WTS International announces 2022 recognition award winners

May 23, 2022
IndyGo President and CEO Inez Evans received WTS International Woman of the Year Award.

The Women’s Transportation Seminar (WTS) International announced the recipients of its 2022 recognition awards, including the Woman of the Year award, at its 2022 Awards Gala May 19, hosted during the 2022 WTS International Annual Conference in Seattle, Wash.  

The WTS recognition award winners represent the best and brightest in transportation innovation, effectiveness and leadership, embodying the mission and vision of the organization. 

"It is an honor to recognize the individuals and organizations who continually demonstrate their excellence and influence in transportation. Our 2022 award winners embody the utmost commitment to the values and mission of WTS,” said Paula Hammond, chair, 2020-22 WTS International Board of Directors. 

Congratulations to the following organizations and leaders recognized: 

  • Employer of the Year: Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority  
  • Innovative Transportation Solutions Award: RK&K, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation Strategic Recycling Program & Ridley Creek State Park Demonstration Project 
  • Rosa Parks Diversity Leadership Award: U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) 
  • Honorable Ray LaHood Award: Bruce Wong, Director, Ada County, Idaho Highway District  
  • Member of the Year: Barbara Arens, Managing Principal, Cincar Consulting Group (C2G)  
  • Woman of the Year: Inez Evans, President and CEO, IndyGo 
  • Mary Peters Inspirational Leader Award: Dr. Beverly Scott, Founder and CEO, iyai+ 

Also honored at the 2022 awards gala were nine recipients of WTS Foundation scholarships. The WTS Foundation supports high school, undergraduate and graduate level students pursuing studies in transportation-related fields. This year, the foundation provided $45,000 dollars in funding at the event. Annually, the foundation awards more than $600,000 in scholarships.  

"These extraordinary honorees go above and beyond each day to continue to advance women and advance the transportation industry,” said Sara Stickler, president and CEO, WTS International. “It’s a pleasure to recognize the time, talents and leadership of those dedicated to such meaningful growth and impact.” 

Recognizing Woman of the Year Inez Evans 

This award recognizes leaders in the transportation industry who represent the best and brightest in transportation innovation, effectiveness and leadership and have made an outstanding contribution to the industry. 

Having won the WTS Indianapolis Chapter Woman of the Year award in 2021, Evans is the first transportation leader from Indianapolis to win this award at the international level. 

“Equity in transit is important, and I don’t take being a woman leading a transit agency lightly,” said Evans at her acceptance. “I especially don’t take being a Black woman leading a transit agency lightly. I’m one of only nine Black women transit CEOs in the nation. That’s why WTS is so important and why the work we do is so critical in mentoring, supporting and guiding women in the field to build up our ranks in leadership and positively affect transit. There is still much work to do to advance women and to advance diversity in this industry. And it is with that mission in mind that I humbly accept this award.” 

Evans was selected as IndyGo president and CEO in summer 2019, becoming the first Black woman president and CEO for the transit agency. Evans manages an agency of more than 800 employees and a fleet of more than 200 vehicles, averaging nine million trips annually. During Evans’ time at IndyGo, she ushered in its first all-electric bus rapid transit line, recruited emerging leaders to the executive team, maintained and innovated service during a pandemic, developed and executed the purchase of a new headquarters location to meet the growing needs of the agency, put new vehicles into service moving IndyGo towards its clean fleet goals, enforced vendor accountability, enhanced improvements with paratransit services and championed diversity and workforce development within the agency. 

With more than 30 years of experience, Evans’ career has been rooted in her ability to build and nurture relationships, bring communities together and affect organizational change. 

Evans serves on the Indianapolis Arts Council Board of Directors and on its diversity and inclusion committee. As co-chair for the American Heart Association’s Circle for Red Committee, she champions heart health to her community. Evans was appointed by Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett to the Greater Indianapolis Progress Committee Board of Directors in 2019. 

She also serves as a board member for the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) and committee member for Leadership APTA, a program that grooms transit professionals aspiring to become leaders within their organizations. In 2021, Evans was the recipient of an Honorary Doctorate from Miz CEO, a local institution focused on uplifting women in the community. 

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