Professional of the Year and Young Professional of the Year

2021 – Kristen Bennett, SR/WA, R/W-RAC

Kristen is the CEO of Pendulum Land Services and the President of Blackbird Right of Way LLC. Kristen is a CLIMB Certified Instructor and was the recipient of the 2020 W. Howard Armstrong Instructor of the Year award. She is currently serving as the Chair of the IRWA International Professional Education Committee (IPEC). Kristen has presented relocation sessions at the IRWA annual conference, as well as at regional seminars and symposiums around the country. Kristen is a past winner of both the Chapter 36 Professional of the Year and Young Professional of the Year Awards. Prior to founding Pendulum and Blackbird, Kristen was the Senior Managing Director for Relocation Assistance Services for Sendero Acquisitions, LP. Kristen earned her SR/WA designation in 2018 and her R/W-Relocation Assistance Certification in 2013. She earned a Bachelor of Music degree from Texas Tech University and a Master of Music degree from the prestigious Jacob’s School of Music at Indiana University. Before joining the right-of-way profession, Kristen was a professional opera singer.

Previous Professionals of the Year


Marcus Boyd2020 – Marcus Boyd, SR/WA, R/W-NAC, R/W-RAC, R/W-URAC

Walt Sass2019 – Walt Sass, RPLS

John Campbell2018 – John P. Campbell, P.E., SR/WA

Erin K. Newberry2017 – Erin K. Newberry, SR/WA, R/W-NAC

Donald C Toner, Jr.2016 – Donald C. Toner Jr., SR/WA

Charles Stearman2015 – Charles Stearman, SR/WA

Georgia Snodgrass2014 – Georgia Snodgrass, SR/WA, R/W-NAC, R/W-AMC

Teri Morgan2013 – Teri Morgan, SR/WA, R/W-RAC, R/W-NAC

Doc Weathers2012 – Doc Weathers

Denise Skinner2011 – Denise Skinner, SR/WA

Tamara Benson2010 – Tamara Benson, SR/WA, R/W-RAC, R/W-URAC

John Reed2009 – John Reed, SR/WA

Kevin Stout2008 – Kevin Stout, SR/WA

Donnie Sherwood2007 – Donnie Sherwood, SR/WA

Sue Findley2006 – Sue Findley

Lisa Harrison2005 – Lisa Harrison, SR/WA

Bob Montgomery2004 – Bob Montgomery,   J. D.

Connie Williford2003 – Connie Williford, MAI

Randall Kopfer2002 – Randall Kopfer, SR/WA

Cleo Grounds2001 – Cleo Grounds, SR/WA

Young Professional of the Year

2021 – Matt McGee

Matt McGee obtained his Bachelor of Business Administration Degree from Texas State University in 2005. He became a Right of Way Agent for NuStar Energy, L.P. in March 2015 after working four years for Contract Land Staff on various projects in the South Texas Region. At NuStar, his job responsibilities include managing capital projects and operations support for all existing pipeline and terminal assets throughout the Midwestern United States.
Matt became a member of Chapter 39, South Texas, of the IRWA in March 2015. The following year he was voted in as Secretary of Chapter 39 and completed his term as Chapter President in 2019. In June 2021, he was Co-Chair of the 2021 International Education Conference held in San Antonio, Texas. Matt is currently serving as the Right of Way Education Foundation Young Professional Board of Trustee Member.

Previous Young Professionals of the Year

Will Snider2020 – Robert W. “Will” Snider, MAI, RWA, R/W-AC

Jaylia Travis2019 – Jaylia Travis

Nikki Patterson2018 – Patricia “Nikki” Patterson

Kasey Chambers2017 – Kasy Baldauf, SR/WA

Matthew Eckmann2016 – Matthew Eckmann, SR/WA

Taylor Sass2015 – Taylor Sass

Leighton Gambill2014 – Leighton Gambill