Local man is VDOT’s Employee of the Year

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 7, 2004

Suffolk News-Herald

Andre Watson, one of the guardian angels in Hampton Roads, is now being recognized for his success.

Working from the control room atop the Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel, the Suffolk resident is charged with making sure the traffic flows smoothly and safely on the span connecting Suffolk and the Peninsula.


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Apparently, he’s doing a pretty good job.

On Tuesday, the Virginia Department of Transportation recognized Watson, a traffic control supervisor, by naming him as the VDOT’s Hampton Roads District 2004 Employee of the Year.

He was selected for the honor from among 1,200 other district employees.

&uot;It is his leadership and exemplary performance, even throughout times of hardship, that sets Andre Watson apart from others,&uot; said Mike Dangerfield, the tunnel’s manager.

Watson was recognized earlier this year for his dedication during Hurricane Isabel, when he logged more than 25 hours in overtime to help maintain the tunnel when his coworkers were unable to assume their posts.

His continuous leadership and dedication serve as an outstanding example of the agency’s mission and goals, Dangerfield said. A 25-year VDOT veteran and second-generation tunnel employee, Watson applies VDOT values to every aspect of his life, always maintaining a friendly attitude and inspiring trust and teamwork among the 20 workers he oversees daily.

&uot;Andre is the consummate supervisor that every manager dreams of having on their team,&uot; said Dangerfield. &uot;His supervisory style is of the highest caliber and speaks volumes to the rest of us. He is a dedicated professional.&uot;

Watson said he has enjoyed his career with VDOT and that he’s learned a great deal over the years.

&uot;I’m still reeling from the surprise because I was just doing my job,&uot; he added. &uot;I didn’t know anyone was paying attention but I truly appreciate the recognition. It made me feel really great to be honored by my peers, my manager, and my supervisors.

&uot;I’m looking forward to retiring someday, Lord willing, but right now, I’ve got plenty more good years in me.&uot;

Watson and his wife, Rosa, have one daughter, Marquita, who also lives in Suffolk.

Each VDOT office and section within the Hampton Roads District selected employees of the year. From these ranks, a district-wide employee of the year was chosen.

Employees were recognized for their outstanding contributions at an annual luncheon held recently.