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Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion Awards
Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion Awards

Thank you to those who applied, the award winners for 2020 are listed below.

Eight awards were awarded. Individual(s) and or Organizations are encouraged to submit nominations in these categories:

  • Director’s Award for Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion Advocacy;
  • DBE Contractor of the Year Award;
  • DBE Consultant of the Year Award;
  • Prime Contractor of the Year Award;
  • Prime Consultant of the Year Award;
  • Local Public Agency of the Year Award;
  • Transit System of the Year Award; and
  • Business Development Award


Director’s Award for Diversity & Inclusion Advocacy (Two winners):
Norm Edwards, President of the American Center for Economic Equality (Cleveland) and
Barbara Smith, Founder of Journeys Soaring Impact (Cincinnati).

“We would like to thank the Ohio Department of Transportation for this prestigious award recognizing our efforts to level the playing field in the construction industry with diversity and inclusion.” - Norman K. Edwards, President, American Center for Economic Equality

“Journeys Soaring Impact is honored to be recognized by ODOT as co-winner of the Director’s Award for Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion Advocacy. At Journey Steel where we BUILD and SUPPORT DREAMS, this recognition of our program is our dream come true.” - Barbara Smith, President, Journeys Soaring Impact

DBE Contractor of the Year- Garcia Surveyors

“On behalf of the entire team at Garcia Surveyors, Inc. I humbly accept the ODOT DBE Contractor of the Year Award with gratitude! We do not take our cooperative relationship with The Ohio Department of Transportation and all of the Districts’ management for granted. Our commitment to the DBE program remains as strong as the outreach efforts developed by the Unification Certification Program, and we will continue to strive to provide the best surveying services we can.” - Tony Garcia, President, Garcia Surveyors

DBE Consultant of the Year- Lawhon & Associates (Cleveland)

“ODOT’s DBE program has enabled Lawhon to develop partnerships with more than 40 engineering teammates and to expand our technical capabilities through the DBE Supportive Services program. We owe a great deal of our success to these opportunities.” - Susan Daniels, Principal, Director of NEPA Planning, Lawhon & Associates

Prime Contractor of the Year- Kokosing Construction

“Kokosing is honored and grateful for the recognition and this award. We look forward to our continued partnerships with the Department and our construction partners!” - Todd Lezon, Regional Manager, Kokosing

Prime Consultant of the Year- American Structurepoint Inc.

“American Structurepoint’s mission is to improve the quality of life for our communities and our people, and we strive to create a culture of inclusion and diversity. We are honored to be recognized by the selection of this prestigious award and committed to our mentoring and partnership practices with DBE firms.” - Ryan Cross, Vice President/Partner, American Structurepoint Inc.

Local Public Agency of the Year- City of Toledo, Office of Diversity & Inclusion

“The city of Toledo is grateful to be honored with the Local Public Agency of the Year Award for 2020! We will celebrate this recognition while continuing to provide opportunities to disadvantaged businesses as we strive for inclusive excellence within our programs and services!” - Matthew L. Boaz, Director of Diversity & Inclusion, City of Toledo

Transit System of the Year- Western Reserve Transit Authority (Youngstown)

“It’s a great honor to be recognized for the hard work that our employees do every day to help connect our community together. We will continue to work together to provide an incredible transportation system to the people of the Mahoning Valley.” - Dean J. Harris, Executive Director, WRTA

Business Development Award- Brownstone Grey (Cleveland)

“We at Brownstone Grey are truly grateful for this prestigious award, which will serve as an excellent morale-booster that will encourage us to continue doing are best work.” - Wyatt Brownlee III, President, Brownstone Grey LLC