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Sacramento, Calif. – The 2016 SACOG Salutes awards were presented at the SACOG Board of Directors meeting.

SACOG Salutes began in 1999 to recognize outstanding and innovative land-use, transportation and air quality planning, programs and activism throughout the six-county SACOG region.


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Mary Brill Youth Excellence
The Student and Landowner Education and Watershed Stewardship (SLEWS) Program

SLEWS is a program of the Center for Land-Based Learning, whose mission is to create the next generation of farmers. The program has a direct positive impact on watersheds in the region. In the last 15 years, the SLEWS Program has trained over 6,000 students who have completed 204 projects, planted 65,000 native trees, shrubs and forbs, installed 123 irrigation systems, and built and installed 700 bird and bee nesting boxes.

Citizen of the Year
Bob Smart

Bob Smart has spent his life as a public servant and has been involved in local politics in El Dorado County for over 20 years. A retired wildland firefighter, he has spent his retirement donating time and energy to increase mutli-modal options for residents. Mr. Smart is passionate about enhancing and protecting the high quality of life in El Dorado County through the development of livable, walkable and bikeable communities.

Employee of the Year
Sharon Scherzinger

Sharon Scherzinger has dedicated her professional life to improving transportation in California, the Sacramento region and El Dorado County through leadership positions at Caltrans and the El Dorado County Transportation Commission. While at Caltrans she worked to implement the Public Transit Modernization Plan Improvement and Service Enhancement Act, and the 2009 Federal Stimulus Package. As Executive Director for EDCTC, she has been instrumental in delivering many significant projects that increase multi-modal travel and has programmed more than $15 million in Congestions Mitigation and Air Quality funds.

Employee of the Year
Jerry Way

Jerry Way had a distinguished 36-year long career with the City of Sacramento starting out as a parking lot attendant and concluding as Director of Public Works. With a motto of “100% of the time, it is 100% about the people,” Mr. Way created a culture of excellence at the city. He has the ability to bring people together toward consensus and was instrumental in steering many complex, multi-layered projects to completion.

Regional Organization of the Year
Urban Land Institute Sacramento

The Urban Land Institute Sacramento provides a forum for valuable educational programs related to best practices in land use and public policy initiatives that affect our community and region. ULI Sacramento has over 2,000 members representing the development community, local elected officials, government agencies, and non-profit agencies. ULI Sacramento brings together multiple sectors and stakeholders together to implement the most sustainable and viable development for the Sacramento region.

Regional Project of the Year
Watt Avenue/US 50 Interchange

The Watt Avenue/US 50 Interchange was a $25 million project that aimed to mitigate congestion in one of the most heavily traveled areas in the region. The retrofits to the interchange include improved safety and reduced traffic delay, unique transit, bicycle, and pedestrian features that are separated from vehicle traffic, and a dedicated bi-directional Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) lane. This is the first dedicated BRT facility through a freeway interchange in the state of California.

Blueprint Excellence
The Cannery, New Home Company

The New Home Company redeveloped the former site of the Hunt Wesson tomato factory into what is now The Cannery. Vacant since 1999, the lot is now transformed into a multi-generational and mixed-use neighborhood that can accommodate many lifestyles. The Cannery is a model project with its sustainable and responsible construction, low impact development, and smart growth principles.

Regional Collaboration – Golden 1 Center
City of Sacramento, Sacramento Kings, Sacramento Regional Transit, Yolo County Transportation District, Roseville Transit, Downtown Sacramento Partnership, Sacramento Area Bicycle Advocates

The planning of Golden 1 Center took unparalleled collaboration and perseverance. Through countless hours of meetings, stakeholder engagement, mass communication, and planning, the arena opened with patrons arriving on foot, by bike, by transit, and in cars. This regional infill project overcame numerous challenges, exemplifies mobility planning for all, and is a national example for sustainable planning.