Transportation Leaders Honored for Achievements

The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials presented awards to 11 individuals, teams, and state department of transportation programs for outstanding achievement during its 2022 Annual Meeting in Orlando.

[Above left to right: AASHTO’s Jim Tymon; Kansas DOT’s Julie Lorenz; Louisiana DOTD’s Dr. Shawn Wilson. Photo by AASHTO.]

“These annual awards celebrate the individuals and teams who are the lifeblood of AASHTO,” said Jim Tymon, the organization’s executive director, in a statement.

“Through their exemplary work at state DOTs and by volunteering their time and energy in countless ways, these honorees are working to make America’s multimodal transportation system safer, more equitable and accessible to everyone,” he added.

Kansas DOT’s Julie Lorenz. Photo by AASHTO.

Julie Lorenz, secretary of the Kansas Department of Transportation, received the George S. Bartlett Award given jointly by AASHTO, the American Road & Transportation Builders Association, and the Transportation Research Board in recognition of an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to highway progress.

Appointed to lead Kansas DOT in January 2019, Lorenz’s hard work and dedication earned her recognition as a national transportation leader with strengths in policy development, coalition-building, and strategic planning.

[Editor’s note: The Transportation TV video below captures all of Lorenz’s remarks upon receiving the Bartlett award.]

Lorenz has also been a tireless supporter of AASHTO, serving as a member of its Board of Directors, Executive Committee, and as the chair of AASHTO’s Council on Aviation. In addition, she serves on several committees at TRB, including its Executive Committee, which is an advisory group to the chairman and the governing board of the National Research Council.

Minnesota DOT’s Timothy Henkel (center). Photo by AASHTO.

Timothy Henkel, assistant commissioner for the modal planning and program management division at the Minnesota Department of Transportation, received the Thomas H. MacDonald Award.

This award recognizes a state transportation professional who has provided outstanding service over an extended period or has made an exceptional contribution to the art and science of highway engineering.

Henkel has served as the assistant commissioner for over 15 years, leading the development and implementation of Minnesota DOT’s Statewide Multimodal Transportation Plan, which established key performance objectives, measures, and long-range plans for freight, rail, transit, bicycling, pedestrians, and aviation.

Utah DOT’s Marchant at center. Photo by AASHTO.

Lonnie Marchant, materials engineer for Region Two within the Utah Department of Transportation, received the Alfred E. Johnson Achievement Award, which recognizes an outstanding contribution to highway engineering or management.

For over a decade, Marchant has been responsible for all materials-oriented technical expertise for projects and maintenance activities within Region Two; one of the fastest growing areas in the country.

Under Marchant’s leadership, Utah DOT has made great strides in testing and producing new pavement mixes and creating and recycling concrete, saving taxpayers millions of dollars in annual maintenance costs.

Photo by TxDOT

The Texas Department of Transportation’s “Safer by Design Safety Scoring Tools” received the Francis B. Francois Award for Innovation.

With the assistance of the Texas A&M Transportation Institute, TxDOT initiated a program to evaluate highway projects to assess how decisions about highway design affected safety.

As part of this initiative, TxDOT’s Design Division developed tools to evaluate the effect of geometric, traffic control, roadside design, and bicycle/pedestrian elements on safety. As a result, information that used to take highway designers weeks to research, compile, and interpret is now available with just the click of a button.

Tennessee DOT’s Degges at center. Photo by AASHTO.

Paul Degges, deputy commissioner and chief policy officer for the Tennessee Department of Transportation, received the President’s Special Award of Merit.

Established in 1979, this award recognizes outstanding and exemplary contributions to AASHTO’s work.

Degges was recognized as a longstanding member of the AASHTO community, especially for his role as vice chair of the Council on Highways and Streets.

Several individuals and teams also took home President’s Transportation Awards, which are presented each year to recognize excellence in selected transportation fields. The 2022 winners are:

  • Administration and Organizational Excellence: Jessica Ottaviano, Florida DOT communications director.
  • Environment and Planning: Jay Whaley, Missouri DOT transportation system analysis coordinator.
  • Equity: The Michigan DOT’s executive team, for the creation of a new executive position to help the agency make meaningful progress in the optimization of its organizational culture, align equity and inclusion goals with business outcomes, and determine how the agency’s long-range plan align with the needs of all transportation users.
  • Mobility: Stephanie Moss, Florida DOT District 5 bicycle and pedestrian coordinator.
  • Partnerships: The Michigan DOT and the Historically Black Colleges and Universities Transportation Diversity Recruitment Program.
  • Research: Montana DOT’s Trail Creek Structures Project Team.
  • Safety: Idaho Transportation Department’s Statewide Asset Attribute Inventory.
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