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ODOT’s Jyll Smith wins NextGen Leadership Award

​ODOT News

Aug. 21, 2013

For more information, contact  Karen Jones Jackley, Major Projects Branch, (503) 986-6608 or Sally Ridenour, Communications, (503) 986-3359.

SALEM, Ore. — GovLoop and Young Government Leaders recognized Jyll Smith, stakeholder engagement specialist at the Oregon Department of Transportation, with their prestigious 2013 NextGen Leadership Award for her work on the OTIA III State Bridge Delivery Program, a $1.3 billion program repairing and replacing hundreds of aging bridges across the state.Jyll Smith
Smith was selected from more than 100 candidates for leading ODOT communications for more than 170 projects statewide on the bridge program, including her innovative public involvement efforts including virtual open houses and the award-winning Willamette River Bridge project blog.
“Jyll was the first virtual winner who also garnered the highest votes,” said Steve Ressler, founder and president, GovLoop. “She received the highest scores across the board and two nominations.”
The Next Generation of Government Leadership Award is sponsored by the Young Government Leaders Association and GovLoop. It recognizes a government employee between the ages of 20 and 39 who displays these characteristics:
  • Expresses an early and passionate commitment to improving the public sector through collaboration, streamlining and process innovation
  • Shows professionalism, competence and the ability to create and implement innovative methods in the work environment
  • Demonstrates aptitude and willingness to lead through challenges and pave the way for current and future young public employees
  • Embodies a collaborative nature by sharing knowledge and experiences across agency and departmental boundaries and bringing individuals together across institutional and functional boundaries in order to build capacity, efficiency or community
The 2013 NextGen Leadership Award is highly competitive: This year, judges reviewed submissions from agencies including the U.S. Department of Education, Office of the Director of National Intelligence, Department of Homeland Security and NASA. Smith accepted her award via webcam on July 25, at the 2013 Next Generation of Government Training Summit.
“I am totally shocked and somewhat speechless,” said Smith. “I’d like to tell all of the NextGen government leaders to keep pushing because we are all doing great work.”
Smith has worked for the Oregon Department of Transportation in Communications since 2006.
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The OTIA III State Bridge Delivery Program is part of the Oregon Department of Transportation’s
$3 billion Oregon Transportation Investment Act. OTIA funds are repairing or replacing hundreds of bridges, paving and maintaining city and county roads, improving and expanding interchanges, adding new capacity to Oregon's highway system and removing freight bottlenecks statewide. Based on recent estimates, about 12.5 family-wage jobs are sustained for every $1 million spent on transportation construction in Oregon. Through 2012, the bridge program has sustained more than 20,000 jobs. Overall, the program will create or sustain approximately 22,000 jobs.