Under Richard Easley’s term as President of ITS Maryland (ITSMD), the ITSMD state chapter received two distinguished awards for best Best State Chapter 2012-2013. The awards for Outstanding State Chapter and the award for Membership Growth. Richard was able to provide strategic direction and leadership by asking the right questions concerning the status and future of ITS Maryland. With the confidence and support of ITSMD’s Board members, ITSMD responded by transforming itself into the state chapter that ‘was the clear leader in all categories of the competitive awards’ according to David St. Amant, ITS America’s Chairman of the Board.
Message in Honor of Bala Akundi
From Ms. Regina Aris, Assistant Director for Transportation Planning, Baltimore Metropolitan Council
I am gratified, along with Bala’s family that this distinguished group of colleagues has chosen to recognize the contribution that Bala made to the work of this region and state. As an engineer, earning his Master’s degree from Virginia Polytechnic Institute he then found his way to the region. We worked alongside each other for 20 years at BMC. During that time, we shared many work projects, and beyond the workplace, we also shared a friendship that extended to his family. I have enjoyed many a brew on his back deck and his wife Shailu graciously helped me to learn the art of cooking with Indian spices.
Prior to the BMC, Bala worked at Daniel Consultants, URS Corporation, and Parsons.
Back to his relevance to this group here today, Bala took over the Baltimore Regional Transportation Board’s Traffic Signal Subcommittee shortly after joining BMC. Bala was also participating in the Intelligent Transportation Society of Maryland and helped forge the partnership between the two efforts with the first joint meeting in 2012. This contributed to these successful and engaging annual meetings. In 2009, Bala served as the 14th President of ITSMD.
Bala also contributed time to the Washington DC Section of the Institute of Transportation Engineers. He served as the Secretary/Treasurer at some point prior to 2003 and continued his involvement over the years. WDCSITE recognized his work with a Transportation Service award in 2022. The service award is intended to honor members of the Section who have made outstanding contributions to the profession. He also mentored new members up until this year.
I could go on for a long time – Bala’s work spanned traditional civil engineering and traffic signals, freight analytics, safety initiatives – particularly the Look Alive campaign. Bala presented to national audiences such as the Association of Metropolitan Planning Organizations and to regional radio and television shows.
Bala brought innovative ideas, endless energy and expert networking abilities to all aspects of his work. Most recently, he focused on traffic safety, vulnerable road users and Safe System Approach projects as well as connected and automated vehicles (CAV).
Bala’s lasting impact and influence are clear in the many agencies, associations and people that are mourning his sudden passing. Thank you for the chance to share his impact on all of us.
Bob Winick has been a vital contributor to the 20+ year success of ITS Maryland. He was not one of the original members, but he has been involved in countless activities from just about the beginning in 1995. Bob is not only a distinguished member of ITS Maryland, but he is a leader, a visionary, a champion, a mentor; and so many of us have benefitted from working with and knowing him. Bob brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the field of transportation and ITS and has been a mentor and a source of inspiration to many of over the years.
Bob is best known as the driving force behind our Technology Fair held each year in Annapolis during the Maryland General Assembly session. The first Technology Fair was held in 2002, and its great success has been due in large part to Bob’s hard work, perseverance, and knowledge of our elected officials. This event continues to be a highlight of the year for our chapter and the way we reach our state’s elected officials and educate them about the work of our members around the state. With Bob’s focus on performance measures, we track who attends each year, so we can show that we have continued to attract more attendees, including more elected officials, each year. He spent countless hours working on both of our strategic plans, annual meetings, and other chapter events.
Bob was the ITS Maryland president from 2005 to 2006. He has held other officer positions as well as being a member of the ITS Maryland Board of Directors for many years both before and after serving as president. Bob is the embodiment of how a board officer should remain involved and set an example for other volunteers to follow.
The chapter owes a huge debt of gratitude to Bob for ITS Maryland’s ongoing success.
Fall 2023 marked 43 years of professional engineering service for K.R. Marshall. Beginning in 1980, fresh out of Union College (NY) with a degree in Civil Engineering (and where he was a 4-year letterman in basketball), K.R. began a job as a research assistant with the Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) while he pursued his Master’s degree at Texas A&M University. After graduation, K.R. worked for 2 transportation consulting companies in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. While working in Dallas, K.R. attended the Mobility 2000 workshop which marked the development of the national IVHS (now ITS) program and provided the foundation for the formation of ITS America.
In 1993, K.R. accepted an offer from Farradyne Systems in Rockville and moved his family to Maryland. In early 1995, K.R. participated in the ITS Maryland chapter formation meetings and became a member of the first ITS Maryland Board of Directors. His ITS Maryland officer roles in those early years included Vice President from 1998-1999 and President from 1999 to 2000. K.R. was ITS Maryland’s 5th President and during his term ITS Maryland executed its first administrative support services contract with the University of Maryland CATT and prepared its first by-laws. Some of the other accomplishments from that year include:
K.R. remained on the Board through 2001 when he rotated off but continued to be active in many chapter activities during those subsequent years. In 2017, K.R. rejoined the ITS Maryland Board and in 2020 was elected again for another 3-year term. K.R. is very proud of the organization that ITS Maryland has become and especially likes seeing the influx of young and talented members.
The chapter owes a huge debt of gratitude to K.R. for ITS Maryland’s ongoing success.