Awards recognize industry leaders who support the advancement of women in transportation
NEW YORK (Feb. 2, 2024) – HNTB’s Michael Sweeney, PE, Eastern Region president, and Desiree Gazzo, RLA, ENV SP, strategic communications and engagement section manager and landscape architect, have received the WTS-GNY 2024 Honorable Ray LaHood Award and Member of the Year Award, respectively. The Honorable Ray LaHood Award recognizes a man who has directly contributed toward the advancement of women in his own organization as well as in the transportation industry. The Member of the Year award recognizes a leader in the transportation industry who has made an outstanding contribution to the sector.
As HNTB’s Eastern Region President, Sweeney is involved with providing strategic direction, leadership development and ensuring hiring diversity. Sweeney has been an active member of WTS since 2005 and has been instrumental in helping raise money for the organization. He has served two terms on the WTS International Board of Directors from 2018 to 2022 – the only man to serve during this tenure. In addition, Sweeney has been instrumental in not only the recruitment, but also the retention of women leaders at HNTB by creating an environment where women feel supported both professionally and personally.
In her current role, Gazzo manages community and stakeholder relations on resiliency and transportation projects. For the past five years, Gazzo has served as the lead for the committee that plans the WTS-GNY’s Annual Gala, a well-known industry event that requires year-long planning and coordination. She also serves as chapter secretary on the Board of Directors for WTS-GNY, and prior to that as an at-large board member.
“This is a wonderful recognition for both Mike and Desiree,” said Kevin R. Collins, PE, HNTB’s New York office leader and senior vice president. “Mike consistently champions the advancement of women both in the transportation industry and at HNTB, and Desiree showcases her leadership skills by working across multiple groups with unique needs to achieve a common goal. Both are tireless advocates of WTS, volunteering in leadership roles at the national and local levels to help advance the organization. Congratulations to Desiree and Mike!”
The 2024 WTS-GNY Annual Chapter Awards was January 31 at Club 101 in New York.