Press Releases | Honoring Transportation Leaders: WTS Metropolitan Phoenix Chapter Celebrates Outstanding Contributors

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Phoenix (April 1, 2024) - Sometimes they work behind the scenes, other times in the public eye, but honorees of the 2024 WTS Recognition Awards share a passion for their community that benefits those who live in our region.
April 1, 2024

For Immediate ReleaseContact: Kelly Taft, MAG, 602-452-5020

Phoenix (April 1, 2024) - Sometimes they work behind the scenes, other times in the public eye, but honorees of the 2024 WTS Recognition Awards share a passion for their community that benefits those who live in our region.

On Saturday, the Metropolitan Phoenix Chapter of WTS International, an organization dedicated to advancing women in the transportation industry, honored three individuals who have worked closely with the Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) on transportation and regional issues.

Dana PaschkeDana Paschke, founding partner of Policy AZ, was named Woman of the Year, which is awarded to a leader in transportation who has made an outstanding contribution to the transportation industry. Nominated by Phoenix Mayor, MAG Chair, and previous Woman of the Year awardee Kate Gallego, Paschke has a long legacy of delivering seminal transportation public policy in Arizona. Notable is her recent achievement in assisting with the passage of Senate Bill 1102, legislation that enables Maricopa County voters the opportunity to extend the county’s dedicated half-cent sales tax for transportation. Passage of enabling legislation last year allowed the measure to be put on the November 2024 ballot as Proposition 479. In working for MAG, Paschke provided day-to-day support and strategy to leadership and technical staff, ensuring the success of this most important legislative achievement of the region.

“Dana has an extensive and strong track record in getting things done for Arizonans. Thanks to her strategic planning and relationships, unwavering tenacity, and commitment to the mission, we were able to deliver this year’s biggest legislative achievement: putting the proposition 400 extension on the ballot,” said Gallego. “If passed by voters, the extension of the dedicated half-cent sales tax will continue to fund critical infrastructure in Maricopa County for 20 years, in turn reducing congestion, fueling economic momentum and improving mobility in the region.”

Supervisor Jack SellersAlso in Saturday’s ceremony, Maricopa County Supervisor and Chairman Jack Sellers was recognized by WTS in receiving the Honorable Ray LaHood Award. This award is considered the “Man of the Year” award and given to an individual who has “led by example, seeks out opportunities to advance and advocate for women in his own organization, and actively ensures that women are able to compete for key positions of authority within that organization.” 

Sellers, who has held leadership positions in transportation at local, county, regional, and state levels — including as past chair of Transportation Policy Committee at MAG — has consistently championed transportation development, tirelessly emphasizing the critical need for sustained investment in the sector. As stated in the nomination, “He perceives the current era in Arizona's transportation sector as particularly thrilling, largely owing to the innovative contributions and exceptional leadership of accomplished women.”

Mayor Corey WoodsA third award also recognized an individual who has worked closely with MAG on both transportation and human services issues. Tempe Mayor Corey Woods was honored with the WTS Rosa Parks Diversity Leadership Award. This award recognizes innovative individuals who are broadening their multicultural initiatives and changing corporate cultures and philosophies. In doing so, it showcases, like Rosa Parks, that one person or one organization can make a difference.

Mayor Woods has been pivotal in guiding city policy that led to Tempe's perfect score in the Human Rights Campaign’s “Municipal Equality Index.” He also has supported and led initiatives in the areas of affordable housing and human services while working tirelessly to improve community development standards to attract business investments and protect neighborhoods.

“His advocacy for the development of equitable housing solutions and commitment to enhanced social services are contributing to creation of a foundation of racial equity, social justice, and resident services,” noted the nomination. “Inclusive housing policy directly impacts our disadvantaged populations, which are disproportionately women and people of color, experiencing poverty and homelessness.”

Women’s Transportation Seminar was founded in 1977 to advance the transportation industry and the professional women who lead it. The Metropolitan Phoenix Chapter is one of the most active and recognized as a circle of excellence gold chapter. The Annual Scholarship and Award Ceremony is its signature event to celebrate those who advance transportation in the region as well as supporting students who are the transportation leaders of the future.

2024 WTS Awards Group Photo
Left to right: Maricopa County Supervisor Jack Sellers (Honorable Ray LaHood Award recipient); State Transportation Board Member Jenn Daniels; Avondale Mayor Kenneth Weise; Dana Paschke (Woman of the Year recipient); Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego; El Mirage Mayor Alexis Hermosillo; Tempe Mayor Corey Woods (Rosa Parks Diversity Leadership Award recipient).