Chairman’s Message

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Chairman’s Message 2017-06-09T19:37:08+00:00

2017 ARTBA Chairman
CEO Zachry Corporation
David Zachry

A New Era in Transportation Construction

Mountains of big data and growth in cloud computing … new developments in machine learning … the daily introduction of smartphone apps and increased reliance on mobile devices are all technologies that are transforming the way we live and work. This is true for those of us in transportation development business, too.

ARTBA is committed to doing its part to help its member firms and agencies keep up with this rapid, ever-changing pace.  Hence, the theme and focus for the 2017 ARTBA National Convention: “Artificial Intelligence & Technological Innovation: A New Era in Transportation Construction.” It takes place Sept. 17-20, at the Omni Amelia Island Hotel in Florida.

This will not be a typical ARTBA convention. Most of our featured speakers come from outside our industry. They will help us peer into the future.

Our opening session speaker is Michael Steep, executive director of Stanford University Global Project Center’s Digital Cities & Emerging Technologies. “One of the few executives who understands both strategy and operational execution and how to transform disruptive innovation into disruptive opportunity,” is how one of his former Apple’s colleagues describes him. Previously, Mike was a senior executive running global business operations for companies including Apple, Microsoft and the world-renowned Xerox PARC.  He will share his expertise about how to build, manage and transform companies by utilizing emerging technologies to deliver innovation and ground-breaking, scalable business models.

Other key speakers include:

  • Ross Smith, director of customer engineering at Microsoft and one nation’s top innovation thought leaders. Having spent more than 20 years developing and testing software for Microsoft, he will explain how robots and other machines will impact the future transportation construction workforce. 
  • Mike Lester, technology transfer partnership manager for the NASA Kennedy Space Center, which is comprised of professionals devoted to transferring NASA’s patented space technologies and software to U.S. commercial companies, government agencies and academia. While he has a passion for the development of new technologies for space exploration, Mike also strongly believes in making these technologies available to the U.S. public for use here on Earth—uses that can have a positive impact on our economy and our lives.  He will share information about NASA’s Technology Transfer program that offers more than 1,400 patents for commercialization.

Of course, the program will also feature the legislative, regulatory and transportation construction market conditions reports from senior ARTBA staff that you’ve come to expect.  Dave Sadler, director of Florida DOT’s Office of Construction at the Central Office, will provide an overview of market opportunities in the state.  And on the final night, we’ll host a dinner to celebrate the election of 2017-2018 ARTBA Chairman Matt Cummings of AECOM and his leadership team.

I look forward to seeing you in Florida!


CEO Zachry Corporation San Antonio, Texas

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