From the Managing Director, By Tom Kern

On behalf of the National Operations Center of Excellence, I am pleased to be serving as Managing Director for the foreseeable future until a permanent Director is named to succeed our good friend Dennis Motiani.  I know that all of you join me in expressing our appreciation to Dennis for helping to launch and lead the Center during its first year.  As we look to 2016, we can build on a very successful Center’s first year array of products and services designed to provide the Transportation Systems Management and Operations  (TSM&O) community the tools it asks for to do its job in supporting the movement of goods and people around our country.

With your help, we are focusing on several priorities during my tenure at the Center.  First, we will expand our reach as a Center of Excellence by working hard to increase those in the TSM&O community of practice who are identified in our databases and mailing lists.  Please help us ensure we are reaching everyone in your organization—whether you are a public agency, private firm, research institution or nonprofit association –who are involved in TSM&O activities.  We want to keep the community informed of our activities and we need to ensure we are hearing from everyone with a stake in the work.  So please email Technical Communications Manager, Deborah Rouse ( or me ( to provide the contact information of professionals with whom you work, wherever they are based, so that we can add them to our rolls!

Second, we need to capture the emerging or best practices you are engaged in to further your work.  Please send us your materials that we can properly capture and catalogue in the Knowledge Center on the NOCoE website.   Recently, we set a goal of exceeding 1,000 knowledge resources on the website by January 2016, in time for the TRB Annual Meeting.  We have every confidence we can do that to mark our first year anniversary, but with your help we can do even better.  Please note that these do not need to be formal, peer reviewed documents or manuals.  You and your peers benefit as much from the practical tools you employ as you do from more formal material.  We are told often by transportation experts that as long as such practical tools are properly described in terms of their purpose and use (with any disclaimers that are appropriate), they offer great value.

Third, we are building our program of activities and events—webinars, peer exchanges, collaboration with other organizations in the TSM&O space—for the first half of 2016 and we could use your help to suggest what works to serve your needs.  Share with us your suggestions for webinar topics, joint convenings, and the experts and experiences from around the country you want to hear from and about!  We will use your ideas to reinforce our own planning efforts.

Finally, we are tweaking this communication, our regular newsletter, to reflect the learnings achieved in the first year and to respond to the ideas some of you have shared with us.  The monthly newsletter will become a bi-weekly and under the title of Center Point, adopt a shorter format, complemented by a combination of cross-cutting tools that link us to the multiple services the Center has been focused on.  As you can see from our November 30th edition, we will include a variety of top ten knowledge resources from the NOCoE website’s Knowledge Center, remind everyone of upcoming events, and shine a light on a recent webinar, peer exchange, or convening to share with the entire TSMO community of practice some highlights from it.  Let us know if you are able to contribute an article to Center Point and we will work with you to include it.