Salem - The Extra Mile - October 2022
You also want an ePaper? Increase the reach of your titles
YUMPU automatically turns print PDFs into web optimized ePapers that Google loves.
Salem District Newsletter
Volume 16 Issue 10
• Performance Review Time
• Equipment Prep
• Employee Profile:
• One of a Kind Roller
• Regional Rodeo
Peters Creek Operator Bradley Holt is using a roller attachment on the motor grader to
compact gravel on Route 630 (Brushy Mountain Road) in Stuart. (See more on back page.)
RECOGNIZING OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENTS
On September 29, the Salem District was well represented at the 2022
Commissioner’s Award ceremony at the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute.
Business Process Specialist Kyle Myers, Environmental Specialist Valarie Ramsey
and Blacksburg AHQ Superintendent Randy Wolf each received the coveted
Commissioner’s Award for outstanding achievements.
Kyle Myers won the Outstanding VDOT Employee
award for going above and beyond his role in the
Customer Service Center (CSC) and contributing to
statewide initiatives that benefited both external and
Working closely with the Information Technology
Division, he volunteered to learn and help develop
VDOT’s Azure Customer Service Snow BOT. He
educated himself on industry best practices which
eventually led him to be the primary business editor
for the snow BOT.
He also stepped beyond his assigned duties by volunteering to create a tech
fluency user guide with step-by-step instructions and screenshots for area
headquarters using Surface Pro and Cradlepoint in the field.
In addition, Kyle was the business user who helped with the design and creation
of new CSC dashboards which resulted in an improved system that offers realtime
information regarding service requests, customer contact types and more.
cont. pg. 2
AUTUMN IS UPON US
By Ken King, P.E.
and a colorful
district. As fall
winter, I am pleased to share
that our construction projects
have made good progress over
the past construction season.
Our plant mix and thin asphalt
treatment contract work is either
already complete or nearing
completion at this time. This is
earlier than usual, and I thank
each of you who are a part of
this very important program.
Whether you are one of the field
leaders who recently attended the
cont. pg. 2
Bedford • Botetourt • Carroll • Craig • Floyd • Franklin • Giles • Henry • Montgomery • Patrick • Pulaski • Roanoke 1
district snow conference, or one
of the many employees who
will lend a helping hand during
snow removal operations, I
know everyone is preparing for
the upcoming winter.
Congratulations to the
Southwest Area Headquarters
for being the dry run winner for
this year. They did an outstanding
job making sure everything was
in order and prepared for the
season ahead. This year, the
competition was particularly tight
as many of our area headquarters
did an excellent job.
It also was good to see so many
team members back in person at
the snow conference. While our
virtual conferences over the last
few years were well done, it was
great to be in person once again.
I appreciate the information and
dialogue that were shared during
While snow removal seems quite
basic, we can always learn more
about plowing, forecasting,
managing salt and applying
liquid chemicals. Sharing best
practices and learning from one
another’s experiences are very
valuable for the team and will
help us to be ready and in step
with one another when the
I will be out on medical leave
for much of November and
Rob Griffith will be the acting
district engineer while I am
away. I know everything will
continue to work smoothly
because of all the great
leaders and employees we
have throughout the district.
Above all, please keep
safety as your top priority
in the months ahead
especially during inclement
weather. I wish you
the very best and look
forward to reconnecting
with you soon.
Because of his initiative, positive attitude and willingness to help others, Kyle is
well-known statewide. His expertise and approachability are recognized by all of
these teams, making him a favorite resource of system users and support staff.
Valarie Ramsey won the Environmental Stewardship
award for creating maps using ArcGIS that help
The maps she created help identify environmental
clearances for ditches including threatened and
endangered species, jurisdictional information and
roadway data in each county. They provide the
residencies and area headquarters with a method
of evaluating the need for an on-site environmental
review. As a result, maintenance forces can quickly
determine if a field review is needed or if they can
proceed with ditching or non-jurisdictional pipe
replacements without further environmental approvals.
In addition, they free the Environmental Section from spending hours or days
traveling and reviewing maintenance projects that would not have otherwise
required environmental review or coordination.
