Tag Archives: leader of the year

Employee of the Year, Leader of the Year and Career Achievement Awards

Photo of region directors and award recipient at the luncheon

Region 3 Director Teri Newell, Region 2 Director Nathan Lee, and Region 2 Career Achieve Award Recipient Dan Betts

Over the past two weeks, Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) leadership recognized the 2014 statewide nominees for Employee of the Year, Leader of the Year and Career Achievement awards. UDOT leadership ate lunch with the statewide nominees from each region and group and expressed their appreciation for each of the individuals being honored.

Each leader spent several minutes sharing stories exemplifying the individual winners and their contributions to our organization. After hearing remarks from leaders, nominees, and the nominees’ guests, Executive Director Carlos Braceras stated, “We spend more waking time with our coworkers than we do with our families, in many cases, so I

Photo of Corey Preece and his wife at the luncheon

Region 1 Career Achievement Award Recipient Corey Preece and his wife.

enjoy hearing from spouses, friends and children about the people we consider our own. We really are a family here at UDOT.”

Each year, regions and groups select award winners who help accomplish UDOT’s efforts to keep customers moving and make UDOT the preeminent transportation organization in the country. Winners are chosen who demonstrate achievements and qualities that enable us to achieve our Final Four strategic goals, support the Emphasis Areas and embody UDOT’s Core Values. These winners move on as nominees at the statewide level, and senior leaders will then choose winners from that group for the entire state. Statewide winners will be announced on Wednesday, Oct. 29 at the UDOT Annual Conference banquet.

Congratulations and thank you to all of our statewide nominees!

Photo of Richard Manser and his wife at the luncheon

Project Development Career Achievement Award Recipient Richard Manser and his wife

Career Achievement
Corey Preece (Region 1)
Dan Betts (Region 2)
Mike Sabey (Region 3)
Kerry Savage (Region 4)
Richard Manser (Project Development)
John Leonard (Operations)
Gary Nelson (Administrative)

Leader of the Year
Kelly Barrett (Region 1)
Dave Schwartz (Region 2)
Bill Townsend (Region 3)
Brandon McKinlay (Region 4)
George Lukes (Project Development)
Chad Sheppick (Operations)
Stan Burns (Program Development)
Kelly Garner (Administrative)

Employee of the Year
Janice Tremaine (Region 1)
Julie Sheppick (Region 2)
Tyson Larson (Region 3)
Sue Moorhead (Region 4)
Margaret Gish (Project Development)
Kelly Burns (Operations)
Kelli Bacon (Program Development)
Nicole Jaramillo (Administrative)

Traffic Management Division Celebrates Employee of the Year, Leader of the Year and Career Achievement

The opportunity to recognize excellent, dedicated and forward-thinking UDOT employees officially comes once a year, and the UDOT Traffic Management Division (TMD) was happy to identify several deserving staff through this process. It is important to pause and recognize outstanding employee achievement and celebrate the employees who continually go above and beyond to ensure great customer service to the public.

Headshot of Kelly Burns

Kelly Burns

This year, Kelly Burns was selected as the TMD Employee of the Year. Kelly is currently managing a project to develop freeway performance measures for congestion monitoring. She also supports UDOT’s four Regions for traffic modeling. Because of Kelly’s hard work and dedication, the new Speed Profile report for I-15, which identifies bottlenecks, was completed. The Speed Profile report will also be an excellent resource for effective future planning efforts. Kelly demonstrates a commitment to her job, co-workers and the traveling public every day. Congratulations, Kelly!

Headshot of Jeff Williams

Jeff Williams

Jeff Williams was selected as the TMD Leader of the Year. Jeff manages an exceptional team of meteorologists. His group is responsible for several innovations that contribute to safer roads, less materials costs and better service to the public. The new winter road weather index uses data from UDOT’s Road Weather Information System (RWIS) network to determine the intensity of a storm and the effectiveness of UDOT’s snow removal efforts. The efforts of Jeff and his team keep UDOT in the national spotlight for traveler information weather operations. Congratulations, Jeff!

Headshot of Keith Wilde

Keith Wilde

The TMD Career Achievement Award goes to an employee who has a longstanding history of excellency. This year, Keith Wilde was the award recipient. Keith has over thirty years of experience and leads the traffic signal field technicians. Keith has been instrumental in ensuring UDOT’s traffic signals are truly “world-class”. Keith is the resident expert on electronics for traffic signals. Utah residents may see Keith at a signalized intersection nearby a large special event helping with traffic flow. The UDOT TMD is very fortunate to have Keith and appreciates all of his hard work. Congratulations, Keith!

Employee Recognition

Over the past several months, our leadership team has been looking into ways to better recognize our great employees here at UDOT and listen to your ideas and concerns.  Many of you have provided feedback through an online survey and in-person discussion groups.  Thank you for your participation.  Because of your input, we will be implementing several new programs in the coming months.  Here are some of the areas we will be focusing on:

Management Training – We have some excellent managers and supervisors here at UDOT.  I want to make sure they receive proper training on how to provide feedback and positive recognition to all employees.  We will be implementing a new training program for all managers that will emphasize good communication and positive verbal recognition.

Award/Incentive Program – I would like to give direct supervisors a way to reward their employees for a job well done.  It is a tricky balance between rewarding our employees and being fair with taxpayer dollars.  However, I believe we have come up with a program that will accomplish both.  Every year, each region/group will be given a number of vouchers to distribute to employees as a “pat on the back.”  The vouchers can be traded in for a UDOT logoed shirt.  It became apparent through the feedback we received that you are proud of the work you do at UDOT and many of you would like to have a way to display it.

Employee Advisory Council – This committee will give employees a chance to provide new ideas and voice concerns.  Too often, I don’t have the chance to hear your ideas or the issues you are dealing with.  Through the responses we received, some of you suggested bringing back a committee that could provide feedback to the Executive Director and Deputy Director.  My hope is that the new EAC will be a direct and productive channel of communication for both sides.  It will be made up of two employees from each region/group who will serve on a rotating basis.

Employee of the Year/Leader of the Year – I would like to continue to award the Employee of the Year and Leader of the Year.  It’s a chance for us as a department to recognize the outstanding individuals among us.  We will try to make the nomination process as simple as possible so all employees have an equal chance to be recognized.  There will also be help available to each region/group in writing the application in order to make the awards process fair.  One additional change, we will present the EOY and LOY awards, along with the Career Service award, at the Annual Conference banquet in November.

New Employee Orientation – We will be reintroducing a new employee orientation meeting with several changes.  The goal of this session will be to give new employees a good overview of all the different areas in UDOT and an opportunity to meet and interact with the leadership team.  Each group leader will be asked to present at the orientation, which will be held on a quarterly basis.

Performance Awards/ASIs – Many of you will be happy to learn that we are beginning to give Performance Awards and ASIs again on a limited basis.  Where funding is available, each group and region may give performance awards to up to 6% of their employees for exceptional performance.  While I recognize it is a small number, it’s a step in the right direction.

We are still working out the details on all of the new programs so please stay tuned for more information.  In addition to the changes I’ve listed above, we will also continue our successful recognition programs such as the Silver Barrel awards and the annual region/complex picnics.  Shane and I, along with the leadership team, will also try to be more available to all employees through formal and informal visits to each region and group.

I would like to personally thank each of you for a job well done.  My hope is that we can do a better job of recognizing you for the important work you are doing for this department and the state with these new programs.