Regional Transit Awards to Honor Advocates May 7

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(TRU Press Release, April 8, 2015)

Transportation Riders United announces the nominees of the 2015 Regional Transit Awards!

These impressive individuals have shown incredible dedication, creativity, and hard-work in their efforts to improve transit in greater Detroit.

For the Forward Motion Award for Most Effective Public Servant, the nominees are:

  • Paul Hillegonds, Chair of the Regional Transit Authority
  • Brian Sadek, first Chair of the RTA’s Citizens’ Advisory Committee
  • State Representative Jim Townsend
  • Melanie Piana, of Ferndale City Council

For Transit Employee of the Year, the nominees are:

  • Dejuan Brown, DDOT Bus Driverlisa schmidt law
  • Dusty Fancher, lobbyist for the Michigan Public Transit Association
  • Michael Ford, CEO of the Regional Transit Authority
  • Cornelius Henry, of the Detroit People Mover and RTA Providers Advisory Committee

For the Unsung Hero Award, the nominees are:

  • Larry Krieg, for service on the Board of AAATA, the RTA’s Citizens Advisory Committee and Michigan Association of Rai Passengers
  • Reverend Louise Ott, Chair of the Metro Coalition of Congregation’s Transit Task Force  and 2015 Chair of the RTA’s Citizens’ Advisory Committee
  • Tim Wintermute, former Executive Director of the Hannan Foundation and founder and co-Chair of the Regional Elder Mobility Alliance

Nominees for the Rising Transit Star Award are:

  • Haley Roberts, Communications Director for Metro Matters (formerly Michigan Suburbs Alliance)
  • Dan Sommerville, for his work with Trans4M, Michigan Environmental Council and Friends of WALLY
  • Jordan Twardy, Executive Director of the 8 Mile Boulevard AssociationgardenfreshAD
  • Martha Valadez, Organizer for Partners for Transit

Nominees for the Exemplary Innovation Award are:

  • Freshwater Transit, an innovative start-up with a fresh perspective on what transit could and should look like in Detroit
  • PEAC, which enables young people with disabilities to be independent and active by teaching them to ride bikes and ride the bus
  • Skillman Foundation, for funding the Detroit Bus Company to transport children to after school activities
  • SKOOT, a company that provides door-to-door advance-reservation shuttle service between Detroit Metro Airport and area hotels

At the Regional Transit Awards dinner, Special Recognition will also be given to James Robertson and the Detroit Free Press for drawing nationwide attention and putting a public face on our region’s transit crisis.

This list of nominees was developed through a community-wide call for nominations and narrowed by our Regional Transit Awards Nominations team as the very best transit champions! All of these nominees will be ctechadrecognized at the 2015 Regional Transit Awards ceremony, which will be held May 7 at Hotel St. Regis.

An independent panel of judges from throughout the region will select the winner in each category from the short list of nominees for the coveted Regional Transit Award trophy, to be unveiled at the Awards ceremony.

Don’t miss the opportunity to meet and congratulate these nominees and to find out the winners!

Buy your tickets today!

Visit to learn more about the 2015 Regional Transit Awards, including sponsorship opportunities.

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