By Katie Praske
President, Washington D.C. Chapter

This June marked the start of a new year for NDTA’s Washington, D.C. Chapter. At our monthly luncheon, NDTA’s national president, retired Rear Adm. Mark Buzby, inducted our 2016-2017 officers and board members.

I’m greatly honored to assume responsibility as chapter president, and grateful to the hard work and dedication of outgoing president Brian Baney. The chapter he left in my care is active, vibrant and strong, encompassing members from the government, military and private sector.

Washington, D.C. is an energetic chapter. We host numerous chapter events in a given year, including our luncheons, scholarship auction, networking happy hours, golf tournament and National Transportation Week celebration. This year, for the first time, we celebrated National Transportation week with a Potomac River cruise on MV Cherry Blossom. The event attracted more than 80 boat riders and numerous corporate sponsors. Thanks to our sponsors, there were not only sufficient funds to cover the cost of the event, but also to contribute to our scholarship awards. Those of us who attended had a wonderful time and we look forward inviting many more members and friends next year.

Professional development for our members remains a priority, and our mentor program matches up-and-coming professionals with experienced leaders. The chapter also actively gives back to the next generation of transporters and logisticians through scholarships. This year, for instance, we awarded $8,500 to three college students.

In short, there’s a lot of good work enabled by our members, partners and guests. We are on the right trajectory. The year ahead looks positive, and in particular I’d like to build upon the successes of the past year and continue to expand our reach into the transportation and logistics community within the DC area. The number of participants in the mentor-protégé program continued to rise, and we want to  accommodate as many participants as possible in this flagship program. The scholarship auction moved to a new location creating a more social setting while still offering a wide array of items for bid; we want to make sure awareness of the event is spread and more guests can enjoy the event. Our strongest programs continued and many improvements were made to others other the past year.

I think our next step is letting more colleagues, friends and contacts know what is available through the NDTA Washington DC Chapter. We expect to see a lot of new faces at our September 22 luncheon as we partner with the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International to host Dane Swenson from DTMO as our keynote speaker (you can sign up at ndtadc.org).

Finally, I am excited that we are reaching a wider audience through new members to the board who represent organizations not previously represented (of course I am also thankful to have many of the members who have served for years return with their institutional knowledge).This chapter is strong, thanks to the unflagging support of our officers, board and most of all, chapter members. All of us are volunteers, contributing time and effort because we believe in NDTA’s mission. Transportation, logistics and passenger travel make our everyday lives possible, strengthen the national economy and contribute to national security. These fields are rapidly evolving, and the conversations we have together make a meaningful difference to how we do business. Thanks so much for your support, and I can’t wait to see the year ahead.