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Office of Planning, Environment, & Realty (HEP)

Leadership Award

Ken Towcimak
Florida Department of Transportation

Photo of Ken TowcimakThis Award recognizes Ken Towcimak, Director, Office of Right of Way, Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), for his leadership. He demonstrates vision, values and clearly defined expectations and motivates employees by creating and sustaining an environment of excellence. Director Towcimak is leading the FDOT Office of Right of Way on a journey that can well be described as a quest for excellence. Mr. Towcimak began his leadership of the Office of Right of Way with the initial task of refocusing the staff 's procedures and practices, having inherited an operation with numerous federal aid ineligibility notices. Under his leadership, the FDOT Office of Right of Way became the first program to successfully pursue and implement a self certification program. Implementing the self-certification program indicates Mr. Towcimak's ability to achieve a clear commitment of staff and resources.

A further indication of his abilities are his successful efforts to create and maintain a two-year comprehensive training program for entry-level right of way professionals. Additionally, he created and maintains a two-year comprehensive training program for appraisal staff. Also, as part of an ongoing training regimen, District Managers are surveyed annually for professional development needs.

Mr. Towcimak is the FDOT Office of Right of Way's focal point to integrate right of way considerations in his agency's culture. He currently is part of the FDOT team that is pursuing environmental streamlining initiatives with federal, state and local government agencies. Mr. Towcimak also provides leadership at the national level through his Chairmanship of the AASHTO Subcommittee for Right of Way and Utilities.

Leadership Honorable Mention Awards

Wyoming Department of Transportation

Team photoThis Award recognizes the Wyoming Department of Transportation's Right of Way Program for leadership in excelling and delivering despite challenging circumstances.

The challenge began in fiscal year 2001 when promotions and retirements caused the Wyoming Department of Transportation's Right of Way Program to lose half of its staff. During the Office's efforts to restaff, the number of parcels acquired by the office went up 80 percent between 2000 and 2001 and 180 percent between 2000 and 2002. Not only did the parcels acquired increase dramatically over a two-year period but the Right of Way Department also met the challenge of delivering projects in the first part of the year rather than throughout the customary full year.

As a result of teamwork, creativity and a clear commitment from the staff, the Wyoming Department of Transportation's Right of Way Program met the challenges facing them and continues to accept and meet new challenges.


Wyoming Department of Transportation - Right of Way Program

Woodrow Wilson Bridge Right of Way Management Team

Team photoThis Award recognizes Woodrow Wilson Bridge Right of Way Management Team for the Team's ability to creatively meet challenges and succeed through teamwork, innovation, and creative decisionmaking. The Team coordinated and integrated right of way activities between the Maryland State Highway Department (MDSHA), the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and other project partners.

The replacement of the Woodrow Wilson Bridge is one of the largest undertakings by both MDSHA and VDOT. In addition to numerous design, environmental and construction issues, the project presented a multitude of right of way issues. These issues included a relocation schedule reduced to 15 months and then compressed further to 11 months for the relocation of 400 families and 11 businesses in a historic part of Virginia.

The Right of Way Management team used a collaborative effort to ensure that right of way on the multi-billion dollar bridge project was successfully delivered. The team crafted efficient, cost-effective solutions to meet the challenges posed by the project and successfully partnered to meet these challenges.


William R. Bryant | Janis Gramatins | David R. Holsinger | Barbara A. Middleton | William G. Miller | Wanda S. Najjar | Murray C. Piper | Mamie Smith

Updated: 9/5/2014
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