Charles Cochran, a Project Manager on the Traffic [...]
By: Diane Hammonds, PE, PTOE | LA Branch Manager
The Gulf Region Intelligent Transportation Society (GRITS) was founded in 2009 as a chapter of the Intelligent Transportation Society of America. We are a chapter of ITS America that includes the geographic area of Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama.
Gulf Region ITS serves as a mechanism to facilitate communication and coordination among our members, ITS America, and other governmental, academic, and private institutions, and associations. The overall goal is to provide government, academic agencies, and the private sector with improved access to advanced transportation technology to meet the demands placed on highways, public transportation, and their interfaces with air, rail, and other modes of transportation. We are advocates for the implementation of innovative and efficient ITS technologies and programs that improve safety and the quality of life for travelers in our three states. We are committed to partnerships, education, and advancement of transportation throughout the region. Primary methods of information exchange are through our annual GRITS conference, website, emails, and our outreach and training program.
Membership in GRITS is by organization (public o
r non-profit agency, private organization), individual (public or private), or student. GRITS is led by a Board of Directors, which is elected on an annual basis by its members. In 2014, I was elected Treasurer for the 2014 calendar year and served in that position until 2017 when I was elected Vice President. I am currently serving as the President for the 2018 Calendar Year. I was also awarded the True GRIT Award in 2015. The “True GRIT – Outstanding Leadership or Service Award” honors individuals for their achievements in promoting ITS in the region through unique innovation, distinctive service or outstanding leadership. This award is given to those that embody the goals and mission of GRITS and act as champions for ITS.
GRITS has two one-day workshops a year and one Annual Meeting. The meetings rotate through the three states so that the group visits each state once a year. Our Annual Meeting features vendor exhibits displaying the latest technology and industry innovations. We learn a lot but also have a great time with colleagues.
In addition GRITS also presents up to five annual educational scholarships to university students based on essays prepared on various ITS topics. More information on this can be found on GRITS website.
I’m really excited about our annual meeting this year! It is a special one and will be held in Jacksonville, FL. October 7 – October 10. This meeting is called the 5C Summit and will be a gathering of 5 ITS America Chapters covering ITS Florida, ITS Georgia, ITS Tennessee, ITS Carolina and GRITS. If more information is desired for the event, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.