The Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) today announced that Stella Hourd-Benamaisia was the recipient of the First National Diversity Leadership Award presented by the formerly known Women in Transportation Seminar now simply called WTS. This award is presented to an individual or organization that has exhibited outstanding and extraordinary efforts or initiatives in developing opportunities for women and minorities and has contributed significantly to promote diversity and cultural awareness within their organization, the transportation industry or in a project or activity that supports the goals and mission of WTS.
“We’re extremely pleased that Stella was the recipient of the first Diversity Leadership Award,” said Sandra Casey Buford, Ph.D., Director of Diversity, Massachusetts Port Authority. “Stella is a tremendous role model for workplace inclusion and sets an exemplary standard in community involvement which serves our employees and customers of Massport quite well. We are extremely fortunate to have Stella serve as a sincere champion on diversity and are proud that she was the recipient of this important award,” continued Dr. Buford. Stella Hourd-Benamaisia is a long-time WTS member and former educator, holding a BSE, MSE, and SCCT (Specialist in Community College Teaching) Degree in Business Education from Arkansas State University in Jonesboro, Arkansas and a JD Degree from Suffolk University Law School in Boston. She is currently employed by the Massachusetts Port Authority as Maritime Business Manager. Stella counseled local disadvantaged high school students on careers in the transportation field. She has participated in the WTS Mentoring Match-up Event as a mentor, and over the years, has mentored various other women and minority interns and colleagues, who were later successful in attaining careers in transportation or promotions within their organizations. In addition, Stella was instrumental in organizing The Fall Community Networking Reception, which was designed to create opportunities in the transportation field for women and minorities. "We are proud to have awarded our first Annual Leadership in Diversity Award to Stella Hourd-Benamaisia of WTS Boston and Massport. She has been a true champion for diversity awareness for many years and was instrumental in establishing the Diversity Program at the Boston Chapter,” said WTS National President Afsaneh “Sunnie” House. “WTS values diversity. In all endeavors, in every meeting, through every member, WTS supports diversity as a fundamental underpinning that helps fulfill our mission of advancing women in transportation. Diversity is strength. And nowhere is that strength more evident than in WTS. From our many members, and their many different pursuits, one constant emerges: professional excellence.”