Dallas County Public Works Utility Awards Program Highlights Essential Partnerships

Each year, the Dallas County Public Works (DCPW) presents its Utility Awards Breakfast, recognizing and expressing gratitude to its utility partners for being a vital part of the project delivery process team. 

This year’s presentation on November 17 was the second year the ceremony was held online due to COVID-19. Commissioners John Wiley Price and Dr. Theresa Daniel were on hand to offer words of congratulations to the recipients along with other representatives from Districts 2 and 4. 

The award winners represented a wide range of partners, including TxDOT, Dallas Water Utilities, AT&T and Kinetic Solutions (a consultant to Spectrum). The most prestigious award, the Utility Partner of the Year, was presented to Jose Puente, P.E., with Dallas Water Utilities (DWU). Mr. Puente took over the Riverfront project for DWU during the preliminary design phase of the project and has seen it through with detailed diligence. 

Jose Puente, Dallas Water Utilities (DWU)

The Agency Partner of the Year was presented to Maher Ghanayem, P.E., a recent retiree from the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT). Mr. Ghanayem oversaw many local-let projects, including Northaven Trail, SoPac Trail and several other Dallas County MCIP multimodal bicycle/pedestrian improvement projects that were federally funded through the Transportation Alternatives Set Aside (TASA) funding program. Maher was a true partner throughout his tenure at TxDOT and shared his expertise on TxDOT project coordination with many of the local governments in our region. 

Maher Ghanayem, TxDOT, and his wife Mimi

The Special Utility Partner of the Year was presented to David Williams with Kinetic Solutions, LLC., consultant to Spectrum. Mr. Williams has assisted the County with clearing conflicts for several jobs, including BSW Wintergreen Road, Riverfront Boulevard, and Medical District Drive.   

David has been instrumental in executing Spectrum’s relocations on these three projects and his expeditious efforts in moving lines to navigate around paved areas have helped these County projects stay on schedule. We appreciate David’s willingness to promptly respond to critical situations and to support Spectrum’s partnering efforts. 

Richie Bonner, Spectrum, and David Williams, Kinetic Solutions

Lastly, the Utility Designer of the Year Award went to Robert Rasmussen, Jr., of AT&T. Mr. Rasmussen was instrumental in resolving several conflicts on the Medical District Drive Project in District 4. Robert oversaw the reconstruction of several vaults and manholes which were converted into traffic-rated structures during the road widening process. He also provided solutions for cable/conduit relocations and was instrumental in providing regular updates on construction to the County to prevent delays. 

Robert retired from AT&T in December 2021, with 29 years of meritorious service. 

Congratulations to all the award winners and all the best to the two recent retirees, Mr. Ghanayem and Mr. Rasmussen, for their future endeavors.