PennDOT Honors Star of Excellence Recipients, Agency Recognizes 32 Employees Across Pennsylvania


KING OF PRUSSIA, PA — The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) Secretary Yassmin Gramian today recognized 32 PennDOT employees for their outstanding performance with the Star of Excellence Award, PennDOT’s highest recognition. Two employees from PennDOT’s District 6, which represents Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia 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 District 6 winners Michelle McGrath and Patrick Pietrak during a virtual ceremony.

“Michelle and Pat are true examples of what makes PennDOT a great place to work,” said Acting District 6 Executive Lou Belmonte. “Their hard work and dedication have been a tremendous asset to District 6 and their respective units as they continue to strive for excellence each day to support and assist PennDOT staff and customers.”
Michelle McGrath, a Clerk Typist 2, has become known as the “face” of the Delaware County maintenance office. Since Michelle began there in 2018, she’s delivered excellent customer service which allows the office to deal with real-time issues and offer exemplary service. While handling incoming phone calls, in-person customers, and potential employees, Michelle never brushes off even the smallest concerns, and she genuinely wants to help every customer she encounters, even during the difficult time of Covid-19. Michelle’s mindset and values have kept the office running smoothly, safely, and in an efficient manner, even during staffing shortages. Despite extra workloads, especially during winter season, Michelle brings a positive attitude to work each day and has been credited with raising morale among the PennDOT staff.

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Patrick Pietrak, District 6’s Building Maintenance Foreman, is known by his colleagues and others as knowledgeable, friendly, reliable and a vital part of improving morale, and ensuring that the District 6 building functions at a high level every day. When District 6’s doors closed because of Covid-19, Pat remained working on-site to ensure that the new Regional Traffic Management Center (RTMC) construction continued smoothly with limited interruptions. He worked diligently to ensure the building was maintained and cleaned for when employees returned to the office. In addition, Pat also was the point of contact to allow employees to access equipment in the building in a safe and controlled manner for teleworking needs, while following Covid-19 safety protocols. Pat’s commitment to cleaning the District 6 headquarters and providing snow removal services saved the District over $97,000 and $24,000 respectively.

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 Bucks, Chester Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties visit

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