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PennDOT honors its 2021 Stars of Excellence virtually

January 27, 2022 07:00 AM
By: Allison Beck

​Each year, PennDOT recognizes select employees for their outstanding performance in providing the very best transportation services to Pennsylvanians every day. Recently, 32 employees from around the state were given a Star of Excellence Award, the agency's highest recognition.

These recipients represent a variety of organizational positions, spanning from highway maintenance and driver and vehicle service workers, to traffic control specialists, communications staff, and design and engineering specialists.

This year because of the continuing presence of COVID-19, they were honored during an online ceremony.

"Even in unusual or difficult times, it remains important to celebrate our successes and look ahead," PennDOT Secretary Yassmin Gramian said. "Looking at the dedication and achievements of each Star makes me so grateful to be part of the PennDOT family and to be a Pennsylvanian who benefits from their services."

From the descriptions of our Stars' achievements, you will see how the day-to-day work of exceptional individuals spells great success for PennDOT: significant savings for taxpayers, improved service delivery, and advancements in safety and productivity.

Winners of the 2021 Star of Excellence Awards are listed below. For more information on why each winner was selected, view the Star of Excellence ceremony program (PDF) or see the slideshow at the bottom of this article.

District 1 

  • Mark A. Nicholson, P.E. – Bridge Engineer
  • Zachary H. Miles, EIT – Senior Civil Engineer Supervisor (Transportation)

District 2

  • Adam D. Bechdel – Acting Highway Maintenance Manager
  • Janet L. Caldwell – Stock Clerk 3

District 3 

  • Melissa Kiessling – Plant Maintenance Materials Coordinator
  • Tom Poploskie – District Chief of Survey

District 4 

  • Dawn E. Kidder – Roadway Programs Manager
  • Lonell C. Shalkowski, P.E. – Assistant Portfolio Manager

District 5 

  • Thomas Fish – Transportation Construction Inspection Supervisor
  • Shane Rohrbaugh – Transportation Equipment Operator Specialist (TEOS)

District 6 

  • Michelle McGrath – Clerk Typist 2
  • Patrick Pietrak – Building Maintenance Foreman

District 8 

  • Mike Dieter – Transportation Construction Manager 3
  • Sheila Hromadik – Civil Engineer (Bridges)

District 9 

  • Jason A. Vancas – Transportation Construction Manager 2
  • Luke Llewellyn – Assistant Highway Maintenance Manager

District 10 

  • Amber Lowmaster – Roadways Program Technician 2
  • Matthew Forni – Maintenance Repairman 2

District 11 

  • Lori Musto – Allegheny County Manager
  • Lori Miles – Construction Support Services Manager

District 12 

  • Michele DeFrancesco – Clerk Typist 3
  • Melissa R. Maczko – Administrative Assistant 1

Central Office

  • Amanda M. Frank – Management Analyst 2, Administration
  • Jodi Nolt – Administrative Officer 2, Administration
  • Larissa Newton – Digital Director, Communications
  • Ngani Ndimbie – Executive Policy Specialist, Policy
  • Connie Sprague – Employee Safety Division Manager, Highway Administration
  • Daniel J. Whetzel – Emergency Incident Management Section Chief, Highway Administration
  • Michele Harter, P.E. – Program Manager 1, Highway Administration
  • Raymond Green – Transportation Planning Manager, Planning
  • Anthony Stever – Operating Program Division Manager, Multimodal
  • Shane Moyer – Bureau of Support Services Director, Driver and Vehicle Services

Note: If you're having trouble viewing the slideshow, you can view the album on Flickr. 

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