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ITD Executive Team
Director – Brian Ness
A life-long transportation professional, Brian Ness became Director of the Idaho Transportation Department in 2010. He is responsible for an annual budget of around $700 million and provides leadership and vision for nearly 1,700 employees. Director Ness currently chairs the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials’ (AASHTO) Special Committee on Transportation Security and Emergency Management (SCOTSEM). Through his leadership of SCOTSEM, Director Ness has achieved national recognition for applying his organizational model to emergency management and security, which has helped reshape SCOTSEM’s strategic plan. In March 2017, he became chair of AASHTO’s Special Committee on Research and Innovation. He was President of the Western Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (WASHTO) in 2016. In this position, he served as a regional representative to AASHTO’s Executive Committee. In addition, Director Ness chairs the WASHTO Highway Transport Committee and is the creator and sponsor of WASHTO’s Emerging Leaders Program. Director Ness is a nationally recognized authority on organizational realignment and speaks regularly at national conferences for both the public and private sectors about how to structure a more effective and accountable state government. He leads a seminar each year on his “Nine Steps to a Results-Focused Culture ” for the National Transportation Leadership Institute’s (NTLI) senior and executive-level management courses. Brian was honored in 2012 as Leader of the Year by the Treasure Valley chapter of Women’s Transportation Seminar, and named Trine University’s (formerly Tri-State University) 2014 Alumni of the Year. He received the 2016 Navigator Award from the national organization, Route Fifty. The award, in the “Agency and Department Chiefs” category, is based on his citizen-focused approach to government and transformative style. In 2013, ITD earned AASHTO’s President’s Award for Administration for its realignment efforts. Since Director Ness joined the department, ITD has received nearly 100 national awards for its programs and projects, including the prestigious Francis B. Francois Award for Innovation. Under Director Ness’ leadership, ITD began an employee-driven innovation program in 2014. Since that time, the department has implemented more than 660 innovations, saved $5 million, created 230 customer-service improvements, and saved more than 160,000 contractor and employee hours. The department was recognized in 2016 by the Idaho Technology Council as a finalist for Innovative Company of the Year. Director Ness earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Tri-State University and a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Western Michigan University. He is a licensed professional engineer in Michigan and Idaho. Before becoming director at ITD, he worked for 30 years at the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), holding a variety of positions in research, operations, aeronautics, construction, and project development. Director Ness ended his career with MDOT as the North Region Administrator/Engineer.
Scott Stokes, a 25-year Idaho Transportation Department veteran, became chief deputy in 2007 after a long tenure as district engineer in northern Idaho. As chief deputy, Mr. Stokes oversees the divisions of Aeronautics, Motor Vehicles, and Transportation Performance and has primary responsibility for much of the department’s daily operations. Mr. Stokes is chairman of the Idaho Traffic Safety Council and is intimately involved in all facets of highway safety for the department. He is a leading advocate of the drive to achieve zero deaths on Idaho highways. In support of ITD’s strategic plan, Mr. Stokes also is engaged in the department’s internal and external efforts to promote economic opportunity through transportation and to increase mobility for Idaho travelers. He is a member of ITD’s four-person executive team and reports to the director. A second-generation ITD employee, Mr. Stokes joined the department in 1992 and served as the state bridge engineer early in his career. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in civil engineering from Brigham Young University and worked for a private engineering firm about eight years before joining ITD.
Travis McGrath started with ITD in late March 2017 as the new Chief Operations Officer after a national search following Jim Carpenter’s retirement. Travis came to ITD after more than 18 years with Golder Associates, a private-sector geotechnical and environmental engineering consulting firm. For the last seven years, he served as Golder’s Pacific Northwest and Alaska Operations Leader. In that role, he was accountable for the performance of a 180-person team across multiple offices. Travis practiced in structural and geotechnical engineering early in his career, before specializing in transportation project risk assessment and risk management. He led risk assessments for a dozen state transportation agencies, FHWA, and FTA. McGrath brings a strong military background to this position. He served as a Combat Engineer officer on active duty and in the reserves for more than a decade. He led a line platoon during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, and subsequently served as a heavy-equipment platoon leader and company operations officer. He is a strong communicator and consensus builder, with proven decision-making experience and an understanding of the engineering side of operations. McGrath has a history of setting the vision and holding those around him accountable, with a passion for teamwork and continual improvement. Travis earned a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Seattle University in 1989, and a Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy in Civil Engineering from the University of Texas between 1993 and 1998. He is a registered Professional Engineer.
Brenda Williams brought an extensive background in human resources to the Idaho Transportation Department in October 2013 when she became the department’s Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO). Recently, she was the Area Human Resources Manager for Republic Services (formerly Allied Waste Services), in Salt Lake City, where she provided strategic leadership for multiple states. She achieved key business objectives in the areas of development, succession planning, and performance management. Republic is a Fortune 500 company that specializes in environmental services with 31,000 employees in 40 states, including Idaho. Williams was also the Director of Human Resources for Comcast Corp., (formerly AT&T Broadband), in Salt Lake City, for multiple locations throughout the state. She was instrumental in driving employee engagement through management and employee action teams. Williams was promoted to the position after serving as Director of Staffing and Organizational Development for AT&T Broadband.
After a successful career in the private sector, Charlene “Char” McArthur assumed the position of Chief Administrative Officer at the Idaho Transportation Department in October 2013. She previously served as the Global Corporate Controller for the Fluke Corp., a Danaher Operating Company located in Everett, Wash. She was responsible for the company’s financial reporting, internal control, and managing working capital targets of more than 20 subsidiaries throughout the world. Char attributes her success to developing skilled, dedicated and engaged employees who strategically focus continuous improvement efforts on the organization’s strategic priorities. McArthur, a Boise native, graduated from Boise State University with a BBA in accounting. She has worked in both public accounting and private industry. Char is a licensed CPA.
Director's Board Reports
The Excellence in Transportation Awards are sponsored annually by the Idaho Transportation Department to recognize outstanding initiatives in developing, planning, and implementing transportation projects throughout Idaho. The awards program also recognizes ITD employees in transportation-related fields who have made exceptional contributions to the organization.
- Deadline – Applications for all categories must be received by the ITD Awards Coordinator by Thursday, March 30, 2017 at 4 p.m. Awards winners will be officially recognized during an Idaho Transportation Department Board meeting later this year.
Any consulting/construction contracting firm or agency engaged in transportation related projects in Idaho is eligible to enter. Submitted projects must be located in Idaho.
The entry must be associated with a public transportation improvement, project and/or funded by transportation dollars and fall into one of the award categories listed below. See specific category criteria for project completion eligibility requirements.
Entries submitted in previous years may be resubmitted if it still complies with the aforementioned time span. Winning entries from previous years are ineligible. A project may be entered in as many categories as desired; however, a separate application must be submitted for each category and address its specified criteria.
- Project Recognition and Award – One award will be presented to the winner of each category. Each winning entry will have the opportunity to present up to three additional awards to other firms/agencies who may have contributed to the project. Also, up to six certificates of recognition may be given to the project’s key personnel.
ITD Personnel Categories
Any ITD or non-ITD individual may submit a nomination for one of the three personnel categories. Please review the eligibility requirements for each personnel award category because they vary.
- ITD Personnel Recognition and Award – One plaque will be presented to the winner of each category.
Each category has its own set of criteria for judging. A project may be entered in more than one category and a separate entry is required for each category.
Please click on the categories below to view the entry criteria and Awards Application.
For any questions or comments regarding the application process or the Excellence in Transportation Awards in general, please contact Adam Rush at 208-334-8119 or firstname.lastname@example.org.