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PennDOT Honors Employees for Innovative Ideas


Uniontown, PA – The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) today recognized 48 PennDOT employees with Innovation Awards for their efforts to improve work practices and create efficiencies. Twenty-six team members from PennDOT’s District 12, which represents Fayette, Greene, Washington, and Westmoreland counties were among the honorees.
“PennDOT has a strong legacy of creativity to help us meet our daily mission and goals,” said PennDOT Secretary Yassmin Gramian. “I'm proud to recognize these employees for their creativity and dedication to the department.”
Employees were recognized for ideas and smart practices submitted through IdeaLink 20/20 and WorkSmart, online suggestion systems that allow employees to share their ideas and efficient work practices. Over the last decade, PennDOT staff have submitted approximately 3,700 ideas through IdeaLink, several hundred of which have been implemented. Since 2016, approximately 240 smart practices have been published in PennDOT’s WorkSmart system.
Gramian and other department executives honored winners Bill Kovach, Melissa Maczko, Rachel Duda, Bill Beaumariage, Robb Dean, Denny Myers, Joel Morris, Dale Baird, Scott Finch, Dave Forkey, Jason Spangler, Larry Basinger, Bryan Walker, Jeremy Hughes, Tim Cook, Gary Barber, Adam Smith, Jeremy Shaneyfelt , Liberty Hill,  Jay Ofsanik,  Mary Machesky, Jonna Knapik,  Robert Landman, Arthur Lesnett, Michael Rubel, and Douglas Baum during an online ceremony. Maczko was recognized for coordinating an outdoor ceremony to honor district veterans and ensuring a video recording was made available to those unable to attend.
Twenty-six of the 48 employees recognized are part of District 12’s Safety, Quality and Innovation Council that received the first-ever George McAuley, Jr., P.E. Innovation Award during the event. This award honors the legacy of the late Acting Executive Deputy Secretary and long-time department employee and his commitment to PennDOT’s success by pursuing every innovation possible to help improve operations. The team included: Kovach, Maczko, Duda, Beaumariage, Dean, Myers, Morris, Baird, Finch, Forkey Spangler, Basinger, Walker, Hughes, Cook, Barber, Smith, Shaneyfelt, Hill, Ofsanik, Machesky, Knapik, Landman, Lesnett, Rubel, and Douglas.
District Executive Bill Kovach commented that he is very pleased to have so many District 12 employees recognized for their continued commitment to innovation.  District 12 has developed a culture of innovation over the past years and has implemented innovative ideas across all parts of the organization.  A few well-known examples include the new Diverging Diamond Interchange on I-70, and many new roundabouts throughout the District. District 12 is especially humbled to receive the George McAuley, Jr Award, as George was a great leader in the Department and a champion of promoting an innovative spirit.
For more information on PennDOT activities in Fayette, Greene, Washington, and Westmoreland counties visit

MEDIA CONTACT: Jay Ofsanik, 724-439-7135

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