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Awards & Recognition​


Waddle recieves achievement a​ward

Kentucky State Highway Engineer Steve Waddle has been awarded the 2015 Alfred E. Johnson Achievement Award by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO). The award was announced Sunday, Sept. 27, in Chicago at AASHTO's annual meeting.

The prestigious award, given annually by the Association, recognizes the many contributions to management in the field of highway engineering made by Alfred E. Johnson, former Executive Director of AASHTO. It is awarded to the individual selected by the award committee as the person rendering the most outstanding service to their department in the field of engineering or management, covering technical and administrative aspects.

The award is the capstone of Waddle's 27-year career as a civil engineer, all with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. He retired on Thursday, Oct. 1.

Appointed by Gov. Steve Beshear as State Highway Engineer in 2010, Waddle has served as chief engineer for the Department of Highways overseeing the department's three offices – Project Development, Project Delivery and Preservation, and Highway Safety – which together comprise 14 divisions.

"Steve has a 'can-do' attitude and exemplary leadership skills," said KYTC Secretary Mike Hancock. "This award is much-deserved recognition for all the wonderful projects and tasks Steve has led the Cabinet through over the years."

"I am very humbled to receive this award and proud to accept it on behalf of KYTC," Waddle said. "It's an honor to be recognized for something I truly enjoy doing."

Waddle joined the cabinet in 1988, a year after graduation from the University of Kentucky College of Engineering, where he earned bachelor's and master's degrees in civil engineering. 

Early assignments included resident engineer for reconstruction of the U.S. 127 corridor through Franklin and Anderson counties.  He was the Division of Construction's field liaison for the U.S. 119, U.S. 23 and U.S. 460 corridor projects in eastern Kentucky and for construction of the William H. Harsha Bridge over the Ohio River at Maysville.

In 2011, Waddle was instrumental in developing options for dealing with the emergency closure of the Interstate 64 Sherman Minton Bridge between Kentucky and Indiana, leading the project team to a solution that allowed the bridge to be repaired and reopened months ahead of schedule.

In 2012, he was involved in the innovative replacement of a 322-foot span of the U.S. 68 bridge over Kentucky Lake in western Kentucky after the span was struck and destroyed by a cargo ship. A mere 121 days later, just before Memorial Day in a region dependent on summer tourism, a replacement span was in place and the bridge reopened.

Waddle has led the Cabinet in efforts to improve program delivery and to sustain a level of annual highway and bridge construction awards – about $1 billion each year – in Kentucky.

He also has guided KYTC's technical staff through difficult times as new processes for pr​​oject development and project delivery were implemented.


AASHTO is a nonprofit, nonpartisan association representing highway and transportation departments in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Its primary goal is to foster the development, operation, and maintenance of an integrated national transportation system.


Kentucky Chapter of IPMA recognized for excellence

For the second consecutive year, the International Public Managers Association for Human Resources (IPMA-HR) Kentucky Chapter has received the Chapter Award of Excellence, presented during the International Training Conference & Expo 2015 in Denver, Colorado.

The award began in 2009 and the Kentucky Chapter is the first chapter to win the award twice. The Kentucky Chapter continues to serve as a model for IPMA-HR internationally.  Last year the chapter's membership reached 192 and it had the largest fall conference attendance in quite some time.  Currently, the Kentucky chapter has someone serving as president of the Southern Region (Maurice Brown), and in January 2016, will have Larry Gillis serving on IPMA-HR's Executive Council.  

September 17-18, the Kentucky chapter held its Annual Fall Conference at Lake Cumberland State Resort Park.  The conference was well attended and kicked off by Dr. Timothy Findley, with Norton Healthcare.  Dr. Findley is the system director of Diversity and Inclusion at Norton Healthcare, and he presented on the topic: Diversity is Fact and Inclusion is Behavior.  Veterans Affairs commissioner Heather French Henry and Public Protection Cabinet secretary Ambrose Wilson IV were also guest speakers.

Arthur Lucas, the Kentucky Chapter president said, "I have been a member of IPMA-HR since 2010 and am now serving as president of the Kentucky Chapter, and I cannot tell you the amount of support each and every member has provided to me and this chapter.  The Kentucky chapter is like family to me, where everyone has a voice and our goal is to provide each member with the necessary educational programs and tools to make him or her better equipped to do their job in the area of human resources."

IPMA-HR is one of the leading public sector human resource organizations in the world.  IPMA represents the interests of human resource professionals at all levels and strives to promote excellence in HR management.

