PennDOT Honors Star of Excellence Recipients

Members News

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) Secretary Yassmin Gramian recognized 32 PennDOT employees for their outstanding performance with the Star of Excellence Award, PennDOT’s highest recognition.  Two employees from PennDOT’s District 4-0 which represents Lackawanna, Luzerne, Pike, Susquehanna, Wayne, and Wyoming counties were among the honorees.

“These employees represent the incredible people on the PennDOT team,” Gramian said. “With a focus on innovation, customer service, mobility and connectivity, they work tirelessly each day to provide safe and efficient transportation for Pennsylvania’s residents.”

Gramian and other department executives honored winners Lonell Shalkowski and Dawn Kidder during a virtual ceremony.

“Both Loni and Dawn have truly excelled in their service to the travelling public in northeast Pennsylvania.  They are both stars within our organization and work at a very high level everyday” said Richard Roman, District Executive for PennDOT Engineering District 4, based in Dunmore.

Loni has been the lead of the District Maintenance Permit Task Force since 2019. The District Maintenance Permit Task Force is a district-wide initiative where a group of engineers focus on the design and submission of maintenance permits to reduce the District’s priority bridge items.

The success of the District Maintenance Permit Task Force requires open, proactive communications between the Design, Construction and Maintenance Divisions to ensure priority bridge items are addressed in a cost-effective and timely manner. This success is also bolstered by the rapport Loni has built with the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to expedite the review and approvals for priority item permits.

Loni’s leadership in setting priorities and giving direction to the team members has increased the level of service to the county bridge/maintenance forces and has improved the communication between the District Office and County Managers.

Dawn is a Roadway Programs Manager in the Maintenance Division for Engineering District 4-0. Dawn’s work ethic and dedication to getting the job done truly sets her apart and makes her a valuable asset to the Department. She is hard working, dependable, and dedicated to the Department. Dawn creates a positive work environment where teamwork is encouraged and valued. She is a true leader and an outstanding co-worker.

Dawn filled the void created when Wayne County’s Roadway Programs Coordinator (RPC) retired and kept the county moving forward.

Dawn is the embodiment of ideal customer service and an exemplary representative of PennDOT. When dealing with difficult situations Dawn always stays calm. Even with all the extra duties Dawn has taken on, she never waivers and always delivers information on time and accurately. She is a role model to all and leads by example. She is an asset to the Department.

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.

For more information on PennDOT activities in Lackawanna, Luzerne, Pike, Susquehanna, Wayne, and Wyoming visit