OCTA honors its 2022 Outstanding Employees of the Year

Feb. 13, 2023
The three individuals represent coach operations, maintenance and administration and were recognized for their dedicated public service throughout 2022.

The Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) selected its 2022 employees of the year, honoring those who helped OCTA achieve organizational excellence and a balanced, sustainable and equitable transportation system.

The 2022 Employees of the Year are selected from three areas, including coach operators, maintenance employees and administration. They are:

  • Ignacio Cuica, OCTA’s Coach Operator of the Year
  • Gilberto Anaya, a Journeyman Mechanic, OCTA’s Maintenance Employee of the Year
  • Ross Lew, Program Manager, OCTA’s Administrative Employee of the Year

“OCTA has talented, hard-working employees throughout the agency, so the work these three employees performed to stand out proves their outstanding commitment to the mission of keeping Orange County moving,” said OCTA Chairman Gene Hernandez, also the Mayor of Yorba Linda. “We thank them and honor them for their dedication and service.”

Ignacio Cuica was hired by OCTA as a coach operator in March 2001 and is currently assigned to the Santa Ana bus base. He has been a model coach operator with an outstanding attendance record.

Additionally, Cuica was recognized for his focus on safety and friendly customer service. He has achieved a remarkable 21 years of safe driving.

Gilberto Anaya joined OCTA in 1997 as a service worker. He was promoted to apprentice mechanic in 2000, followed by a promotion to journeyman mechanic in 2001, and he now works on the second shift at the Santa Ana bus base.

Anaya has exceptional diagnostic skills in engine, electrical, drivetrain and air systems. He has been instrumental in keeping the bus fleet at the Santa Ana base running at peak performance. Anaya's diligence, expertise and mentorship play a vital role in the overall success of the maintenance team.

Ross Lew leads the OC Streetcar project, as well as the SR-55 Improvement Project. He also oversees other freeway projects on the 55 and the 91. As the OC Streetcar project manager, Ross continues to lead the team toward construction completion.

Thanks to his hands-on approach and effective partnering, the project team met several key milestones, including reopening segments of Fourth Street ahead of schedule and reopening major intersections, including the Ross Street intersection before the start of the school year at Nova Academy. Ross is recognized for his dedication to meeting project commitments and efficiently managing construction activities.

The three Employees of the Year were selected from among 36 employees who were chosen as employees of the month throughout 2022. They were honored during a celebration with fellow employees and will be honored by the OCTA Board of Directors at an upcoming meeting.