ITE Met Section Diversity & Inclusion Event

Join us for the Met Section's first-ever Diversity and Inclusion event. The first in a series, this event will discuss diversity and inclusion in the transportation industry. Our panel will offer perspectives and experiences from both the public sector, private sector, non-profit organizations, and from personal and professional experience. Focus will be given to successful initiatives and advice for individuals and companies moving forward.


  • Allentza Michel (Director of Powerful Pathways)

    Allentza Michel

    Director of Powerful Pathways

    Allentza Michel is an urban planner, policy researcher, artist and community organizer with 20 years of diverse experience across community & economic development, education, food security, public health and transportation. Her background informs her work in civic design, community and organizational development, and social equity.

    Growing up in Boston with limited transit options and transportation infrastructure led Allentza to coalition building and community planning, with a particular focus on transportation planning and community development. She has consulted with and for several organizations and research labs on transit planning and design topics and technology, from the MBTA to MIT. As Director of the Fairmount/Indigo Network, she worked with 36 organizations and coalitions that seek to bring equitable transit and community development resources to the Fairmount Line neighborhoods of Roxbury, Dorchester, Mattapan and Hyde Park, which are overlap with some of Boston’s most historically low income populations of color.

    Previously, Ms. Michel performed research on national sharing economy models that could be applied to bike share systems when she worked at the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC), the regional planning agency which managed Hubway's expansion into other municipalities. She also had pitched the "Prescribe-A-Bike" initiative for Hubway, which was later adopted. She served on MAPC’s internal Equity Committee, supporting shifts in operations to build more inclusion and foster diversity and cultural competency in the workplace.

    In 2013, Allentza served as co-chair to the City of Boston's Participatory Budgeting Project’s inaugural year. She was the inaugural fellow for Association for Community Design in 2015 and a 2016 Creative Community Fellows with National Arts Strategies. Her leadership and collaborative work have been recognized by the Cambridge City Council and the Princeton Prize in Race Relations. In February 2020, Ms. Michel received a commendation from the Boston City Council for her transportation and racial justice work in the city. She founded and co-founded nonprofit-organizations and has served on many boards of community-based organizations, civic groups and coalitions. Allentza received a Master's in Public Policy from Tufts University, as a 2013 Neighborhood Fellow, with a concentration in Transportation Policy and Community Development. She has BAs in English and Social and Political Systems from Pine Manor College and a graduate certificate in Non-profit Management from Boston University’s Questrom School of Business.

    Allentza is the founder and director of Powerful Pathways.

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  • Michael Shamma (President at Sam Schwartz)

    Michael Shamma

    President at Sam Schwartz

    Michael A. Shamma, PE, has three decades of engineering and leadership experience. He is currently the president of Sam Schwartz Engineering. He oversees daily operations and guides the development of business growth strategies, oversees client relationships, and leads business development initiatives. Mr. Shamma also has four years of experience working at other consulting firms in similar roles.

    Prior to joining the private sector, Shamma served as chief engineer of the New York State Thruway Authority and Canal Corporation where he was responsible for 2,400 lane miles of interstate, 809 bridges, and 1,025 building facilities, as well as 524 canal system miles. Among his accomplishments is developing the Thruway’s asset management program and contributing to the success of the $3.9 billion Governor Mario M. Cuomo (Tappan Zee) Bridge Design-Build project.

    Shamma served 24 years with New York State Department of Transportation. He held many positions at NYSDOT, including Region 3 design engineer, Region 2 director, and chief engineer responsible for an annual $2.2 billion capital construction program.

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  • Paul Eng-Wong (Principal at VHB Engineering, Surveying and Landscape Architecture, P.C.)

    Paul Eng-Wong

    Principal at VHB Engineering, Surveying and Landscape Architecture, P.C.

    Paul Eng-Wong is a Professional Engineer and Principal in the New York City office of VHB, a premier 1500-person planning, engineering, and environmental services firm. Prior to his present position, Paul co-founded his firm, Eng-Wong, Taub & Associates and served as its President for over 23 years. He served as the Transportation Department Head for The RBA Group and was a Project Manager for Edwards & Kelcey earlier in his career. Paul received both his bachelor and Master degrees from NJIT. He is a licensed professional engineer in New York, New Jersey, and Florida.
    He is a former International President of the Institute of Transportation Engineers and former President of the International Chinese Transportation Professionals Association’s Northeastern Chapter. He is a member of the Newark Regional Business Partnership’s Transportation Council, and has served on numerous other committees and councils in the transportation industry.
    Paul was presented with the 2014 Edward F. Weston Medal for Professional Achievement and the 2009 Alumni Achievement Award from the New Jersey Institute of Technology for “his acknowledged entrepreneurial leadership in the field of transportation, and his continuing service to both the engineering profession and to the greater Newark community.” He has also received awards and honors from the Institute of Transportation Engineers, including the Ivor S. Wisepart Transportation Engineer Award and the Distinguished Service Award. Paul is a frequent speaker and presenter on the topic of career growth and development, and recently presented “Ethics and Leadership Development” and “Professional Ethics, Effective Communication Skills and Mentoring for the Institute of Transportation Engineers.

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12:00 PM - 12:25 PM
Allentza Michel
12:30 PM - 12:55 PM
Michael Shamma
1:00 PM - 1:25 PM
Paul Eng-Wong
1:30 PM - 2:00 PM


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