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Tolling Points

“Human Infrastructure:” Reflections on the 2022 Leadership Academy

Jacob Barron, IBTTA

The IBTTA Foundation hosted its 14th Leadership Academy program in mid-February in Washington, DC, welcoming 31 tolling leaders to learn together as they built their leadership capacity and shared their industry knowledge. 

The distinguished reputation of the Leadership Academy is a result of the unwavering support from the IBTTA team, industry leaders who lend their expertise, and the Leadership Academy Alumni Association (LAAA) according to Dr. Barbara Gannon, a leadership consultant and clinical psychologist who facilitates the meeting each year.

“The success of the 2022 class was built on the foundational work by IBTTA throughout the pandemic years to maintain connections with members and support the values of reflection and consideration of important and difficult conversations,” Gannon said. “I think the Café IBTTA conversations, the Young Professionals Council (YPC), the Diversity Task Force and its book club have all gone a long way toward setting the groundwork for 2022 where people came into this class ready to reflect.”

“There are threads that are pulled through the Leadership Academy curriculum. Each session built on the one that preceded it and, as the week progressed, they developed a cumulative impact that was more potent than it would’ve been had each session stood on its own,” Gannon observed.
“For example, we built from Maggie [Wilkins, another leadership expert who facilitates the program] discussing how to build partnerships, then on to Lindsey [Robertson Lentz, of Evans Consulting] discussing creating a space for psychological safety in teams,” Gannon said, “and then we moved to Whitney Maddox from NPR giving us such great reflections about race as it operates in our organizations.”

Ultimately the event was neatly summarized in the closing comments of IBTTA 2022 President and New Jersey Department of Transportation Commissioner Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti, which “punctuated the importance of taking care of each other and building this human infrastructure that we’re all a part of and all responsible for. She just tied it all together,” Gannon said.

In addition to all the different sessions and panels and roundtables populated by some of the industry’s biggest names, Gannon was joined in her role as a facilitator by Maggie Wilkins, president of Wilkins Strategies, and Evans Consulting’s Lindsey Robinson Lentz. For her part, Wilkins boiled her reflection on this year’s program down to one word: gratitude.

“One of the things I took away from the week was gratitude,” she said. “The folks that came to Washington, DC for this week after many of them haven’t been able to travel, people were grateful to be reminded of what it’s like to interact with each other for a week, and in an environment like the Academy.” 

To Wilkins, that gratitude came out in a number of ways. “I felt that we were all grateful to have that time together to interact and learn from the different session presenters and the different approaches to learning that happen in the Academy,” she said. “Just knowing that people were feeling that way was reassuring. It was wonderful—you could feel the energy and gratefulness throughout the week.”

Thanks to Barbara, Maggie and Lindsey, and the entire 2022 Leadership Academy graduating class for making this year’s program such a success! Learn more about the IBTTA Leadership Academy here.

Newsletter publish date: 
Friday, March 11, 2022 - 11:15


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