2014-17 Strategic Planning Report
Executive Summary • March 25, 2014
The Maine Better Transportation Association (MBTA) leadership met in Freeport on March 25, 2014, to develop a strategic plan. Prior plans were created in 2001 and 2006. MBTA 2013-14 President Tom Gorrill served as chair of the Strategic Planning Committee. Other members were: Paul Beaudette, Gregory Dore, Tim Folster, Jim Hanley, Doug Hermann, Larry Hutchins, Dana Knapp, Paul Koziell, Rodney Lane, Scott Leach, Stephen Sawyer, Pat Sughrue, Jack Sutton, Stuart Welch and Conrad Welzel.
To kick off the process, the committee defined a new mission statement and goals that will guide the organization and members in the coming years. The group concluded by establishing strategies, performance measures and tactics for 2014-17. (To download the entire report, visit www.mbtaonline.org).
“To be the leading voice for safe, reliable multi-modal transportation infrastructure to enhance the economy and quality of life.”
Advocate: Support an enhanced transportation infrastructure.
Educate: Promote public policy to build and maintain transportation infrastructure that improves the quality of life and stimulates the economy.
Collaborate: Connect users, organizations and members to promote better transportation.
Governance: Continue to review and improve the organization’s structure and management.
Strategies, Performance Measures & Tactics for 2014-2017
In addition to revisiting the organization and establishing four goals for its work over the next four years, the MBTA Strategic Planning Committee agreed to a series of strategies by which the MBTA will achieve those goals. Focusing primarily on the goals of advocacy, education and collaboration, the plan calls for a step-by-step approach:
1. Advocate - Be the leader in supporting an enhanced transportation infrastructure.
The plan calls for MBTA and its leadership to proactively identify, prioritize and establish the MBTA as a leader on issues and backing up MBTA positions with research, data and objective input. MBTA also will use public outreach, such as the “FixItNow!” campaign, to position the issues.
The organization will continue to maintain its good relationships with state and federal political leaders, including Maine’s Congressional delegation, the Governor’s office and Maine House and Senate leadership, as well as with local public works and elected officials and use opportunities including the Legislative Transportation Breakfast and Briefing and other forums to forward the transportation funding debate. MBTA will continue to monitor national, regional and state issues and use that information, as well as new research and data, to develop and disseminate the information to support transportation infrastructure funding.
A considerable part of the plan centers around development of the Fix It Now! campaign and calls for commitment of staff and resources to invest in web site and technology to distribute data on transportation infrastructure funding that will engage the public and others.
Via the Fix It Now! campaign and other outreach, MBTA will identify organizations with common interests and solutions to build coalitions. MBTA will collaborate with traditional allies, i.e. Maine State Chamber, AGC Maine, engineers, multimodal advocates and others. The organization also will identify new organizations, i.e. conservation, bicycle/pedestrian, trails, economic development, health care, etc., to help build a strong, diverse base of support.
2. Educate – Promote public policy to build and maintain transportation infrastructure for quality of life and the economy.
The plan calls for continued focus on the organization’s public awareness programs to elevate understanding of transportation issues and increase two-way communications to enhance understanding and input. The strategies identified include the Fix It Now! campaign, taking advantage of speaking opportunities, continuing to develop the organization’s social media presence and publication of Maine Trails magazine and the MBTA directory in both print and digital formats.
The plan also calls for MBTA to invest in advertising and possibly an app to market the Fix It Now! research findings and build community support.
3. Collaborate – Connect with users, organizations and members to promote better transportation.
A key element of the 2014-17 strategic plan is the emphasis on collaboration – both within and outside the organization. The plan calls for MBTA to focus on expanding its membership base to include transportation end users and to broaden outreach by targeting new markets that have an interest in improving Maine’s transportation network (i.e., business, tourism, health care, real estate, etc.). The plan identifies the organization’s event calendar as an important tool for reaching out to existing, new and potential members, making sure events are “fresh and modified to meet the changing needs of attendees.” In addition to continuing the MBTA tradition of holding regional meetings at locations throughout the state and collaborating with MaineDOT and the Maine Section ASCE on the Maine Transportation Conference, the plan also calls for MBTA to promote involvement of young professionals through outreach and opportunities, including scholarships, dues discounts, participation in MBTA committees and leadership and creation of a “Young Professionals Better Transportation Council.”
4. Governance - Continue to review and improve the organization’s structure and management.
The final goal addressed by the strategic plan is governance of the organization. The plan calls for continued emphasis on sustaining the “effectiveness of the board as established by the bylaws” and financial stewardship of MBTA’s resources.
MBTA will work to maintain “sufficient staffing and consultants to carry out the mission and strategic goals.” Finally, the plan calls for the MBTA leadership to review progress on the strategic plan annually and expand awareness of the plan among the membership.