SOLD OUT! ULI Philadelphia Inside the Urbanist's Studio

When

Wednesday, October 16th, 2019
4:00pm - 6:00pm EDT

Where

FMC Tower at Cira Centre South Will open in a new window 2929 Walnut ST FL 16 Philadelphia, PA 19104-5042 UNITED STATES
This event is sold out. Refunds can be made up to 48 hours in advance.
For its third year, the Women’s Leadership Initiative presents “Inside the Urbanist’s Studio”, a lively discussion between two industry leaders sharing stories and insights on issues facing land use development. This year join us for an intimate conversation with Leslie S. Richards, Secretary of the PennDOT and Liz Smith, Assistant Treasurer, Strategic Initiatives at SEPTA, to hear about the future of our transportation systems and the challenges facing our region.  

Multi-modal connections between Philadelphia and regional economic hubs are vital to attracting talent and businesses to our region. Both women draw on a wealth of experience in stakeholder engagement, capital projects and strategic planning; spearheading projects that enable effective passenger and commercial transportation. Their strong rapport and storied experiences promise to deliver an insightful conversation.
 
Reserve your seat to learn from two women with unique insight on policies and projects directly affecting the market and quality of life in this region. Cocktails and appetizers will be served in Cira Center, 16th Floor.  
 

 
More about the speakers:
 
As the first woman and planner to serve as Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), Leslie S. Richards oversees one of the largest and most innovative transportation agencies in the U.S., with an annual budget of more than $10 billion and 11,500 employees. Richards has been recognized for her leadership in the industry and her commitment to public service. One of the many policies that Ms. Richards is implementing is PennDOT Connects, a transformative approach that focuses on improved collaboration among local stakeholders for the planning and delivery of capital and maintenance projects.
 
Liz Smith is the Assistant Treasurer, Strategic Initiatives at the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA).  In that role she oversees SEPTA’s planning and capital budget functions, with oversight of the Service Planning, Strategic Planning, and Capital Budget and Grant Development Departments.  She is responsible for ensuring progress of several major initiatives, including the King of Prussia Rail project, the upcoming Comprehensive Bus Network Optimization, the Annual Capital Budget as well as the Annual Service Plan.
 

FMC Tower at Cira Centre South 2929 Walnut ST FL 16 Philadelphia, PA 19104-5042 UNITED STATES

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Speakers

Speaker

Liz Smith

Director of Strategic Planning and Analysis, SEPTA

Liz Smith is the Director of Strategic Planning and Analysis at the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA). In that role she is responsible for oversight of both strategic as well as long range planning activities, including expansion projects, internal and external planning studies, as well as leading the planning relationships with various stakeholders throughout the region. Ms. Smith holds a B.S. in Civil Engineering from The Pennsylvania State University, and a M.S. in Civil Engineering from Villanova University. She is a registered Professional Engineer as well as a Certified Project Management Professional.

Speaker

Leslie Richards

Pennsylvania Department of Transportation

As the first woman and planner to serve as Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), Leslie S. Richards oversees one of the largest and most innovative transportation agencies in the U.S., with an annual budget of more than $10 billion and 11,500 employees. She is a two-term appointee of Governor Tom Wolf. Secretary Richards is making her mark on the agency by ensuring the long-term success of Pennsylvania’s transportation needs through sustainable investments. These new policies include the Transportation Investment Plan, a metric driven strategic investment approach for the 12 Year Capital Program; a $2.1 billion maintenance and system preservation initiative, termed PennDOT Road MaP; and PennDOT Connects, a transformative approach that focuses on improved collaboration among local stakeholders for the planning and delivery of capital and maintenance projects. Richards has been recognized for her leadership in the industry and her commitment to public service. In 2017, she was appointed the first female chair of the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission as well as the Public Private Partnership (P3) Board. Also in 2017, she received two Gold Stevie Awards (Female Innovator of the Year and Female Executive of the Year) and the Philadelphia Business Journal 2017 Women of Distinction award. Other honors include the WTS International Woman of the Year Award for 2018, as well as the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials’ (COMTO) 2018 Celebrating Women Who Move the Nation award, City and State PA’s 2018 Above and Beyond Distinguished Service award, and the March of Dimes of Southeastern Pennsylvania Service to Humanity award. Secretary Richards takes time to speak about the importance of women occupying roles in public service and transportation. In 2017, Secretary Richards and First Lady Frances Wolf launched the Moving Women Forward tour, a series of town hall style events held at institutions of higher learning across Pennsylvania. These gatherings encourage more young women and minorities to pursue careers and leadership positions in these fields. In addition, she led the development of a program that trains PennDOT employees to recognize the signs of human trafficking. PennDOT is one of the first state transportation agencies in the nation to implement this type of training to recognize and report potential trafficking situations. Her career includes work in both the private and public sectors, including as a local government official. She served as the vice chair of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners, where she led the transportation and planning initiatives for the third-largest county in the Commonwealth. Prior to the Commission she worked as a senior project manager for environmental and civil engineering firms. In addition, Secretary Richards served as the chair of the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, as well as on the boards of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) and the Greater Valley Forge Transportation Management Association (GVFTMA). Before she was elected commissioner, she served as the chair and vice chair of the Whitemarsh Township Board of Supervisors. Secretary Richards is a graduate of Brown University, where she concentrated in economics and urban studies. She received a master's of regional planning from the University of Pennsylvania. Secretary Richards is a lifelong Pennsylvania resident. She lives with her husband and three children in Montgomery County.

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