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. Save the date for the next  Scholarship + Awards Celebration which will be held in April 2025.

Following are the categories for annual awards:

  • Member of the Year: Recognizes a WTS Kansas City Chapter member who has made extraordinary contributions to the success of the organization.
  • 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.
  • Employer of the Year: Recognizes a business or agency for its support of the goals and purpose of WTS.
  • 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. 
  • Honorable Ray LaHood Award: Nominees must be men who lead by example in advocating for women to compete for key positions. The nominee must contribute to the advancement of women and minorities through programs or opportunities and show outstanding contributions to the Transportation industry.
  • Innovative Transportation Solutions Award: Nominations must illustrate the purpose of the initiative, solution, project or policy and the number of women involved. The nomination must exhibit key elements of the project and how the female project manager successfully implemented these elements. The application must also show how the female project manager successfully met and overcame challenges and how the project achieved its purpose.

Click here to download the award nomination forms.

The nomination period will open in October 2025. To nominate a person or organization 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 Heidi Thummel. 

All of the award winners and scholarship recipients are recognized at the Annual Awards Celebration. 


Meet our 2024 award winners below!

Member(s) of the Year:  10 Founding Members

10 Founding Members

This award traditionally honors just one member of our chapter who has made extraordinary contributions to the success of the organization. However, we couldn’t pick just one and wanted to mark the 10th anniversary occasion by honoring the ten founding members who laid the foundation for our chapter, and continue doing many great things.

Within ten years, the chapter is well established and thriving with:

- regular programs for professional development and networking,

- funds to support multiple scholarships each year,

- involvement at the regional and national levels,

-  TransportationYOU events for student outreach,

- financial support from multiple firms as annual sponsors, and

- robust email and social communications to engage members and potential members.

On a national level, the Chapter has been recognized with the Circle of Excellence award multiple years, currently at the Silver level.

It's thanks to these women that were able to celebrate the 10th anniversary together. 


Woman of the Year: Kimberly Robinett, TREKK Design Group

Kimberly Robinett

The Woman of the year Award honors an outstanding role model who has contributed to the advancement of women and minorities in transportation. Being a natural servant leader, Kimberly built TREKK Design Group with passionate people who aim to make a difference in the world around them. TREKK’s entrepreneurial culture empowers employees to engineer holistic, common-sense solutions that support the growth and restoration of the communities served. She encourages staff to think innovatively and creatively to deliver solutions that match clients’ needs while fulfilling their personal and professional growth.

Kimberly is a fierce advocate for other women. She is one of the founding members of the WTS-KC chapter and has given her time and talents to the organization as a board member, sponsor, and presenter. Internally to TREKK, she proactively supports and promotes women leaders. Externally, she leverages her experiences in building a company to mentor other woman-owned businesses. As a Legacy Member, Kimberly is a proud supporter of the Women’s Employment Network. TREKK is also honored to be a Platinum sponsor of WTS-KC and a Gold sponsor of the KC STEM Alliance. Kimberly’s support of these organizations provides an opportunity to share her story and experiences of how she’s impacted the civil engineering industry. 


Rosa Parks Diversity Leadership Award: Tirzah Gregory, HNTB

Tirzah Gregory

The 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. We’re proud to honor Tirzah Gregory as this year’s recipient.

Tirzah is a vice president at HNTB and currently serves as Group Director for the Regional Bridge Design Office consisting of more than 80 engineers, technicians, and architects in 5 offices. Additionally, Tirzah was a founding member of the WTS Greater Kansas City chapter. She served on the inaugural board as Secretary. The following year in 2018, she was elected vice president, and served as president in 2020-21. She is currently still serving as the chapter’s Central Region representative.

Tirzah is often recognized for her spark and dedication to the transportation industry, especially local communities. Her impressive career reflects a deep involvement in diverse community-based transportation projects that bring people together and expand opportunities. Every day she leverages her expertise in engineering and management to guide teams and ensure that infrastructure initiatives cater to the unique needs of each community. A passionate and dedicated professional, Tirzah embodies the essential leadership qualities that support the goals and mission of WTS.


Employer of the Year: Hg Consult

HG Consult

Hg was founded in 2010 with a primary goal to provide a supportive and flexible work environment. The firm is inclusive and reflective of the needs of all employees at different stages of their careers and lives – tremendously benefiting women. Hg has been involved from the inception of WTS-KC as a founding sponsor, and has continued to support WTS-KC as a current platinum sponsor. The firm encourages employees to participate in WTS chapters across the country, providing memberships for employees of all levels interested and providing the time and resources for participation.



Innovative Transportation Solution: I-70 NEPA Re-Evaluation

I-70 Logo

The Innovative Transportation Solution Award honors a female-led initiative, solution, project or policy that demonstrates innovation. This is the first time our chapter has honored this award and what a deserving first recipient.

The safety and economic prosperity of Missourians depend on an I-70 that grows along with the state and nation. That’s why MoDOT is working to improve I-70 between Kansas City and St Louis. The I-70 NEPA Re-Evaluation is an important first step in that process. MoDOT and their consultant team took on the challenge of obtaining state and federal approvals of the environmental re-evaluation on I-70 across the state in less than a year. This significant undertaking requires collaboration by the project leadership team, which is made up of women leaders at MoDOT, CDM Smith, Garver and TREKK. In fact, the consultant team includes 11 women task leaders, which is approximately 38% of the full team. Although not complete, the project is on track to meet the aggressive schedule despite unexpected challenges. Obtaining state and federal approval on nearly 120 miles of environmental re-evaluation in less than one year will be an impressive achievement.



Honorable Ray LaHood Award: Missouri Lt. Governor Mike Kehoe

Lt. Gov Kehoe

The Ray LaHood Award honors the 2009-2013 U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary who, during his term, supported WTS International’s mission and accelerated the gender diversity issue toward more opportunities. The annual award is intended to honor a "man of the year," who has been key to advancing the WTS mission to attract, retain, and advance women in transportation. We are excited to honor our chapter’s first recipient, Lieutenant Governor of Missouri, Mike Kehoe.

Kehoe has contributed greatly to the advancement of women and minorities during his time in office. He created the Women of Achievement Award for the State of Missouri in 2022 which exemplifies his dedication to advancing the important contributions of women throughout many industries. It recognizes and honors the diverse accomplishments of Missouri women in conjunction with Women’s History Month. Over the past two years, 20 women have been recognized for their leadership and accomplishments. These women come from diverse backgrounds and have made Missouri a better place with the work they accomplish every day.