Northern California Chapter Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO) Announces 2008 Industry Awards | News

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Northern California Chapter Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO) Announces 2008 Industry Awards

Friday, August 8, 2008

The Northern California Chapter of the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO) recently announced its 2008 award recipients who will be recognized at its Fourth Annual Industry Awards and Recognition Reception on Thursday, August 14, 2008, 6-8 pm, at the Carnelian Room Banker’s Club, Bank of America Building, 555 California, San Francisco, CA. Proceeds from the event support COMTO’s Scholarship Program, which will provide almost $30,000 to assist minority college students in the bay area.

This annual event was established in 2005 to honor those individuals, minority business enterprises, organizations and companies that provided outstanding contributions to the transportation industry in the Bay Area and furthered the goals of COMTO. This year the recipients include:

Lifetime Achievement Award

Hon. Supervisor Sophie Maxwell, San Francisco County Board of Supervisors and San Francisco County Transportation Authority Board of Commissioners, is being recognized for her commitment to true social and environmental justice principles in local governance and her role in ensuring a strong vocal voice for community participation in the construction of the Third Street Light Rail Project.

Employer of the Year Award, Public Sector

Bay Area Rapid Transit District is being recognized for its leadership in expanding opportunities and career advancement for women and minorities throughout the BART organization and its leadership in optimizing contracting opportunities for minority and women businesses.

Employer of the Year Award, Private Sector

Lea + Elliott, Inc., a renowned rail transit consultant firm, is being recognized for its leadership in employee diversity and active participation and support of COMTO.

Employee of the Year Award

Z. Wayne Johnson, Deputy General Manager, Administration and Development, Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District, is being recognized for his 33 year track record of competency and leadership in the transportation industry.

Minority Business Enterprise of the Year Award

Yerba Buena Engineering and Construction, a local contractor located in Hunter’s Point, is being honored for its ability to build a successful company in 6 years and for its strong leadership and commitment to assisting other bay area minority contractors.

Special Recognition Award

Asian American Engineers and Architects will be recognized for its advocacy of equal opportunity for minority, women-owned and small businesses on national, state, and local levels.

President’s Award

Felicia Bell, Subcontracts Formation Supervisor, Bechtel Corporation, will be honored for her exceptional contributions to COMTO’s fundraising efforts.

In addition to the Awardees, the Reception attracts a “who's who” of transportation officials in the bay area, including dignitaries who serve as Honorary Co-Hosts and present the awards. The Honorary Co-Hosts this year include the chairpersons of the Boards of Directors or Commissions of most major bay area transportation agencies including Supervisor Rose Jacobs Gibson, ABAG; Gail Murray, BART; Rev. Dr. James McCray Jr., SF MTA; Supervisor Bill Dodd, MTC; Kimberly Brandon, Port of San Francisco; Nathaniel Ford, Transbay Joint Powers Authority; Darlene Ayers Johnson, Port of Oakland, Christian Peeples, AC Transit, Supervisor Alice Lai Bitker, Alameda County Transportation Improvement Authority; and Charlene Haught Johnson, Water Emergency Transportation Authority.

The cost of the event is $50 COMTO members and $60.00 non- COMTO members. RSVP by August 11, 2008 to 510-287-4700 or

The Northern California Chapter of COMTO was established to promote the growth and development of minorities in the transportation industry in the bay area. COMTO’s membership includes transportation officials from most of the major transportation agencies and transportation related business sectors in the Bay Area. The Annual Industry Awards and Recognition Program and Scholarship program continues COMTO’s mission of demonstrating leadership in supporting minorities in transportation, community partnering, equal opportunity and diversity.

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