Neel-Schaffer is a proud sponsor and supporter of Women’s Transportation Seminar International (WTS), an organization that aims to attract, sustain, connect and advance women’s careers in the transportation industry.
Numerous Neel-Schaffer employees are active in leadership and mentoring roles with WTS. In 2019, WTS recognized two of the firm’s engineers for their work with the organization in Louisiana. Dishili Young, PE, was named Member of the Year by the Louisiana Chapter of WTS, and Connie Standige, PE, was named Woman of the Year by the WTS-New Orleans Chapter.
Young said monthly events hosted by the Louisiana Chapter, and sponsored by firms like Neel-Schaffer, are crucial to career development. She has met industry leaders from across the country. “The best part is how I find that these people that I hold in such high regard, when I meet with them, I find out their challenges were not different from my own,” said Young. “I learn from them, and that’s why (WTS) is so important.”
Jessica Dilley, PE, a Transportation Engineer in the firm’s Jackson (MS) office, is the founding Vice President of WTS-Mississippi. Dilley said WTS helps recruit female students into the transportation field. “What the WTS does is take away some of the preconceived notions and opens the doors to a larger perspective,” she said.
Joey Hudnall, PE, Neel-Schaffer’s Chief Operations Officer, said he is “proud of Neel-Schaffer’s involvement with WTS because our employees are creating new and exciting professional development and mentoring opportunities for women in transportation careers. The mission of WTS aligns strongly with our goal of helping shape our next generation of industry leaders.”
Just a few of the additional ways Neel-Schaffer is involved with WTS include:
- Standige serves as the President of WTS-New Orleans for 2020.
- Young, who works in Neel-Schaffer’s Baton Rouge office, was the Sponsorship Chair for the Louisiana Chapter in 2019 and is the Treasurer for 2020.
- Jessica Dilley, PE, a Transportation Engineer in the firm’s Jackson (MS) office, is the founding Vice President of WTS-Mississippi, which is on target for ratification this year.
- Whitney Britt, a Transportation planner in the Nashville office, serves as a mentor for the WTS-Tennessee Chapter.
- The organization is also open to men. Robert Walker, who manages Neel-Schaffer’s Central Region offices in Mississippi, and Barry Brupbacher, a Transportation Planner in the firm’s Mandeville (LA) office, are members.
- In South Carolina, Neel-Schaffer is a 2020 Platinum level sponsor.
To learn more about WTS and how to join or support the organization, go to https://www.wtsinternational.org/.