Employees gathered in the Calvin Rampton Atrium and via video conference at offices around the state to hear John’s final farewell. He began by mentioning the major accomplishments we’ve seen over the past 12 years during his time as director. These accomplishments include the 2002 Winter Olympics, new procurement methods such as design-build and CMGC, bridge moves and innovative interchanges and intersections. “We’re not just using best practices we’re establishing new best practices here at the Department of Transportation,” John explained.
John continued his farewell with a list of things he will miss, most of which included interactions with employees. “I will miss friendships that I’ve developed over 25 years with the Department … I’m going to miss that more than anything.” While leaving is difficult, John is looking forward to time with his family. His plans include motorcycle trips on the very roads he has spent so many years being responsible for.
In closing John voiced his optimism for the Department’s future. He has no concerns that the work won’t progress in his absence instead his hope is that each employee will come to realize that the accomplishments over that last 12 years are their own. “In reality you really didn’t need me to be here at all, and when you discover that … it’s at that point in time I will know that I have been successful.”
Following John’s speech employees lined up for an opportunity to say goodbye and express their appreciation for his leadership. Governor Gary Herbert and Lieutenant Governor Greg Bell joined the well-wishers and presented John with a declaration naming March 28, 2013 John R. Njord Day in Utah.
A video of John’s speech is available on UDOT’s YouTube channel.
This is a guest post written by the TravelWise team.
Utah’s air quality has been a topic of much conversation during this past winter inversion season. While the winter inversions are over, Utah continues to face air quality challenges. In an effort to meet those challenges, on Feb. 12, Governor Gary Herbert sent a memo to state agencies directing them to establish a “meaningful and measurable” Trip Reduction Implementation Plan (TRIP) through UDOT’s TravelWise program.
UDOT set the example by establishing its own TRIP, identifying ways its employees will reduce their weekly trips. UDOT set its trip reduction goal at 15 percent, which will be accomplished through a combination of telecommuting, teleworking, vanpooling/carpooling, taking public transit, using flexible work schedules and walking or bicycling to work. Each of the four Regions, as well as the Traffic Operations Center and the Complex has identified areas of improvement and has committed to helping UDOT meet the TravelWise TRIP goal.
UDOT’s TravelWise team is now working with other State agencies, using UDOT’s TRIP as a model. To learn more about UDOT’s TravelWise program or to view UDOT’s TRIP, visit travelwise.utah.gov.
UDOT Executive Director John Njord presented two Traffic Management Division employees with Silver Barrel Awards yesterday.
Rob Clayton, Matt Luker and John Njord
Matt Luker received his award for his efforts on the Flex Lanes project. This project had several difficult engineering aspects as well as some challenging software programs. The Flex Lanes project on 5400 South in the Salt Lake Valley allows for more dynamic use of the roadway depending on the conditions and heaviest direction of travel. The Flex Lanes project optimizes mobility on this busy corridor. Matt was involved on the design, testing and troubleshooting of this project for over 3 1/2 years. Matt is a signal engineer responsible for corridor-wide signal timing in UDOT’s Region 4 as well as for special projects. Prior to his current role, Matt was an Assistant Signal Engineer. Matt has worked for UDOT for 4 1/2 years.
Rob Clayton, John Njord, and Chuck Felice
Chuck Felice received his award for managing the design and production of the UDOT Traffic smartphone app. The UDOT Traffic has been downloaded over 150,000 times since its launch in November 2011. More recently,Chuck managed the project to add additional alerts to the UDOT Traffic app and website. John Njord gave Chuck his Silver Barrel Award and mentioned that he is proud of the work that is done within the UDOT Traffic Management Division. Chuck delivers the projects that he manages effectively, however he always strives to deliver more than was asked of him. Chuck is the lead software developer for UDOT’s Traffic Management Division and is responsible for software design and integration. Chuck has worked for UDOT for 6 1/2 years.
Congratulations to Dave Kelley 2012 Employee of the Year! Out of several great nominees senior leaders selected Dave for this honor and took time today to share their appreciation.
Dave works in Region Two as a Trans Tech III in the South Valley Maintenance Station. While in this position he has shared his background knowledge in rangeland science and trained fellow employees on new procedures. Besides utilizing his mentoring abilities Dave has embraced new skills himself; learning everything he can and then putting it into practice. Dave is also a pleasure to work with, as his nomination explains his “infectiously positive attitude keeps the crews’ spirits high and maintains motivation.”
Dave is an asset to the Department and we are lucky to have him among us.
It is spring and here at UDOT that means we have an opportunity to honor a few of our great employees. These individuals have been nominated by their co-workers and selected by senior leaders to receive recognition for their truly fantastic efforts. One individual will be selected as our Employee of the Year which will be announced Tuesday, March 19. And, the nominees are:
- Adam Anderson — Operations Motor Carrier Division
- Kristi Barney — Administration Comptroller’s Office
- Marci Brunson — Region Four Administrative Services
- Jim Harris — Region One Roadway Maintenance
- Dave Kelley — Region Two Maintenance
- Mike Romero — Project Development Structures Division
- Kristi Urry — Systems Planning and Programming Program Financing
- Clayton Weaver — Region Three Construction
If you work with any of these folks, or just happen to run into them, be sure to pass along your congratulations. We are lucky to have them as part of our Department!