The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) has recognized four employees with its Director’s Award. The honor, established nearly 30 years ago, is the agency’s top award for outstanding service and leadership.
Denise Jones was recognized in the officials and administrators category.
“She plays a significant role in the annual Call for Project (CFP) program, one of MDOT’s most critical processes,” MDOT says. “The CFP Approval Committee typically rotates the role of chairperson each year. However, Jones has voluntarily filled this role for the past three years. Her willingness to assume this substantial responsibility demonstrates her desire to accommodate the priorities of the team and her firm commitment to the department.”
“Denise masterfully balances her performance-driven spirit with a strong orientation toward people and an ability to inspire staff,” says MDOT Director Kirk Steudle. “While I am proud of our entire workforce, Director’s Award recipients like Denise stand out because they are nominated by their peers for this special recognition.”
Kari Martin received the award in the professional, specialist category.
“She has also represented MDOT on several national and international committees and conferences,” the agency reports. “In 2014, Martin was selected as a lead marshal for the Intelligent Transportation Systems World Congress, where she actively supported several volunteers and demonstrators.”
“As the region planner for Michigan’s first Flex Route project, Kari was indispensable in public outreach and community planning efforts,” Steudle says. “She was actively involved in more than 70 public meetings, offering clarity and assurance to attendees. While I am proud of our entire workforce, Director’s Award recipients like Kari stand out because they are nominated by their peers for this special recognition.”
Kimberly Mikula was honored in the technical category.
“As lead inspector for a chip seal project along the M-119 Heritage Route, she played a critical role in addressing community concern and ensuring the best possible solution,” MDOT says. “Upon completion of the project, she received several notes of appreciation from local business owners, citizens, and the M-119 Heritage Route Committee for her dedication to the community.”
“Whether volunteering for emergency projects or offering to assist other Transportation Service Centers, Kim serves customers with versatility, efficiency, and reliability,” Steudle says. “While I am proud of our entire workforce, Director’s Award recipients like Kim stand out because they are nominated by their peers for this special recognition.”
Sandra Budzinski was recognized in the administrative support category.
“Among her many duties, she skillfully manages road salt orders for the entire North Region (which includes the 21 northern counties of the Lower Peninsula),” the agency reports. “In early 2017, Budzinski was contacted by several local agencies regarding incorrect salt deliveries. She spent considerable time investigating and correcting each order to ensure the local agencies had sufficient supplies for the season.”
“At MDOT, we all know that success is truly a team effort, whether it’s within our own organization or with our local agency partners,” says Steudle. “With extensive technical knowledge and an unwavering commitment to quality, Sandy serves the department with distinction.”