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Annual Awards Winners

Congratulations to our 2018 award winners! 

Member of the Year: Tawn Nugent


Tawn Nugent has been actively involved in WTS-KC since joining the chapter in 2014. In 2016, she volunteered to serve as the chapter’s Membership Chair, a role she has held ever since. Her passion for the organization and its mission can be seen in the chapter’s significant membership growth over the past three years. Tawn also actively promotes WTS to public sector employees and male members, seeing considerable growth among both populations. Tawn is an Associate Partner with TREKK Design Group and leads the firm’s Transportation team. She is a proud graduate of Iowa State University and also has a Master’s Degree from the University of Kansas. In addition to WTS, Tawn is an active member in the KC Engineering community through board positions with both KSPE and APWA. Tawn is also active in her community with SPCA sponsorship, her work with Big Brothers Big Sisters, and many other volunteer organizations.




Woman of the Year: Julie Lorenz, Kansas Secretary of Transportation

Julie-Lorenz-Thought-Leadership-2016-001_(1)_(1)_-_croppedIn January 2019, Julie Lorenz was appointed by Governor Laura Kelly to lead the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) and it’s more than 2,300 employees.  With over 25 years of experience, Julie is recognized as a national leader in the areas of policy development, collaboration and the use of economic analysis to communicate the value of transportation investment. Previously, Julie led strategic consulting and public engagement services for the Transportation Global Practice at Burns & McDonnell, where she managed transportation projects at the local, regional and national levels. Her role of secretary is her second tour of duty for KDOT, as she served as the Director of Public Affairs from 2003 to 2011.





Employer of the Year: HNTB

HNTB_2Color_largeHNTB’s culture is defined by integrity and technical excellence. Since 1914, HNTB has built a legacy that helps shape and reshape the world in which we live.  The firm is committed to diversity in hiring and staffing within the organization and partnering in its work with local minority-owned enterprises, disadvantaged business enterprises, and woman-owned business enterprise partners. HNTB is proud to have been involved with the WTS-KC chapter since its founding and continues to support WTS through sponsorship and involvement locally and nationally.


MoDOT_logoRosa Parks Diversity Leadership Award: MoDOT

MoDOT’s External Civil Rights Division is responsible for administration of all programs related to non-discrimination, affirmative action, and equal opportunity, related to MoDOT contracting activities using federal funds. Lester Woods, Director, has represented the Division for nearly 15 years.

The External Civil Rights Division’s Supportive Services program supports the growth and development of minority and women owned firms. The program is designed to assist DBE firms in the development of capability and capacity and be better positioned to successfully bid on MoDOT projects. Several programs are included as part of Supportive Services, such as: Entrepreneurship Training Program, Business Coaching Program, and Mentor-Protégé Program.


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. Please contact Recognitions Chair, Allison Bruner, for more information.

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