How is Congress Addressing Coronavirus Impacts on the Asphalt Pavement Markets

Roads and bridges are crumbling, and state departments of transportation need financial relief just to maintain their 2020 highway construction program.  With less drivers on the road as a result of COVID-19, critical transportation revenues are drying up.  The Federal Highway Trust Fund needs Congress to enact a bailout sooner than expected.  How Congress is addressing these and other infrastructure issues will be the subject of this virtual session that will explore the progress lawmakers are making in reauthorizing the FAST Act, which expires on Sept. 30, 2020.

Laura Perrotta

President and CEO, American Highway Users Alliance

Laura is President and CEO of the American Highway Users Alliance, a nonprofit 501 (c)(6) advocacy organization serving as the united voice of the transportation community promoting safe, uncongested highways and enhanced freedom of mobility.

Laura has worked in the association world for the past seventeen years. Prior to running the Highway Users, Laura was the Senior Director of Legislative Affairs for the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA). There she handled Financial Services, Transportation, Truck, and Safety issues.

Before working for the dealers, she served as Director of Government Relations at the American Traffic Safety Services Association (ATSSA), where she ran the organization’s lobbying shop, served as PAC Treasurer, and focused on transportation safety issues.

Additionally, Laura served as Chair of the Road Gang in 2016. She was named one of Association TRENDS Effective Association Lobbyists in 2011 and is a member of the American Society of Association Executives. She received her Certified Association Executive (CAE) designation in 2013.

Laura is originally from Elmira, NY and received her B.A. in Political Science from Salisbury State University in Maryland. Her career in DC began in 2001, when she relocated to work on Capitol Hill for Congressman Amo Houghton of New York.

Martin Whitmer

Partner, Whitmer & Worrall, LLC

Martin Whitmer is a founding Partner of Whitmer & Worrall, LLC, a government relations and strategic consulting firm headquartered in Washington, D.C. Mr. Whitmer has a broad policy and political background which has allowed him to successfully promote and advance key legislative programs within the public policy arena and on Capitol Hill. Mr. Whitmer successfully works with both Republican and Democratic leaders due to his expertise transcending beyond political partisanship. While Mr. Whitmer has worked extensively on many different public policy issues, he has earned a distinguished reputation as one of Washington’s leading government relations strategists for the transportation industry.

Mr. Whitmer leads the firm’s transportation and infrastructure practice which has represented impressive corporate clientele, ranging from Virgin America, Honeywell Inc., and Penske Truck Leasing to transportation-related trade associations such as the Geosynthetic Materials Association (GMA) and the National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA). Mr. Whitmer most recently served on President Donald Trump’s Transition Team for transportation policy implementation as team-lead from September 2016 through November 2016. Mr. Whitmer also serves on the Board of Directors at the Eno Transportation Foundation, alongside of former Secretaries of Transportation Mineta (Bush), Peters (Bush), and Burnley (Reagan).

Mr. Whitmer served as the Deputy Chief of Staff at the U.S. Department of Transportation following his appointment by President Bush to serve as a Special Assistant to Secretary Norman Y. Mineta. In this capacity, Mr. Whitmer oversaw a departmental staff of nearly 60,000, and a budget of $54 billion. He served as a Senior Advisor to the Secretary on all matters relating to highway, transit, trucking, safety, energy, and trade issues. Mr. Whitmer was also the principal architect of the Presidents’ Executive Order on Environmental Stewardship and Transportation Infrastructure Project Reviews, which streamlines the environmental review process for transportation projects.

Prior to joining the administration, Mr. Whitmer served as Vice President of Government Relations for the American Road and Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA). In this pivotal role, he served as ARTBA’s primary direct lobbyist on Capitol Hill and managed the ARTBA PAC as well as all political affairs. Mr. Whitmer was a key player in ARTBA’s legislative and coalition activities. Mr. Whitmer also served as the Director of the Public-Private Ventures Division, which implemented laws and regulations to expand innovative financing tools and leverage federal dollars for transportation projects.

From 1994 until 1997, Mr. Whitmer served as the Republican Legislative Representative for the Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA). In this capacity, he focused on transportation market issues and joined with management organizations in an effort to remove the four transportation trust funds from the unified federal budget. He has also worked in the Capitol Hill offices of Sen. Phil Gramm (R-TX) and House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-TX). Mr. Whitmer worked for the 1988 and 1992 Bush-Quayle presidential campaigns, and has subsequently assisted with the campaigns of several key members of Congress.

Mr. Whitmer graduated from the evening program at the Catholic University of America’s Columbus School of Law in 1999. Concurrent with his law degree, Mr. Whitmer also completed a Master’s degree in Public Policy. In 1992, he earned a B.A. from Georgetown University (major in government and a minor in English). Mr. Whitmer also graduated from the Kent School in Kent, Connecticut in 1988.

Among other acknowledgements, Mr. Whitmer is a member of the Virginia State Bar, and he completed the 2014 Boston Marathon as well as the 1993 Marine Corps Marathon. Mr. Whitmer is an Eagle Scout and was awarded the prestigious 9/11 Transportation Medal by Secretary Mineta. He is from Dallas, Texas and currently lives in Alexandria, Virginia with his wife and three wonderful children.

Steven O. Palmer

Vice President at Van Scoyoc Associates.

 Steven O. Palmer 

Steve Palmer serves as a Vice President at Van Scoyoc Associates. He is a long-time member of the NAPA advocacy team. 

Before joining Van Scoyoc Associates, Steve was confirmed by the United States Senate to be Assistant Secretary for Governmental Affairs at the U.S. Department of Transportation. He served five years as the key legislative strategist for the Secretary of Transportation, working with the Congress, the White House, and Administrators of each of the DOT modal agencies. 

Steve also spent 11 years in senior positions on the Senate Budget Committee and the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee. 

Jay Hansen (Moderator)

Executive Vice President of Advocacy, National Asphalt Pavement Association

Ashley Jackson

Senior Director of Government Affairs, National Asphalt Pavement Association

How Is Congress Adressing Coronavirus Impacts On The Asphalt Pavements Markets
07/13/2020 at 1:30 PM (EDT)   |  60 minutes
07/13/2020 at 1:30 PM (EDT)   |  60 minutes How is Congress Addressing Coronavirus Impacts on the Asphalt Pavement Markets
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