A Letter From ARRA President Eric Baker
Friday, March 29, 2019
Posted by: Ali Mostardo
ARRA President Eric Baker
Hello fellow members of this wonderful association! I hope everyone that joined us in Mexico is well recovered and getting ready to fully kick off the season, if you haven’t done so already. (I know, some of you never really have an off season). The Annual Meeting in Cancun, Mexico was an all-around great meeting. The hotel was great, the weather couldn’t have been better, and the presentations were some of our best. If you didn’t join us, we look forward to seeing you in Monterey, CA for the ARRA Semi-Annual and the PPRA Annual in San Antonio, TX. I would like to take a moment to thank Kristi and Ali for all the hard work that they put into the meeting and everything else and setting us all up for success and Rick Church for his vision and putting them in the position to do it. I would also be remise if I didn’t take an additional moment to thank our recent Past-President, Darren Coughlin. He took over at a point where momentum was building and put in the time and effort to raise the bar even further. All I can say is I have some big shoes to fill. Thank you Darren and I just want to remind you that you aren’t out of the woods yet. “Immediate Past President” is still a board position and now I get to delegate!
I have been involved in ARRA for over 15 years now and it feels like we are at the beginning of the golden age. The stars are finally aligning. I want to share something with you that came up at our annual meeting with the FHWA. Judith Corley Lay from FP2 was there and was educating us on the shift in asphalt research. In the past, it was all about materials and construction. Now it is all about asset management and preservation. She attributed this change to the MAP-21 highway bill passed back in 2012. In her words “MAP-21 was a game-changer” for ARRA and PPRA. I wanted to share this with you because it is easy to get jaded when it comes to government advocacy and lobbying but if MAP-21 hadn’t required states to implement asset management, we probably wouldn’t be feeling as optimistic as we are. We have a webinar coming up on April 25th titled “Fix the Damn Roads” that will help you learn the basics of calling on your representatives and advocating on behalf of our industry. We also highly encourage you to participate in the TCC Fly-In in Washington DC on May 13th-15th . I hope to see you there. If you can’t get into the Hyatt, don’t give up. There are many hotels within walking distance and the DC Metro is great if you must move farther out.
The primary project for our association continues to be the Synergy project and roadresource.org. Lindsay Matush and Grace Stansbery and their team have done an incredible job and continue to do so but they can only take it so far. A website is like having a child. You can’t just birth it and be done. If you do, when it gets older, you won’t really like it. It takes a lot of time, effort and investment to grow it into something you continue to be proud of. To carry the analogy further, it also takes a village to raise it, so we need all of you to use roadresource.org and provide your feedback and content as well as promote it to your customers so that they use it and promote it as well.
I am truly honored to be President of such a fine organization and please feel free to contact me if you need anything at firstname.lastname@example.org or on my mobile phone at 423-785-7184.
At your service,
Responsible Renewal. Reliable Results.