PennDOT secretary Richards receives 2 international business awards

Updated Dec 8, 2016

Pennsylvania Department of Transportation Secretary Leslie S. Richards has been recognized as Female Innovator of the Year and Female Executive of the Year in the government or non-profit category from the Stevie Awards for Women in Business.


These international awards, which were represented by 17 countries this year, “recognize outstanding women executives who have led their organizations to higher levels of innovation and achievement.”

“I am very grateful to the wonderful team at PennDOT whose outstanding accomplishments were recognized with this honor,” Richards says. “Together, we are delivering transportation services with efficiency and innovation, fulfilling Governor Wolf’s mandate of delivering government that works.”

Richards was cited for the following accomplishments:

  • Revitalization of the Idea Link employee suggestion system. Now called Idea Link 20/20, the system is moving to implement more than 40 percent of employee-submitted ideas for efficiency, safety, customer service and morale. The statewide Office of Administration has used the program as a model for other state agencies and other states are exploring adopting the program,
  • A first-ever metric-driven investment approach for updating the 12-Year program and addressing structurally deficient bridges and roadway reconstruction.
  • A greater attention to diversity, including outreach to the disadvantaged business community. A recent series of facilities contracts included nearly 34 percent going to certified small businesses and nearly 13 percent having a commitment to engage diverse businesses.
  • The new County Transformation initiative to bring best practices across PennDOT operations in all 67 counties.
  • The new PennDOT 20/20 strategic direction, which includes a new approach to project development known as PennDOT Connects. This program will transform the capital and maintenance project development process to ensure community collaboration is included as bicycle facilities, pedestrian accommodations and environmentally friendly infrastructure is developed across the state along with highway and bridge improvements.
  • Technology advancements such as the automated vehicle locator (AVL) system now installed on all 2,200 PennDOT plow trucks that will allow drivers to track snow plow locations through as they plan winter travel. Other examples include an advanced queuing system that helps PennDOT managers reduce wait times at Driver License Centers and a new mobile application that is saving time and money for Driver License examiners and construction inspectors.

“We are a team of nearly 12,000 dedicated people who are working hard to manage taxpayer resources wisely while doing our best to maintain and upgrade our very large transportation network,” Richards says. “On behalf of all of us, I welcome and am grateful for this international recognition of our accomplishments.”