Clearfield – The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) Secretary Leslie S. Richards today recognized 30 PennDOT employees for their outstanding performance with the Star of Excellence Award, PennDOT’s highest recognition.

Two employees from PennDOT’s District 2, which represents Cameron, Centre, Clearfield, Clinton, Elk, Juniata, McKean, Mifflin, and Potter counties were among the honorees.“Every day, I am reminded of our employees’ dedication, their excellent customer service, and in many cases, their sacrifices,” said PennDOT Secretary Leslie S. Richards. “The accomplishments of our Stars of Excellence exemplify PennDOT’s mission to provide the very best transportation services to Pennsylvanians every day.

Local winners Victoria Rusnak and Dave Karp were honored at an awards luncheon at the Governor’s residence in Harrisburg.

Listen to the full interview with Marla Fannin, the press officer for PennDOT’s District 2.

District 2 DE Karen Michael noted, “Vickie and Dave are shining examples of exactly what we mean when we use the term customer service. They each embody the actions we need to take to maximize our resources while including and communicating with internal and external customers”.

Vickie Rusnak has been instrumental in implementing the District’s PennDOT Connects program. She worked with the District’s Planning Partners to maximize TIP funding resources while also working with the municipalities to program needed improvements. To date, Vickie and her staff have coordinated with external stakeholders on more than 225 projects. She secured $1.4 million of Eastern Federal Lands Access Funds and worked with the municipalities to acquire an addition $1.2 million in Multimodal Funds to improve state and local roads. These specific efforts helped make District 2’s current project on Route 3002 in Elk County a reality.

Vickie lives in Philipsburg with her family and has been with PennDOT since December of 1986.

Over the years, Dave Karp has been in charge of inspection duties for many of District 2’s most complex projects and has always focused his efforts to ensure that project work was completed as efficiently as possible–saving time and money. On a recent I-80 job, Dave’s approach led to a savings of over $400,000. Dave’s efforts will also lessen the need for future maintenance operations and his experience enabled him to complete the work on time while also adding repairs and paving to two critical bridge decks at Exit 161. Dave retired in April, after more than 30 years of service. His work recognized by the Star of Excellence award occurred during the 2018 construction season.

The Star of Excellence Awards are presented annually to employees who represent the department’s values of service, performance and integrity. The recipients represent a variety of organizational positions, spanning from highway maintenance and driver and vehicle services workers, to traffic control specialists, communications staff and design and engineering specialists.

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