ARTBA’s Planning & Design Division Members Stay Ahead of the Curve

by Allison Klein

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Planning and design professionals obviously play a critical role in the early stages of highway, bridge and other transportation infrastructure.

So it only makes sense they also would want to be at the leading edge of transportation construction market trends and efforts to protect and grow the industry.

That’s why over 700 individuals from more than 150 design and consulting firms belong to ARTBA’s Planning & Design (P&D) Division.

When a firm joins the division, it is supporting and engaging with the nation’s leading advocacy organization focused on building and protecting their market. There is simply no better place for planning and design professionals to help advocate for increased transportation investment and other critical industry issues.

The P&D Division provides the industry’s best networking opportunities, by far. Members learn about the latest innovations and gain early insights into what’s working in the marketplace and what to avoid. They also receive valuable information to bring back to their firms, whether in the form of white papers on design-build or presentations from state DOT leadership.

Other P&D Division highlights include:

AASHTO Regional Meetings
The division hosts breakfast or lunch events at all four regional AASHTO meetings. This year, the meeting format was changed to panel discussions with state transportation department officials. Panelists also provided attendees with an advanced handout that covers important state information, including: the department’s estimates on financial investment in transportation construction; planning and design contracts and resident engineer construction inspection services their state will advertise in the next two years; and their state’s current position regarding design-build and public-private partnerships for transportation projects. By receiving this information ahead of time, division members could better engage the panelists in a discussion about the significant aspects of each state’s transportation program.

Division Meetings
The P&D Division meets twice a year—at the ARTBA Federal Issues Program in the spring and during the ARTBA National Convention in the fall. In 2015 meeting, attendees at the spring meeting heard from Chris Lawson, District of Columbia division administrator for the Federal Highway Administration; Muhammed Khalid, P.E., interim chief engineer at the District Department of Transportation, and  Dusty Holcombe, deputy director for the Virginia DOT’s Office of P3s. At the 2015 convention, attendees heard about DBE compliance from Charles Williams at Peckar & Abramson, and insurance issues related to alternative delivery projects from Kent Holland at Construction Risk, LLC.

Division members also discuss policy issues that need to be watched, announce upcoming programs and introduce incoming board leadership. As a P&D member, there are many opportunities to get engaged and provide input.

Richard Markwith (right) accepts Guy Kelcey Award from David Harwood, president of ARTBA’s P&D Division, at the 2015 ARTBA National Convention in Philadelphia, Pa.

Richard Markwith (right) accepts Guy Kelcey Award from David Harwood, president of
ARTBA’s P&D Division, at the 2015 ARTBA
National Convention in Philadelphia, Pa.

Guy Kelcey Award
Named for one of the P&D Division’s organizers, this annual award recognizes a member who has exhibited a high degree of service to the division. This individual, chosen by a peer committee, reflects the values of the division and ARTBA. The 2015 winner is Rich Markwith with TranSystems.

White Papers
The P&D Division has also been very involved with the formation of best practice papers, including ARTBA’s “Suggested Best Practices for Design-Build in Transportation Construction” and a current risk management paper.

The P&D Division has a 21-member board. Each board member serves a three-year term. See profiles at bottom of incoming Division President David Harwood and Vice-president Doug LaVoie.

The new board members include: Scott Lang, senior vice president, KCI Technologies; David Twiddy, Jr., senior vice president, H.W. Lochner; Mike Potter, partner, RK&K; Matt Clark, corporate director, Psomas; Bryan Nichol, CH2M; Joe Riley, senior vice president, Ammann & Whitney; Mohammad Khan, senior vice president, PSI; and Chris Nazar, principal planner, CDM Smith.

Dr. J. Don Brock “TransOvation™ Workshop
P&D members are actively involved in ARTBA’s annual innovation-focused event. P&D leaders from around the country participate in an engaging workshop that tackles a challenging industry question while helping build their innovation skill set. Guided by industry leaders, including well-known P&D professionals Ted Zoli of HNTB and John Hillman, president and CEO of HC Bridge, this program is a great place for members to develop practical solutions to bring back to their workplace.

See more about TransOvation 2015.

Joining ARTBA’s Planning & Design Division provide firms with critical market and government affairs intelligence and access to excellent networking opportunities and meetings. Most of all, it enables member firms to support and engage in the ongoing effort to protect and support the transportation construction market.

David Harwood, 2015-2016 P&D Division President
David Harwood is a senior vice-president with Terracon Consultants, Inc., headquartered in Olathe, Kansas. He is responsible for the strategic planning and direction of Terracon’s $150 million business sector program focusing on transportation, municipal infrastructure, oil and gas, power generation and transmission, and government services.

David is a 2008 graduate of ARTBA’s Young Executive Development Program and 2014 chairman of the Young Executive Leadership Council.

“I am involved with ARTBA because it is the voice of the profession and industry on key transportation policy, funding, social, and safety issues,” he said. “As a professional who benefits greatly from the hard work done by ARTBA, I believe I have a duty to provide my time and service to furthering the objectives of both member and non-member firms.  If your firm is a member of this great organization then you have a responsibility to become active and knowledgeable about the issues and speak up.  The Planning and Design Division is a great place to get involved.”

David earned a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering from California State University, Long Beach, and a master of business administration from the University of Colorado. He is a registered professional engineer in Kansas and five other states, plus several Canadian provinces. He also is a member of the Civil Exam Development Committee for the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying responsible for the development of the Geotechnical option of the professional engineer’s exam.

David was recently appointed by Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback (R) to the board of Kansas Works State Board, a review panel charged with making recommendations to align workforce development with the state’s economic development needs. He also serves on U.S. Rep. Kevin Yoder’s (R) Transportation Task Force.

Doug LaVoie for ARBTADouglas LaVoie, 2015-2016 P&D Division Vice President
Doulas LaVoie is a senior vice president and group manager for Boston-based CDM Smith’s U.S. transportation services. He serves a vital role in client relationships and development of organizational strategy, working in tandem with the senior executive staff, sales team and others to support and guide the firm’s transportation business.

Doug is 2007 graduate of ARTBA’s Young Executive Development Program, and has served on the Planning & Design Division board and the Young Executive Leadership Council.

“ARTBA is an outstanding organization that represents and leverages all parts of our industry on all levels,” he said. “I have a great deal of respect for its continued efforts to positively impact our communities, enhance our economy and strengthen our nation’s infrastructure.”

Doug earned his civil engineering degree at Michigan Technological Institute University. His 26-year professional career has included experience in both the public and private sectors.

Since joining CDM Smith in 2000, Doug has held key senior management positions. His accomplishments include: establishing the firm’s Michigan business, participating in several notable design projects and leading strategic planning initiatives and training programs.

Allison Klein is ARTBA vice president of member services and managing director of the Planning & Design Division.

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