Washington County Commissioner Lisa Weik and the county’s Public Works Department were honored at the 2019 Women’s Transportation Seminar Minnesota Chapter (WTS MN) Awards and Recognition Luncheon at the Union Depot in St. Paul April 24.
WTS MN began when a group of 14 women gathered in the fall of 1981 to form a Twin Cities WTS chapter. Now with 170 members made up of men and women, the WTS MN’s mission is to transform the transportation industry through the advancement of women. Every spring, the chapter recognizes individuals and organizations who are living this mission.
Washington County Administrator Molly O’Rourke presented Washington County Commissioner Lisa Weik with the Woman of the Year award. As a woman who is a leader in transportation, Weik, District 5, has made an outstanding contribution to the transportation industry in Washington County by being an outstanding champion for transit with the Gold Line Bus Rapid Transit project and supporting multimodal transportation design throughout her district.
As a leader, Weik takes an active role in mentoring staff at the county, as well as nationally. Weik is an active member of the National Association of Counties (NACo). She is a member of the Women of NACo Leadership Network, which has a mission “To enhance the effectiveness of female county officials and engage women officials in seeking leadership positions in their communities and within NACo.” Weik is also an advocate for younger staff, especially female staff, in less formal ways. Because of her high profile with the Gold Line BRT project, she has led groups of staff and policy makers to other regions of the country to research Bus Rapid Transit projects and their impact on local communities. During these travels, she will often use the opportunity to mentor and teach younger staff. Whether discussing ways to be effective as part of the legislative process, or giving staff an opportunity to network with her while on the trip, Weik never misses an opportunity to grow and teach others.
Washington County Planning Division Director Jan Lucke presented the Employer of the Year award to Washington County Public Works Director Don Theisen. This award recognizes an employer who leads in recruiting, retaining, and advancing women in the work place. Washington County Public Works is committed to supporting and advancing woman in the workplace. In the last five years, female transportation professionals have been added to the Public Works department faster than any other demographic. This includes four transportation planners and two engineers, all WTS members who are leading public infrastructure investments on the metropolitan area’s eastside.