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Top transportation leaders honored for exceptional contributions

News | December 12, 2023 | By:

The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) recently recognized 11 state DOT individuals, teams, and programs driving positive change in the transportation sector through its annual awards program at the AASHTO Annual Meeting.

“These annual awards recognize individuals and teams that demonstrate an unwavering commitment to transportation,” said AASHTO Executive Director Jim Tymon. “These award winners continue to make valuable contributions that both strengthen their state DOTs as well as the transportation community as a whole and we thank them for their incredible dedication.”

Nebraska Department of Transportation’s Moe Jamshidi won the Thomas H. MacDonald Memorial Award for his significant contributions to both AASHTO and his agency. Recognized as a rare gem within NDOT, AASHTO, and the broader transportation community, Jamshidi’s fusion of technical expertise, stakeholder relationship comprehension, executive experience, and long-standing service renders him an invaluable asset in the infrastructure landscape.

He made significant industry contributions as chair of the AASHTO Committee on Materials, a position he held from 2012 to 2023. In Nebraska, his contributions include leading transformative projects such as the Lincoln South Beltway, the Heartland Expressway, and the ongoing renovation of US-75. In the early 2000s, he played a key role in establishing the Nebraska Transportation Center at the University of Nebraska, promoting transportation research, education, and technology dissemination statewide.

Texas Department of Transportation Communications Director Raquelle Lewis was honored with the Alfred E. Johnson Achievement Award for her significant contributions in overseeing TxDOT’s communication efforts. With nearly three decades of experience, she supports the Houston district and has emerged as a prominent figure in the field of transportation communications and public affairs. Her key achievement involves the $9 billion I-45 North Houston Highway Improvement Project, where she leveraged her communication skills, transportation planning expertise, and community credibility. She advocated for improvements addressing historical trauma in environmental justice communities along the project route and fostered dialogue through a housing and communities focus group, engaging community leaders, the NAACP, and experts, ensuring transparency and trust-building.

The Texas Department of Transportation’s Houston ConnectSmart was awarded the Francis B. Francois Award for Innovation. TxDOT tackles transportation challenges with ConnectSmart, a mobility-as-a-service platform funded by a U.S Department of Transportation grant. The program integrates traffic and mobility data for improved safety and equity, providing real-time alerts for crashes, school zones, low clearance, DMS messages, and bike lanes.

Several individuals and teams received President’s Transportation Awards, presented annually to acknowledge excellence in transportation fields. Paula Hammond, senior vice president, national transportation market leader at WSP, received the President’s Special Award of Merit. Established in 1979, this award recognizes outstanding and exemplary contributions to the work of AASHTO. Prior to her time at WSP, Hammond spent 34 years with the Washington State DOT in various roles, including WSDOT secretary. She was honored for her decades of leadership and contributions to the state DOT community.

The other President’s Award winners are:

President’s Award for Administration and Organizational Excellence: North Dakota DOT’s Technician Training Academy Team

President’s Award for Environment and Planning: Maine DOT’s Family of Plans Development Team

President’s Award for Equity: Oregon DOT’s Social Equity Index Team

President’s Award for Mobility: North Carolina DOT’s Integrated Mobility Division

President’s Award for Partnerships: Mike Ardiyano and Lori Wagner, Texas DOT

President’s Award for Research: Robert “Sam” Marshall, Missouri DOT

President’s Award for Safety: California DOT’s HQ Division of Safety Programs

Information courtesy of AASHTO. Learn more here.

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