Members gathered to celebrate the holiday season at The El Paso Club on December 13, 2011. About eighty guests enjoyed the festivities as they were entertained by pianist Leopoldo (Polo) Ortega. Retired El Paso District Engineer Chuck Berry and former District Construction Engineer David Head attended, and a good time was had by all.
January 2, 2012 was the first effective date for newly appointed Director of Construction Ken Barnett. Ken is a native of Carlsbad, New Mexico and graduated from New Mexico State University with his Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering. After graduation, Ken went to work for NMDOT for several years as an Engineering Assistant. In 1997, he moved to Austin and was hired by TxDOT's Construction Division. In 2001 he became the Assistant Area Engineer for the Brenham Area Office in the Bryan District. He left TxDOT to work for Parsons Brinkerhoff in Austin for a short time and returned to TxDOT as the Assistant to the Director of Construction in the Corpus Christi District. He worked there until his promotion in 2007 to his current position as the Construction Section Director in the Construction Division in Austin. Recently he served as the Interim Division Director. Ken is married to Monica and has three children (Brent, 20, Garrett, 15, and Julianna, 8) and enjoys mountain biking, hiking, and camping in his free time. He and his wife are looking forward to moving back near the Carlsbad area to be close to family again. Ken brings a wealth of knowledge to the district and has a reputation for promptness, and a New Mexico mountain humor.
As of the date of writing this article, Julie Brown continues to serve as interim district engineer.