Advancing Women in Transportation

The 8th Annual Scholarship & Awards Dinner presented the 2012 awards to these deserving women, agency and project.  Congratulations to the winners. To download a press release about the event and the award winners, visit this link.  If you haven’t already, visit the link next to each award announcement to go to YouTube to view a short presentation about the award.

2012 Woman of the Year: Cathy Bechtel, Riverside County Transportation Commission (RCTC) – To view her video, go to this link

Cathy began a career at RCTC 21 years ago, and quickly put her analytical, communication and management skills to use on a variety of projects that would see her promoted a number of times to her current role as the Commission’s Project Development Director. Cathy has guided the development of a number of long-range and visionary projects that will have a beneficial impact on mobility and the overall quality of life for the Inland Empire.  Those who have worked with and for Cathy unanimously describe her as a leader and mentor. Not surprisingly, she often shines working on collaborative efforts including WTS where she has encouraged her staff to participate in a number of leadership roles. Cathy is also a devoted mother of a daughter who is currently pursuing a career in transportation. Her career is a tremendous example of how women in transportation can make a long-lasting, positive impact.

2012 Member of the Year: Natali Eid, Albert Grover & Associates – enjoy her video at this link

Since her first WTS luncheon, Natali has displayed an extraordinary commitment to WTS, consistently displaying an extraordinary commitment to the growth and goals of the Inland Empire chapter. For years, Natali either co-chaired or chaired the recognitions committee. In 2011, Natalie served as the Membership Chair and under her leadership, the chapter surpassed the 200 member mark for the first time and secured several agency leaders as members.  In 2012, Natali served as the chapter’s treasurer, automating accounts and providing regular and timely budget information, all while planning her own wedding.    Natali’s commitment to the chapter has exemplified itself in many, many ways, including securing sponsorships, behind the scenes support at chapter events and serving in a strong ambassadorship role. Natalie is an outstanding ambassador for WTS: she is passionate about our chapter, engages her large network for our benefit and can always be counted on to give 100%.

Employer of the Year: Mobility 21 – enjoy a video about the agency at this link

Mobility 21 is Southern California’s transportation advocacy coalition.  Formed in 2002 as a collaboration between the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the Automobile Club of Southern California, Mobility 21 has grown to encompass all seven Southern California counties.  Mobility 21’s mission is to bring increased funding for transportation infrastructure to Southern California.  Mobility 21 brings together public and private sector interests to successfully for our region’s transportation needs in Washington and Sacramento, and has the goal of positioning Southern California as the region of choice for private investment in public infrastructure. Mobility 21 has partnered with all four WTS Southern California chapters to host joint events and actively promotes WTS events in its monthly e-newsletter and through social media channels. Mobility 21 board members are active participants in WTS-IE, including Ray Wolfe, Anne Mayer, Will Kempton and Darren Kettle.

Innovative Transportation Solution: Caltrans District 8 Big Bear Bridge Project – enjoy a video about the project at this link

The old Big Bear Dam Bridge was constructed back in 1924. Nearly 60 years after it was opened to traffic, widespread deterioration was reported during an inspection. Several alternatives were developed during the environmental phase of the project, with the final alignment diverting south of the existing dam, creating a new bridge crossing Bear Canyon. This new alignment created a dramatic canvas to create a signature bridge capturing the spirit of the community while integrating with the steep jagged ravine.  The new bridge has created a resurgence of pride in the local community and draws tourists and bridge enthusiasts to his pristine alpine resort community.   When visitors ascend SR 18 and reach the entrance of Big Bear Lake, the site of the new bridge tells them they have arrived at Southern California’s only four-season resort. The new bridge is a testament to a road well traveled.

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