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Thompson hands over MAASTO leadership reins to Lorenz

Mid America Association of State Transportation Officials, Craig Thompson

Craig Thompson

Wisconsin Transportation Secretary-designee Craig Thompson last week concluded a term as president of the Mid America Association of State Transportation Officials (MAASTO).

Kansas Secretary of Transportation Julie Lorenz takes over as incoming president. The transition was announced at MAASTO’s annual meeting in Chicago.

Thompson served as MAASTO president since January 2020.

“The recent unprecedented challenges really demonstrated the value of MAASTO to its member states and the region,” Thompson said in a statement. “The COVID-19 pandemic created many challenges for our transportation system, such as volatile fluctuations in traffic volume, the impact on transit, rail and air travel, and the dramatically increased demand on our freight systems. MAASTO provided an important forum for transportation leaders throughout the Midwest to compare notes in real time and share strategies for how to respond.”

Developments during Thompson’s tenure included bringing MAASTO states together annually for a Connected and Automated Vehicle Summit, the creation of an Equity and Inclusion Committee on the board of directors, regular meetings to address pandemic response, and renewed activities to communicate with the general public on regional transportation issues.

Julie Lorenz was appointed in January 2019 to lead the Kansas Department of Transportation. With more than 25 years of experience, she is recognized as a leader in the areas of policy development, collaboration and the use of economic analysis to communicate the value of transportation investment. As MAASTO vice president, Lorenz has advocated for initiatives to help rural states collaborate to leverage investments in infrastructure and technology to build stronger communities in middle America. She will serve as MAASTO president until Aug. 31, 2022.

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