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Featured Post: COMTO WA Hosts Largest Gala Ever!

COMTO’s Washington chapter hosted its annual Scholarship Gala on Friday, April 26. It was the sixth and largest gala ever hosted by the chapter. The keynote speaker was Super Bowl Champion and Vault89 CEO Doug Baldwin, Jr. After receiving a heartfelt introduction by Nebiu Kinfu—a student he once mentored and for whom he served as a father figure—Doug reminded the audience of the importance of love in making a difference in the lives of those around us. He gave the chapter an opportunity to raise additional scholarship funds by signing five items attendees bid on during the event. His inspiring speech was followed by a participatory improv show by ComedySportz Seattle.

"COMTO is the voice of equity in the transportation industry,” said Sound Transit’s Equity in Contracting Director Brenda Nnambi, who is starting a second term as the chapter’s vice president. “Through our collective efforts, I believe that we are making a significant difference in the diversity and equity of our industry."

Keynote introduction speaker Nebiu Kinfu (left) with mentor and keynote speaker Doug Baldwin (right)
Keynote introduction speaker Nebiu Kinfu (left) with mentor and keynote speaker Doug Baldwin (right)

During the gala the chapter awarded $10,000 in scholarships to students Myriam Trivino and Manu Agni. Myriam recently served as a bridge engineer intern at HNTB and worked on projects such as Sound Transit’s West Seattle to Ballard Link Extension. She is about to begin working on her master’s at the University of Washington. Her goal is to obtain her structural engineer license and become a bridge engineer. “Transportation is what unites us,” Myriam said. “Through strategic and thoughtfully planned transportation designs, we can connect communities, enable economic growth, and ensure safety for everyone. I want to see the transportation field succeed and I want to be a part of that change.”

“Transportation is a profession that has a profound effect on the world,” said Manu, who is working on his master’s in both urban planning and civil engineering—transportation at the University of Washington and serving as a transit and mobility intern with the Seattle Department of Transportation. “Increasing the number of people who use the simplest methods of transportation—walking and bicycling—can solve so many societal challenges. It can dramatically reduce smog in Mumbai, slash obesity in Lima, and create happier communities in Boston. The opportunity to take that seriously inspired me to study transportation.”

COMTO WA celebrates two scholarship recipients at the 2024 gala
Standing (left to right): COMTO WA Vice President Brenda Nnambi, scholarship recipients Myriam Trivino and Manu Agnir, and COMTO WA President Grantley Martelly

Scroll through the gala's photo galleries below!

These incredible images were captured by Jeffrey Fong



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