2017 Operations Academy a Success!

The Operations Academy Senior Management Program celebrated its tenth anniversary this October with its 2017 graduating class of 36 transportation and law enforcement professionals.  A total of 381 transportation professionals have now graduated from the program including 147 with scholarships provided by the Eastern Transportation Coalition!

Congratulations are in order for the 14 Coalition members who graduated from this year’s program on a full Coalition scholarship!

  • District of Columbia DOT – Charles Tenbrook
  • Florida DOT – Rudy Garcia
  • Georgia DOT – Katherine Shearin
  • Maryland State Police – Colin Bristow
  • Massachusetts DOT – Joseph Foti
  • New Hampshire DOT – Kody McCarthy
  • New Jersey DOT – Elizabeth Falcon
  • New York State DOT – James Haggerty
  • North Carolina DOT – Anthony Tagliaferri
  • North Carolina State Highway Patrol – Cameron Shayne Taylor
  • Pennsylvania DOT – Ryan McNary
  • Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission – Cory Greene
  • Port Authority of New York & New Jersey – Stephen Knapp
  • Virginia DOT – Sandy Wyrick

The curriculum covered a variety of topics ranging from interpersonal skills to state-of-the practice Transportation Systems Management & Operations (TSMO) strategies to the emerging transportation technologies of automation, and data visualization and analytics.  It featured interactive instruction where information was openly shared among the participants themselves. Workshops provided opportunities for participant collaboration as well as a methodology for assimilating the lessons learned.

A few special highlights of this year’s program included a CEO perspective offered by current MDSHA Administrator Greg Slater on “Mainstreaming TSMO in a State Program” and a special presentation by the Eastern Transportation Coalition’s first Executive Board Chair and previous MDSHA Administrator Hal Kassoff. The theme of Mr. Kassoff’s presentation was motivating change in your agency which he illustrated by telling the story of the beginning of the CHART program in the mid-1980s and its evolution to today’s mainstreamed TSMO program.

According to participant David Lucas from the City of Tempe (AZ), “The National Operations Academy is an amazing program that immerses you completely in the TSMO mindset so that you come away with a complete understanding of TSMO and the opportunities it offers to any agency, regardless of size or previous experience with TSMO. I would highly encourage anyone with an interest in moving their agency forward to learn more about the academy and have members from all levels of their agency attend.”

Here are what two Coalition scholarship participants had to say about the program:

“On Day 1, you know no one and by Day 10, you’re family,” indicated Elizabeth Falon from New Jersey DOT.  “This program is intense, however, being immersed into it allows you to network and become successful.  I would highly recommend this program for anyone looking to increase their knowledge in TSMO.”

Sandy Wyrick from Virginia DOT stated, “In the Ops Academy, I learned that TSMO is not just a State program, rather a national movement. I got a full understanding of our role as an individual state in the larger nationwide vision.  I’m excited to see the positive impact that TSMO will have on transportation in years to come.”

The next Operations Academy session will be offered in October or November 2018 and nomination forms will be due in June 2018.  A notice will be sent out to all Coalition members in spring 2018 with information about applying for a Coalition scholarship for the 2018 program.  Information about the program in general can be found on the Operations Academy website.