By ASCE Awards Committe and ASCE Blog Editor
Chuck DiPietro is the 2014 recipient of the ASCE-Pittsburgh Service-to-People Award. After 46 years on the job, Mr. DiPietro has recently retired as the Transportation Planning Director of the Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission (SPC) and as the Vice President of the Southwestern Pennsylvania Corporation. “Chuck’s service throughout 46 years epitomized Service to the People,” says colleague, Daniel Cessna, from PennDOT. “It was his entire focus, and he lived it daily.” From August 2000 to November 2001, Mr. DiPietro also served as Acting Executive Director of the Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission and Acting President and CEO of the Southwestern Pennsylvania Corporation.
Mr. DiPietro was responsible for the $6.8 million annual planning work program for our ten-county Metropolitan Planning Organization. The program activities include long-range transportation planning, short-range transportation programming, data systems and modeling, transportation corridor and sub-area studies, and operation of the regional ridesharing program, CommuteInfo.
Mr. DiPietro was also responsible for directing the year-long development process for the region’s Transportation Improvement Program (TIP), currently a $4.25 billion program of investments to upgrade Southwestern Pennsylvania’s transportation infrastructure. The TIP is a key responsibility of the Transportation Director, and requires a skillful balancing of federal, state and local funding coordinated closely with SPC’s many partner organizations.
“Chuck DiPietro dedicated 46 years of public service to advancing transportation programs and projects that have kept the Pittsburgh region vibrant and sustainable,” says Dominic D’Andrea from SPC.
“His [service] was not easy service,” adds Cessna, “It required thoughtful, diligent, and tactful approaches to make it all come together.”
Mr. DiPietro has been recognized since the early 1970’s for his leadership in fostering broad public involvement in regional transportation planning decisions. He has actively served on numerous boards including both the Airport Corridor Transportation Association and the Oakland Transportation Association since their establishment in the 1990’s. He has also led SPC's involvement in the formation of Pittsburgh Region Clean Cities Program in 1995 as the first coordinator of this US DOE national initiative to promote and advance alternate fuel vehicles and supporting infrastructure.
“Working and collaborating with Chuck for over 12 years, I appreciated his ability to capture every detail from a conversation or situation – and be able to put that information to good use in his work and in helping others to grow in their work,” Cessna says. “And I enjoyed kidding Chuck, he was a good sport, with a great sense of humor. But, he was the consummate professional, never losing his cool and always considering every angle of a situation, carefully choosing his words as to never offend, and always enlighten.”
“When I think about working with Chuck DiPietro, I think of these words: integrity, diplomacy, professionalism, and kindness,” says D’Andrea. “It was truly an honor to work with him.”
Chuck DiPietro and his wife, Kathleen DiPietro, are the parents of five children and reside in Allegheny County’s Hampton Township.