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Transportation Awards 2012: Excellence in Motion
The MTC Transportation Awards Program debuted in 1977. For the first two decades, we sponsored the contest annually, eventually transitioning to a biennial schedule. Depending on how you want to count it, our Awards Program is celebrating its 35th year or its 30th cycle. Either way, it’s a milestone worth noting, and that invites some reflection.
With a surge of pent-up demand, MTC’s inaugural awards ceremony recognized 33 individuals and organizations for extraordinary contributions to transportation in the Bay Area. The 1977 ceremony was held just six years after MTC itself had come into existence. The list of honorees in 1977 foretold some of the movers and shakers who would continue to work to improve transportation for all.
One of those, the Center for Independent Living (CIL) — recognized in 1977 for its free paratransit service — remains a strong advocate for transportation accessibility. Interestingly, CIL is a founding member of the Ed Roberts Campus, which brings a number of disability organizations together under one roof at the Ashby BART station and is this year’s recipient of the MTC Grand Award.
At that first awards ceremony, Miriam Gholikely was recognized for being a senior citizen advocate. Gholikely went on to serve on several panels addressing the needs of elderly, disabled and minority residents, and was elected to the American Public Transportation Association Hall of Fame. Upon her passing at age 91 in 2003, MTC recognized Gholikely’s service with an award in her name, dedicated to individuals who exemplify steadfastness and caring.
The Gholikely Award this round goes to Roger Matoba of Pleasant Hill for nearly 30 years of driving a vanpool and carrying some 100 commuters over the decades. In another interesting connection between now and then, in 1977 Bob Gefken was recognized for operating a vanpool serving residents of Fairfax in Marin. Despite the passage of 35 years, some things don’t change.
In addition to going to an every-other-year awards schedule, we’ve slimmed down the number of winners. More than ever, it is a supreme honor to be recognized with our transportation trophy, which has changed shape over the years, but which retains its central element: an actual ball bearing that symbolizes the Excellence in Motion theme. This year we are shining a spotlight on 14 winners, each a gem that is adding some sparkle to the lives of Bay Area residents.
Transactions Fall 2012 Issue: Contents
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