Annual Awards Recognize Statewide Excellence in Public Transit
Presented by the Transportation Association of Maryland


Stevensville, MD - The Transportation Association of Maryland (TAM), a statewide organization dedicated to improving the mobility of all Maryland citizens, hosted its Annual Excellence Awards Ceremony during its Annual Conference (Sept. 19-21) for transportation providers, vendors and non-profits at the Chesapeake Bay Beach Club in Stevensville, MD.

TAM’s Annual Awards Ceremony took place Wednesday, September 20, honoring organizations and individuals in the following categories: Friend of Transit; Outstanding Marketing Program; Outstanding Leadership; Unsung Transit Hero; Outstanding Non-Profit Agency; Outstanding Transit System; and Driver of the Year. 

Presented by Awards Committee Chair Tangela Carthy (EasterSeals), and sponsored by Vector Media, the following individuals and agencies were honored and presented awards alongside Travis Johnston, Director of the Office of Local Transit Support, MDOT MTA; and Jeff Barnett, Board President, TAM.

Friend of Transit: Nancy Huggins, MDOT MTA

Nancy Huggins has worked in Maryland Transit for over 20 years, serving at every level of the transit community - Non-profit, public transit, vendor, and State Government. Her most recent contributions to our community came as program manager for the MDOT MTA Office of Local Transit Support's Non-profit (5310), Senior Ride, Commuter Assistance/RideShare, and the Maryland Jobs Access Reverse Commute program. She also oversaw the updates of the Title VI programs for all the non-profits and local transit systems. It would not be an exaggeration to say that Nancy's help and guidance have been crucial to the non-profit community's success - indeed, Nancy helped to create that part of our transit community through her actions in bringing disparate non-profits together under a single transit umbrella.  For all of us, she has been a telephone call or an email away standing at the ready to answer those provocative questions; encouraging us to apply for grants; supporting our efforts to build communities that are accessible for everyone.  She has worn any many hats during her illustrious career.  For this, and for much more, Nancy is honored with our 2023 Friend of Transit Award.

Outstanding Marketing Program: Towson The Loop

Best Marketing

The Loop, Towson’s free shuttle service, launched its service in the fall of 2021. The Loop is more than a free way to get around - it has become part of the fabric of Towson itself and as such the Loop’s marketing materials have a local flair. The Loop expands access to easy, efficient, free and reliable transit service that better connects residents, students and visitors with the places they live, work, study, and play. Their strategies included print media, local billboard postings, social influencer promotions, radio advertising and they maximized exposure on various social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. 

Outstanding Leadership: Oluseyi Olugbenle, Prince George's County TheBus

Outstanding Leadership

Our 2023 Outstanding Leadership Award winnerserves as the Deputy Director for Prince George's County DPW&T. Her career includes time spent with the Maryland Department of Transportation Secretary’s Office, State Highway Administration and as the deputy director and director of the Office of Planning and Capital Programming (OPP) at the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA), where she continued her focus on transportation and the complex issues facing aging infrastructure and the lack of and unsafe transportation access affecting residents statewide. She also became the first Black woman appointed as a director in the MTA's OPP. 

Unsung Transit Hero: Janelle Johnson, Prince George's County TheBus

Unsung Transit Hero


Ms. Johnson is a former public safety dispatcher who currently serves as a reservationist for our paratransit call center. Ms. Johnson consistently goes above and beyond to ensure the continuity of operations of the Call-a-Bus administrative office. Outsider her regular duties of assisting patrons book trips, Ms. Johnson has become a lead in the operations of the office by ensuring resources are stocked for operators and administrative staff. She also maintains inventory of resources by creating tracking processes that were not in place prior. Additionally, her creativity shines through her ability of conveying messages by management into flyers and posters within the facility to ensure communication is plentiful. 

Janelle's unwavering commitment to productivity and timeliness is evident in every project she undertakes. With an innate ability to prioritize tasks, she consistently meets and often surpasses the established expectations, ensuring that every assignment is completed to the highest standard. Her dedication to timeliness ensures that projects aren't just done right but are also completed within the set timelines, making her a dependable linchpin in any team.

Outstanding Non-Profit Agency: Allegany County Human Resources Development Commission, Inc. (HRDC)

Outstanding Non Profit Agency

The Allegany County Human Resources Development Commission, Inc. (HRDC) is the designated Community Action Agency (CAA) and Area Agency on Aging for Allegany County, Maryland. HRDC, under the direction of its Board of Directors, designs, staffs, operates and assembles funding for a wide range of programs. HRDC currently operates 32   programs from 16 different sites located throughout the County and is the sponsoring agency for community programs geared towards empowering low-income individuals, seniors & families These programs improve the lives of the young, the low-income, the elderly and those with disabilities in Allegany County, Maryland.

Allegany County HRDC is a true asset to the community they serve. The commissions history reflects many benchmarks of achievement resulting from innovative programming, quality program management and service delivery. Discovering people’s talents, maximizing their potential, developing their skills and finding solutions for their needs is what HRDC does. The organization reaches out to help those in need, make Allegany County a better place to grow up, live and grow old.

Outstanding Transit System: Cecil Transit

Outstanding Transit System


Cecil Transit leads the industry in innovative approaches to safety, driver recruitment, financial management, community relationships, and responsiveness to community needs. Cecil Transit’s services are viewed as vital community resources; as such, they are often invited to participate in discussions and planning activities to improve the overall quality of life for individuals relying on public transportation. The ability to introduce new initiatives and remain relevant in the community is a direct result of the organization’s dedicated staff that cares about the passengers and community and is committed to providing safe, equitable and reliable service.

Cecil Transit’s responsiveness to the transit needs of Cecil County and ability to foster strong partnerships with community stakeholders has enabled transit services to expand and evolve over the last decade. Flexibility and adaptivity will be required over the next several years to ensure that Cecil Transit meets the transportation needs of a growing County and prepares for a future that includes clean infrastructure and new technologies. 

Driver of the Year: Angela Counce, Prince George’s County TheBus

Driver of the Year


Ms. Counce has been a transit operator since July 2000, transporting county residents for over 23 years. In every endeavor, Ms. Counce exemplifies the essence of productivity combined with the precision of timeliness. Not only does she consistently meet the established expectations, but she also ensures that every assigned task reaches its fruition within the stipulated period. What sets Ms. Counce apart is her proactive nature; she doesn’t just stop at the task at hand. Instead, she constantly seeks additional tasks and learning opportunities showcasing an insatiable thirst for growth and a commendable commitment to efficiency.

Ms. Counce stands out as an exemplar of dedication and excellence. Nurturing positive working relationships with both coworkers and customers, fosters an environment of mutual respect and collaboration. Attentive and responsive, Ms. Counce is not just keen on addressing customers’ needs, but anticipates them, often going a step further than expected. Moreover, Ms. Counce goes beyond personal responsibility, actively fostering a culture that promotes a safe environment. Ms. Counce integrity shines brightest when following through on commitments and building trust with every interaction.