Florida Department of Transportation Secretary Stephanie Kopelousos calls Bob Burleson a “catalyst for change.” Burleson has spent 40 years in the transportation construction industry. From 1970 to 1988, he was a top executive with the Wiley N. Jackson Company in Virginia, and played a key role in the company’s growth.
In 1989, he assumed the chief executive post at FTBA when the association was facing serious fiscal challenges. In less than seven years, he returned the association to strong fiscal health and retired the association’s building mortgage—23 years early. He also managed to boost membership after years of decline.
Consistent with FTBA’s advocacy mission, Burleson has led hard-fought legislative victories on the industry’s behalf. Under his leadership, the association helped secure in 1990 the largest funding increase for transportation in Florida history. He championed legislation that doubled fines for motorists in construction zones in 1996. He helped create the “Stop Highway Robbery” campaign to prevent legislative sweeps of the state’s transportation trust fund in 2004. And in 2010, he helped marshal industry opposition and secured a veto by Governor Charlie Crist that stopped a raid on state transportation funds.