Dion, Meade and Lazar Earn STAR Awards

September 14, 2017

California Partners for Advanced Transportation Technology’s Francois Dion and Robert Meade and Pavement Research Center’s Maggie Lazar are being recognized for their hard work, earning University of California, Berkeley Staff Appreciation and Recognition (STAR) Awards.

STAR Awards allow the campus community to acknowledge and reward exemplary performance and contributions by employees. Specifically, Achievement Awards acknowledge sustained, exceptional performance and/or significant contributions above and beyond normal performance expectations.  Spot Awards acknowledge special contributions to a specific project or task, or group of projects or tasks, accomplished over a relatively short time period.
PATH Chief Operational Officer Robert Meade is being recognized with an Achievement Award for taking on additional duties, with his already robust work schedule, over the last three years to orchestrate multiple moves of people, furniture, and belongings between buildings or from off-campus locations to on-campus locations amidst a merger of two large transportation research centers — including California PATH and the California Center for Innovative Transportation.
Specifically, Meade is being recognized for his willingness to work nights and weekends to keep multiple moves on schedule, with minimal impact to employees; initiating actions without a prompt; knowing the necessity to complete moves in a timely, efficient, and non-distracting manner to projects conducted by most PATH employees; and exceling in every aspect of the UC Berkeley Operating Principles.
“Robert has demonstrated an unparalleled willingness to support his PATH colleagues through a series of complicated and time consuming moves, and I am very happy that the UC has acknowledged his exceptional commitment to our organization,” says Tom West, Co-Director of California PATH.
PATH Senior Development Engineer Francois Dion is being recognized with a Spot Award for recently finishing the development of a 270-page Concept of Operations for a major California PATH project called Connected Corridors.  The document’s completion represents many months of pouring over regional transportation planning reports, working with local experts in three separate cities and with engineers in local and state department’s of transportation and planning agencies, and conducting scaled simulations to verify the accuracy of the information.
Francois’ work has been recently cited as leading to the most comprehensive plan ever developed for the Interstate 210 Corridor, a major transportation corridor traversing some of the most prominent and populated cities in Southern California. 
“Francois has once again displayed his exceptional grasp of all things related to traffic management and modeling, as well as his passion to make a difference.  I am very proud of Francois and this particular study that has garnered so much positive attention,” says West.
Pavement Research Center Administrative Officer Maggie Lazar is being recognized with a Spot Award for going above and beyond her job by helping the center during management changes. When the center director stepped down and left the University in late 2014, the center’s principal funding source (the complicated 2015-18 Caltrans) had just been awarded, and the previous contract was undergoing a complicated close-out.  At the same time, the laboratory was lacking strong management, and the search for a laboratory manager and new faculty director would both take time.
In response, Lazar increased her work hours, and in addition to her regular duties, stepped in to cover many functions and tasks the director would normally handle to place and kick off the new award and close out the old award. She was also highly engaged in the recruitment and hiring process of a new laboratory manager, Dr. Angel Mateos, and onboarding and assisting the newly appointed PRC Director, Professor Juan Pestana. Lazar was instrumental in getting PRC through the transition period leading up to those hires, and in getting the new leadership up to speed once they were in position. She did all of this while keeping PRC running like clockwork.
“Maggie has done a remarkable job through multiple transitions to make sure the Pavement Research Center seamlessly maintains its excellence,” says Pestana. "She has gone above and beyond to assist me and the center."