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RICHMONDVirginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) employees received recognition during a ceremony in Richmond on Thursday, May 17, honoring state employees for their service to the commonwealth. VDOT employees took top honors in teamwork and workplace safety as part of the 2007 Governor’s Awards. This year marked the first time VDOT employees received two awards. Five awards were given in additional categories.

Langston T. Williams, assistant district equipment manager in VDOT’s Staunton District, received the 2007 Governor’s Award for Workplace Safety. The award is given to an employee who leads the way in promoting a safe and healthy work environment. Following a fire that destroyed a district tractor, Williams helped develop a national alert campaign designed to increase awareness about possible future fires with the particular model tractor. Williams also worked closely with the tractor’s manufacturer on a worldwide safety campaign. His efforts also resulted in the manufacturer’s free replacement of the district’s tractor.

Garrett Moore, VDOT Staunton District administrator said, “The initiative and proactive actions demonstrated by L.T. Williams are exemplary and illustrative of the high standards he brings to his job daily.”

A team of 25 employees in VDOT’s Central Office and Richmond District received the 2007 Governor’s Award for Teamwork. This award is given to a team of employees who exemplify the qualities that make teamwork an essential part of an agency’s success. The VDOT team worked on a project involving replacing the Judith Stewart Dresser Memorial Bridge on Route 5 over the Chickahominy River . The team developed a project that included a 2,500-foot-long, fixed-span structure to rise 52 feet above the river with one-half mile of approaches. Projects of this magnitude typically take three or more years to develop, but this team completed development in 18 months.

Both Williams and the Central Office and Richmond District team were recipients of VDOT Commissioner’s Awards for Outstanding Achievement earlier in May. This award is given by the Commissioner in recognition of outstanding accomplishments that have positively impacted the agency.

Other VDOT employees receiving nominations for the Governor’s Award include:

Gene Higgs, of the Staunton District, who was nominated for the Governor’s Award for Career Achievement for his 43 years of exceptional service to VDOT.

Barbara Reese, Richard Walton, Thomas Hawthorne, Richard Prezioso, Kerry Bates, Deborah Brown, Jim Smith and James Bryant, from the Central Office and Richmond District, who were nominated as a team for the Governor’s Award for Innovation for exploring alternative means of financing the operation and maintenance costs of the Pocahontas Parkway, resulting in the establishment of the agency’s first public-private partnership.

David Patton, James Carr, Bryan Kelley, Donna Purcell Mayes, Calvin Smith, Dwayne Altice, Fatemah Allahdoust, Gaylynn Abram, Al Covey, Tom Saunders, Trevor Wrayton, Kimberly Spence and Cecilia Penaloza, who were nominated as a team for the Governor’s Award for Customer Service for developing the commonwealth’s first statewide bicycle map.

Dan Roosevelt, Michael Fitch and Audrey Moruza, who were nominated for the Governor’s Star Award for the development of a unique, data-driven methodology for conducting a statewide review of area headquarters.

The following individuals served as VDOT Employee Ambassadors during Thursday’s ceremony. They helped award and recognize recipients on behalf of other state employees. Their names were randomly selected from a drawing:

Debra P. Steele, Salem District

Terri Dimino, Northern Virginia District

Helen P. Ross, Fredericksburg District

Candice D. Gibson, Northern Virginia District

Phyllis A. Brice, Lynchburg District

Sandra C. Austin, Hampton Roads District

Donna P. Claud, Hampton Roads District

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