Every year since 1960, the only association that serves North American public works professionals recognizes 10 men and women – not necessarily members – for their career-long commitment to infrastructure and the profession. As you see from this list, public works is a unique calling with almost limitless opportunities to serve. Recipients are private- as well as public-sector employees. Click through the slideshow to see the leaders.
Richard “Chip” Barrett, Public Works Leadership Fellow (PWLF)
Superintendent of Highways
Town of Westford, Mass.
Square miles: 31.3
Government: Open town meeting
Accomplishments include: Creating protocols and sustainable funding mechanism for sharing equipment and expertise with other communities during emergencies.
Richard Fosse, PE
Lecturer: “Resilient Infrastructure and Emergency Response”
University of Iowa College of Engineering
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Accomplishments include: Retired City of Iowa City, Iowa, public works director grooms next generation of public works professionals.
Mike Frisbie, PE
City Engineer/Director of Transportation & Capital Improvements
City of San Antonio, Texas
Population: 1.5 million
Square miles: 465.4
Accomplishments include: Leading 850 employees in delivering almost 300 projects worth $1 billion under budget.
Sam May, Public Works Leadership Fellow (PWLF)
City of Margate, Fla.
Square miles: 9.09
Accomplishments include: Making Margate Florida’s second city to partner with U.S. Energy Department on Better Building Challenge to improve energy efficiency by 20% in 10 years.
Public Works Director
Village of Algonquin, Ill.
Square miles: 12.43
Accomplishments include: Transitioning Chicago suburb’s rural street network to a consistently designed and maintained urban network.
Nan Newlon, PE
Public Works Director
Village of Downers Grove, Ill.
Square miles: 14.66
Budget: $15 million (O&M), $20 million (capital improvements)
Accomplishments include: Reducing unmaintained-streets percentage from 22 to 1 in six years; saving $100,000 annually by moving bus service operation to local transit agency.
James Patteson, PE
Environmental Services Director
Department of Public Works
Fairfax County, Va.
Population: 1.1 million
Square miles: 406
Budget: $300 million (O&M), $3 billion (capital improvements)
Accomplishments include: Ensuring continued economic growth by working with industry and internal partners to streamline land development review process.
City of Fort Collins, Colo.
Square miles: 57.05
Government: Home rule municipality
Accomplishments include: Commissioning ongoing research with Colorado State University Water Center to reduce impact of deicing chemicals on local waterways.
Josh Watkins, PE
Water Utility Manager
City of Redding, Calif.
Square miles: 61.17
Budget: $20 million
Accomplishments include: Working with multiple divisions to update, digitize, standardize, and disseminate construction standards that are adopted and used by smaller neighboring cities.
Paul Woodard, PE
Director of Public Works
City of Janesville, Wis.
Square miles: 34.45
Government: City manager
Accomplishments include: Convincing city council to double number of streets repaved every year.