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ATSSA announces winners of four national awards

Awards given at 52nd Annual Convention & Traffic Expo

TAMPA, Florida (Feb. 14, 2022) – The American Traffic Safety Services Association is pleased to announce winners of the Chairman’s Award, National Safety Award, National Media Award and Mark of Excellence Award.

The four national awards were presented during ATSSA’s 52nd Annual Convention & Traffic Expo, taking place Feb. 11-15 in Tampa, Florida. The Chairman’s Award and the National Safety Award were announced Feb. 13 and the other two today.

Chairman’s Award – Stacy Tetschner, ATSSA President & CEO

ATSSA Board Chair Greg Driskell honored President & CEO Stacy Tetschner with the Chairman’s Award in recognition of his performance during his first two years at the helm of the Association and for the tremendous help he provided Driskell during his two-year term in office.

Driskell called it brave for Tetschner to take the position as an industry outsider succeeding someone who held the role for more than 22 years, but he noted the challenges facing him went far beyond that.

When Tetschner started, Driskell was a new chair, ATSSA’s board was composed primarily of new members and his first major decision came on day one when the association announced it was sending staff home to work remotely due to COVID-19.

“This was almost a perfect storm situation and Stacy was able to be that anchor in the storm,” Driskell said.

He said Tetschner helped him lead the board by creating a leadership group, continually looked for ways to improve the Association and knew when to ask questions and when to make the tough decisions.

“He is a man of great values and has become of great value to the industry,” Driskell said.

The Chairman’s Award is given at the discretion of the chair of the ATSSA Board of Directors. This is the fourth time someone has been recognized in the 28-year history of the award.

National Safety AwardGinger Quinn, Work Zone Safety Coordinator, Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT)

Ginger Quinn has spent four decades in roadway safety, beginning at the Blue Ridge Parkway as a flagger, restoring trails and making temporary and permanent signs. She joined VDOT’s Salem District Office in 1987 where she expanded her work to include designing temporary traffic control (TTC) plans, reviewing work zones, teaching work zone traffic control districtwide and developing safety improvement projects for the Route 220 corridor that included guardrail, signs and pavement markings. Two decades later, she transferred to VDOT’s Richmond office and helped develop work zone safety policies, worked with manufacturers to test TTC devices, revised work zone training materials and procedures, and wrote and produced a flagger training video.

Quinn returned to VDOT’s Salem District Office in 2018 and oversees work zone safety, guardrail and work zone training in addition to assisting designers, manufacturers, researchers, traffic engineers, utility companies and state and federal transportation officials.

In addition, she has worked closely with ATSSA in reviewing training materials and coordinated the adoption of VDOT’s flagger training video by ATSSA for nationwide use.

Quinn also has worked with researchers at the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) and the Virginia Transportation Council—a partnership between VDOT and the University of Virginia—on the design, implementation and evaluation of several roadway safety projects including a work zone builder app and queue management systems.

She has been a member of the Virginia ATSSA Chapter since its inception, serving on subcommittees and playing a key role in developing policies used throughout Virginia.

“As a manufacturers’ rep of multiple traffic products, I have reached out to Ginger on numerous occasions for her input on the product, testing and advice,” Virginia ATSSA Chapter President Jennifer Miles of Sales Solutions Inc. wrote in nominating Quinn. “She has always made herself available to me and to any member of the Virginia ATSSA Chapter.”

Quinn is considered an expert in Virginia in all things dealing with work zone signage, flagging, pavement marking and work zone traffic control training, and her opinion, advice and counsel are sought throughout the industry, VDOT Work Zone Safety Program Manager David Rush said in nominating Quinn for the award that recognizes an employee or recent retiree of a government agency who made a significant contribution to the safety of our nation’s highways.

“Ginger has always advocated for the highest standard in work zone safety and has been the driving force in many of our advanced work zone safety requirements in Virginia due to her passion for safety for all,” Rush wrote.

Paul Kelley, retired assistant work zone safety coordinator for VDOT and the 2019 recipient of the National Safety Award, also nominated Quinn and noted that she has always advocated for work zone safety standards and that “many of the typical standards in Virginia's Part 6 of the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) have been shared and adopted by other state DOTs as well as the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).  In 2011 she developed Temporary Traffic Control for roundabouts for VDOT's Part 6 that will be published in the next revision to the MUTCD.”

National Media Award – Mallory Pearson, traffic reporter for WJRT-TV ABC 12 in Michigan

“As a morning traffic reporter for Michigan's Flint/Saginaw area, Mallory Pearson has taken a great interest in communicating the work our road agencies are performing on a daily basis. She follows the progress of construction work to communicate to her viewers, not only what they may see as they approach a work zone, but also why the work is necessary,” Bay Region Communications Representative Jocelyn Garza of the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) wrote in nominating Pearson.

The National Media Award goes to a reporter, news organization, blogger or freelancer who provides fair, balanced and informative reporting on transportation-related issues on radio, television, newspapers or on the web.

Pearson took a special interest in promoting work zone safety efforts in the Bay Region over the past year where work zone crashes and fatalities had been on the rise despite lower traffic volumes during the pandemic, Garza noted.

During National Work Zone Awareness Week in 2021, Pearson reported on a partnership between MDOT and Michigan State Police to increase work zone enforcement and work zone safety, alerting drivers to the importance of safe driving through work zones.

“Mallory not only placed an emphasis on safe driving habits during NWZAW, but she also includes reminders for drivers to slow down and eliminate distractions in her standard construction updates,” Garza wrote.

Mark of Excellence AwardDebra Ricker, president and co-founder, Worksafe Traffic Control Industries Inc., Barre, Vt.

Debra Ricker is in her fourth decade in the roadway safety industry. She and her sister, Lorena Laprade, founded L&D Safety Marking in Berlin, Vt., in 1985, starting the company on the advice of their father who observed a need in the pavement marking arena. They adapted with the industry, shifting to thermoplastic markings when that long-term solution for pavement striping emerged. In 1993, Ricker, her husband and Laprade expanded operations by starting Worksafe Traffic Control Industries, a company that manufactures signs and sells traffic control equipment and products.

Along the way, Debra Ricker became involved in ATSSA where she chaired the Board of Directors and served on various committees, often as chair. She has advocated for roadway safety in numerous ways including taking part in ATSSA Legislative Briefings & Fly-Ins,   appearing before the Committee on Transportation within the Vermont House of ,Representatives and through her affiliation with the Associated General Contractors and other groups in New England.

The Mark of Excellence Award is given to an ATSSA member who has made outstanding contributions to the advancement of roadway safety infrastructure through improved pavement markings.

“Debra has been an advocate of roadway safety, the voice of us all,” Sue Willman, president of Williams & Willman Line Painting Inc. in Pennsylvania and an ATSSA Board member, said in nominating Ricker.

For more information about ATSSA’s 52nd Annual Convention & Traffic Expo, visit Expo.ATSSA.com.

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