Keynote Speakers

Monday, August 2nd – Melissa Wandall

National Coalition of Safer Roads (NCSR)

Melissa Wandall is devoted to educating, encouraging and empowering individuals and organizations for greater impact.

As President of the National Coalition of Safer Roads (NCSR) Melissa has set out to change highway safety and reduce the number of injuries and deaths caused by traffic collisions. NCSR’s mission is “To Connect and Empower Survivor Advocates of traffic related tragedies with the tools and resources needed to take actions supporting an end to road violence.”

As an advocate Melissa was instrumental in passing Florida’s Mark Wandall Traffic Safety Act allowing Florida communities to utilize Red Light Safety Cameras to help curb negligent behaviors, make streets safer and save lives.

In addition, Melissa is dedicated to facilitating support for children, teens and young adults in grief. She is the Founder and Director of The Mark Wandall Foundation, a 501C3 non-profit organization.

The initial focus affords provisions and assistance to grieving children, teens and young adults who has experienced the death of a primary family member or guardian.

Furthermore Melissa is an active Coalition member, spokesperson and campaign ambassador for Alert Today Florida an organization that works to implement Florida’s Pedestrian and Bicycle Strategic Safety Plan. She is also a Vision Zero Champion. The goal of Vision Zero is to eliminate all road deaths and serious injuries.

Consistent and focused and with a natural ability to engage others, she utilizes her personal life story as a springboard to effect positive change. Known as a passionate presenter by numerous insurance companies, government agencies and business leaders, Melissa’s genuine spirit influences the hearts of her listeners inspiring motivation and purpose.

Melissa’s efforts were recognized by The National Safety Council as a 2016 Distinguished Service to Safety Award winner. The Distinguished Service to Safety Award recognizes outstanding service and contributions to the field of safety, and it is the most prestigious award given to individuals by the National Safety Council.

As an Advocacy Consultant Melissa actively travels the U.S. and Internationally, participating in speaking engagements, workshops and shares her message by encouraging authentic leadership, inspiration, and resolution.

Tuesday, August 3rd – Plenary Session

Statewide TDM Strategies: A conversation with state transportation leaders

Washington State DOT Secretary, Roger Millar and Puerto Rico Department of Transportation and Public Works Secretary Eileen Vélez Vega will join in a discussion on the role of TDM in addressing their state’s transportation challenges, how they view the future of commuting post pandemic, and how their agencies can create more equitable transportation systems that support the movement of all people and strong economic activity.   

Speakers

Roger Millar, Washington State Department of Transportation

Roger Millar was appointed Secretary of Transportation in August 2016. Millar oversees an agency that is the steward of a multimodal transportation system and responsible for ensuring that people and goods move safely and efficiently. In addition to building, maintaining, and operating the state highway system, WSDOT is responsible for the state ferry system and works in partnership with others to maintain and improve local roads, railroads and airports, as well as to support alternatives to driving, such as public transportation, bicycles and pedestrian programs.

Roger is an experienced land use and transportation engineer, planner, and program manager with an international reputation for innovative approaches to conservation and development. The prominent theme that has run through his career has been planning and implementing transportation systems that are not ends unto themselves; but rather the means toward economic vitality, environmental stewardship, social equity, public health, and aesthetic quality.

Roger is a Fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers, a Fellow of the American Institute of Certified Planners and a Certified Floodplain Manager. He graduated from the University of Virginia in 1982.

Eileen M. Vélez Vega, Puerto Rico Department of Transportation and Public Works

Eileen M. Vélez Vega was appointed secretary of DTOP by Governor Pedro Pierluisi in December 2020 and is the first woman to lead the department. Vélez Vega is a member of the Engineers and Surveyors Association of Puerto Rico, of the American Association of Civil Engineers, of the Committee of the Transportation Research Board, and of the Society of Women Engineers’ board of directors. She has over 18 years of experience in the management, design, and construction of airfield paving, as well as in project management, design, and development of technical paving specifications.

Since 2006, Vélez Vega had worked for a prestigious design and planning firm based in North Carolina, and since her return to Puerto Rico in 2014, she had served as its vice president of business development on the island. Prior to that, she worked for four years for the United States Army Corps of Engineers as a civil engineer and as a NASA fellow at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama.

Vélez Vega has a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from UPR Mayagüez and a master’s degree from Mississippi State University.

In addition to her vast experience and passion, her accomplishments have been honored by multiple professional organizations and she has been recognized for her community work at the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Conference Begins In

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