The Fifth Annual Arizona Transportation Legacy Awards was awarded at the 64th Conference on Roads & Streets on April 2, 2015 at the Westin La Paloma Resort in Tucson, AZ. The “Transportation Legacy Award” recognizes outstanding individuals who have made a significant, noteworthy contribution to transportation in Arizona. The 2015 recipients included:
Peter L. Eno has 54 years of distinguished Right of Way (ROW) industry experience—52 of these years have been with the Arizona Department of Transportation. He is best known in the industry as overseeing ADOT’s Engineering Consultant Section from 1993 to 1999, where he reorganized the use of consultant services and was able to initiate the new Consultant Program during a critical time of privatization for ADOT from 1993 to 1999. For 32 years, he was a Manager for several ADOT ROW Sections. The last 16 years he has been a Consultant ROW Project Manager working for Transportation Consultant Engineers on assignments in ADOT’s ROW Section. Pete is revered by his colleagues for having the knowledge and skills to work independently to accomplish high profile ROW objectives, as well as the interpersonal skills to thrive within a team environment. Throughout his career, he has managed varying workloads, performed work promptly and accurately, and stayed organized while handling multiple assignments and priorities. His knowledge of ROW plans and roadway design has been used in reviewing plans and technical reports. Pete has excelled in the performance of public sector ROW roles since graduating from high school in Dixon, IL, in 1959. Today, he is recognized throughout the State as an expert ROW manager and coordinator, collaborator, engineering technician, researcher, communicator, mentor, and above all a trusted and respected professional.
Shellie Ginn graduated from the University of Arizona with a bachelor’s degree in 1987 and joined the U.S. Army where she rose to the rank of sergeant, attended the Defense Language Institute and became a Russian language interceptor. For the last decade, Shellie has been project manager of the Sun Link Tucson Streetcar system, which launched in July of 2014 and is the City of Tucson’s largest and most complex construction project in history. The project is credited with generating more than $1 billion in economic development along its four-mile route through downtown and central commercial districts. Shellie has been at the forefront of the streetcar project, helping the community to imagine, define, build and launch the system successfully. While the streetcar system is hailed as a success, Shellie’s leadership and management contributions will also dramatically shape the $75 million Downtown Links project, which will change and improve transportation in central Tucson. During her four years as Downtown Links project manager, she and her team worked extensively with a 15-member Citizens Advisory Committee to help guide selection of the final alignment for the major corridor that has yet to be constructed. Her leadership is an inspiration to others in government and she is a role model to women and girls who aspire to careers in fields traditionally dominated by men. In her 20 years with TDOT, Shellie has created a transportation legacy that will improve the Tucson community for decades to come.
Daniel (Dan) S. Lance retired from ADOT in September 2007 after more than 37 years of service helping to transform the Valley’s freeway system. He excelled as an effective leader, communicator and coordinator, developing positive working relationships with stakeholders, the public, and the consulting community, to drive the successful completion of the Proposition 300 - Regional Freeway System program and paved the way for successful implementation of Proposition 400 – Regional Transportation Program, Freeway Program. He was instrumental in recommending innovative construction strategies that have enhanced transportation safety, durability and efficiency. These strategies include recommending that all new freeways be constructed with Portland Cement Concrete Pavement (PCCP) to provide a longer life, leading the development and implementation of the Quiet Pavement Program to place rubberized asphalt on Valley Freeways, and being a proponent of constructing roundabouts and lead efforts to educate and implement roundabouts in the Valley. Within ADOT, Dan was instrumental in process improvement changes, including developing effective reporting systems on the status of projects; implementing life cycle reporting on Valley projects; and developing the Construction Engineering Manpower Management (CEMMS) plan for construction staffing and reporting purposes. With his help, Dan led the advancement and evolution of the partnering program within the Department. He also initiated the tradition of freeway opening celebration parties prior to opening the freeways to the traveling public. Dan has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering from Arizona State University, and obtained his Professional Engineer license in 1976. Throughout his career, he exuded engineering professionalism, outstanding management skills, effective communication and work ethics. Said one nominator: “Dan influenced a whole generation of ADOT engineers in a very positive way.”
