By Karen Keller
It’s been a busy two months since I was elected president of All Aboard Washington in January. Most of my time has been focused on creating a survey for our members and former members to learn their opinions of our association.
We have contracted with Phoenix Projects Consulting Services of Bend, Oregon to help us carry out a SWOT analysis. You will soon receive a letter via US mail or an email asking you to give our Board of Directors your opinions in four areas: Where are we Strong, where we are Weak, what are Opportunities for us, and what are Threats to our association? There are also several other questions on the survey. Please reply by the deadline of May 1, 2015. The results of the SWOT will have a major impact on our planning for the future of AAWA. Be watching for a summary in an upcoming newsletter. You can also access the survey right now.
By way of introduction, I come from a railroading family. My grandfather was an engineer for the Northern Pacific. I have many happy memories of watching trains steam by his home, Grandma holding tight onto the grandkids’ hands. We listened for the whistle, felt the vibrations on the rails, and waited to wave at the engineers, firemen, brakemen, and conductors as if this ‘show’ was just for us. I’m a supporter of steam preservation, volunteering with the SP 4449 in Portland on excursions and during the annual Holiday Express. I am a retired teacher who stills subs several times a month, plus have been a weekly volunteer at Olympia/Lacey’s Centennial Station since 2007. You’ll see me on the trains fairly often, traveling to meetings or on adventures with friends.
I believe in passenger rail as an enjoyable, economical and efficient travel option. I don’t hate cars – I love my car. But I happily support transit, ferry, bicycle, light rail, streetcar and heavy rail alternatives for those who cannot, should not, or choose not to drive.
I look forward to meeting all of you at future events, if we have not already had the opportunity to do so.