What a fabulous year ACT has had. Just 18 months ago ACT started down a whole new path. After many years of being managed by association management firms or other organizations, the ACT National Board decided it was time for the organization to take complete ownership over its future by having its own dedicated staff. I was honored to be selected to serve as ACT’s first full-time Executive Director.
I am pleased to report that ACT is clearly heading in the direction that the Board and many of its members have always believed it could go.
On the screen you will see some highlights of the past year and some random trivia about our accomplishments. However, I would like to take a few minutes to review some of these in more detail and will be welcoming a some of our National Board members to provide additional updates on some of the exciting projects they are heading.
Last year’s International Conference represented a significant turning point for ACT. After many years of stagnant attendance in the range of 350 people, ACT’s conference in Portland attracted 483 participants, a number that had not been seen since Seattle in 2007 and Boston in 2006. I am happy to report that we have exceeded that number this year, just falling short of 500 attendees. Next year in Anaheim!
The conference committee and staff focused on bringing in new ideas, which was reflected in the conference program featuring over 100 speakers and a record number of exhibitors presenting bike sharing systems, carsharing, ridematching software, shuttles, and mobility as a service providers.
The Conference was such a success that it led to ACT’s strongest financial year in more than a decade, which has allowed us to re-invest in the organization and expand our programming and begin to take on new programs that had only been dreamed of a few years ago.
We have hired new staff: Casey Murphy, our Events & Programs Manager & Candace Paris our Membership & Communications Coordinator, which has allowed us to focus more time and energy into increased membership benefits and services.
This has included our inaugural TDM Forum in Boston, which brought together over 140 attendees for two days of networking, learning, receptions, and celebrations in Boston.
The event was kicked off by Congressman Capuano, who outlined current realities facing federal transportation policy and funding and warned us what might happen if Trump won the upcoming election. Ken Kimmell, President of the Union of Concerned Scientists, discussed the connection between mobile source emissions and global climate change and the important role that fuel switching and TDM will play in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Two new awards ceremonies took place during the Forum. The TDM Excellence Awards recognized exemplary organizations that have made a commitment to integrating TDM into their organizations. Our recipients in 2016 were: Walt Disney Company, Harvard University, City of Boulder, Arlington County, and Seattle Children’s Hospital.
We relaunched our 40 Under 40 Awards – recognizing the outstanding achievements of individuals who are engaged in TDM work, from digital start-ups making transit options more accessible to city and regional transportation officials working on expanding commuter benefits and ridesharing.
I hope that many of you will be able to join us at this year’s TDM Forum in Las Vegas, where we will recognize our 2017 40 Under 40 and TDM Excellence recipients.
In addition to the International Conference & TDM Forum, ACT hosts an annual Public Policy Summit, which has doubled in attendance over the past two years as we began to broaden ACT’s policy agenda to focus on both Federal and local TDM issues.
The Summits have featured informative sessions on parking policy, TDM ordinances, transit benefit ordinances, and local land use zoning. This has led to the development of new policy/advocacy campaigns like ACT’s 25×20 Campaign, which aims to pass transit benefit ordinances in 25 cities by 2020.
Jon and Jason will speak more on ACTs policy efforts later.
This Spring, ACT launched a new webinar series to expand learning opportunities for members that may not be able to attend conferences in exciting cities like New Orleans & Vegas. Our first three webinars included:
We are currently developing webinars for the fall – so if you have any ideas please let us know.
ACT’s regional chapters are the back bone of the organization. They are most often the public face for ACT and where most of our members network and engage in ACT activities. Over the past year our chapters have been hosting some great local programming:
These are just a sampling of the fabulous activities taking place locally and I want to thank all of you that are serving on your local chapter board. I encourage you all to get involved with your local chapters
ACT’s six councils – Employer, Sustainable Real Estate, Telework, TMA, University, and Vanpool provide ACT members an opportunity to dive in deep on specific issues of interest and I wanted to share a few highlights from the past year.
The Employer Council worked with ACT national to publish “Getting to Work” a spotlight on 5 employer programs from across the country, highlighting some best practices around getting employees to use public transit, vanpools, shuttles, and biking to work.
The SRED Council is in the process of completing TDM Development Policy Resource Overview
The TMA Council is working with ACT national to publish a paper on the Business Case for TMAs.
So you can see that there is a tremendous amount going on throughout the organization.
To wrap up my remarks, I just want to say thank you to all of you for helping ACT become a financially healthy and member strong organization. We have accomplished a tremendous amount over the past year and we have so many new and exciting activities coming up in the near future.
To tell us about them, we have a few of our Board members to provide some updates.