Diversity activities at Congress a big success

Augie Chang
Vice President
Psomas
San Diego, California
Chair, APWA Diversity Committee

Programs and activities hosted by the Diversity Committee at this year's Congress in Kansas City gained momentum, starting with the First-Timers Meeting attended by over 220 newcomers. Valuable information on how to get the most out of their Congress visit was presented, and they were treated to a full breakfast that was sponsored by Rinker Materials Hydro Conduit. We look forward to an even bigger turnout next year.

Last year's successful Women's Forum led to a breakfast on Day 2, which was attended by close to 100. Results gathered from the survey on women's issues were shared with those in attendance. Past APWA President Judith Mueller shared her experiences of her career in public works. Later that day the committee hosted a Diversity Brunch with Sunnie House, P.E. (past International President of the Women's Transportation Seminar), who shared her recipe for success as a woman in the public works field. Look for events such as these at the San Antonio Congress next year.

This year's educational programs were also well attended, and included the following sessions:

  • Challenges of Diversity in Dealing with Emergency Response (Dr. Robert Chandler)

  • Planning for the Future: Developing Next Generation's Leaders (Jerry Martinez, George Haines, Gary Strack)

  • Developing a Winning Workforce (Jennifer Adams, Rosa Inchausti, Glenn Kephart)

  • A View from the Top: Women in Public Works Talk About Their Lives and Careers (Sharon Subadan, Mariana Llanso, Patricia Hilderbrand, Cora Jackson-Fossett, Mary Ann Marrocolo, Susan Hann)

  • An International Crisis: Recruitment and Retention of Public Works Staff (Gary Downing, Chris Champion [Australia], Richard Kirby [New Zealand])

We look forward to great programs for next year's Congress.

Throughout the coming year, we will be collecting essays from all levels of women working in public works. If you are interested in submitting an essay, please contact Augie Chang at achang@psomas.com or your local chapter Diversity Liaison.

Please visit our webpage at www.apwa.net/aboutapwa/diversity.com for more information about our committee and programs.

Augie Chang can be reached at (858) 576-9200 or aching@psomas.com.