October 9, 2018


With ARTBA’s 2018 national convention being held in NYC, LICA was pleased to attend several sessions which provided updates about important industry initiatives and other related matters. Lynn Barker represented LICA at the ARTBA Council of State Executive (CSE) meeting, where leaders from several state associations across the nation (as well as Denise Richardson of the General Contractors Association) met to discuss specific regional concerns and issues. ARTBA provided updates on federal legislative issues as well as regulatory/policy updates from ARTBA’s Rich Juliano and Nick Goldstein regarding Design-Build, DBE and ERISA reform, among others. ARTBA’s chief economist, Dr. Alison Black, also gave an overview of recent industry trends and studies, discussing upcoming infrastructure-related ballots across the nation and related historical results about the re-election (or defeat) of those politicians who backed similar proposals.

The CSE meeting ended just in time to join the event’s opening reception followed later by the ARTBA Leadership Dinner which, this year, served as a surprise tribute to ARTBA’s President & CEO of 30 years, Pete Ruane, who will be stepping down as of November 1. Several past ARTBA Chairmen were on hand to help honor Ruane, each sharing personal stories of his dedication, strong ethics, dogged determination and unwavering support for his staff, the organization and the industry. Ruane’s wife Pat was toasted by all as being a true partner and an important key to Ruane’s success. In addition to his wife, several of Ruane’s children and grandchildren were in attendance to help celebrate 30 years of hard work and outstanding achievement. Not being one to linger in the spotlight, Pete did take a few short minutes to thank the dedicated ARTBA staff, all the past and current Chairmen and especially his family for helping him achieve such great success.

The following day, Barker also attended the “State of the Transportation Construction Industry” session which featured a panel discussion with five key industry leaders including soon-to-be-named new ARTBA Chairman, Bob Alger. Other panelists included Greg Kelly, President & CEO of WSP USA; Steve Morriss, President, Design and Consulting Services, Americas, at AECOM; Jean Vidal, President & CEO of Colas; and Richard Cavallaro, President & CEO of Skanska USA Civil. The general consensus on the status of the industry was that the market was good and the current economy was strong, with some “tremendous opportunity” ahead. Other topics of conversation included the growing risk profiles of P3’s, the need to incorporate more technology in both front & back office applications, continued safety training and cultural shifts, resiliency, and workforce issues including the aging population and workforce shortages, together with the need to continue increasing diversity.

Prior to the panel discussion, Ruane was acknowledged once again for his long, outstanding service before all at the conference. He was presented with a beautiful shadow box containing important momentos from his career, as well as being presented with the prestigious “ARTBA Award”. For more about that, click here.

Later in the day, Barker sat in on two additional sessions including the Federal Legislative & Regulatory Update and Transportation Construction Market Conditions report, which went into greater detail about both these subjects which were touched upon briefly during the CSE meeting. And lastly, Barker attended the Workforce Development and Challenges in Transportation Design & Construction session hosted by the Industry Leader Development Council, and featuring Laura Cataldo of Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP as guest speaker. 

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