Wisconsin Transportation Builders Association Executive Director Tom Walker Receives American Road & Transportation Builders Association’s Highest Honor
WASHINGTON, Sept. 19 -- Wisconsin Transportation Builders Association (WTBA) Executive Director Tom Walker is the private sector recipient of the American Road & Transportation Builders Association’s (ARTBA) highest honor. The 2005 “ARTBA Award” was presented to Walker during the association’s annual meeting Sept. 12-16 in Palm Beach, Fla.
Established 45 years ago, the “ARTBA Award” recognizes individuals for outstanding contributions that have advanced the broad goals of the association. Since 1972, the “ARTBA Award” has been presented annually to at least two individuals, one from the public sector and one from the private sector. Since its inception, “ARTBA Award” recipients have included two governors, more than two dozen U.S. senators or representatives, two U.S. secretaries of transportation and dozens of other top leaders and executives from government and the private sector of the transportation construction industry.
“Tom’s expertise on transportation financing and contracting issues has been invaluable not only to ARTBA at the federal level but also to our other state chapters who have benefited from his knowledge and the initiatives he has launched in Wisconsin,” said ARTBA Chairman Gene McCormick.
The ARTBA selection committee noted Walker’s distinguished career in both public and private service. He is an expert on transportation financing issues, the regulatory environment and the state and local transportation planning and project selection processes. Walker chaired the ARTBA subcommittee that recommended program and financing provisions for ARTBA to advocate in the recently completed TEA-21 reauthorization process. He has testified on ARTBA’s behalf before congressional committees and represented the association in meetings with top officials at federal agencies. He has also been chairman of the ARTBA Council of State Executives.
Walker was appointed WTBA executive director in 1996. He played a key role in formulating a successful legislative restructuring plan for state highway program appropriations, creating a new appropriation for southeast Wisconsin freeways that assures adequate funding for SE WI Freeway Reconstruction without sacrificing other state highway statewide programs.
Under his leadership, WTBA has achieved the funding necessary to create a stable, reliable state and local highway and bridge program that allows Wisconsin contractors to grow while meeting the state’s mobility, safety, and economic development needs. Walker also devised an innovative “Cash Management” funding strategy, which avoids the use of long-term bonds to pay for the multi-billion SE WI Freeway Reconstruction Plan, which the legislature passed in both the 2003 and 2005 budgets. Those efforts were recognized by ARTBA last year when WTBA received a “Chapter Excellence Award” for its legislative and regulatory advocacy campaign.
In 1987, Walker was appointed executive assistant to Wisconsin’s transportation secretary, serving the department in that capacity for eight years. He spearheaded the department’s policy, planning, financing and budget activities and served as the federal and state legislative liaison. Among his key achievements: helping create “Corridors 2020,” an economy-based highway capacity plan; producing “Translinks,” the state’s first long-range multi-modal transportation plan; and significantly increasing Wisconsin’s share of federal funding through a coordinated department effort during the federal reauthorization bills in 1987 and 1991.
From 1978-86, he was the top executive with the Transportation Development Association of Wisconsin, a multimodal advocacy group that builds grassroots support for transportation investment. In that role, he played a major role in the creation of a state-funded local bridge replacement program; the Transportation Projects Commission, which approves major projects for construction; and the enactment of motor fuel tax indexing. He played a key role in the 1982 enactment of the first minimum guarantee provision in federal highway law, to begin to counter Wisconsin’s status as a “donor” state.
Former Federal Highway Administrator Mary Peters and Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) were named the public sector recipients of this year’s ARTBA Award.
Established in 1902, ARTBA is the consensus voice of the U.S. transportation construction industry in the Nation’s Capital. Additional information about the association can be found online at http://www.artba.org.
EDITOR’S NOTE: A photo of Tom Walker receiving the ARTBA Award is available by contacting Carrie Halpern at 202-289-4434 or via e-mail at email@example.com.
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