IPMA-HR has been around for over 100 years and is governed by an Executive Council.  It consist of more than 40 chapters throughout the United States and abroad.  For those interested in joining or finding out more about the IPMA-HR Kentucky Chapter can go to; http://kyipma-hr.org/ or go to http://ipma-hr.org/ to find out more information about International Public Management Association for Human Resources. 

Pictured sitting (L-R); Latrese Bellamy (Treasurer, Finance & Administration Cabinet), Ashley Thomas (2015-16 Member At large, Justice & Public Safety Cabinet), Amanda Coulter (Immediate Past-President, Personnel Cabinet)

​Standing (L-R); Michael Manning (2014-15 Vice-President, GAPS), Mark Kennedy (2015-16 Vice-President, Personnel Cabinet), Cassidy Connell (President-Elect, GAPS), Arthur Lucas (President, Personnel Cabinet) and Bobbie Underwood (2014-15 Member-At-Large, Justice & Public Safety)

Marissa Dove: Finding greater meaning

By Daniel Lowry, Labor Cabinet

​The first thing you notice about Gideon is his smile. It’s a big, wide smile, and at seven years old he’s lost his two front teeth, which makes his smile even more infectious and fun. His laugh is like music, soft and alive, and it’s a laugh that starts fast and stays in the air after he has stopped laughing and is simply smiling again. He is always absorbing his surroundings.

What is his favorite thing to do? He thinks for a second and says, “Ride my bike.”  When asked what he wants to do when he grows up, he replies without hesitation: “Ride bikes.” 

The Labor Cabinet’s Marissa Dove and her husband, Chris, travelled more than 7,500 miles to Uganda to adopt him this year.

Uganda is a progressive and stable country by relative standards in Africa, but it’s still one of the poorest nations in the world. According to data from the World Bank, in 2012, about 38 percent of the population lived on less than $1.25 a day. About 57 percent of adults there have HIV, and the World Health Organization reports that only about 34 percent of people have access to “improved” sanitation.

“In the orphanage,” says Marissa, “Gideon was the oldest male. So he had a lot of responsibility.” Gideon lived in an orphanage from the age of one.  “By orphanage standards it was pretty nice,” says Marissa. “They kept it very clean. But it was still very poor, and they didn’t have a lot.”

“We originally started to adopt an infant, somebody three or younger, and as we went through the process we saw the need to adopt older children.”

The whole process was long and difficult. Marissa and her husband, who were high school sweethearts and have been married since 2005, began thinking about adoption after they found out they could not have children of their own. In November 2012, they narrowed their search to Africa and used an adoption agency. They had to undergo numerous investigations, background checks, finger printing, and attend 100 hours of adoption training and state foster parenting classes.

It’s an expensive process, too. “A typical international adoption costs more than $30,000,” Marissa says.

Marissa and her husband are generous and caring people. Her husband is the children’s minister at Capital City Church in Frankfort, and Marissa has been at the Labor Cabinet since 2013. Among her many duties, she oversees OSHA Express, a crucial data collection system, for the Labor Cabinet’s Compliance Division. She enjoys her job, which gives her a chance to help improve workplace safety and do a public service for the workers of Kentucky. 

In March, they first found out about Gideon. In June, they flew to Uganda for the first time to attend a court hearing for approval on the adoption. “Uganda is beautiful,” Marissa says. “You can’t imagine the beauty of it. There are red dirt roads, and then the sky is so blue, and the grass and the jungle are green; all these beautiful earth tones.” After the judge’s approval, they flew home to Kentucky with the understanding that it could be weeks or months before they were given approval to travel back.  It ended up being two weeks later when they found out they had been granted guardianship of Gideon. They would fly back to Uganda to get him. They met Gideon again and told him he was going to be part of their family. He flashed his wide smile and gave them his musical laugh.

He loves watching Thomas the Tank Engine. He loves superheroes. He loves Coca-Cola. His favorite food? Chicken. Any type. Marissa and her husband have taken him on canoeing trips and places like the Newport Aquarium and the Louisville Science Center. I ask him if he likes Kentucky and he smiles and sticks his thumb high in the air. He has a new home here. It’s a home of love. At first, his new parents told him he could call them Marissa and Chris. It wasn’t long at all, however, that it became Mommy and Daddy.

