During the introductions at my first Board meeting in 2018, I instantly realized Forth was not your typical organization. From the diversity of experience on the board to interactions with an engaged, enthusiastic staff, the energy in the room was, well, electric. This was a group dedicated to advancing electric mobility in a clean, efficient, and equitable way. But it’s the “how” that struck me most. It’s what I call Forth’s superpower - connection.
I am often struck by the many industries involved in electrification- from car manufacturers to charging station suppliers, from electric utilities to community-based organizations, and from network software providers to government agencies. These are organizations that have never really worked with each other in this way. To electrify the transportation sector, we need to understand each other’s business models, opportunities and constraints, and work together to find innovative solutions.
Enter Forth, and its unique ability to connect these diverse entities and interests, foster understanding and lead collaboration. It’s in their mission-to electrify transportation by bringing people together.
The Board brings together professionals from a wide range of interests, including utility representatives like me to diversity and equity trailblazers, technology experts, and community leaders.
- Forth’s programs facilitate collaboration. For example, the Affordable Mobility Platform is launching car sharing in underserved areas by connecting local governments, affordable housing managers to EV charging networks and suppliers. Farmers are testing electric tractors and reporting their experiences to manufactures through a tractor pilot. Forth is also helping communities and governmental agencies access funding for charging infrastructure through grant templates and technical support.
- And don’t forget, Forth’s signature event, Roadmap, an annual conference centered on opportunities for communication, collaboration and partnerships. Where else can you meet not just your industry peers but the leaders in other industries and organizations, learn about emerging technologies, share best practices and test drive a fun utility vehicle?
As Forth continues to grow, its goals are bolder. It will take connection to accomplish them. With an eye on equity and armed with a fresh, new Strategic Plan, Jeff and the Forth team will continue to lead the way. I am excited to see what the next few years bring and honored to serve in this new role.