In a career spanning almost 55 years, John J, DeShazo Jr. has served his profession, country and community well. After receiving his civil engineering degree from Texas A&M University in 1950, he spent the first 6 years of his career with the Texas Highway Department. John completed the certificate program at the Bureau of Highway Traffic at Yale University and soon thereafter joined the city of Amarillo as its first traffic engineer where he became the director of streets and traffic in 1962. From 1962 to 1975, John served as the director of traffic control for the city of Dallas, and built a respected transportation organization.
In 1975, John joined the firm of Young-Hadawi (later Young-Hadawi-DeShazo), where he established a transportation consulting practice. In 1980, John founded the firm of DeShazo, Starek, & Tang (now DeShazo, Tang & Associates Inc.) and he served as president for more than 20 years. He now continues to serve as chairman.
John has also been active in civic affairs, serving on the Dallas Planning Council, the transportation committee for Gaols for Dallas and the task force that builds concensus for highway and rail transit (subway) improvements in the North Central Expressway Corridor. He is the past recipient of the Greater Dallas Award of Merit presented by the Citizen’s Traffic Safety Committee.
John has been an active member of ITE. He is a former president of the Texas Section, member of the District 5 Board and chairman of ITE’s Technical Council. John was the general chair of ITE’s 1994 Annual Meeting and Exhibit in Dallas. He was TexITE’s Transportation Engineer of the Year in 1984. He was a key player in the formation of TexITE’s Dallas Chapter. He is the past president of the High Plains Branch of the American Society of Civil Engineers and of two of the chapters (Pan Handle and Dallas) of the Texas Society of Professional Engineers.
John served his country as an officer in the Army Reserves, retiring as a Colonel.
Perhaps above all else, John’s greatest service to the profession has been his mentoring of young professionals. Beginning at the city of Dallas and continuing through his consulting career, John recruited and hired the best and then trained and inspired them. Many of those who have worked for him have gone on to positions of prominence, either in the public sector or as leaders of consulting firms. His “alumni” include more than 40 current members of ITE, at least 12 of whom have later served as city or county directors of transportation.