Jennifer Toth was appointed director of the Arizona Department of Transportation on January 5, 2023, to lead the agency responsible for planning, designing, building, maintaining and operating the state’s multimodal transportation system, managing transportation revenue, and providing motor vehicle title, registration and driver license services. Jennifer has over 25 years of experience in the public works field. She has spent the majority of her career working in the public sector and was most recently the Director for the Maricopa County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) as well as the Maricopa County Engineer. Before joining MCDOT in 2014, Jennifer served as State Engineer and Deputy Director of the Arizona Department of Transportation. She has also worked in the private sector as a transportation consultant. Jennifer holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Houston and a Master of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the University of New Mexico. She brings a passion for public service and meeting the transportation needs of the residents of the State of Arizona.
Thomas Assante is a project director with the Southwest Regional team at McCarthy Building Companies, an employee-owned construction company. For more than a decade, Thomas has been building landmark projects with the McCarthy team and has been instrumental in implementing the firm’s DBE, SBE, and MWBE strategies on projects across the southwest. Through his leadership on construction projects, including various projects Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport and Denver International Airport as well as the Terminal Modernization at Mesa Gateway Airport, the OdySea Aquarium, and renewable energy projects across the country, Thomas and McCarthy’s project teams have developed and implemented project goals and strategies focused on achieving supplier diversity and economic inclusion. Thomas is a graduate of Brigham Young University and is a LEED AP BD+C. He has served on the board of directors for the Mesa idea Museum and is actively involved with AMCA, East Valley Partnership, Arizona Airports Association (AzAA), Alliance for Construction Excellence (ACE) and Arizona Builders Alliance, among other professional organizations. He is also active with several local nonprofits, primarily through his work with McCarthy’s Heart Hats philanthropic committee.
Jennifer Bixby is a Vice President at AECOM where she leads business development for offices in Arizona and Nevada. She serves all transportation market sectors, including surface transportation, transit and rail, aviation, and ITS/technology. She brings more than 25 years of experience in transportation planning and engineering for public and private clients. She has held various leadership roles ranging from project management to business operations management. Jennifer is a registered Professional Engineer (PE) and Professional Traffic Operations Engineer (PTOE) and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Iowa State University. She currently serves as a board member for the Arizona Transit Association (AzTA).
Greg Byres currently serves as state engineer and deputy director for transportation. As leader of the Infrastructure Delivery and Operations Division (IDO), Transportation Systems Management and Operations Division (TSMO), and the Multimodal Transportation Division (MPD), he oversees development and delivery of the ADOT construction program, including environmental studies, engineering design, land acquisition and construction. He also supports the maintenance and operation of more than 6,000 miles of interstate and state highways in Arizona.
Mark Chase is a Senior Vice President at AZTEC Engineering Group, Inc. and serves as AZTEC’s Transportation Practice Leader. Mark has 28 years of experience and has served in significant leadership roles on many of ADOT’s major urban freeway projects delivered by conventional and alternative delivery methods including DB, CMAR, and P3. He has significant experience in many facets of structural design and management of multi-disciplined design teams on complex projects. He serves his public and private clients alike. Mark is knowledgeable in all the technical and management disciplines required to deliver transportation projects. His design and management experience varies from GPS survey and design work on an international roadway project, to development of preliminary and final structure plans, specifications and estimates for local and regional projects. Mark brings experience in the analysis and design of prestressed and conventionally reinforced structures, as well as knowledge of geometric design tools. Throughout his career and, most recently, on significant projects like the I-10 Broadway Curve DB, South Mountain Freeway P3 DB and the I-10/SR303L System Traffic Interchange, Mark has established himself as an innovator of problem-solving solutions
Jesse Gutierrez serves as the Deputy Director of the Maricopa County Department of Transportation. As Deputy Director he works with the Director and supports all the operations of MCDOT. He has over 30 years of experience in transportation, prior to joining MCDOT in 2020, he had served as a District Engineer, Deputy State Engineer with Arizona Department of Transportation. He is a graduate of U of A with a master’s in engineering.