Toward the end of the interview, I hand him a yellow notepad and a blue ink pen. He writes his name. Gideon, a Biblical name that means “mighty warrior” and then his surname from Uganda, Muwanguzi, which means “winner.” He writes another name, too, which has even greater meaning. It means he has found love in a new place where he belongs– with a family he loves and who loves him right back: He writes “Dove.” ​

Learn more about how Kentucky state government is an adoption-​friendly workplace​, and the adoption benefit for state employees​​​.

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Division of Air Quality director elected as VP of national group

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Sean Alteri.jpgKentucky Division for Air Quality director Sean Alteri has been elected to serve as vice-president of the Association of Air Pollution Control Agencies (AAPCA).  AAPCA's 2016 board of directors were elected at its annual meeting in Raleigh, North Carolina.  The meeting included over 100 attendees, including air quality directors and personnel from 17 states and many local environmental agencies, as well as two dozen senior staff from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Air and Radiation.

"I look forward to this important leadership role at a critical time with new and unprecedented Clean Air Act challenges for AAPCA's growing membership," said Alteri.  "We will continue fostering strong working relationships with our federal counterparts to improve regulatory development." 

AAPCA is a national, non-profit, consensus-driven organization focused on assisting state and local air quality agencies and personnel with implementation and technical issues associated with the federal Clean Air Act. Eighteen state environmental agencies currently sit on AAPCA's board of directors.

​AAPCA is housed in Lexington, Kentucky as a policy program with The Council of State Governments. Learn more about AAPCA at: http://www.cleanairact.org


Kentucky's commercial vehicle screening system honored with transportation award

Kentucky’s innovative use of technology for screening large commercial trucks that pass through the Commonwealth has been accorded the 2015 President’s Award for Research by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO).

The award-winning program is KATS – Kentucky Automated Truck Screening. It employs a license plate reader, U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT)/ KYU number reader and scene camera technology to collect and process identifying information as a commercial vehicle enters a weigh station ramp.

Ten KATS systems are operational in the state -- eight at weigh stations, one on Interstate 64 in Shelbyville and one at a virtual weigh station on the AA Highway in Grayson. KATS was developed using federal grant money.

BeavenThe award was presented Sept. 27 in Chicago at AASHTO’s annual meeting. Brian Beaven, assistant director of the KYTC Division of Motor Carriers, accepted the award, along with and Dr. Joe Crabtree, director of the Kentucky Transportation Center, on behalf of engineer Jerry Kissick. 

This was the second prestigious award for KATS, which was named 2014 Project of the Year by the Intelligent Transportation Society of the Midwest in December.

KATS was implemented across the state through efforts of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) Department of Vehicle Regulation, the Kentucky Transportation Center at the University of Kentucky and the Commercial Vehicle Enforcement division of Kentucky State Police.

“KATS is an example of the high quality projects that can come about when groups work toward a common goal,” said Kentucky Transportation Secretary Mike Hancock. “We were proud to be a part of this project and do our part to ensure our roads and those driving on them are as safe as possible.” 

KissickThe goal of KATS was to create a system that could more quickly identify commercial vehicles and pinpoint potential problems on Kentucky roadways related to safety, credentials, and registration. In 2013, nearly 3.5 million trucks came through Kentucky’s 14 weigh stations. But due to limited staffing and the lengthy time required to complete an inspection, only about 1 percent of large trucks were inspected. KATS technology does not increase the number of inspections that can be conducted, but it does improve the chances of detecting violations. The system puts a spotlight on carriers with potential problems, while allowing motor carriers in good standing to continue down the road.

As a truck enters a weigh station equipped with KATS, data collection begins immediately. A complete record contains the date and time, vehicle weight, license plate number and jurisdiction, USDOT and KYU numbers, and an overview image. Data is correlated into a single record and checked against several state and federal systems. In all, 16 tests are run on every vehicle. KATS flags vehicles that fail any test, but only those violations specified by enforcement are automatically directed to stop. 

Research has shown that inspections initiated through KATS tend to detect more violations. Finding and correcting violations results in safer roadways and a possible increase of revenue for Kentucky if KATS also spots tax violations for commercial vehicles.​​

​Top photo: Brian Beaven. Bottom photo: Jerry Kissick

Department of Corrections presents annual awards

The Kentucky Department of Corrections recently honored employees across the state at its annual Corrections Awards Luncheon held Sept. 9 in Louisville.

Don Bottom, the warden at Northpoint Training Center (NTC) in Burgin, was named "Warden of the Year." Among the reasons Bottom was selected were his efforts to bring new inmate programs to his institution, the importance he places on staff, and making training opportunities for his staff one of his top priorities.

