Letter from the President--The Year Ahead

Dear Members,

I am grateful to have the opportunity to serve you as ATLP’s president for 2020-2021. I thank Tim Wackerbarth for his service to our organization as past president, including his leadership through the COVID-19 pandemic.

I owe this opportunity to the young professionals program. Started about eight years ago, the program was a sustainability effort that sought to engage and attract young professionals. It worked! Approximately half of our current officers participated in the program.

We must build on our success with the young professionals program by more broadly engaging current members and attracting new members. ATLP distinguishes itself from other organizations by developing connections between people with various transportation law backgrounds and providing a forum to debate and explore diverse transportation law issues. This requires having active members who not only attend events but also develop them and volunteer their talents to further ATLP’s mission. It also requires new members who bring unique backgrounds and insights.

Focusing on engaging existing members and attracting new members also is necessary to help us weather the COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-19 challenges us to keep members engaged without in-person events, which we have traditionally relied upon. It also challenges us to find new members and sponsors in anticipation of membership and sponsorship reductions due to the financial hardships accompanying the pandemic.

Consistent with our need to engage and grow our membership, our efforts over the next year will include:

  • Exploring new types of events and alternative event formats. We will explore ways to expand our event offerings, including options for virtual networking events. And we will strive to offer a virtual attendance option for any in-person events. By developing our virtual-event capabilities, we will provide more opportunities for members and prospective members to participate in events.
  • Leveraging our website and electronic communication tools. Our redesigned website offers a platform for providing content to members and prospective members. Additionally, we have acquired electronic outreach functions that enable us to communicate more effectively. We will look at ways we can better use these tools to enhance the value we provide members and market our organization to nonmembers.
  • Updating our strategic plan. ATLP’s strategic plan was last updated in 2015 and is due for another update. Under Tim Wackerbarth’s leadership, we have begun the update process with the goal of developing a roadmap for growth that reflects the current and anticipated needs of our members and prospective members.

Our success depends on your continued support. I invite you to attend our virtual events, encourage your contacts to attend, and actively participate on one of our many committees. Our committees are responsible for ATLP’s functions, and your participation on them increases their effectiveness while providing an opportunity to use your talents to enrichen our community. To the extent you prefer to take a less active role, consider supporting ATLP financially, including through our annual sponsorship options. Sponsorships make our programs more accessible and give us flexibility to engage in initiatives to strengthen our organization.

The upcoming year is about adjusting the way we operate to engage and grow our membership in the COVID-19 environment. This is an exciting challenge through which we have an opportunity to strengthen ATLP and create a more vibrant, connected, and knowledgeable transportation legal community.

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