DOT engineers from Oregon, Tennessee are first Marty Weed Engineering Scholarship recipients

Weed’s engineering scholarships inspired creation of ATSS Foundation’s Planned Giving program

Fahad Alhajri is a relative newcomer to the transportation industry but is keenly interested in work zone safety and pursuing his goals of becoming the state work zone engineer for the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) and a national expert in temporary traffic control.

So when he learned about the Marty Weed Engineering Scholarship that would cover travel expenses up to $1,500 to attend ATSSA’s Annual Convention & Traffic Expo, he submitted an application.

Alhajri, pictured above in center, and Lance McDonald, pictured on the left, of the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) were the first two recipients of the scholarship and attended ATSSA’s 50th Annual Convention & Traffic Expo in New Orleans in January where they met ATSS Foundation President Dave Krahulec, pictured on the right.

To qualify for the scholarship, applicants must work for a public agency as an engineer or professional engineer specializing in work zone safety and temporary traffic control and have a maximum of seven years of work experience as an engineer. Applications will be online soon.

“I was absolutely thrilled and honored to be one of the first recipients of the Marty Weed scholarship. I never met Marty but have heard wonderful things about him and his contribution to work zone safety from several people,” Alhajri said recently.

Weed passed away in December 2018 after a lengthy battle with cancer. But before his death at age 55, the roadway safety veteran made his desires known and his two children - Keith Weed and Ana Day - made sure they were fulfilled.

Weed understood that government agencies have minimal budgets for travel and professional development and wanted others to enjoy what he had found so meaningful during his 33 years as a state work zone engineer with the Washington State Department of Transportation. He specifically wanted people who were new to the field to take part in an event that brings together roughly 3,700 roadway safety infrastructure professionals from around the nation and world.

Weed worked with ATSSA, The ATSS Foundation, friends, and colleagues to establish an endowment fund for the scholarship in 2018. His actions inspired The Foundation's Planned Giving program, which enables donors to designate the nonprofit as a beneficiary in their estate plans. After his death, his children honored his vision by donating $20,000 to cover 10 years’ worth of scholarships.

Including The Foundation in a long-term financial plan ensures the nonprofit has the resources needed to fulfill its mission well into the future, said Lori Diaz, associate director of The Foundation.

“If someone is considering offering such a generous gift, we would be happy to help create a plan that benefits the person’s estate and makes his or her intentions clear,” she added. “We created The Foundation Legacy Circle to show our gratitude for donors who choose to participate.”

To discuss Planned Giving options with Lori Diaz, or 540-376-3882.

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