Susan Thompson was named "Probation & Parole Supervisor of the Year." Thompson, who currently supervises District 15 in Catlettsburg, has served with the division since 2001. She was recognized for her ability to encourage her employees, implementing re-entry programs, and her dedication to the department by volunteering to assist with the staffing shortage in the institutions.

The "Rookie of the Year" award was presented to Ashley Thomas. Thomas, who joined the department in November 2014, serves as a human resource specialist in the department's division of personnel services. She was praised for her work performance and her attention to detail.

The agency's top awards, called "Commissioner's Awards," were presented to: Nikki James, internal policy analyst II, Division of Administrative Services; Joseph Martin, statewide PREA coordinator, Division of Operations and Programs; Rebecca Palmer, assistant supervisor, District 15; Shannon Butrum, PREA compliance manager, Kentucky Correctional Institution for Women; David McIver, assistant supervisor, District 20; Kim Thompson, unit administrator II, Kentucky State Reformatory (KSR); Kirk Gausepohl, assistant supervisor, District 9; Brandy Harm, deputy warden, Blackburn Correctional Complex; Bridget Gilliland, senior captain, NTC; Kieryn Fannin, executive staff advisor, Division of Substance Abuse Programming; Derwin Keith Williams, unit administrator II, Eastern Kentucky Correctional Complex.

Department of Corrections Hero Awards were presented to: Jon Tangerose, lieutenant and Donnie Konias, sergeant, Western Kentucky Correctional Complex (WKCC); William Sweat and James Hamlin, probation and parole officers, District 9; John Buckler, sergeant, KSR; Dustin Conner and Jared Thompson, sergeants, Kentucky State Penitentiary; Darrell Wheeler, unit administrator II, Mark Mitchell, classification treatment officer, Darime Ellis, lieutenant, Debra Banks, procedures officer, Green River Correctional Complex; Michael Chace Wallen, probation and parole officer, District 20; Cory Carter, sergeant, Roederer Correctional Complex; Katie Edmonds, Correct Care Solutions nurse, NTC.

Commissioner LaDonna Thompson presented Lisa Lamb, director of communications, with an award recognizing her dedication and outstanding contributions to the Department of Corrections.

The Kentucky Department of Corrections honored retired Lyon County Commonwealth's Attorney G.L. Ovey with the agency's 2015 Lucille Hurt Robuck "Commitment to Corrections" Award. Ovey was selected for his steadfast devotion to the Department of Corrections and his commitment to make the prosecution of crimes committed within state prisons a top priority. He is widely respected across the Department of Corrections among staff and inmates alike.

A complete listing of the awards can be found on the Department's website at:



DOC Probation and Parole near perfect!

For the third consecutive time, the Kentucky Department of Corrections (DOC) Division of Probation and Parole has received a near perfect score in its re-accreditation audit.

The division received an overall score of 99 percent. Auditors scored the agency 100 percent on the mandatory standard requirements and 99 percent on the non-mandatory requirements of the American Correctional Association (ACA).

In announcing the scores, ACA audit Chair Marian Langdon of Wynnewood, Pennsylvania  said, "The agency's accreditation went excellent and the professionalism is impressive as well as the facilities."

Auditor David Lane of Ringgold, Georgia said all of the officers he encountered were very pleasant. "The offices were also very clean and organized," said Lane. "You could tell that the officers put safety at the forefront of what they were doing."

Probation and parole offices across the Commonwealth, covering four regions of the state, were toured by the audit team. The team spoke with probation and parole officers regarding supervision procedures and operational practices, as well as offenders under probation and parole supervision.

"I am very proud of the probation and parole staff for their efforts and professionalism during the ACA audit," said Corrections Commissioner LaDonna Thompson. "To achieve such a high score takes a great deal of time and effort. It requires a lot of hard work on a daily basis to consistently maintain this level of performance."

Director of Probation and Parole Roberto Rodriguez said the dedication and commitment of his staff during this process was second to none. "I am very proud of all staff at the district level and appreciative of the work our ACA accreditation team has accomplished in getting the department re-accredited," said Rodriguez. "I can simply say thank you and job well done."

The probation and parole accreditation audit is a multi-faceted examination of every aspect within the division. It consists of more than 170 national standards that cover security, procedures, training, and record-keeping regarding offenders. The audit process requires constant monitoring and quality control checks. The division is audited by ACA every three years and undergoes an inter-departmental audit every year. ​​