Annual Awards

Each year, WTS-KC honors exceptional women, members, employers, and diversity leaders who exemplify the WTS mission of equity and access for women in transportation. We offer the following annual awards:

  • Member of the Year: Recognizes a WTS Kansas City Chapter member who has made extraordinary contributions to the success of the organization (download nomination form here)
  • 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 (download nomination form here)
  • Employer of the Year: Recognizes a business or agency for its support of the goals and purpose of WTS (download nomination form here)
  • Rosa Parks Diversity Leadership Award: Honors an individual or organization that has made significant contributions in promoting diversity and cultural awareness within their organization, the transportation industry, or in a project activity that supports the goals and mission of WTS (download nomination form here)
  • Innovative Transportation Solutions Award: Honors an innovative project, initiative, solution or policy led by a woman/women (download nomination form here)

The nomination period for 2020 awards is open! Nominations are due January 1, 2021 at 5:00 p.m. To nominate a person, organization, or project please review the selection criteria and tell us how that person or organization meets the criteria for the award. Please send questions and submit nominations to Allison Bruner. 

Meet our 2019 award winners below!

Kim Curry

Member of the Year: Kim Curry; Burns & McDonnell  

Kim Curry, P.E. received her Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the Missouri University of Science and Technology and has spent her entire career at Burns & McDonnell Engineering Company, Inc.  Kim has extensive experience in a range of capacities for transportation planning and studies, roadway and highway design, and site design for departments of transportation and municipalities. Her notable project experience includes serving as project manager for a number of highway improvement projects for the Kansas Department of Transportation. She also managed the award-winning Little Blue Parkway, an LPA project for the City of Independence, Missouri coordinated with the Missouri Department of Transportation. This multi-phased project spanned eight years and entailed conceptual planning, right-of-way plans, alignment, profile and drainage design, traffic studies and construction services. Her most recent experience has included serving as roadway segment design lead for design-build highway reconstruction projects.  In her free time, Kim enjoys taking Saturday morning walks, baking pies and sewing quilts.


Melissa Cooper

Woman of the Year: Melissa Cooper; City of Kansas City, Missouri Aviation Department 

Melissa Cooper, A.A.E, has served as the Manager of the Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Airport since March 2017.  Prior to her current position, she was the Field Maintenance at Kansas City International Airport, Deputy Director of the Johnson County Airport Commission serving as the Airport Manager for New Century Air Center and Johnson County Executive Airport and the Assistant Airport Manager at Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Airport in Kansas City, Missouri.  Prior to her positions in Airport Management, she worked as a Contractor with the FAA Central Region Runway Safety Program, as a System Controller for Vanguard Airlines, and a scheduler for Executive Beechcraft.  Melissa holds her commercial pilot certificate with an instrument rating.  She has a MS degree in aviation safety and a BS degree in aviation technology both from University of Central Missouri.


Triveece Penelton

Rosa Parks Diversity Leadership Award: Triveece Penelton; Vireo

TriveecePenelton, AICP, is a city planner and public involvement innovator at Vireo. She is also the creator of the Digicate® software application for community engagement. Triveece has nearly 20 years of experienceand leads the company’s long-range planning and community engagement service lines. The local, county, state, and regional projects that she manages blend community planning with intensive public engagement, education, information sharing, and messaging. Prior to joining Vireo, Triveece served as a long-range planner with the City of Kansas City, Missouri’s Planning and Development Department. While at the City, she was responsible for planning activities happening in Kansas City’s Urban Core. Her work involved detailed analysis of changing community issues, challenges, and opportunities; urban design guideline implementation; assisting neighborhoods with grass roots initiatives, plan implementation, and other planning needs; coordinating with elected officials; and, developing close and long-term relationships with community leaders in the planning area’s 36 neighborhoods.


CDM Smith

Employer of the Year: CDM Smith

CDM Smith is a global, transportation, water, environment, energy, and facilities firm offering lasting and integrated solutions to public and private clients worldwide. As a leading transportation provider, CDM Smith is among the top 25 transportation design firms, according to the Engineering-News Record. Partnering with all levels of federal, public, private, and international organizations, we work with clients to provide customized solutions that result in stronger economies, and more vibrant, thriving communities. Our 700 transportation professionals and nearly 5,000 cross-disciplinary, global resources provide a full menu of services across the entire project lifecycle. As a proud supporter of organizations such as Women in Transportation, our aim is to increase the presence of women in the transportation industry and raise awareness of how diverse ideas and perspectives benefit projects, teams, and communities around the nation.