Greetings to all of you, my new colleagues. I appreciate the warm welcome I have received since I was sworn in as Caltrans’ director on Oct. 23, and I look forward to the great things that we will accomplish in the coming years. Right off the bat I witnessed this department’s top-notch emergency response in the face of major wildfires and a major PSPS (public safety power shutoffs) event.
In July, Caltrans celebrated its inaugural Diversity Month. Every day, a different presentation or activity paid tribute to an enlightened workplace approach that has been embraced and adopted department-wide.
Thanks in large part to the dedication and hard work of District 6 surveyors and District 9 maintenance crews, Tioga Road (part of State Route 120) opened without restrictions on July 1 this year, despite the 2018-19 snow season having been especially robust.
Rocks and debris peppering the roadway or a slide restricting the flow of traffic can cause issues for motorists driving the highways of District 1, but Caltrans rock scaling, tree and maintenance crews are working to head off these potential hazards before they happen.
Time is on everyone’s side with the Our Promise campaign, “Power of an Hour.” Nonprofit organizations receive much-needed funds and state workers can feel good about making a positive difference in their communities.
Steve Gee is a bicycling fiend, often seen riding his road bike to, from and around the Caltrans District 5 office where he works as an electrical engineer. A inherited disease threatens his health, however, unless he receives help.
Four Caltrans employees who have been intimately involved with the department’s blood-drive efforts in Sacramento have retired or are retiring this year, and blood-drive coordinator Shari Mannering wants to make sure their efforts are applauded.
The California Transportation Foundation would like to spotlight Caltrans District 1 for its 30 years of Service Employee Recognition Ceremony held earlier this year. The foundation was happy to provide service pins for the ceremony.
The next Census is in Spring 2020. Let’s ensure all Californians are counted so we can put those resources to good use here at home! Starting in mid-March 2020, each household will get a letter in the mail. It will explain the different ways you can fill out the Census.
When we experience positive emotions such as joy, satisfaction and happiness, we tend to be more confident and open to possibilities in our lives. But staying positive during tough times can be difficult.
New Caltrans Director Toks Omishakin’s chief deputy is a longtime Caltrans engineer who has held multiple leadership roles in the Department. James Davis, 54, was chosen by Gov. Gavin Newsom to serve in the department’s No. 2 position. Davis previously served as special advisor to the director under Laurie Berman, who retired in June, and Acting Director Bob Franzoia, who took over after Berman’s departure.
Keith has been with Caltrans for 15 years in a variety of roles, including working in the Equipment, Maintenance, Procurement and Contracts, Business Facilities and Security, and Project Management divisions.
Caltrans has a new director, drawn from the executive ranks of the Tennessee state transportation department. Toks Omishakin, 43, was appointed by Gov. Gavin Newsom in September to fill Caltrans’ highest post. Omishakin was sworn in as director in late October. Omishakin comes to Caltrans following eight years with the Tennessee Department of Transportation, where he established environmental, multimodal and planning policies.
Over his 31-year career, Tom has worked on a wide variety of bridge, highway and tunnel projects throughout the state. He has also been a longstanding advocate for bridge research, Accelerated Bridge Construction and quality management.
District 3’s Public Affairs staff this summer received a prestigious national award. Its special-edition Update 3 newsletter about the Camp Fire late last year was judged to be the best internal publication among transportation departments by the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials.
David Langston was a valued and respected member in the Division of Human Resources’ Office of Transaction Services since 2012. Those who knew David say that he was patient, understanding and compassionate. He had a sense of humor that put all at ease. David demonstrated great concern for his coworkers’ well-being and went the extra mile just to show how much he cared.
Brian Martin had been with the Structures Department in San Diego since 1999 and worked on several high-profile projects that included the Interstate 5 Build North Coast Corridor, the Cabrillo and San Diego-Coronado bridges, and several interchanges along State Route125 from the South Bay to Santee.
Some of the highlights of Eric Sarkela's career included the Balboa Avenue Sinkhole Emergency repair and the Star Acres Curve Realignment on State Route 94. He retired from Caltrans in December 2002, having had the distinction of performing every function on a Caltrans construction job site.
Would you like to stay informed of what's happening with Caltrans? If so, submit your home email address to CT News editor Reed Parsell and we'll notify you by email when we publish a new issue of CT News.
For individuals with sensory disabilities, this document will be made available in Braille, large print, on audiocassette, or on computer disk. To obtain a copy in one of the alternative formats, please contact the editor.