HNTB’s Jeff Watson honored with WTS Man of the Year Award

Award recognizes industry leaders who support the advancement of women in transportation

LOS ANGELES (May 28, 2024) HNTB’s Jeff Watson, PE, West Division president, has been awarded the prestigious Honorable Ray LaHood (Man of the Year) Award by the San Francisco chapter of WTS. The award recognizes leaders who have made significant contributions to advancing women in the transportation industry.

Based in Los Angeles, Watson has been instrumental in driving diversity and advancing women’s roles at HNTB and across the transportation sector. He has championed several projects and initiatives that demonstrate HNTB’s commitment to gender equity and community engagement. For instance, Watson spearheaded the THINK Forum on equity transportation, which convened transportation leaders to advance equitable outcomes. He also established a scholarship with the Mineta Transportation Institute to enhance opportunities for underserved communities and supported women’s education and welfare initiatives through the California Transportation Foundation.

Watson has actively mentored female employees and advocated for roles that enhance engagement with minority-owned, women-owned and small business enterprises within the transportation sector. He ensured the creation of a new position to mentor and engage these enterprises, inspired by a proposal from a female employee he mentored.

HNTB Jeff Watson

HNTB’s Jeff Watson

“As someone who cares deeply about advancing gender equity in transportation, I am honored to receive this recognition,” said Watson. “This award is a reflection of HNTB’s collective efforts to elevate women’s careers within the industry. It reinforces our resolve to continue advocating for diversity and to create empowering opportunities for women.”

Watson has been a longtime supporter of the WTS, an international organization that attracts, sustains, connects and advances women’s careers to strengthen the transportation industry. He has actively encouraged women at all levels within HNTB to engage with the organization. Watson has also participated in numerous fundraising efforts, raising over $150,000 for charities that support women, girls, underserved communities and transportation initiatives.

Awards will be presented at the WTS Annual Scholarships and Awards Gala on June 20, 2024.

Watson leads HNTB’s West Division, which includes California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico and Hawaii. During his 20-year tenure at the firm, Watson has worked in multiple geographies and held various leadership positions, including his serving as office leader of the Northern California and Nevada offices.

Several HNTB employees and offices have recently been recognized through WTS awards and Board of Director appointments. These include:

  • Regine Beauboeuf – WTS Michigan Chapter | 2024 Rosa Parks Diversity Leadership Award
  • Courtney Blechle- WTS Houston Chapter | 2024 Member of the Year
  • Gary Bua – WTS Boston Chapter | 2024 Honorable Ray LaHood Award
  • Alexa Gangemi – WTS International Board of Directors | Director-at-Large
  • Desiree Gazzo – WTS Greater New York Chapter | 2024 Member of the Year
  • Tirzah Gregory – WTS Kansas City Chapter | 2024 Member of the Year and 2024 Rosa Parks Diversity Leadership Award
  • Gretchen Ivy – WTS Kansas City Chapter | 2024 Member of the Year
  • Jessica Kessinger – WTS San Antonio Chapter | 2024 Woman of the Year
  • Yvonne Lopez-Diaz – WTS Foundation Board of Directors | Chairperson 2024-2026 and WTS Inland Empire Chapter | 2024 Rosa Parks Diversity Leadership Award
  • Teri Marsh – WTS Puget Sound Seattle Chapter | President
  • Marisabel Ramthun – WTS Heart of Texas Chapter | 2024 Woman of the Year
  • Joy Riley – WTS South Carolina Chapter | 2024 Woman of the Year
  • Hallie Somerville – WTS Orange County Chapter Executive Board | First Vice President and Programs Chair
  • Mike Sweeney – WTS Greater New York Chapter | 2024 Honorable Ray LaHood Award
  • Jacqueline Tabares – WTS Inland Empire Chapter Executive Board | Vice President
  • Jane Wilberding – WTS Greater Chicago Chapter | 2024 Member of the Year
  • HNTB Salt Lake Office – WTS Utah Chapter | 2024 Employer of the Year