/ Awards / Jannet Walker-Ford Honored with WTS International’s Inaugural ‘Jannet Walker-Ford Breaking Barriers Award’

Jannet Walker-Ford Honored with WTS International’s Inaugural ‘Jannet Walker-Ford Breaking Barriers Award’

Parul Dubey on May 17, 2024 - in Awards, News, People
Three local WTS chapters also name WSP Employer of the Year; firm recognized with additional honors underscoring continued commitment to advancing women within transportation industry.

NEW YORK — WTS International celebrated the barrier-breaking contributions of Jannet Walker-Ford, WSP national transit and rail market leader, by surprising her as the first recipient of a new award named in her honor at its annual meeting in New Orleans May 9.

The annual Jannet Walker-Ford Breaking Barriers Award honors a WTS member who has overcome obstacles in their careers and eliminated barriers for others.

“Jannet is widely recognized and respected for her personal devotion to connecting people, mentoring, elevating, recommending and supporting women in all roles, including attracting the next generation into STEAM and transportation related careers,” said Sara Stickler, WTS International president and CEO. “She embodies what WTS strives for on behalf of its members, and it’s appropriate to continue recognizing her example and admirable service to our organization.” 

WTS recruits, retains and advances women in the transportation industry. Walker-Ford joined the organization in 2002, becoming its first Black board chair in 2022 and leading the most diverse board in the organization’s history. She just completed her two-year term as chair for WTS and now serves as immediate past chair.

“I’m overwhelmed by this recognition and grateful to WTS and the women in transportation who came before me to make it possible,” Walker-Ford said. “They inspire our continued efforts to create and sustain a diverse and inclusive industry. I’m beyond proud to have this award named in my honor which will recognize the WTS members who continue to break barriers, take risks and lead with intention, empathy and perseverance to advance women and advance transportation.”

WSP earned additional WTS honors recently.

Three local chapters of WTS International – Puget Sound Seattle; Portland, Oregon; and Greater New Orleans – recognized WSP as Employer of the Year.

The Employer of the Year award recognizes member organizations for their strong support of the goals and purpose of WTS.

“WSP has built and maintains a very strong and active presence at both the local and international levels, offering memberships, sponsorships and continued support for participation by our employees who may one day become future leaders of WTS,” said Inez Evans, senior vice president and national bus practice leader at WSP and incoming treasurer for WTS. “These awards are further affirmation of our firm’s foundational commitment to excellence and enduring support for advancing women into meaningful roles within the transportation sector.”

WTS New Orleans presented the Ray LaHood Man of the Year Award to Max Nassar, senior vice president and local business leader in WSP’s New Orleans office. The award recognizes Nassar as a transportation leader who has led by example in seeking opportunities to advance and advocate for women and minorities at WSP and actively ensures they can compete for key positions within the organization.

The Oregon Department of Transportation received WTS Portland’s Rosa Parks Diversity Leadership Award. The award recognized ODOT and WSP for collaboration on the Oregon Toll Program’s Equity and Mobility Advisory Committee.

Commitment to WTS runs deep within WSP’s ranks and includes local chapter members and board members across the country and two international board members, Jannet Walker-Ford and Inez Evans. Founded in 1977, WTS has more than 9,000 members and 71 professional chapters today.

About WSP in the U.S.
WSP USA is the U.S. operating company of WSP, one of the world’s leading engineering, environment and professional services firms. Recognized in 2023 on TIME’s list of the world’s best companies and Fortune’s Change the World list, WSP is driving social impact and commitment to ESG. WSP in the U.S. brings together engineers, planners, technical experts, strategic advisors and construction management professionals who are dedicated to collaborate in the best interests of serving local communities. WSP designs lasting solutions in the buildings, transportation, energy, water and environment markets. With approximately 14,000 employees in 300 offices across the U.S., WSP partners with its clients to help communities prosper. wsp.com

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