State and regional chapters of the Intelligent Transportation Society of America (ITS America) provide a key role promoting and enhancing public safety and community welfare by: fostering research and development; implementing programs to reduce motor vehicle deaths and injuries; improving mobility; and promoting a system of safer, more economical, energy efficient and environmentally sound highways and other surface transportation through use of advanced technology.
In 1994, the members of the Illinois-Indiana-Wisconsin three-state consortium responsible for developing the Gary-Chicago-Milwaukee Corridor (now Lake Michigan Interstate Gateway Alliance or LMIGA) Program Plan, with encouragement from FHWA and the Argonne National Laboratory, formed ITS Midwest, the first multi-state chapter of ITS America. The ITS Midwest chapter was formally chartered by ITS America in Chicago on February 22, 1995, and recognized at the ITS America meeting in Washington D.C. in mid-March.
In 1998, ITS Midwest spearheaded an effort to bring the 2002 ITS World Congress to Chicago, prevailing over the competing host cities of Atlanta, New York, and San Francisco. The Chicago World Congress provided an opportunity to showcase regional ITS to the world and included 36 technical tours at 13 state-of-the-art transportation facilities in the three-state area. An evening reception for the World Congress sponsored by ITS Midwest at the historic Adler Planetarium on the beautiful Chicago lakefront capped off the chapter's successful effort.
In May 2003 at the ITS America Annual Meeting, ITS Midwest was awarded the 2002 Outstanding State Chapter award, and in all, the Gary-Chicago-Milwaukee (now LMIGA) corridor captured 4 of the 9 Best of ITS awards. That same year, ITS Midwest attendance at its own annual meeting swelled by 50% over previous years, a validation of the chapter's vitality and perceived value to members.
In 2003-2004, work continued on a new strategic planning effort. In 2004, Wisconsin also split away from ITS Midwest to start their own state chapter, which provided further impetus to restructure and refocus ITS Midwest. This culminated in the release of the Strategic Directions Plan, which was approved by the board of directors in March 2005, and established a new organizational structure and focus for ITS Midwest. A key element was a smaller board of directors and an empowered set of committees to refine the goals and execute the plan. Each committee has two co-chairs -- one on the board of directors to retain board oversight, and one from the organization at large. This provides a mechanism for more involvement by the membership in chapter activities, which in turn increases the human capital available to implement programs.
In 2005, ITS Midwest turned 10 years old, and celebrated our decade of achievements at our 2005 Annual Meeting. The same year, the organizational changes began to take hold, and a more refined and focused organization began to emerged. Like the ITS industry it nurtures and serves, ITS Midwest is today a wiser and more strategically-focused organization, fully committed to bringing about the full realization of the benefits of ITS to improve the safety, efficiency, and security of our transportation system.
ITS Midwest has held annual and special meetings in 2006, 2007, 2008 and most recently 2009 which included technical programs, project of the year and special recognition awards, vendor demonstrations and exhibits. These meetings offer an excellent networking opportunity for our members and friend to meet and exchange information on technology and project lessons learned.
In 2007, ITS Midwest merged with ITS Mid-America with the mutual consent of the Boards and members, to form a larger, four-state chapter linking Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio. Our 2007 Fall Meeting in Cincinnati and 2008 Annual Meeting in Columbus were the first events of the new ITS Midwest.
In 2009 ITS Midwest held its Annual Meeting in Indianapolis. We were pleased that over one hundred individuals were in attendance to hear the informative program entitled "ITS Big and ITS Special".
For information about ITS Midwest membership advantages and how to join, see ITS Midwest Membership.
For questions about membership, please contact:
Matt Letourneau, President
650 E. Algonquin Road, Suite 400
Schaumburg, IL 60173
Matt Letourneau, President
Scott Lee, Secretary/President-Elect