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EXCLUSIVE: ITS America's new president and CEO helps open ITS World Congress

Shailen Bhatt was formally introduced as the new president and CEO of ITS America today (October 30), at the opening ceremony of the ITS World Congress in Montreal, where he addressed a packed auditorium with an inspiring first speech.

After a musical opening featuring a string duo, and a high-energy video set to the music of Montreal’s famous Arcade Fire, ITS America chair Chris Murray (below) introduced the Colorado DOT director to a packed auditorium of around 3,000 delegates, with standing room only, at the city’s Palais de Congres.

“It is my honour today to introduce our new president and CEO,” said Murray. “He is a transformative figure in the transportation industry. A lead innovator in his state and on the national stage. He brings a wealth of experience to ITS America. His dedication to this industry and to advancing development and deployment of intelligent transportation technology is unparalleled. On behalf of the entire board of directors please join me in welcoming to the stage for the first time as ITS America’s new president and CEO, Shailen Bhatt…”

After enthusiastic applause from the gathered industry luminaries, Bhatt (above) addressed the audience. “It’s truly an honor to be here and I couldn’t have asked for a more wonderful way to be welcomed as the new CEO of ITS America,” he said. “Being here and seeing all of you out there makes me even more excited to be leading this amazing organization at this amazing time. My career has been focused on making transportation safer and improving people’s lives, and I look forward to working with all of you to achieve our collective goals of saving lives through the development and deployment of intelligent transportation systems.”

Bhatt agreed with ITS Canada chair Chris Philp who joined him on stage (below) that there is something extremely exciting about these annual events. “I’ve been to my fair share of ITS World Congresses, so I know just the excitement that everyone is feeling and this year is going to be no different," he said. "It will highlight revolutionary technologies and give you the opportunity to immerse yourself in the conversations surrounding them."

“This is truly the world’s premiere gathering of transportation professionals,” continued Bhatt. “Where else would you hear from the CEO of GM Canada? The CEO of Christchurch airport? And the governor of Michigan all under one roof? The World Congress is over two decades old and its reach and influence increases every year. The people in this room and here today and all this week are the people who will be shaping the future of the way the world looks and that’s an incredibly exciting and motivating thought. Now let’s enjoy this year’s world congress and make it the best one ever… until 2018, of course.”

October 30, 2017

Written by Tom Stone

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