Randy Wolf was recognized with the Community
Service and Volunteerism award because of his
commitment to donate platelets to the American
He first gave blood at a mobile blood drive at the
Salem District Office in 2010. Since then, he has
donated every other Sunday. That’s 24 times a year
for almost 12 years. He has endured the long donation
process more than 250 times translating to 750+ units
of platelets and approximately 90 gallons of blood.
IT’S REVIEW TIME
VDOT has elected to implement a short-term simple evaluation process for
completing Performance Year 2022 (PY22) Annual Performance Evaluations. The
PY22 year started on October 25, 2021 and ended on October 24, 2022.
Supervisors will schedule a meeting with employees to discuss and review
performances. During this meeting, employees will have the opportunity to provide
feedback of their work experience. Employees are also encouraged to fill out a selfevaluation
and share it with their supervisor before this meeting.
After the performance evaluation meeting, supervisors will then complete an
Annual Evaluation Form rating the employee’s overall performance as exceptional,
met expectations or unacceptable. All forms are due December 1.
For complete information, including links to forms, the submission
library, FAQs, and a DocuSign User Guide and Video, please visit
the Human Resources PY22 Evaluation Resources site on DOTi
VDOT/SitePages/PY22.aspx or scan the QR code.
Community Service / Volunteerism
For questions regarding performance evaluations, contact Salem
District Human Resources Manager Donna Fizer (firstname.lastname@example.org) or
HR Consultants Sarah Merrill (email@example.com) and Teresa Moody
Bedford • Botetourt • Carroll • Craig • Floyd • Franklin • Giles • Henry • Montgomery • Patrick • Pulaski • Roanoke
EQUIPMENT PREP FOR WINTER WEATHER
During the dry runs, an equipment inspector visits
each area headquarters and works with crews to
evaluate their snow trucks, plows and equipment
used in winter weather.
Every year, the district holds a dry run competition
and the area headquarters with the best scores are
recognized during the snow conference which was
held this year on October 18-19. Congratulations
to Southwest AHQ for having the best score during
this year’s dry runs.
Supervisor Gary Reaves credits the entire
maintenance team at Southwest AHQ for winning
this year’s competition.
“There is a great deal of planning and a lot of
scheduling throughout the shop to make sure
every piece of equipment is ready,” Gary said. He
explained how they work hard to take care of their
equipment all year, but they start working even
harder when they get the annual dry run schedules
“Communication during dry run planning is one of
the topics of our safety meetings every morning.
This is very important so that we all know what’s
going on and what is needed to meet our goals,” Gary said.
Southwest AHQ celebrates a Dry Run Award: (l to r)
Patrick Bower, Matthew Gillenwater, Larry Woolwine, Dale
Smith, Gary Reaves, Sam Weddle, David Hinkley, Salem
Resident Engineer Brian Blevins and Ashley Smith
Dry Run Award Winners
The Southwest team goes over the checklist in advance and puts on their plows, spreaders and
tire chains to make sure everything is functioning properly. “We always give feedback to the
operators as to what they still need to check, and we thank them for their hard work.”
The team also reviews how to mix and apply the Neutro Wash solution to the equipment.
“One of our newest operators, Dustin Dudley, was asked about this during the dry runs and he
scored us points by providing the correct answer.”
Gary said he always looks forward to this time of year. “I have been with VDOT for more than 30
years, and I have always wanted to win the dry run competition.” While they also brought home
the dry run trophy in 2020, he said he hopes to win every year!
Big Island AHQ
Hanging Rock AHQ
EMPLOYEE PROFILE: JANET SMITH
After working a little more than 30 years for the
Commonwealth, Janet Smith retired from the
Salem District’s Environmental section in 2018.
A year later, she decided to return as a parttime
environmental specialist working for the
She likes that her job requires her to be outside
near streams and other natural resources. She
doesn’t have a favorite stream or environmental
area because she likes them all.
Working outside and in nature interested Janet
many years ago which is what led her to get a
bachelor’s degree in environmental science. She
began her career with VDOT working for the
Bristol District’s Environmental section where she started learning more about the
different types of threatened and endangered species.
