COMTO industry awards honors transportation leaders for commitment to excellence during challenging times

July 20, 2022
Honorees were recognized for outstanding contributions to diversity, equity and inclusion, accessibility, innovation and community engagement at a time of disruption to the transportation industry.

The Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO) honored 17 transportation leaders at its 2022 Industry Awards Gala on July 11, during its National Meeting and Training Conference in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. 

The 2022 Industry Awards were presented to individuals, companies, agencies, organizations and chapters who made outstanding contributions to the transportation industry in 2021 at a time when the transportation industry and the world continued to grapple with disruption due to COVID-19. Industry Awards honorees come from all sectors and modes of transportation.

Some of this year’s highlights included: 

  • The first ever Civic Equity Champion Award went to Olatunji Oboi Reed, president and CEO, the Equiticity Racial Equity Movement based in Chicago. 
  • COMTO Philadelphia took home two awards for Best Community Engagement and Chapter of the Year.   
  • Jacobs won Corporation of the Year for its local and national contributions to COMTO, including wide-spread employee engagement and participation in the organization.   
  • Michigan Department of Transportation won Public Agency of the Year for its Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) accomplishments with Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBEs), small businesses and Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).  
  • Greer Johnson Gillis, senior vice president of system development and capital programs, Jacksonville Transportation Authority, received the Thomas G. Neusom Founders’ Leadership Award, the organization’s highest honor.  
  • Neil Pedersen, executive director, National Academies’ Transportation Research Board (TRB), received the President & CEO’s Award for Excellence for his contributions to COMTO and the industry.   

“The Industry Awards Gala is always the perfect ending to our National Meeting and Training Conference as we get to celebrate excellence in our industry and honor those who exemplify the COMTO mission and vision,” said April Rai, president and CEO, COMTO. “Much like our conference theme which focused on moving forward despite disruption, these individuals, companies, agencies, organizations and chapters went above and beyond during what was still a challenging time in our world to advance equity in the transportation industry and our local communities. Congratulations to them as well as all of our nominees.” 

The recipients of the 2022 Industry Awards are:  

  • Emerging Leader of the Year: Qiana McKoy, Diversity Specialist, HNTB and Secretary, COMTO Atlanta  
  • Industry Innovation Award: (Tie) Memphis Area Transit Authority (MATA) and Palm Tran (Palm Beach County, Florida)  
  • Public Agency of the Year: Michigan Department of Transportation  
  • Corporation of the Year: Jacobs  
  • Historically Underutilized Businesses (HUB) Firm of The Year: Suzanne Arkle and ZANN Inc and Associates (Denver, Colorado)  
  • Gerald Anderson Member of the Year Award: Ryan Daniel, CEO, St. Cloud Metropolitan Transit Commission (Metro Bus) and President, Minnesota Public Transit Association  
  • Civic Equity Champion: Olatunji Oboi Reed, President & CEO, The Equiticity Racial Equity Movement (Chicago, Illinois)  
  • Rev. Jerry Moore President’s Leadership Award: Christopher Macklin, DBE, Diversity Compliance Specialist, Jacksonville Transportation Authority and President of COMTO Jacksonville (2018-2022)  
  • Thomas G. Neusom Founders’ Leadership Award: Greer Johnson Gillis, Senior Vice President of System Development and Capital Programs, Jacksonville Transportation Authority  
  • Best Community Engagement Award: COMTO Philadelphia  
  • Best Membership Recruitment & Retention Award: COMTO Miami  
  • Chapter of the Year Award: COMTO Philadelphia  
  • Chair’s Challenge Award: COMTO Fort Lauderdale  
  • In addition, the President and CEO’s Awards for Excellence went to the following individuals for their contributions to COMTO and the transportation industry:  
  • Patricia Mosher, Senior Vice President, Director of Corporate Communications & Strategic Planning, HNTB  
  • Pamela Boswell, Vice President, Workforce Development & Educational Services, American Public Transportation Association (APTA)  
  • Neil Pedersen, Executive Director, National Academies’ Transportation Research Board (TRB)  
  • Robert (Bob) Prince, President of Foot Prince and COMTO Board Chair (2012-2015)  

A complete list of this year’s awards, including descriptions can be found online.