WTS International Announces 2015 Transportation Award Winners

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WTS International, the association for the professional advancement of women in transportation, has selected the winners of its annual recognition awards for 2015. Each of the five awards will be presented at an awards banquet on May 21 during the 2015 WTS Annual Conference in Chicago, IL.

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WTS International, the association for the professional advancement of women in transportation, has selected the winners of its annual recognition awards for 2015. Each of the five awards will be presented at an awards banquet on May 21 during the 2015 WTS Annual Conference in Chicago, IL. The recognition award winners are:

  • Woman of the Year – Rita Brogan, Chief Executive Officer, PRR
  • Member of the Year – Dana Hook, Vice President, CDM Smith
  • Employer of the Year – CH2M
  • Rosa Parks Diversity Leadership Award – Anthony Foxx, U.S. Secretary of Transportation
  • Innovative Transportation Solutions Award – Caltrans/SANDAG “Steer Clear”/DARmageddon Project Team, “Steer Clear”/DARmageddon Public Outreach Program

The 2015 WTS Woman of the Year, Rita Brogan has been influencing the transportation industry for more than 30 years. As Metro’s first appointed woman Superintendent of Public Transportation Development, Rita was an innovator and significant role model to a generation of women in the transit industry as she managed a staff of over 220 with an annual operating budget over $14 million. Truly an icon of the transportation industry, Rita changed the transportation lexicon broadening the discussion to include the general public and elected officials, translating technical terms for the lay audience, and improving the overall decision-making process. When Rita purchased PRR (formerly Pacific Rim Resources) nearly 30 years ago, she had a vision of engaging communities in meaningful ways on transportation, human health, and environmental issues.

The 2015 WTS Woman of the Year, Dana Hook, also looks for opportunities that help further the advancement of women within the firm. She mentors women through the firm’s formal mentorship program; serves as the firm’s WTS conference champion; and has been instrumental in the hiring of several women into leadership roles this year. Dana joined WTS in 2002 and has served as the 2012-2014 Chair of the WTS International Board of Directors, and in that role, she has served as a panelist, presenter, and keynote speaker at countless events, which she continues to do throughout the country. During her tenure, she built a strong board of directors who collectively, and individually, champion the mission of WTS. She also serves an active role with the WTS San Diego Chapter, helping to drive membership, involvement, and mentorship in a competitive industry.

The WTS Employer of the Year recognition is awarded each year to an organization that has enhanced the transportation industry through its commitment to excellence and quality in its services or products, has an outstanding record of affirmative action in hiring and promoting at all employment levels, supports continuing education of its employees, and encourages women students to enter the transportation field by providing internship opportunities. CH2M believes in a keen focus on attracting, developing, and retaining women in the industry, where almost 30% of their U.S. workforce today is female. CH2M strives to be the most diverse firm in the transportation industry and the best place to work. They have long been recognized as a most-admired and leading employer and have been named a top workplace in the U.S. Initial data for 2014 indicates that women make up more than half of CH2M’s Rising Executive Talent population, showing a great emphasis on developing this demographic as future leaders.

The WTS Rosa Parks Diversity Leadership Award is awarded for exhibiting extraordinary efforts or initiatives in facilitating professional opportunities for women and minorities and contributing significantly to the promotion of diversity, inclusion, and multi-cultural awareness. One of the strongest advocates for the White House’s Ladders of Opportunity initiative, Secretary Anthony Foxx has long believed that transportation plays a critical role in connecting Americans and communities to economic opportunity. Access to reliable, safe, and affordable transportation for all Americans is central to Secretary Foxx’s agenda, as he believes the choices that are made regarding transportation infrastructure at the Federal, State and local levels can strengthen communities, create pathways to jobs and improve the quality of life for all Americans.

The WTS Innovative Transportation Solutions award is awarded to a project led by women that makes a difference in the lives of a community and its users. In 2013, Caltrans District 11 and the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) developed a comprehensive, bi-national public outreach campaign encouraging motorists to “Steer Clear” of two of San Diego’s busiest freeways during required closures due to construction activities over two separate weekends. In July, Caltrans closed a three-mile southbound segment of Interstate 15 (I-15) for 33 hours to make drainage improvements. Three weeks later, Interstate 805 (I-805) was closed in both directions for 14 hours while crews demolished a bridge in Chula Vista. As a result of the press coverage and media buys, traffic was reduced by 13 percent during the I-15 closure and by an estimated 50 percent during the I-805 closure. In both cases, work was completed on schedule and the freeways reopened in time for the morning commute.

The Awards Banquet will be held during the 2015 WTS Annual Conference, being held in Chicago, IL, May 20 – 22. As WTS International’s flagship event, it attracts hundreds of corporate and governmental industry leaders worldwide, including executives, CEOs, government administrators, and leading engineering authorities. For more information about the conference, visit http://www.WTSinternational.org.


WTS International, headquartered in Washington, DC, seeks to attract, retain, and advance women in transportation. As the industry's premier multi-modal association, WTS boasts a network of more than 6,000 transportation professionals—women and men from across the United States, Canada, and Great Britain. Every transportation mode is represented, as is every service within the industry. From federal leaders to engineers and planners, the WTS membership base represents nearly 1,500 companies and 400 agencies in more than 90 cities. More information can be found at http://www.WTSinternational.org

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Mary Petto
WTS International
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