APWA diversity successes

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

This past year has truly been a busy year for the Diversity Committee, with much that we have accomplished to further "inclusiveness" and "diversity" in APWA. I would like to thank the members of the Diversity Committee, APWA staff, and our Board Liaison for their hard work, dedication to the cause, innovative ideas, and execution of planned activities. Over the course of this past year, the committee held 11 conference calls, in addition to our annual meeting at the 2006 Congress in Kansas City.

We began our activities, serving as hosts for the First-Timers Meeting, at the 2006 Congress where we welcomed over 200 first-timers who were treated to a full breakfast. Interactive networking exercises and an overview of how to get the most out of Congress were presented. This event grows with every Congress, and we expect even more in San Antonio with a hosted breakfast for all in attendance.

The committee also planned additional activities in San Antonio including our annual Diversity Committee Congress meeting, Diversity Brunch, Women in Public Works Breakfast and a separate reception.

We published ten articles in the Reporter and five articles in Bridges, all related to encouraging diversity/inclusiveness. A book review on George Rowe, one of our past National Presidents and a great leader in APWA, was also published.

Chapter Diversity Liaisons helped by distributing information at the chapter level and searching for diversity successes and ideas to share, including:

  1. Encouraging and recruiting women to submit articles on Women in Public Works. Over 50 essays were received, and will be shared in San Antonio.
  2. Soliciting inclusiveness and diversity successes within the chapters.
  3. Encouraging nominations for the Diversity Exemplary Practices Award.
  4. Disseminating information on upcoming diversity programs at this year's Congress.

Look for more communications in the coming year.

The committee sought nominations, reviewed submittals, and ultimately selected this year's winner of the Diversity Exemplary Practices Award: the Oregon Department of Transportation's Workforce Development Plan (see p. 15 for more information - Ed.). Thanks to all of the worthy candidates who submitted.

Members of the Membership Committee graciously agreed to include a statement promoting diversity in their recruitment materials, further promoting APWA's support of inclusiveness/diversity. They were also receptive to our ideas on how to get new members more involved with APWA.

One of our committee members, Peggy Pound, spoke before the Missouri Chapter on issues relating to diversity.

2007 was a successful year for the Diversity Committee. We are looking forward to greater accomplishments this next year. We welcome your interest in getting active in our efforts.

Members of the Diversity Committee include the following:

  • Augie Chang (Chair), Vice President, Psomas, San Diego, California
  • Jennifer Adams, Deputy Public Works Manager, City of Tempe, Arizona
  • Eric Dargan, Deputy Director, City of Houston, Texas
  • Gary Downing, P.E., Engineering Section Supervisor, Sarasota County, Florida
  • Joel Koenig, Senior Project Manager, Crawford Murphy & Tilly, Aurora, Illinois
  • Peggy Pound, President, The Picus Group, Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Uchenna Udemezue, Director of Engineering & Transportation, City of San Leandro, California
  • Diane Linderman, P.E. (Board Liaison), Director, Urban Infrastructure & Development, VHB, Inc., Richmond, Virginia
  • Kaye Sullivan (Staff Liaison), Deputy Executive Director, APWA Kansas City Office

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