Ken ASHE Picture Oct 2021.jpg

I would like to thank the Board members of Southwest Penn ASHE for giving me the opportunity to serve as Section President. I also want to thank our immediate past President, Steve Wiedemer, for all his help and hard work in guiding us through the COVID pandemic. As Section President, I look forward to continuing our efforts to advance our mission, which is "to provide a forum for members and partners of the highway industry to promote a safe, efficient and sustainable transportation system through education, innovation and fellowship."  


In many ways, the COVID pandemic has strengthened our resolve not to take for granted our ability to meet, converse and network in person. While virtual meeting platforms have brought us together in new and important ways, I know we all look forward to the time when we can be together in traditional settings more regularly.  


As I look ahead to the coming year, my goal is that we continue to connect and reconnect in varied ways--by using face-to-face and virtual opportunities to support and promote the work of our section.  With connecting and reconnecting in mind, I would like to issue a challenge to all of our active members. With the challenge, I invite all of us to reach out to our colleagues and friends--PennDOT employees, consultants, contractors--particularly those who may be inactive, and encourage them to participate in the life of our section. I especially challenge us to reach out to some of the youngest members of our section and encourage them to become involved. I remember when I was tapped on the shoulder to become part of the Southwest Penn Section ASHE many years ago. I am grateful that someone asked me to join because my work with the section has been incredibly rewarding. Please know that if you call or invite someone to become a member, it will go a long way in our efforts to have a section that is active and energized.


And, our Membership Committee is exploring new ideas about ways to engage our young members and also to bring into our section new young members. We are looking at how to bring in potential student members from our regional high schools. At this time, our plan is to form a new subcommittee, the Young Member Group, which we hope would ultimately formulate goals and objectives for young member interaction and provide information about the benefits of ASHE membership. We know that planning well for membership growth will allow us to sustain the initiatives of our section for years to come.


I look forward to working with all of you in the coming years. Please know I appreciate your support. Please reach out to me at any time by email, kshimko@pa.gov if you have questions or ideas about ways to make our section even better.


Thank you for all you do to make the Southwest Penn ASHE section amazing.




Ken Shimko, P.E.