The City of St. Augustine informed local Historic City News reporters that our local public works director has been named Public Works Director of the Year for 2016 by the Florida Chapter of the American Public Works Association.
As an active member of the Association, Martha Graham, P.E., serves on the Small Cities and Rural Communities national committee representing public works agencies from across the nation to support and address challenges unique to agencies with a population of 75,000 or less.
The award was presented during the Florida Public Works Expo held in Tampa last week.
As Public Works Director, Graham manages the city’s largest department working with 120 employees in eight divisions that include Streets and Grounds, Solid Waste and Sanitation, all water and waste water operations, engineering services for a wide variety of projects, environmental compliance and most recently mobility.
Most agree that Public Works is the department that provides the most services the community interacts with each day.
Since becoming Public Works Director for the city in 2008, Graham has overseen several award winning projects including the Avenida Menendez Seawall Project which was named the American Public Works Association 2015 Public Works Project of the Year in the Historic Restoration and Preservation category. Another major project was the Downtown Improvement District which encompassed the complete rehabilitation of both underground utilities and the streetscape of Hypolita, Treasury and Spanish Streets. That project garnered the same award for 2016, a rare occurrence for the same municipality to receive the award in two consecutive years.
Prior to being named the city’s public works director, Graham held leadership positions in City of Melbourne, City of Sebastian, City of Cocoa Beach and Harford County, Maryland, boasting over three decades of experience as a public works engineering and management professional. She has Civil Engineering undergraduate and graduate degrees from University of Colorado at Denver and University of Florida respectively and is a Florida licensed professional engineer.
The Florida Chapter of American Public Works Association, founded in 1960, is composed of 11 branches that include professionals at all levels of public works agencies across the state and includes private sector companies that provide goods and services to these public agencies.