me, I grew up in Minnesota and graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1997 with a degree in civil engineering (Go Gophers!). I have worked in the pavement consulting group at Braun Intertec since 2011, and first became involved with APWA-MN about 20 years ago. At the urging of my first employer, I ran for the role of Director Vendor/Contractor. At that time, I worked for a software company doing pavement management for cities and counties. Since my time on the board as a Director, I have served on a number of Chapter committees, as well as serving as Chair of the Awards Committee for many years. One of my highlights was receiving the Chapter’s Hugo G. Erickson award in 2014 for my service. A great and meaningful surprise! Getting involved in the Chapter early on in my career was one of the best things I’ve done. The Chapter has provided me with many opportunities to learn from others in our industry, and I’ve been able to build some great relationships with some of you. 

One of my first opportunities as President was attending APWA’s biennial Chapter Leaders Training and Council of Chapters workshop in Kansas City with the Chapter officers. We participated in two days of meetings and activities with 149 attendees from 56 different APWA chapters. It was an excellent opportunity to learn more about APWA, network with our counterparts from other chapters, and learn techniques and tips related to how we can better serve our members. We heard about APWA’s strategic plan, which aligns well with our own strategic plan of advocacy, education and membership. In the coming weeks, the officers will be meeting again to share what was learned and to discuss ways in which we hope to improve upon your membership to our Chapter. If you have ideas, please share them. We’d love to hear from you. 

In addition to our focus on membership, we will also focus on advocacy this year. Building off of the work we started last year, we will continue to share with others the value of public works and how it impacts quality of life. We also plan to bring a voice to public works through the development of the Raise Our Grade Minnesota campaign, which was introduced at the fall conference and utilizes information learned from ASCE’s Infrastructure Report Card. The campaign will help us communicate our infrastructure needs to the general public and will provide a way for the public to engage our legislative policy makers. Related to this, our Government Affairs Committee will be working to develop relationships with elected officials and legislators so that they can better understand issues related to public works. 

The Chapter will continue to offer several educational opportunities and events throughout the year, including our spring and fall conferences, technical tours, and social events. Each provides a great opportunity for learning, information sharing and networking. I hope you will take advantage of these events. With over 1,000 members, Minnesota is one of APWA’s largest chapters. We are a strong chapter with a long history, and we’ve had the good fortune of thoughtful leadership and dedicated volunteers doing great work on our committees. It’s a Chapter that I’m proud to be a part of and I hope you are too. There is much to be gained as a member of APWA-MN!

Enjoy these last months of winter and I hope to see many of you on a warm, sunny day at our spring conference in May!

Sincerely,

Amy Grothaus
Chapter President

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