Cambridge Systematics Announces its 2016 Manheim and Taggart Award Winners

On Monday, February 1, Cambridge Systematics (CS) Chief Operating Officer Steven Capecci and Steven Pickrell, a Principal of the firm, announced the winners of the company’s annual Manheim and Taggart awards at a meeting of its entire staff.  The awards are for efforts completed in 2015.


The Marvin L. Manheim Award, which memorializes and is named for one of the company’s founders, an innovator and visionary, has since 2001 recognized an individual or group within Cambridge Systematics that demonstrates these same qualities through development and implementation of an innovative new product or service that brings value to CS’ clients or the industry.  This can involve an innovative solution to a client need; an innovative approach to more effective client service; or a business process improvement that increases effectiveness.  This year’s recipient is the CS team that worked on the Massachusetts DOT Planning for Performance (PFP) project, including Nathan Higgins, Senior Associate; David Baumgartner, Associate; Joseph Zissman, Analyst; and Tianyi Yang, Analyst.

The Chip Taggart Exceptional Service Award honors Cambridge Systematics’ first COO, Chip Taggart, who brought objectivity, vision, creativity, foresight and energy to the role, empowering staff to forge relationships with clients, improve operational performance, and strive for excellence. Established in 2011 upon Taggart’s retirement, the award goes to a team of CS employees for work that significantly impacts process efficiency, results in improved client satisfaction, and significantly contributes to one or more of CS’ mission and core values.  This year’s recipient is the CS core team supporting the Florida Department of Transportation as it updated the Florida Transportation Plan and the Strategic Intermodal System Plan, including John Kaliski, Principal; Sarah Walker, Senior Associate; Karen Kiselewski, Senior Associate; Matthew Wilson, Analyst; Daniel Shopf, Analyst; and Ron Basile, Designer.

The Manheim Award winners developed PFP, a capital funding allocation and optimization tool that helps MassDOT decision-makers understand the impact of funding decisions, particularly the allocation of funds among various program and funding categories. They can more transparently view the tradeoffs in system performance and asset condition that arise from shifting funding among categories and from changing funding amounts. “The tool innovates by dynamically linking funding sources and their eligibilities to performance categories, allowing the capital funding allocation process to more accurately reflect fiscal constraints,” said Pickrell.  He added, “It advances the state of the practice in data visualization, with informative bullet charts and dynamic bar charts that provide feedback to users as they adjust spending levels in each category. The PFP has the power to transform the capital programming process to one that is far more performance-based.”

The numbers and targets shown are for illustration only and do not reflect MassDOT’s opinions.

“The Taggart Award winners worked with Florida DOT to develop an entirely new approach to its statewide plans,” said Capecci.  They brought the two plans into a combined development schedule; restructured them into more innovative, forward-looking, and engaging plans; involved more than 15,000 stakeholders over a 12-month period; and developed an attractive, accessible report design and format that facilitates communication with partners and the public.

Cambridge Systematics congratulates its winners and appreciates the service and partnership they and their colleagues across CS provide to our clients every day.

About Cambridge Systematics, Inc.

Cambridge Systematics specializes in transportation and is a recognized leader in the development of innovative policy and planning solutions, objective analysis, and technology applications. Find further information at