Jeff is a Vice President for Sundt’s Transportation Group, and the SW Region Business Development Manager. He’s a graduate from Northern Arizona University with a Bachelor of Science in Construction Management, he’s a Value Methodology Associate through SAVE international. He’s a Native Arizonan and has worked in the heavy civil construction industry for 25 years. During his career he’s held positions ranging from Field Engineer, Project Superintendent, Project Manager, Estimator, Preconstruction manager on alternative delivery method contracts, and a partner of a mining and ready-mix company in the Colorado River Valley. Recent experience includes over $1B in alternative delivery method contracts. Transportation and infrastructure project scopes include bridges, aviation, light rail/transit, drainage, roadway, parks, dam rehabilitation, water transmission and distribution, wastewater conveyance, and large sitework scopes of work. As Vice President, he works with Project Directors and Business Development Reps, owners, stakeholders, designers and project teams to develop the best approach for successful projects. He enjoys everything wake, skate, and snow, and is sad to admit that his 16 year old boy is finally better than him at all board sports…
Dr. Hodge serves as the DBE Supportive Services Program Manager of the Business Engagement & Compliance Office (BECO) of ADOT. She is an advocate for DBEs/SBCs, making herself and her team responsible for assisting these firms to get work on federal-aid contracts and to become self-sufficient in their respective industries. Dr. Hodge has worked to implement ADOT’s training and educational programs to support DBEs as well as building outreach opportunities to forge alliances with community partners. She migrated from the east coast, formerly in the Va Beach, Va area known as Hampton Roads, and has more than 15 years of combined communications, training, facilitation and management experience. Her doctorate concentration in Organizational Development and Change Management was only the beginning of her passion and journey to focus on Continuous Improvement and Service. She also personally participates in community outreach and educational efforts in the Valley.
Ellen Hopp is a Managing Partner for Galileo Project LLC with over 26 years of experience in project management and public relations. She has served as the Project Management Assistance Consultant (PMAC) project lead on multiple Environmental Impact Statements (EIS) including the Lava Ridge Wind Farm Project, Ten West Link Transmission Line Project, the Greater Crossbow Oil and Gas Project, the Lake Powell Pipeline Project, the Southline Transmission Line Project, the Pimlico Solar Energy Project, the Banjo Solar Transmission Line Project, and the Buffalo Field Office RMP SEIS project. Ellen worked as a key PMAC technical advisor for the Salmon Falls Wind Project, the Grain Belt Express Transmission Project and the Maricopa Solar Park Project. Ellen has extensive experience working on NEPA and CEQA projects for several federal and state agencies including the Bureau of Land Management, the Bureau of Reclamation, Western Area Power Administration, the Department of Defense, the National Park Service, California Public Utilities Commission, and multiple State Land Departments. Her project management skills include facilitation, project start-up, environmental and recreation planning, public outreach, team development, and strategic planning. Prior to joining Galileo, Ellen’s project work included statewide and regional public outreach programs for the Arizona Department of Transportation Community and Communications Partnership division, the City of Phoenix, and the BLM. In the private sector, Ellen managed projects internationally for several Fortune 500 companies. She is a member of the International Association of Facilitators and is certified by the International Association for Public Participation.
Candace Huff is a professional engineer who has been working with the City of Phoenix Aviation Department for over twenty-four years. She is currently the Deputy Aviation Director for the Design and Services Division. She oversees and manages the implementation of the Capital Improvement Program and the Airport Capital Improvement Program which encompasses grant funded projects, Job Order Contracting and Tenant Improvement efforts for the division, and Terminal 4 S1 Concourse ensuring thorough and effective execution for the Aviation Department as well as the overall management of the division. She has worked on several key airport development projects for Sky Harbor (PHX), Goodyear (GYR) and Deer Valley (DVT) Airports and has managed projects such as the reconstruction of the north and center runways as well as the new construction of the south runway for PHX.
