The award was presented to her after she delivered a keynote speech to 300 registered attendees at LIT’s 2023 Leadership Summit luncheon in Washington, D.C.
Impact on Public Transit
Fernandez is this year's honoree for her dedication, vision, and unwavering commitment to transportation equity.
She is a tireless advocate for diversity and inclusion within the transportation industry and has worked to ensure that the voices of underrepresented groups are heard, valued, and understood in the decision-making processes.
Regarding the honor, Administrator Fernandez noted, “I want to thank Latinos In Transit, ‘mi gente,’ for presenting me with this honor. So many of us have similar and shared experiences on our professional journeys in this industry, but one thing is certain: Latinos In Transit has transformed our lives and outlook for the future. Muchas gracias!”
The Founders Award
Before joining the FTA, Fernandez served as chair of the American Public Transportation Association’s (APTA) Executive Board from 2019-2020. During her tenure, she ensured LIT had a seat at the table by supporting the signing of a collaborative agreement between LIT and APTA. This was a crucial step that led to LIT being recognized in the transit industry as an advocate for professional development of Latinos and other minorities in the transportation industry.
In 2021, LIT collaborated on APTA’s Racial Equity Action Plan and other initiatives. With Fernandez’s support, LIT has been cemented as a powerful advocate in the transportation industry and beyond.
Alva Carrasco, president of the LIT board, surprised Fernandez with an announcement recognizing her for advocacy for Latinos and minorities. LIT board members, past and present, and Flora Castillo, (past honoree) joined her on stage to present her with the award.
“Nuria is an inspirational leader and a role model to so many people. She embodies LIT’s mission and vision,” Carrasco said. “With Nuria’s help [LIT] has opened many more doors than we ever imagined.”
The Founders Award is a prestigious recognition and symbolizes the highest honor within LIT. It’s presented to individuals or organizations who have made exceptional contributions, demonstrated outstanding leadership, and played a pivotal role in the establishment and growth of LIT.
Recipients of this award are celebrated not only for their historical significance but also for their enduring influence, as their legacy serves as a source of inspiration and a reminder of the organization's roots. They are visionary leaders, innovators, and trailblazers who helped lay the foundation for LIT's success, and whose dedication and commitment continue to inspire and guide others.
Past honorees include Terry Solis, 2018; Flora Castillo, 2019; and MV Transportation Inc., 2021.