Chapter Awards

WTS Columbus Annual Recognition Awards 

Each year the Columbus Chapter honors professionals in our industry with six awards.  Applications for 2022 now open! Scroll to the bottom of this page for more information and links to each application.

Congratulations to our 2021 award winners!


Member of the Year - Natalie Sakian, IBI Group

2021 Member of the Year

 In addition to her full-time job as a professional transportation engineer, Natalie is heavily involved in multiple WTS Columbus Committees.  She consistently provides ideas and support to help the chapter run smoothly. WTS Columbus can always count of Natalie to step up without hesitation. The success of WTS Columbus and the many events the chapter puts on would not be possible without the dedication and hard work of Natalie.


Woman of the Year - Lori Niese Duguid, ODOT

2021 Woman of the Year

Lori Niese Duguid serves as the ODOT Deputy Director of Engineering, and was previously the first female Deputy Director at ODOT District 6.  Lori has held positions of progressively increasing responsibility and leadership, focused on projects that improve traffic operations and safety. She has consistently worked towards recruiting, retaining, and mentoring women in the transportation field throughout her career.  Her high level of professionalism by which she does her job has set a great example for other aspiring women and minority leaders.


Employer of the Year - TranSystems

2021 Employer of the Year

With its culture of caring and encouraging professional development, TranSystems has a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion at all levels. Their commitment to promote and build the careers of its female employees is exhibited through their multiple female leaders throughout Ohio in bridge inspection, roadway design, and corporate business development, including Ohio Roadway Team Lead and WTS Columbus Board Member, Gail Massie. TranSystems has multiple programs in place for recruiting, retaining, and advancing women in transportation, including their formal Officer Development Program, Diversity Action Council, Emerging Officers Program, and Project GROW. 


Rosa Parks Diversity Leadership - Mount Vernon Avenue Project Team

City of Columbus, Toole Design Group, Warhol & Wall Street, and Michael Baker International

2021 Rosa Parks

Once known as the “Million Dollar Mile,” Mount Vernon Avenue was once the center of Black wealth, culture, and society. Like in many thriving Black communities at the time, highway construction devastated the Bronzeville neighborhood in Columbus, disrupting and displacing businesses and families from their residences. Throughout the Mount Vernon Avenue Project, the entire Team actively worked to create equitable solutions to serve existing and future residents in this corridor. The project team focused on equity, specifically as it relates to race, gender, socioeconomics, and ability, when making all project decisions. An equity lens framed the project work. This project and project team proved invaluable to building trust and sharing innovative engagement techniques with the greater community, locally and state-wide.


Refer to the descriptions below for additional details about each award. This is also where applications will be available for download once nominations open!


Member of the Year

Acknowledges a WTS Columbus member who has made extraordinary contributions to the success of the organization.

Click Here for nomination application!


Woman of the Year

Honors a woman who is an outstanding role model and has contributed to the advancement of women and minorities in transportation.

Click Here for nomination application!


Honorable Ray Lahood (Man of the Year)

Recognizes a male WTS Columbus member who is a leader in the transportation industry and has contributed to the advancement of women in transportation.

Click Here for nomination application!


Employer of the Year

Honors an organization (company, non-profit association, or government agency) for recruiting, retaining, and advancing women in transportation.

Click Here for nomination application!


Rosa Parks Diversity Leadership Award

Honors an individual, group, or organization that has made significant contributions in promoting diversity and cultural awareness within their organization, the transportation industry, project, or activity that supports the goals and mission of WTS.

Click Here for nomination application!


Innovative Transportation Solutions Award

Salutes the creative work of an innovative transportation project or service led by a woman.

Click Here for nomination application!


For questions, please contact Natalie Sakian at natalie.sakian@ibigroup.com.