WTS International Announces 2021 Recognition Award Winners

WTS International announced seven recognition award winners as champions of transportation equity in May during the 2021 Annual Conference. 2021 recognition award winners represent the best and brightest in transportation innovation, effectiveness, and leadership who truly embody the mission of WTS.

“We are honored to present these awards to such extraordinary individuals and organizations who embody the mission of WTS,” said Paula Hammond, WTS International Board Chair, “the innovation, focus and commitment of each awardee was clearly demonstrated, making these awards well deserved…"

Award winners include - --

Woman of the Year- Jeanet Owens. Jeanet is a dedicated transportation leader with an impressive career spanning over 25 years across sectors in the transportation industry. She is Senior Executive Officer for Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Project Management and Regional Rail Group. She oversees approximately $5 billion in capital projects, and is responsible for providing overall coordination, management, and the programming of funds for Metro’s commitment commuter, intercity and high-speed rail networks serving Los Angeles County.

Innovative Transportation Solutions - The Mukilteo Multimodal Ferry Terminal Project. The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) and Washington State Ferries (WSF), Mukilteo Multimodal Ferry Terminal Project involved nearly 70 women from the public and private sector working to transform an abandoned fueling pier into a LEED Gold-certified passenger building. A project two decades in the making, the new ferry terminal serves the state’s busiest route for drive-on passengers, carrying 2.3 million vehicles and 4.1 million riders annually.

Member of the Year - Stephanie Forman.  Stephanie is a trusted advisor to chapter leadership and elevates the reputation of WTS within the transportation industry as CEO of Forman Consulting Services, a transportation engineering consulting firm dedicated to providing top engineering and management services with a focus on talent, collaboration, and quality. 

Honorable Ray LaHood - Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) Secretary, Omer Osman. Secretary Osman is the first Black secretary in the history of IDOT and only the third engineer to hold the top position. Under Secretary Osman’s leadership, IDOT is a champion of diversity. Osman played an integral part in statewide recruitment efforts to diversify personnel in all state job classifications. He remains an advocate for eliminating barriers and increasing access to IDOT through partnerships with Disadvantaged Business Enterprises and minority- and female- owned businesses.

Employer of the Year - Stantec Consulting Services, Inc.  Stantec is a top tier global design and delivery firm of approximately 22,000 employees working in over 400 locations across six continents. Stantec demonstrates a commitment to gender diversity and equity firmwide. Four of its nine members (44%) are women.

Rosa Parks Diversity Leadership - Dr. Laine Powell. Dr. Powell is the founder and executive director of Tech Sassy Girlz, a non-profit organization dedicated to inspiring underrepresented girls in middle and high school to engage in STEM. Dr. Powell created the organization in 2012 to address the critical shortage of women and minorities being represented in high-tech STEM careers. With a mission to empower middle and high school-age girls to pursue future careers in STEM, the Tech Sassy Girlz program has impacted more than 1,000 girls, contributed more than 1,200 volunteer hours, and awarded more than $20,000 in scholarships.

Mary Peters Inspirational Leader - Shirley DeLibero. Shirley is known in many circles as the Queen of Transit! Her career spans over three decades and along the way she has shattered barriers and built vital transit connections across the country. Shirley is a trailblazer who embodies the mission of WTS in advancing Women and Advancing Transportation.

"Our 2021 recognition award winners are being honored after a very challenging year in managing through a pandemic. Each of these honorees go above and beyond each day to continue to advance women and advance transportation.” said Sara Stickler, Executive Director, WTS International.