Awards & Recognition

Call for Nominations: 2023 Awards 

WTS-LA is accepting nominations for 2023 Awards! Submit your nominations by July 21st. 

Please take the time to honor and recognize those in our community who are outstanding leaders and organizations in the transportation industry. Awards will be presented at our Annual Scholarship and Awards Dinner in November. 

Detailed awards criteria can be found here.  

If you have any questions contact Julie Nieto, Awards & Recognition Committee Chair, at recognitions@wtsla.org

Nominations are due July 21, 2023. Click on the award title below to download the nomination form.

Woman of the Year 

The Woman of the Year category honors an outstanding woman who is a role model in transportation. 

Honorable Ray LaHood Award 

The Ray LaHood Award was created to recognize men who are not only leaders in transportation, but who have also actively led by example in seeking opportunities to advance the WTS mission and have made outstanding contributions toward the advancement of women and minorities. 

Employer of the Year 

The Employer of the Year award is designed to honor an organization (company, non-profit, association, or government agency) for their support of the goals and purpose of WTS, such as recruiting, retaining, and advancing women. 

Member of the Year 

This award is our opportunity to acknowledge a WTS member who has made extraordinary contributions to the success of the organization. 

Innovative Transportation Solutions Award 

The Innovative Transportation Solutions award honors an innovative transportation project led by a woman or women. 

Rosa Parks Diversity Leadership Award 

The Rosa Parks Diversity Leadership Award recognizes either an organization(s) or individual(s) that have facilitated professional opportunities for women and minorities and contributed significantly to promoting diversity, inclusion, and multi-cultural awareness

Note: The winning recipients from each WTS chapter may be submitted to WTS International for the International Awards presented at the Annual Conference.

See our 2022 Award recipients below and visit our Archived Articles to read about previous years' recipients. 

WTS-LA Awardee
Antonio Gioiello, Port of Los Angeles - Honorable Secretary Ray LaHood Award

The Ray LaHood Award was created to recognize men who are not only leaders in transportation but who have also actively led by example in seeking opportunities to advance the WTS mission and have made outstanding contributions toward advancing women and minorities. Read more here

WTSLA 2022 Award Recipient_Aryan-Zahlan
Dina Aryan-Zahlan, Port of Los Angeles - Woman of the Year

Many qualities have defined the WTS-LA Woman of the Year over the years, and all deserve superlatives. This year’s winner, Port of Los Angeles Chief Harbor Engineer Dina Aryan-Zahlan, PE, is no exception. Read more here

WTSLA 2022 Award Recipient_Nancy Smith
Nancy Smith, Nossaman - Member of the Year

WTS-LA 2022 Member of the Year recipient Nancy Smith can proudly claim to have done two very special things. She has profoundly changed both transportation and WTS-LA. Read the full article here

WTSLA_2022 Awardees_CHSRA

California High-Speed Rail Authority - Employer of the Year

The title WTS-LA Employer of the Year carries great significance and responsibility. Obviously, it must be a successful organization. But including women in pivotal roles must be integral to that success. Those women must hold senior positions, act decisively, and participate in a culture that helps them develop and advance while they execute their tasks diligently, expertly, and to the highest standard. The California High-Speed Rail Authority (Authority) does exactly that. LINK to the full article. 

WTSLA 2022 Award Recipient_Lopes Caldwell
Michelle Lopes-Caldwell, Foothill Transit - Rosa Parks Diversity Leadership Award

WTS-LA annually bestows this award on a deserving transportation professional because of their demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion and their unique ability to act on that commitment despite obstacles and odds. WTS-LA honors Foothill Transit Director of Finance Michelle Lopes Caldwell, a woman who not only extols those virtues but lives them and has throughout her extensive career. LINK to the full article. 

WTSLA 2022 Award Recipient_Kosinski
Ron Kosinski, Caltrans - Lois Cooper “Going the Distance” Award

This year, WTS-LA recognizes Caltrans Environmental Planning Deputy District Director Ronald Kosinski with the WTS-LA Lois Cooper Going the Distance Award for his nearly six-decade career in public service. Read the full article here


Sixth Street Viaduct, City of Los Angeles - Innovative Transportation Solution Award

More than 30 women actively participated in key roles in this transformative project. The City of Los Angeles Bureau of Engineering’s Sixth Street Viaduct Replacement Project brilliantly redefines the concept of innovation. WTS-LA recognized this project with the 2022 WTS-LA Innovative Transportation Solutions Award.  Link to read more. 

WTS-LA Awardee: 6th St. Bridge. Photo by Gary Leonard courtesy of LABOE
Photo by Gary Leonard courtesy of City of Los Angeles Bureau of Engineering