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  • Writer's pictureWTS Sacramento

2018 Awards and Scholarships

Over 300 professionals celebrated WTS Sacramento’s Awards and Scholarship winners on Wednesday, January 30th at the Sheraton Grand. After Director Berman settled the attendees down, 2019 Chapter President, Lauren Reinking, welcomed the attendees and introduced the evening’s Mistress of Ceremonies, Caltrans Director Laurie Berman. Before the winners were brought to the stage, the Keynote Speaker, Carolyn Coleman, the Executive Director at the League of California Cities, delighted the audience with her story of “changing lanes.” Starting at AT&T, Carolyn shared her journey of being open to opportunities and her many different positions she chose to take when the phone rang and the next position was offered. She recommended everyone have a “kitchen cabinet,” a group of men and women who you know will be honest with you, and to not waste good opportunities while remembering to laugh and have fun.

Notwithstanding her lack of jokes “deemed worthy” for the evening, Director Berman did a spectacular job assisting Awards and Scholarship Chairs, Lizette Martinez and Arianna Castillo, by introducing the six awards and eleven scholarship winners. The audience had the pleasure of hearing the five scholarship winners speak about their love of engineering, their service to the community and their career aspirations. These inspiring young women were all honored to receive the award and thankful to WTS and its members. Koral Buch, winner of the Leadership Legacy Scholarship, said that she has “found a home” in WTS, as we empower and encourage women to achieve their goals. Thanks to your support, we had the opportunity to award $22,000.

Thank you and best wishes to all our 2018 Scholarship Winners:

  • Will Kempton High School: Anusha Subramanian; Tracey Ballesteros (Honorary)

  • Sharon D. Banks Memorial Undergraduate: Vanessa Villanueva; Jocelyn Mejia (Honorary)

  • Bimla G. Rhinehard Undergraduate Leadership: Samira Moradi; Noura Saqqa (Honorary)

  • Helene M. Overly Memorial Graduate: Amy Collins; Maryam Ostovar and Elham Pourrahmani (Honorary)

  • Leadership Legacy Graduate: Koral Buch; Lyuba Vosheva (Honorary)

The six Award winners all showed exemplary contributions to transportation and were honored to receive the awards. They shared their perspectives on transportation, hopes for the future, and appreciation to WTS as a platform for advancing women and being supporters of dreams. In the words of Brian Kelly, the women in this industry are “smart, strong and capable.” Karla Sutliff, Woman of the Year and the first woman Chief Engineer, reminded us to always look forward to opportunities, surround ourselves with good people, never be afraid to take on new assignments, learn from our mistakes, and to make time for balance in our lives.

Thank you to our Award Winners and your commitment and passion to this industry:

  • Employer of the Year: Ascent Environmental

  • Rosa Parks Diversity Leadership Award: San Joaquin Regional Transit District

  • Innovative Transportation Solutions Award: Sacramento Downtown Bikeways | City of Sacramento

  • Member of the Year: Rebecca Mowry | Caltrans

  • Honorable Ray LaHood Award: Brian Kelly | California High Speed Rail Authority

  • Woman of the Year: Karla Sutliff | Caltrans

The evening closed with our raffle of nine spectacular items. Huge thanks to our raffle sponsors: AECOM, Drake Haglan and Associates, ECORP Consulting, R.E.Y. Engineers, UNICO and WSP. We raised over $2,000 during the raffle!

We would like to thank everyone who attended and for your continuous support of WTS!


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