News

2014 Transportation Conference a Success

May 8, 2014

PHIA members know that we don’t hand out our Advocate of the Year awards to just anyone. In fact, it’s not unusual for us to skip the award some years.

Tom CorbettThis year, however, we honored not one, but two transportation advocates, and it won’t surprise anyone to learn that they are Gov. Tom Corbett and PennDOT Secretary Barry Schoch. Both were instrumental in the passage of Act 89, Pennsylvania’s first-ever comprehensive, multimodal transportation funding measure. It wouldn’t have happened without them.

In fact, there was no shortage of kudos at this year’s Transportation Conference and Annual Meeting, held Wednesday at the Harrisburg Hilton. While the governor and Secretary Schoch – Barry was serving as PHIA president when he was nominated as secretary – deservedly took PHIA’s top honors, the organization bestowed special recognition on Sens. John Rafferty and John Wozniak, majority and minority chairs, respectively, of the Senate Transportation Committee; Reps. Nick Micozzie and Michael McGeehan, majority and minority chairs, respectively, of the House Transportation Committee; Sen. Jake Corman, who introduced the initial transportation funding legislation; House Speaker Sam Smith, who shepherded the final bill through the House; and the late Dick Hess, who was chairman of the House Transportation Committee at the time of his death, and who had been instrumental in paving the way for the funding bill in the House.

Also honored were George Wolff, founder of the Keystone Transportation Funding Coalition, and Coalition member Mike Ryan, who headed the organization’s legislative outreach efforts for the last two years.

The conference featured presentations from APC’s Bob Latham on how the industry and its allies worked together to support the funding act, Turnpike CEO Mark Compton on how Act 89 will benefit the Turnpike, former Maryland Gov. Robert Ehrlich Jr. with the view from Washington and elsewhere, and Stan Caldwell of Carnegie Mellon University on autonomous vehicles and other technology under development by CMU’s University Transportation Center.

Another of the morning’s highlights featured a panel discussion by the heads of three local Chambers of Commerce, Tom Baldrige of Lancaster, David Black of Harrisburg and Amy Wise of Huntingdon County, moderated by Quantum Communications CEO Charlie Gerow.

PHIA extends thanks to all the presenters and to the more than 200 attendees who helped make this year’s conference one of the best-attended and interesting gatherings in our 54-year history.

We will post video of the event on this site in the coming days.  Meanwhile, visit the Pennsylvania Cable Network website at https://pcntv.com and check the programming schedule for reruns of the conference.

 

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