Section History

History of the Dallas Section of the Institute of Transportation Engineers

Background

Prior to 1992, TexITE had never had any officially organized sub-units. Although TexITE members in the Houston area had held an annual shrimp boil and members in the Dallas-Fort Worth area held similar social events on a less frequent basis, there had been no serious proposals for local ITE organizations.

Original Impetus for the Formation of a Dallas Chapter

The impetus for what would become TexITE’s first chapter came from an unusual source. In the early 1990s, Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) was coming under increasing political pressure and criticism, so various professional organizations were asked to pass resolutions in support of DART’s program. Since TexITE did not have a “Dallas Chapter”, John DeShazo submitted a proposed resolution for TexITE’s consideration. However, after extensive discussion, the consensus of those in attendance at the TexITE Business Meetings was that a statewide organization such as TexITE should not take a stand on a local political issue. During the debate, the statement was made that a resolution of this type would be more appropriate for a local chapter to consider and perhaps the time had come for the Dallas area to consider forming an ITE chapter.

The Failed TexITE Bylaws Amendment

Over the next few months, several Dallas-area TexITE members began serious discussion regarding the formation of an ITE chapter. Some of those involved in the early discussions and informal meetings included: Don Cranford, Richard Peterson, KR Marshall, Robert Wunderlich, Dave Carter, John Freible, and Barbara Leftwich (apologies to the many others not mentioned here). Although the Texas Section’s charter allowed for the creation of sub-units, the TexITE bylaws were silent on the issue. At the next TexITE Board Meeting, various aspects of how to deal with possible chapters were debated. While there was broad consensus that local chapters would be a good idea, there was disagreement over at least two issues. First, at least one of the TexITE Board members felt that it would be inappropriate for chapter boundaries to split a metropolitan area such as the DFW Metroplex. Second, several of the Board members felt that chapters, if created, should not be allowed to pass resolutions. (This was ironic considering the circumstances that had given impetus to the chapter discussions.)

After further study and debate, TexITE Board decided to go forward with a bylaws amendment that would have two separate propositions:

Proposition 1, which was assumed to be non-controversial, would enact the formal procedures for the creation of chapters and the framework under which they would be allowed to operate. Basically, the starting point would be a petition signed by at least five voting members in the proposed chapter area.

Proposition 2, which was assumed to be controversial, would determine whether chapters (if approved per Proposition 1) would have the authority to consider and pass resolutions.

The results of the bylaws referendum were frustrating. Over 90 percent of those voting said yes to Proposition 1 – the TexITE membership had clearly spoken in favor of allowing local chapters. Furthermore, about 60 percent of the voters were also in favor of Proposition 2, which would allow chapters to consider and pass resolutions dealing with local issues. Unfortunately, under the rules in place at the time, there were insufficient votes for either proposition to take effect. First, any proposed amendment to the TexITE bylaws required approval by a two-thirds majority – hence Proposition 2 was defeated. Second, regardless of the percentage of votes in favor, a bylaws amendment was valid only if ballots were received from at least half of the eligible voters. In this vote, just under 49 percent of TexITE’s eligible voters had returned their ballots, so even Proposition 1 was moot.

TexITE’s “Chapter Policy” Allows Chapters to be Created

At its next meeting, the TexITE Board concluded that (1) the membership was clearing in support of having chapters and (2) there was nothing in the current bylaws to prevent the Board from approving the creation of chapters as a matter of policy. Accordingly, the Board approved a “Chapter Policy”, which had essentially the same wording as the bylaws change that had been proposed under Proposition 1. On the other hand, the Chapter Policy specifically withheld the authority for chapters to pass resolutions.

Greater Dallas Chapter is Created

Once the Chapter Policy was in effect, there was further discussion about whether to have a “Dallas” chapter or a “DFW” chapter. The main argument in support of the former was that the Metroplex is so large that the proposed monthly lunch meetings might not be as well attended if sites had to be rotated across the entire Metroplex.

In April 1992, the TexITE Board formally approved the formation of an “Eastern DFW Chapter,” the area of which would be Dallas and Collin counties. K. R. Marshall was designated as “Interim Chapter Chairperson.” The subsequently developed bylaws established the permanent name as the “Greater Dallas Chapter” and the initial Chapter officers were K. R. Marshall (President), George Human (Vice President), and Barbra Leftwich (Secretary-Treasurer).

