Geist named PHIA Advocate of the Year

April 27, 2011

Rick Geist, an Altoona Republican and chair of the Pennsylvania House Transportation Committee, was honored as PHIA Advocate of the Year at the organization’s annual meeting.

The award is presented to individuals who have gone “above the call of duty” in pursuit of a better highway system.  Previous awards have gone to industry advocates from both the public and private sectors. 

Geist is one of the senior statesmen of the Pennsylvania House.  Now in his 17th consecutive two-year term, he has moved to the top of the seniority list among House Republicans.  He has served as Republican chair of the Transportation Committee for the last 16 years, which is half of his tenure in the General Assembly.  He’s the longest-serving majority chair of that committee in House history.

He most recently was the prime sponsor of legislation that would enable the Commonwealth to enter into public-private partnerships, which would accelerate the maintenance, improvement and expansion of our aging transportation system. 

During his tenure, he has also spearheaded several other public policy initiatives, including:  

  • Reforming teen driver licensing laws, to increase required training for young drivers.
  • Overhauling Pennsylvania’s 22-year-old drunk driving law, to lower the state’s blood-alcohol level limit to .08 percent, and provide for harsher penalties with more intensive treatment for the worst offenders.
  • Sponsoring work zone safety and truck safety legislation.
  • Chairing the High Speed Ground Transportation Association.

He’s an avid bicyclist, a passion that led to his founding of the Tour de ‘Toona, the largest pro-am cycling event in America, which began in 1985. 

A 1962 graduate of Altoona Area High School, he earned an associates degree from Penn State’s College of Engineering in 1965.  He also was a Kellogg Fellow and a graduate of the Public Affairs Leadership Program.  He resides in Altoona with his wife, Jean.

Sorry, Comments are closed.