Janet’s love for the outdoors has also spilled over into her personal life as is
evident by her hobbies. Camping and kayaking are two of her favorite pastimes
with her husband Larry to whom she has been married for 32 years. They enjoy
finding camping spots near Bluegrass festivals.
After a long and successful environmental career, Janet has found a great balance
between work and play at this time of her life.
New London AHQ
Smith Mountain Lake AHQ
Bedford • Botetourt • Carroll • Craig • Floyd • Franklin • Giles • Henry • Montgomery • Patrick • Pulaski • Roanoke
GOING THE EXTRA MILE
Citizens Express Gratitude for VDOT
A big shout out and thank you to the
crews working in the Endicott section
of Ferrum. Four inches of rain in an hour
takes a toll on the roads in this area.
There is always a great friendly VDOT
crew that works this area.
-M. Love, Callaway AHQ
Thank you for getting the speed limit
sign put up at the Hardy Road and
Hammond Drive intersection. Keep up
the good work!
-Tom Dudley, Bedford Sign Crew
I appreciate the work you did on Darnell
Mountain Road. Great job.
-M. Darnell, Pearisburg AHQ
Thank you for cleaning out the culvert
pipe on Buffalo Ridge Road. It needed
to be cleaned out. Thank you again!
-L. Bridges, Callaway AHQ
Job well done for fixing the visibility
issue on Old Mountain Road in
-Anonymous, Glade Hill AHQ
Thank you VDOT for the work you all
did on Hollins Road. I am excited about
how good my road looks now. It looks
the best it has in years.
-F. Leslie, Hanging Rock AHQ
Thank you for mowing the sides of
Hollins Road. It looks great! I appreciate
-E. Smith, Hanging Rock AHQ
Thank you to the crew who cleaned out
the ditches on Ruebush Road. I really
appreciate it. Thank you.
-Anonymous, Dublin AHQ
Kudos for Otterville Road in Bedford:
*The ditches on Otterville Road look
great. Thank you for doing such a
*Thank you for grading and cleaning
the ditches on Otterville Road. The crew
did a wonderful job!
*The ditches on Otterville have not
looked this good in years. Shout out to
the motor grader operator. Thank you!
-Big Island Residents
ONE OF A KIND ROLLER
Peters Creek AHQ is the only area headquarters
in the district to have a roller
attachment to help compact gravel.
The roller attaches easily to the back of the
motor grader. The grader can then be used to
spread and roll the gravel in one trip.
“We have about 40 miles of gravel roads in
our area,”explained Superintendent Doyle
Eaton. “The roller helps bind the stone
together and set it in the ground.”
“A benefit of using a roller is less dust
because it packs the gravel down into the
ground. It also helps cut down on rutting or
Fairystone Superintendent Randy Dalton
borrowed the roller attachment to test out
its features. “We have a lot of gravel roads
in our area, and I can definitely see the
benefits of having this attachment,” Randy
said while explaining his desire to eventually
purchase one for his area headquarters.
Ibrahim Abuawad, Manager, Pavement
Cameron Condrey, Operator, Pearisburg AHQ
Brad Jones, Equipment Repair Tech, Martinsville
Jamal Parks, Laborer, New London AHQ
Ronald Siver, Operator, New London AHQ
Corey Smith, Operator, Southwest AHQ
Promotions / Transfers / Relocations
Jason Bell, Crew Leader, Peters Creek AHQ
Michael Glass, Traffic Engineer, SWRO
David Haden, Crew Leader, Martinsville Bridge
Ethan McCormick, Crew Leader, Horsepasture AHQ
David Nininger, Supervisor, Troutville AHQ
Darrell Sowers, IMO Manager, District
Brian Watson, Inspector, Structure and Bridge
Senior Equipment Repair Tech Patrick Stanley retired from
the Martinsville Regional Shop after 30 years of service.
After placing second in the statewide
Roadeo, both David Harris (Christiansburg
Operator) and Jeremiah Law (Christiansburg
Bridge Supervisor, pictured above)
participated in the Southeastern Regional
Roadeo in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in
September. They competed against
equipment operators from ten other states.
Virginia Department of Transportation
Office of Communications
731 Harrison Avenue, Salem, VA 24153
©2022 Commonwealth of Virginia