The Reorganization of District 9

By the year 2000, as a result of separate grass roots efforts, TexITE had six active chapters that collectively included about 94 percent of the state’s ITE membership:

Chapter
Year Formed
Original Area
Greater Dallas
1992
Dallas and Collin counties
Houston Area
1993
7 counties surrounding Houston
Greater Fort Worth
1993*
Tarrant and Denton counties
South Texas
1998*
46 counties, area include San Antonio, Corpus Christi, Laredo, and the Lower Rio Grande Valley
Capital Area
1998*
3 counties surrounding Austin
Brazos Valley
2000
7 counties surrounding College Station

 

These chapters had become as strong as many of ITE’s sections. For this reason, and because of growing frustration with the overlapping roles of the District 9 and the Texas Section, a Task Force was appointed to address one fundamental question: “Is it time to have multiple Sections within District 9?” After 18 months of presentations and discussion by members across the state, the decision was made. In March 2002, the membership approved a District 9 bylaws amendment under which the Texas Section officers became the officers of the new, strong District 9. On June 27, 2002, the new District Board then issued charters under which each of the chapters became a Section.

The Greater Dallas Section

Effective August 1, 2002, the former Greater Dallas Chapter became the Greater Dallas Section. Under the transition plan set forth in its new Charter, the chapter officers – Bridgette Shamburger (President), Mark Titus (Vice-President), and Kevin St. Jacques (Secretary-Treasurer) became the respective officers of the new Greater Dallas Section.

The new section charters also adjusted the coverage areas of the Greater Dallas and Greater Fort Worth Sections. The Greater Dallas Section now includes Rockwall, Kaufman, and Ellis counties as well as the original Dallas and Collin counties. The Fort Worth Section now includes Johnston, Hood, Parker, and Wise counties as well as the original Tarrant and Denton counties.

The section has grown to a membership of over 140 in 2003. Business lunches are held each month, where attendees enjoy a technical presentation and interaction with their peers. The Greater Dallas Section is grateful to its members, officers, and TexITE for making it the thriving organization it has been and continues to be.

The following table lists the individuals who have served as officers of the Greater Dallas Chapter/Section.

Year
President
Vice-President
Secretary-Treasurer
1992-93
K. R. Marshall A
George Human A
Barbra Leftwich A
1993-94
George Human
Barbra Leftwich
James O’Conner
1994-95
Barbra Leftwich
James O’Conner
Ed Seymour
1995-96
James O’Conner
Ed Seymour
Dave Carter
1996-97
Ed Seymour
Dave Carter
Brian Jahn B
1997-98
Dave Carter
Paul Luedtke
Cissy Sylo
1998-99
Paul Luedtke
Cissy Sylo
Jody Short
1999-2000
Cissy Sylo
Jody Short
John Black
2000-01
Jody Short
John Black
Bridgette Shamburger
2001-02
John Black
Bridgette Shamburger
Mark Titus
2002-03 C
Bridgette Shamburger C
Mark Titus C
Kevin St. Jacques C
2004
Mark Titus
Kevin St. Jacques
Brian Moen
2005
Kevin St. Jacques
Brian Moen
Kelly Parma
2006
Brian Moen
Kelly Parma
Robert Saylor
2007
Kelly Parma
Robert Saylor
Nanditha Togar
2008
Robert Saylor
Nanditha Togar
David Halloin
2009
Nanditha Togar
David Halloin
Joel Fitts
2010
David Halloin
Joel Fitts
John Denholm
2011
Joel Fitts
John Denholm
Robyn Root
2012
John Denholm
Robyn Root
Boro Dedeitch
2013
Robyn Root
Boro Dedeitch
Jessica Shutt
2014
Boro Dedeitch
Gary Graham
Cameron Williams
2015
Gary Graham
Cameron Williams
Matt Sneed
2016
Cameron Williams
Jignesh Thakkar
Josh Smith

(A) K. R. Marshall resigned in early 1993 to accept a job in Maryland and George Human then moved up to President. For the remainder of the term, Barbra Leftwich was appointed to serve as Vice-President and James O’Conner was appointed to serve as Secretary-Treasurer.

(B) Shortly after his election, Brian Jahn resigned to accept a job in Victoria. Paul Luedtke was then appointed to serve as Secretary-Treasurer for the remainder of the term.

(C) Effective August 1, 2002, the Greater Dallas Chapter became the Greater Dallas Section and the operating year changed from July-June to January-December. Accordingly, these officers served for 18 months (from July 1, 2002 through July 31, 2002 as officers of the Greater Dallas Chapter and from August 1, 2002 until December 31, 2003 as the initial officers of the Greater Dallas Section.)