2015 Award Recipients

ITS Champion – Jeff Sheffield

This award may be given to an individual, who has made significant contributions to advance the cause of ITS in Florida. This was awarded to Mr. Jeff Sheffield, Executive Director, for the North Florida Transportation Planning Organization (TPO).  The North Florida region has an advanced ITS program that is the envy of many throughout the country. Due to Mr. Sheffield’s leadership, the North Florida TPO has:

  • Invested in the technology needed to manage traffic
  • Provided funding to hire a North Florida TPO System Manager consultant who assisted local agencies in the design and management of many projects
  • Helped secure over $10 million for the design and construction of the 25,000 foot Regional Transportation Management Center.

ITS Professional of the Year – Craig Carnes

This award is to recognize a person who has contributed significantly to the ITS community during 2015. Mr. Craig Carnes, Metric Engineering and is also the FDOT District 2 TMC Consultant Project Manager, was awarded this honor as ITS Professional of the Year. Craig has held a fundamental role in FDOT District 2 including:

  • Design/Build RFP
  • ITS Maintenance Programs
  • Incident Management Programs
  • SHP-II Training courses
  • Key Participant in statewide 511 working Group Meetings, ITS Working Group Meetings, and Statewide Change Management Board team.
  • Testing and Analysis of New ITS devices
  • Prime developer of FHWA required Concept of Operations and SEMP documents
  • Co-Chair ITS Florida’s Technical Committee.

ITS Member of the Year – North Florida Transportation Planning Organization (TPO)

The North Florida TPO was awarded the ITS Member of the Year.  Executive Director, Mr. Jeff Sheffield, explained the purpose of a multi-agency Regional Transportation Management Center to the Board and asked them to fund the construction of this facility for the North Florida region.  The Board earmarked over $10 million dollars for the design and construction of a 25,000 square foot facility that would incorporate the FDOT TMC operations staff, FHP dispatchers, Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office dispatch, Jacksonville Fire/Rescue dispatch, City of Jacksonville Traffic Signals Operations and Jacksonville Transportation Authority Transit dispatch.

Outstanding Achievement – FDOT District Four with Florida International University

The Outstanding Achievement was awarded to FDOT District Four in partnership with Florida International University (FIU) in the development of a traffic data simulator designed and developed to generate real-time traffic sensor data that is representative of actual traffic flows in express lanes segments.

This Simulation Software, which FDOT District Four will make available to all Districts within Florida, has many potential applications in the context of express lanes implementation, operations, and maintenance, including the following:

  • Testing express lanes traffic data processing
  • Testing express lanes pricing algorithm implementation
  • Testing responsiveness pricing algorithm to changes in traffic flow
  • Testing impact and efficacy of potential pricing algorithm configuration changes
  • Express lanes software demonstration and operator training

Outstanding Achievement – FDOT District Six

The FDOT District Six Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) Office was awarded an Outstanding Achievement for the control room redesign of the regional Transportation Management Center (TMC) to improve its internal workflow and enhance the traffic services it provides South Florida drivers on a daily basis.

The retrofit remained on budget and was completed within the 60-day contract period without affecting the traffic service drivers depend on a daily basis. The results of this redesign show that the District understands the varying factors that can influence operations and how they can be improved to increase quality output. It demonstrates the District’s commitment to creating multi-pronged and innovative solutions that promote the program’s ability to increase the safety and mobility of our highways. To communicate the benefits of this effort to the public, our end users, the District also created an electronic marketing kit that included a time-lapse video, a press release, and a fact sheet. The kit was well-received and it helped to showcase the ITS Program as the public resource in which partner agencies, drivers and the community at large benefits from.

Certificate of Outstanding Achievement – FDOT Central Office

The FDOT Central Office was awarded the Certificate of Outstanding Achievement for its data sharing partnership with Waze. This partnership provides for free data sharing. The purpose of the agreement allowed both parties to use and publish data received from each other. They also agreed to provide attribution to the other party when publishing their information.

This partnership provides a cost-effective way to incorporate a new, needed traffic incident data source into the SunGuide software as well as letting the Waze mobile app be an additional traveler information distribution channel.

Certificate of Appreciation – Jay Calhoun

Mr. Jay Calhoun was awarded a Certificate of Appreciation for this tireless as a co-chair for the inaugural ITS 3C Summit. His efforts greatly enhanced member value to ITS Florida; as well as ITS Georgia and Gulf Region ITS. His leadership combined with the efforts of nearly 30 member volunteers from the aforementioned chapters raised awareness for the industry, forged new collaborative efforts across the southeastern United States, and netted over $30,000 for ITS Florida. The business model and reputation established through this effort provides a foundation for future generations.

Mr. Calhoun is and has been an event coordinator for ITS Florida for many years.  He is actively is preparing for Transpo2016!

Certificate of Appreciation – Alicia Torrez

Ms. Alicia Torrez, Public Information Specialist at the Florida Department of Transportation District Six Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) Office was awarded the Certification of Appreciation for her outstanding success in leading the customer service efforts and educating the public on the benefits of ITS resources and managed lanes projects in South Florida. Ms. Torrez serves the District’s ITS office as the lead public information specialist for the SunGuide Transportation Management Center. She leads a support staff of one assistant and one graphic designer in finding new and innovative ways to reach the District’s customers and ensures they understand the mission, vision, and values of District Six and its ITS resources.

Ms. Torrez has demonstrated a tremendous commitment to supporting the program’s vision of promoting ITS and has faithfully executed the mission and vision of ITS Florida. Her efforts have made this community a better place by equipping South Florida’s drivers with the knowledge and the awareness of ITS and the subtle yet important role it plays in their lives.