2011 Award Recipients


ITS Florida Champion Award

This award, called the ITS Florida Champion Award, is presented to an individual who has made significant contributions to advance the cause of ITS in Florida.

Jim LaBatt received the ITS Florida’s Champion award. He worked with FDOT statewide since the early years of ITS as a colleague and a vendor. In this role, he worked closely with the Districts and Central Office to improve the quality of ITS systems. This included valuable input for statewide specifications, worked with the TERL in its early stages to test field devices, and promoted the creation of equal standards for products. Over his years of involvement in ITS in Florida, he has provided support to ITS both in local projects and statewide efforts.

ITS Florida President’s Award
The ITS Florida President’s Award is ITS Florida’s highest award and is only given out when an extraordinary candidate is brought forward to ITS Florida for consideration. This award recognizes superior career achievements in ITS and extraordinary contributions to ITS Florida.

Charlie Wallace is one of the longest active member and co-founder of the organization. Any board member that has had the pleasure to work with him can testify to his unselfish dedication to ITS Florida and ITS since it was known as IVHS. As Past President of ITS Florida, Charlie has been around ITS Florida and his contributions are too numerous to list. In May 2005, Charlie accepted the award for Outstanding State Chapter given by ITS

America as current ITSFL President at the time. His contributions to the growth and success of ITS Florida continues through today and he will likely continue into the future. Areas that Charlie has been involved in include:

• Provided training sessions to our members
• Chaired task forces
• Serves as the liaison:
• Floridians for Better Transportation (FBT)
• Florida’s Transportation Builders Association (FTBA)
• ITSA and the State Chapters Council.
• Involved with the organization and coordination of the biennial Transpo conferences
• Guiding hand to board members, officers and numerous presidents

ITS Professional of the Year Award

The ITS Professional of the Year Award recognizes a person who has contributed significantly to the ITS community and to the ITS mission/goals of ITS Florida. Criteria of this award is that this person has been instrumental in ITS project management, project completion, project planning, financial, and/or other strategies.

Over the past 7 years, Dr. Mohammed Hadi created an ITS Program at Florida International University (FIU) that supported FDOT District Four and District Six by training and supplying students with the ITS Lab that he created. The ITS lab at FIU has a small video wall and runs the SunGuide ATMS software and receives real-time detector data from District 6 for analysis. It pro-vides an excellent opportunity for FIU students to learn ITS hands-on with SunGuide and the close working relationships with FDOT.

He led the development of various ITS planning and operations tools for FDOT Central Office for use statewide. The tools allow the assessment and selection of ITS strategies and technologies for planning and operation applications. The tools are based on analyzing ITS data, advanced modeling and previous ITS experience. He provided cost benefit performance measures that have been very valuable to FDOT D4 in the growth of its program. Dr. Hadi remains a great friend of ITS Florida and his students, both current and former. His membership on the ITS Florida Board of Directors illustrates his dedication to ITS in Florida.

ITS Florida Organizational Member of the Year Award

The ITS Florida Organizational Member of the Year Award recognizes an ITS program, project, or other accomplishment that is of significant benefit to the transportation industry and to the traveling public. The recipient can be any public- or private-sector member of ITS Florida. The primary criterion for award consideration is that the work provides improved transportation for Floridians.

The FDOT Central Office ITS Program is committed to supporting the connected vehicle on-road demonstrations during the 18th World Congress on Intelligent Transport Systems in Orlando on October 16-20, 2011. The ITS Program planned, designed, and enabled the connected vehicle effort through coordination with the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) team and local agencies.

The overall program included funding, procurement and installation of equipment and software on several fronts. The enhancements included software modifications to SunGuide to incorporate new connected vehicle communications and applications, deployment of vehicle to roadside communications units, procurement and allocation of vehicle awareness devices to provide probe data with-in the system. FDOT also worked hand-in-hand with ITS World Congress demonstrators to incorporate and facilitate new technology demonstrations and worked with USDOT to establish a fully functional test bed within the Orlando area that will stay long after the World Congress is completed.
This year, ITS Florida Organizational Member of the Year Award is Florida Department of Transportation. The connected vehicle effort is comprised of four key individuals:
• Elizabeth Birriel, FDOT Central Office ITS Program;
• Arun Krishnamurthy, FDOT Central Office ITS Program;
• Rick Morrow, FDOT District Five Traffic Operations, and
• Mike Smith, FDOT District Five ITS.

ITS Florida Certificates of Outstanding Achievement Award

Annually, ITS Florida recognizes one or more individuals or organizations for their outstanding ser-vice and/or achievements in this “open award” category. Two (2) individuals received Certificates of Outstanding Achievement.

In 2010, Florida Department of Transportation District Six (6) made an outstanding contribution in the development and support of public information efforts as part of their daily program operations. This, in turn, increased the program’s profile in the industry on a national scale and improved the relations with the local community.

In the past year, the District Six (6) ITS Public Information staff has completed several initiatives to raise awareness and achieve a higher level of customer service. These initiatives have included a newly improved SunGuide website, and an email sign-up feature to keep the public up-to-date on the latest ITS Program news. The team also released a streamlined version of the website that can be accessed on a mobile phone.

ITS Florida Certificates of Outstanding Achievement Award

Annually, ITS Florida recognizes one or more individuals or organizations for their outstanding service and/or achievements in this “open award” category. Two (2) individuals received Certificates of Outstanding Achievement.

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) District Four Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) Unit created a first-of-its-kind training program for transportation professionals. The Transportation Management Academy trains current Transportation Management Center (TMC) operators on traffic engineering and incident management principles, empowering them to manage events with the utmost confidence in their decisions. The Academy is part of District Four’s effort to create a paradigm shift to proactive/adaptive management of a transportation system that incorporates ITS.
FDOT District Four ITS Unit developed a Transportation Management Academy for operators that provides insight to incident management, traffic engineering, roles of partner agencies and ITS developments. The Academy consists of self-paced reading, interviews, job shadowing and participation in learning activities.

The Academy will be adopted by other TMCs and start a paradigm shift to proactive/adaptive management for regional transportation systems.

ITS Florida Special Recognition

ITS Florida acknowledged Carlton Urban, Albeck Gerken, for his outstanding work over the past year on behalf of ITS Florida. In the past three years, difficult economic times negatively impacted ITS Florida’s membership, like many other professional organizations. As part of an on-going, concerted effort, ITS Florida has been working diligently to recruit new members by demonstrating and explaining the benefits of being a member of this organization.
Carlton took on the challenge of spreading the word and seeking out companies. In the past year, ITS Florida’s membership grew by 12.5%. Congratulations and many thanks, Carlton!