Geza Kmetty started his career in 1960 as a part-time drafter working for L.H. Bell & Associates on Interstate Highway design projects. His first projects as designer included several sections of the Tucson-Nogales Highway. After graduating from Arizona State University, he joined the firm full-time as a Project Engineer. Early in his career, he developed a keen interest in computer applications. This was at the forefront of the use of computers in the engineering community. After obtaining his Professional Engineering registration in 1969, he joined Southwest Computing, Inc. as Chief Engineering Manager. The firm provided computer aided solutions to local transportation design consulting firms ranging from earthwork, hydrology and hydraulics, to 3-D alignment studies. In 1975, he purchased the firm and changed the name to SCI Consulting. Geza’s firm designed several sections of the Superstition Freeway and a location study of SR 87 from Four Peaks Road to the Gila County Line. SCI merged with Lowry and Associates, a California consulting firm. Under Kmetty’s management, the firm grew and merged with Neste, Burdin and Stone, another California firm, becoming NBS/Lowry and the Arizona office grew to 50 employees. In 1988, Geza opened the office of McLaughlin Kmetty Engineers (MKE). In 1995, Geza earned his Certified Value Analyst (CVS) certification. This methodology became his passion. Since 1999, he devotes all his time to facilitating Value Engineering (VE) workshops, lecturing and promoting VE. He leads VE review workshops primarily on transportation projects throughout the United States as well as in Europe. His diverse experience uniquely qualifies him to lead VE workshops for the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT). He is currently the Lead Value Engineer on the $85B California High Speed Rail Project with Parsons Brinckerhoff, and he is on an ADOT on-call VE Contract with Stanley Consultants.
John Eugene McGee was a leader, both within ADOT and in the field of financial management for transportation projects. With over 41 years of progressively responsible financial and managerial positions, 25 with ADOT, John’s extensive knowledge of the federal-aid and state transportation funding methods directly resulted in numerous funding solutions that have funded and accelerated transportation projects throughout Arizona. A true Arizona native, John was born and raised in Miami, AZ. After graduating from Miami High School in 1968 he attended Brigham Young University and received his degree in Accounting in 1972. He later received a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Arizona State University. After graduating from BYU, John began his professional financial career working for Del Webb Development in Sun City, AZ. He began as a financial analyst and rose to become an Executive Vice President. Upon leaving Del Webb in 1988, he began working for the Arizona Department of Transportation. For the next 20 years he worked in the ADOT Financial Management office, and he served as Chief Financial Officer for ten of those years. As ADOT Chief Financial Officer, one of his first initiatives was the modernization of ADOT’s financial system that resulted in a more reliable system with fewer errors. In 2008, John became part of the Director’s Executive team when he took the position of Deputy Director of Policy and for the next three years was instrumental in working with the Director to lead the agency through many significant initiatives including helping to develop the Key Commerce Corridors (KCC) initiative and striving to educate policy makers and the public to champion the concept.. In 2011, John retired from ADOT, but even then his dedicated service continued. After retiring, John worked part time for ADOT until his unexpected death in 2014. Even part time, John’s contributions were significant. As the leader of ADOT’s public-private partnership initiatives his efforts were essential to developing the policies, procedures, guidelines and programmatic framework for this innovative program.
Bob Mickelson has over 50 years of transportation engineering and administration experience. Bob spent nine years with ADOT’s Transportation Planning Division, where he served in the roles of State Plan Manager, Deputy Division Director, and Acting Division Director. Bob supervised the development of statewide statutorily required multimodal transportation needs studies for ADOT, comparing expected revenues with statewide transportation needs for highways, transit, and airports. Bob served for 14 years on the Departmental Committee responsible for making funding, programming, and planning recommendations to the State Transportation Board. He then served for 10 years as Deputy and Chief Deputy State Engineer. During this time, he was instrumental in obtaining more than $150M of federal discretionary funds for the completion of the Interstate System in Arizona. In addition, Bob served as the first chair of the Governor’s Arizona Bicycle Task Force. In 1995, Bob joined Kimley-Horn as a Senior Consultant. Since 1999, Bob has served as an advisor to the Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, Inc. (ITCA) on a broad range of transportation issues affecting Native Americans and Indian Tribes in Arizona. He has also served as the Chairman for the Roads & Streets Conference for the past 12 years, and continues to shape the transportation landscape and legacy of Arizona through his leadership. In addition to the professional accomplishments, Bob is well respected and a mentor to many. Not only has he mentored the professional development of many in the Arizona transportation industry, but he tutors high school and college students in math, physics, and chemistry and serves as a docent at the Air and Space Museum.
Curt Slagell is a Senior Vice President/Senior Project Manager at AZTEC Engineering, where he is a current member of the company’s Management Board. He has more than 46 years of experience, the last 27 of which has been spent in Arizona leading major highway/freeway projects. Curt has been at the forefront of project management since he moved out to Arizona in 1988 to lead major highway/freeway projects as part of the unprecedented highway expansion of the Phoenix metropolitan area. He has made significant design-related contributions that have improved Arizona’s regional freeway transportation network for the MAG region. Curt has managed several award-winning projects (totaling over $750 million in construction budgets), including SR202L/US60 “SuperRedTan” TI; SR303L, Happy Valley Parkway to Lake Pleasant Parkway; SR202L, Country Club Drive to Gilbert Road; and, most recently, I-10/SR303L System TI, Phases 1 and 2. The caliber and quality of his work have earned him a reputation as one of the top design project managers in the Valley. He is recognized for his responsiveness, attention to detail, and innate ability to lead large teams with earned respect. Curt’s expertise is frequently sought after for innovation and problem solving, providing the State, partnering Agencies and Cities, with cost-effective projects.