Community Leaders Receive KCATA Rosa Parks Spirit Awards

Date:August 27, 2018

(Kansas City, Mo. – August 27, 2018) On Thursday, August 30, 2018, the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority (KCATA) will present the KCATA Rosa Parks Spirit Awards. These awards recognize individuals and organizations that, in the spirit of Civil Rights Leader Rosa Parks, are making a difference in Kansas City and in public transportation. This is the sixth year for the awards.

This year’s awards will honor these difference makers at a reception beginning at 5 p.m. at Arvest Bank at the Midland at 1228 Main St. in downtown Kansas City. The honors include:

The Champion of Transit Award is presented to Jolie Justus, Kansas City City Council, 4th District, for her continued advocacy, leadership and support for public transportation. As City Councilperson, Justus was a champion of the GO Bond election, and committed to extension of the streetcar and a new airport terminal at KCI.  As sponsor of Kansas City’s Complete Streets ordinance and Transit Oriented Development policy, Councilwoman Justus worked with KCATA and community stakeholders to make public infrastructure more equitable and public transit more accessible. Justus is a long-time customer of RideKC, seen daily on Troost MAX, Main MAX or the 85.

The RideKC Award is presented to Joe Reardon, president & CEO of the Greater KC Chamber, for making great strides in building a more integrated regional transportation system. His leadership in support of jobs access through the Chamber’s Big 5 Initiative are invaluable to connecting people to opportunities. As former mayor of Kansas City, Kan., Reardon introduced Sunday bus service in KCK, and under his leadership the first major transit center was built. In 2015, Reardon was named President and CEO of KCATA where he played a pivotal role in the successful rollout of the regional RideKC brand in both Kansas and Missouri.

The Trailblazer Award is presented to Dr. Gayle Holliday, owner of G&H Consulting, who has paved the way for others over nearly three decades, with an ongoing passion and career promoting women, people of color and people who may be underrepresented. She has shown great courage, skillful collaboration and heartfelt commitment as she helped thousands of KCATA employees discover their own journeys.  Currently, she plays an invaluable role as an advisor, liaison and facilitator as KCATA builds its DBE/WBE programs. Dr. Holliday’s positive energy and fearless momentum continues to be felt community wide.

The Business Partner Award is presented to William George, president of Kansas City Transportation Group, whose support for public transportation demonstrates a commitment by the private sector to improve the quality of life for people throughout the region.  This public-private partnership is making a worldwide footprint, generating inquiries from around the globe. George’s commitment to this innovative partnership is equalizing transit service for all riders. Now, persons with disabilities have the same travel options as those without disabilities.

The Special Recognition Award is presented to Mokhtee Ahmad, Region 7 Administrator, Federal Transit Administration, whose longstanding partnership and collaborative spirit has been invaluable to KCATA and other transit agencies throughout the four-state region. Working together with Administrator Ahmad and his team has resulted in a strong public transportation presence locally, regionally and nationally.