Ron Purvis, P.E.
Hopefully, I will have the opportunity to visit your section and meet many of you this year while serving as your 2005 - 06 President. My primary goal for the year is to work with the National Board in accomplishing the goals contained in the Strategic Plan. Each local Section is encouraged to use the Strategic Plan (available at the National web site www.highwayengineers.org/) to develop your program and define your local goals.
Membership growth is a strategic objective. Past growth was accomplished by person-to-person contact. New sections have typically been initiated by existing members, who were transferred to a new location. Consequently, growth has been somewhat random and unpredictable. We think that membership would increase if nonmembers in the highway industry knew more about ASHE. We must do a better job of promoting the organization with a uniform message and image. However as we grow, it is important that we do not lose sight of our mission.
How do we respond when someone asks for a reason to join ASHE? Unfortunately, the message differs depending on our personal prospective. It is important that the message outsiders receive be clear and accurate. The message should be consistent with our mission statement, which is to provide a forum for members and partners of the highway industry that supports education, innovation, and fellowship; promoting a safe and efficient highway system for mobility now and in the future
Partnering is a term used by transportation agencies to encourage a cooperative working relationship between the private and public sector groups involved in a highway project. The term is used to emphasize the importance of teamwork in accomplishing mutual goals. ASHE is an ongoing partnership between the public and private sector.
We are unique. We are the only organization that strives to encompass the entire highway industry. We provide a forum for the highway industry to communicate policy and procedures. An essential component of our mission is to support technology exchange and innovation within the industry. Members and leaders give of their personal time and energy to support that mission. ASHE membership includes both the public and private sector because the industry relies on both groups to provide a safe and adequate highway system.
It is important that we strive to maintain this balance between the different highway industry partners. There are many organizations in our industry. There are road builder organizations. There are organizations that focus on certain highway materials and products. There are organizations that restrict their membership to state DOT officials. There are organizations that focus on transportation research; on bridges; on transportation planning; on traffic engineering; and on intelligent highway systems. ASHE welcomes individuals from all these groups to participant as equal partners in our organization.
Our organization was created by individuals working in the highway industry from both the private and public sector. ASHE founders included state DOT, private consultants and construction contractors. Past ASHE National Presidents were state DOT employees. Local and national meetings provide a forum for public transportation agencies to communicate important issues to the local and national highway community. ASHE speakers include national, state and local political officials and DOT administrators.
We encourage public transportation agencies to support employee participation in ASHE. ASHE is a worthwhile investment in employee training. Technology exchange and industry contacts improve job performance. ASHE provides the opportunity for members, who are involved in only one aspect of the highway program, to be exposed to the "big picture." Members are also exposed to individuals in other organizations with jobs similar to theirs. ASHE fosters a positive image of the highway industry which improves employee moral.
ASHE dues are low so that everyone who qualifies can afford to be a member. We do not discriminate based on education, job classification or professional status. We are open to everyone involved in planning, designing, building and operating highways. Every member has the same opportunity to become a leader within the organization.
We are members of a great organization. It has the potential to become a significant influence on the national highway program and on the image of the highway industry. To accomplish this requires growth. My personal goal is to promote ASHE growth. This will require that we communicate a clear and accurate image to outsiders. Your help is needed to accomplish this goal.
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