Inside Seven
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Program and Project Managment Deputy Tad Teferi hosts the Capital Project Delivery Celebration.

CAPITAL DELIVERY CELEBRATION: SUCCESS = 100% COMMITMENT
by  Judy Gish
Issue Date: 11/2006

Employees receive awards for their contributions to the District's outstanding project delivery efforts.

Under the auspices of Project Management Deputy Tad Teferi, the Division’s Capital Project Delivery Celebration is sort of like the late-night TV version of the primetime District Delivery Celebration, held on July 18--i.e., it’s lighter, funnier and more irreverent.

According to Teferi, the goal for the 2006 ceremony, on October 11, was to “take this year’s celebration to the next level.” Executive staff was requested to provide entertainment, along the lines of Chief Deputy Director Raja Mitwasi’s dance number at the Diversity Day celebration. Although Teferi declined to perform himself, he did say the request would be honored. Quoting the District’s new slogan, he said, “Like everything else we do, Consider it Done!”

And out came Administration’s Tami Armstrong, rocking the house with her a cappella rendition of “Celebrate.”

The District has much to celebrate this year, with a “three-peat” (having the Number 1 transportation project delivery program in the State for the third year in a row) that put Caltrans and transportation “back on the map in Los Angeles, where it belongs,” Teferi said.

The corporate culture that produced those results is based on “honoring commitments 100%, an attitude that success is the only option, an unwillingness to give up, and a dedication to customers, stakeholders and sponsors,” Teferi said. “Now it’s time to improve quality,” he added.

Several quality improvement ideas surfaced at the event, during the comedy routine of Novotny (Steve) and Angelini (Alberto). For example, how about an Olympic-sized swimming pool on the roof? Or a golf course? In light of the District’s performance level, Novotny suggested changing our address to 100% South Main Street. If we exceed our current standards, we could receive extra credit and then change our address to 110% South Main Street, he said.

Speaking of credit, Novotny had some creative financing ideas to raise money for project funding. They included Caltrans branching out into various retail endeavors, such as Highway Depot, an all-purpose construction supply superstore. No? Okay, how about Soundwall Mart? Or K-Rail Mart? Then there’s always Best Bid.

Amid the toasts, roasts and boasts, some serious information was imparted at the celebration. For example, Teferi is a marathon runner! Frank Quon, Operations Deputy, is “Mr. Cool.” Environmental Deputy Ron Kosinski: “Mr. Green.” Design Deputy Bill Reagan: “Mr. Network.” And all of the rest of the District 7 employees? “Fantastic!” said District Director Doug Failing. In terms of the District’s outstanding project delivery track record, “You did it!” Failing told the audience “Each and every one of you did it.” 

Before the awards were handed out, Dave Youmans, Assistant Division Chief of Project Management in Sacramento, praised the District for its delivery accomplishments. “You’ve done wonders for the Department in terms of our credibility,” he said. But he cautioned that, like any superhero, the District’s great powers come with great responsibility. “You’ve got a target on your back.”

Other speakers at the event included Bob Buckley, Division Chief of the Department of Engineering Services (DES), Chief Deputy District Director Raja Mitwasi, and Program and Project Management Office Chief Kelly Lamare.

Project delivery awards were presented to the following:

Planning:
Ayubur Rahman

Environmental:
Carlos Montez

Design: Joseph Millman; Refugio Dominguez; Chung-Fu Luan; Ruben Castillo; Siew- Mei Tan; Haykaz Aghajanian; John Evans

Traffic:
Quincie Tran; Jackie Tan; Fim Zabezhinsky

Maintenance: Dana Hendrix; Charles Payne

Right of Way:
Elvia Torres

Construction:
Allen Shim; George Saker; Gamal Tawfik; Shimelis Amare; Joseph Tehrani; Danilo Ferrer

Administration:
Lina Quinio

External Affairs:
Ken Simon

DES:
Aziz Maghsoudloo; Ali El-Zaynab

Headquarters:
Jim Deluca; Mohammad Maljai

Project Management:
The Consultant Services Unit; Zareh Shahbazian; Reza Fateh

Tami Armstrong helps the audience to Celebrate. District Director Doug Failing congratulates employees on a job well done. Environmental Planning Deputy Ron Kosinski (a.k.a. Mr. Green) enjoys his new nickname. Steve Novotny, Office Chief, North Area, Program and Project Management, offers some quality improvement ideas.