|I would like to start by offering my deepest thoughts to those members affected by COVID-19 globally, and in particular, to our loyal members in India and their respected families. Please know that we share your hardship during this difficult time, and pray for the end of this tragedy.
We have just concluded our semi-annual Society flagship event, VTC2021-Spring, which was held virtually but had been scheduled to occur in the beautiful and scientific city of Helsinki. The conference organizers undertook great efforts to make this event successful in its online format. The VTS Board of Governors (BoG) has now approved the site of VTC2022-Spring to be Helsinki and with some luck, this time it will be in person!
Our second VTS BoG meeting of the year was also held virtually, on 18 and 19 May. Remote meetings, of course, have their own challenges, most importantly in scheduling among members that reside in all parts of the globe. That’s the true nature of our global society! BoG members collaborated to work on the most pressing issues for our members, and to plan for greater member service throughout the year.
My mission for this year, in continuation of the objectives defined in 2020, are on the following main issues:
In line with the above goals, earlier this year we implemented a combined membership (with discounted rates) of VTS and IEEE Intelligent Transportation Systems Society (ITSS). Current members of each society have received an invitation from the President of the other society to join for free. Later in the year when the annual IEEE membership season arrives, members will also see a discounted membership for joining the two societies. This initiative encourages closer collaboration between the two societies and their respective members.
Since the start of 2020, we have also initiated campaign programs to increase diversity in VTS membership and volunteer officeholders. While it will take some time before we see the full effect of these programs, I am happy to note that we have now more female officers and nominations than ever on our team. Diversity in having officers from all IEEE Regions is also getting much better.
Year after year, our publications and conference portfolios continue to improve with higher rankings and impact factors. We are very proud of the support of those top researchers who choose to publish their results in VTS publications. We are also working on a brand-new Society website, while keeping the current one active with information that matters most to our members. Please stay tuned for good news in this area!
I am always available to you for any questions, suggestions, ideas, or comments on how VTS can better serve its membership. So, please contact me directly at email@example.com. I look forward to serving you all during the rest of this year, and I hope we can meet again in person soon!