The Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute at NDSU is set to honor regional transportation leaders during its 22nd annual awards banquet Oct. 5 at the Fargo Holiday Inn. Awardees include Grant Levi, former director of the North Dakota Department of Transportation; Niles Hushka, retired CEO of engineering firm KLJ Inc.; and Kathy McCarthy, retired longtime administrative assistant for the institute.
Levi will receive the John M. Agrey Award, which recognizes significant contributions to North Dakota, its citizens and its business community through involvement in transportation. Levi retired as director of the North Dakota Department of Transportation in May, after serving in the position since 2013. Under his direction, the NDDOT and its transportation partners advanced transportation improvements to increase traffic safety and enhance the quality of life for North Dakota residents.
Levi began his career with the department in 1980 as a temporary employee and later as a construction engineer in the Valley City district. He moved to the Bismarck central office, holding several positions over the years, and later was the Fargo district engineer. Before being appointed director, Levi was the deputy director for engineering from 1999 to 2013. He also served on numerous national committees, including six years as chair of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials materials committee.
A native of Zeeland, North Dakota, Levi earned his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from NDSU. He and his wife, Patty, live in Bismarck.
Hushka will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award, recognizing his innovative philosophies and creative solutions in the engineering and business community. He served as president and CEO of KLJ and during his nine-year term led the company from a 300-person local firm to an 800-employee regional company.
Hushka is actively involved in the communities KLJ serves. He serves on several boards of directors including Blue Cross Blue Shield North Dakota. He is a longtime member of the American Consulting Engineers Council and the National Society of Professional Engineers. He also chaired the Bismarck-Mandan Development Association.
He earned his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from NDSU in 1978. He retired from KLJ in December 2016. Hushka lives in Bozeman, Montana, where he continues to create and grow businesses.
McCarthy, who was a manager and administrative assistant with the institute for 25 years, will receive the Chairman’s Award. She was responsible for supervision and personnel administration, management of the grants and contracts, all fiscal and financial reporting and budget preparation for the institute, scheduled and coordinated national workshops and conferences, and coordinated activities of the communications and technical support staff. She assisted with the creation and operations of the research and training programs of the UGPTI, and implementation of the graduate education program established in 1994 via the TLN videoconference system.
She retired December 2016.
The Chairman's Award recognizes individuals for contributions to transportation research, education, outreach at NDSU or contributions to the viability of the Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute.
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