Jason Kahn has been in the civil construction industry for 17 years and is currently a Vice President at Rummel Construction. Rummel is a local, 100% employee-owned, company that specializes in heavy civil construction and has been serving the valley for over 26 years. Rummel’s client base includes a mix of public and private owners and serves multiple market sectors including Aviation, Commercial, Energy, Flood Control, Industrial, Landfill, Residential, Transportation and more. While primarily being known for large-scale, self-perform, earthmoving – today’s Rummel is a lot more than that.
Jason started his construction career in 2005 with Herzog Contracting building one of the earliest phases of Valley Metro light rail on Central Ave between McDowell and Camelback. After its completion, Jason moved to Missouri to work at Herzog’s headquarters and traveled nationally and internationally working on an assortment of projects with them. In 2012 Jason decided to ‘permanently’ return to the Valley to let his family’s roots grow and he has been working for Rummel ever since. Today, as a Vice President and Sector Manager, Jason is responsible for the oversight of projects delivered using Alternative Project Delivery Methods including Construction Manager at Risk, Design-Build, and Job Order Contracting. Jason believes working with DBE’s is about more than meeting compliance guidelines established by the owner – it is also about developing lasting partnerships that can provide mutual long-term benefit.
Henry Ikwut-Ukwa is a transportation executive with over 24 years of experience in transit industry leadership and management. He is currently the Chief of Capital and Service Development at Valley Metro where he leads the Capital and Service Development Division of Valley Metro Rail, Inc. and the Regional Public Transportation Authority (RPTA). Prior to this he held executive and management positions with Atlanta BeltLine Inc., Birmingham Jefferson County Transit Authority (BJCTA), and Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA). His early career covers extensive consulting experience with major engineering companies including Parsons Corporation, URS Corporation, and HDR Inc. Henry holds a PhD in civil engineering with minor in public policy from the Georgia Institute of Technology and is a graduate of the Atlanta Regional Leadership Institute and a 2016 graduate of Leadership APTA, the executive leadership program of the American Public Transportation Association. He is a registered professional engineer (PE).
Kini L. E. Knudson has served as the director for the Street Transportation Department since 2018. Kini previously served as the Assistant Street Transportation Director and City Engineer. Prior to joining the Street Transportation Department, Kini was the deputy director in the Public Transit Department responsible for the Facilities Division. Since joining the city in 2000, he has worked in several other city departments, including Development Services, Aviation, and Engineering and Architectural Services. Kini has spent the majority of his professional career managing vertical and horizontal construction projects and programs, and possesses significant contracting and procurement experience. Prior to his employment with the city of Phoenix, Kini was an Officer in the United States Navy Civil Engineer Corps. Kini spent time stationed in southern Spain and in the Washington D.C. area. He is a registered Professional Engineer in Arizona. He holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Arizona, and a master’s degree in business administration from Arizona State University.
Yung Koprowski received her Bachelors of Science in Civil Engineering from Arizona State University. She is a Professional Traffic Operations Engineer and Road Safety Professional who founded her own engineering firm, Y2K Engineering, in 2017. With a focus on traffic engineering and transportation planning, Yung collaborates with stakeholders to develop multimodal solutions. From offices in Mesa, Arizona, and Denver, Colorado, Yung currently leads a team of 20. She has been recognized for her contributions by various organizations, including the American Society of Civil Engineers, the Institute of Transportation Engineers, the Phoenix Business Journal, and AZ Big Media. Yung also serves as a councilmember for the Town of Gilbert, Arizona, and co-chaired a campaign to pass a $515M General Obligation Transportation & Infrastructure Bond.
Allen has been in the construction industry for 35 years, 30 years of which has been with Kiewit. An Arizona native, Allen has spent most of career working on highway infrastructure projects within the state. In last 20 years, Allen’s focus has been mostly on estimating and managing alternative deliver projects, such as design-build and CM at Risk. Allen is currently the Project Manager on I-17 Flex Lanes Design-Build-Operate-Maintain project being built by Kiewit/Fann Joint Venture.