“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," Thompson said. "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.
“During the challenges of the past two years, the value of regional transportation efforts like MAASTO really shined," Thompson said. “I've been proud to serve as MAASTO President, and I'm confident we will see continued success under Secretary Lorenz's leadership."
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 national 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 August 31, 2022.