COMTO Celebrates Women Who Move the Nation

WASHINGTON--()--Dr. Maya Angelou - best-selling author, poet, educator, historian, actress, playwright, producer/director, and civil-rights activist - will be the keynote speaker at the Conference Of Minority Transportation Officials’ (COMTO) annual salute to women industry leaders on Wednesday, March 12, in Washington, DC.

Each year COMTO, a Washington-based professional association founded in 1971, recognizes the outstanding contributions of women who are leading and advancing America’s transportation infrastructure. The Celebrating Women Who Move the Nation (CWWMN) awards breakfast, held in observance of Women’s History Month, will be from 8 am to 11 am at the J. W. Marriott, 1331 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, in Washington D.C.

The 2014 CWWMN honorees, announced recently by COMTO president and CEO Julie Cunningham, are:

  • Barbara K. Gannon, from GannonConsult, recognized for her work in Academia;
  • Shelby Scales, from the Airport Minority Advisory Council, recognized for her work in Advocacy;
  • Andrella Kenner, from CI2 Aviation, recognized for her work in Aviation;
  • Diane Babineaux, from the Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers, recognized for her work in Labor;
  • The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson, Congresswoman, 30th District, Texas, recognized for her work in Legislation;
  • Jacqueline Hinman, from CH2M HILL, recognized for her work with the Private Sector;
  • Catherine M. Hudgins, from the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, recognized for her work in Public Transportation;
  • Karen Rae, from the New York State Governor’s Office, recognized for her work with State Government;
  • Susan Kurland, from the U.S. Department of Transportation, recognized for her work with the U.S. Government; and
  • Tracey Bessellieu, from Parsons Brinckerhoff, who will receive the Shirley A. DeLibero Women Who Moves the Nation Award.

Karen Finney, host of MSNBC’s “Disrupt with Karen Finney,” will serve as Mistress of Ceremonies. Tickets for the event are $150 per person. To purchase tickets or for more information about COMTO, visit

Dr. Angelou’s long list of credits includes being San Francisco’s first African-American female cable car conductor, a job she held at the young age of 16.

She is a Renaissance woman who is recognized as one of the great voices of contemporary American literature. Dr. Angelou has authored 11 best-selling books, including her autobiography “I know Why the Caged Bird Sings” and, most recently, “Wouldn’t Take Nothing for My Journey Now.”

In January 1993, Dr. Angelou became the second poet in U.S. history to have the honor of writing and reciting an original work at a Presidential Inauguration. The poem “On the Pulse of Morning,” which she wrote for former president Bill Clinton’s first inauguration, later received a Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word.

Since 1981, Dr. Angelou has held a lifetime position as the Reynolds Professor of American Studies at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

COMTO’s CWWMN awards breakfast is co-sponsored by two of its industry partners, CH2M Hill and AECOM.


Alma Hill, 404-876-9272

Release Summary

The Conference of Minority Transportation Officials Celebrates Women Who Move the Nation, March 12, at the JW Marriott, 1331 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington D.C. Dr. Maya Angelou will keynote.


Alma Hill, 404-876-9272