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Employee Spotlight: Brittany Gavin, Roadside Management Specialist

Brittany Gavin, roadside management specialist, has worked at IDOT for more than 20 years. First hired to the co-op program, Gavin is now part of District 4 Operations in Peoria. She brings knowledge, passion and enthusiasm to the job, always looking for opportunities to learn and support those around her.

Here are some of Gavin’s thoughts about her job and life outside of IDOT.

What do you do in your role as roadside management specialist?

As the roadside management specialist, I have the privilege of being part of the District 4 Operations and Statewide Roadside team. I coordinate with all Operations county team sections, designers and residents for the management of vegetation, erosion control, seeding mixes and tree replacement policies along state rights of way by coordinating to ensure they have all the proper herbicides, equipment and resources necessary.

My work also includes collaboration with every yard to create integrated management plans to deal with invasive vegetation and erosion control issues, and to reestablish native ecological habitat. I work as a resource for our Operations supervisors, providing them with detailed vegetation issues, pollinator habitat identification and restoration goals. Part of my duties is to manage the rest areas for District 4 to ensure safety and proper functionality by working with contracted vendors and Central Office.

What is the most important goal of the work you do?

The most important goal is to be a reliable resource for my team and those around me. I always strive to be the best in my field by continuing to learn new things and taking advantage of training opportunities so that I have the most up-to-date safety information possible. My passion for arboriculture and vegetation motivates me to keep honing my skills.

What is your favorite part of your job?

The people I get to work with! I have met many great people in my years at IDOT. Considering how many hours we all work together and the collaboration our Operations team must do to ensure safety and efficiency, I have gotten to know many people’s unique personalities, which in turn motivates me to grow professionally.

Do you do anything professionally beyond your regular work duties?

I have been a certified arborist for almost four years, which allows me to be part of the professional arboriculture community, constantly learning new information on pests and new strategies for monitoring, preventing and managing trees.

What prepared you for your current role?

I worked in Design and Environment for 10 years, learning all policies, rules and regulations for protecting threatened and endangered species. I am a certified ecological restoration practitioner and certified arborist. I’m National Environmental Policy Act certified and have taken many other related trainings.

Do you have a mentor who has contributed to your success?

I have had so many wonderful mentors over my career. My most recent mentor, who has been a very positive encouraging influence, is Operations Engineer Matthew Vitner. He has helped me approach my work with a career mindset of how may I help others, what tools do I need to enhance my strengths and what abilities do I need to be more efficient at my job, which in turn has helped me be an important part of the team.

Outside of IDOT, what do you enjoy doing?

I love family time, my amazing husband and three wonderful children. They love sports, so we spend a lot of weekends at baseball fields. We love nature, so being outside with family is my favorite thing to do. I’m always planting or gardening and have a new project list a mile long.