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Archive for the ‘Guests on The Infra Blog’ Category

Conversations with infrastructure experts and stakeholders from around the U.S.

Guest on The Infra Blog: Alison Taylor, Vice President, Sustainability – Americas, Siemens Corporation

Wednesday, January 14th, 2015
Alison Taylor, Siemens Corporation

Alison Taylor is Vice President, Sustainability-Americas at Siemens Corporation. In this position, she is responsible for driving the sustainability program for the Americas and acting as a resource for sustainability initiatives across Siemens’ business sectors.

“Rather than fixing a short-term problem, or addressing a crisis, or repairing a problem that may have occurred, let’s say, after a major storm or mother-nature event, sustainability is about a more long-term view. Will we be able to count on that infrastructure many years in the future? How will it serve the public? How will it serve the needs of the city?”

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Guest on The Infra Blog: Therese McMillan, Acting Administrator, Federal Transit Administration (FTA)

Wednesday, January 7th, 2015
Therese McMillan, Acting Administrator, Federal Transit Authority

Therese McMillan is currently the Acting Administrator of the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). She joined FTA as Deputy Administrator on July 2, 2009. As Deputy, McMillan assisted the Administrator in leading a staff of more than 500 in the Washington D.C. headquarters office and 10 regional offices throughout the United States, and implementing an annual budget approximating $10 billion.

“The economic impact of transit investments has different faces…First, it should be recognized that any time you are building and repairing transit services, that in and of itself is creating jobs in the near term. Another thing, though, that’s important to think about in terms of economic impact, is the ability of transit to connect people to their jobs, and often to connect them in a more efficient and effective way than being caught in traffic and congestion.”

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Guest on The Infra Blog: Mike Elmendorf, President & CEO, Associated General Contractors of New York State (AGC NYS)

Thursday, December 11th, 2014
Mike Elmendorf, AGC NYS

Mike Elmendorf was named President and CEO of the Associated General Contractors of New York State (AGC NYS), New York’s leading construction industry association, in February 2011.

“…there has been a number of bank settlements and other circumstances that have resulted in literally billions of dollars of found money arriving at the state treasury, and the result of that is that you’ve got a unique, really probably once in a lifetime opportunity to use those billions of dollars to make long-term significant investments in improving our infrastructure.”

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Guest on The Infra Blog: Kevin DeGood, Director, Infrastructure Policy, Center for American Progress

Monday, December 1st, 2014
cap logo

Kevin DeGood is the Director of Infrastructure Policy at American Progress. His work focuses on how highway, transit, aviation, and maritime policy affect America’s global competitiveness, access to opportunity for diverse communities, and environmental sustainability.

“To a certain extent we’re victims of our own success…For all of its problems, we have still a fundamentally sound and fantastic transportation system. Again, none of that means that we don’t need investment. None of that means that there aren’t real challenges, because there certainly are and that’s what we’ve dedicated ourselves to trying to solve.”

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Guest on The Infra Blog: Robyn Boerstling, Director, Transportation & Infrastructure Policy, National Association of Manufacturers (NAM)

Monday, November 17th, 2014
Robyn Boerstling, NAM, on The Infra Blog

Robyn M. Boerstling joined the National Association of Manufacturers in April 2008 as the Director of Transportation and Infrastructure Policy. Robyn helps direct the NAM’s transportation advocacy agenda and works on legislative and coalition efforts that seek to repair and modernize the nation’s infrastructure.

“I think citizen engagement is absolutely critical and that’s one of the reasons why this issue is so important to our members. We also don’t just talk about issues at the NAM, we get our members engaged in talking on the Hill about the significance of these things.”

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Guest on The Infra Blog: Jacky Grimshaw, Vice President of Policy, Center for Neighborhood Technology

Tuesday, November 4th, 2014
Jacky Grimshaw on The Infra Blog

Jacky Grimshaw joined CNT in 1992 and has since developed its capacity to engage in public policy advocacy, transportation research, public participation tool development, GIS mapping, and community economic development.

“Sometimes the bottom up is the only way to move those folks up there at the top…I think part of the challenge is to always try and help people see how they can make a difference, how they can get the elected officials to behave differently so that we really get these problems solved.”

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Guest on The Infra Blog: Aaron M. Renn, Urban Affairs Analyst and Founder of The Urbanophile

Tuesday, October 28th, 2014
Aaron M. Renn on The Infra Blog

Aaron M. Renn is The Urbanophile, an opinion-leading urban affairs analyst, entrepreneur, speaker, and writer on a mission to help America’s cities thrive in the 21st century.

“Fundamentally, we have to take a hard look in the mirror and realize that, to some extent, the systems that we have in place in America are a reflection of the values of the people who live here…The public needs to take a look in the mirror and say this is what we’ve chosen as a society.”

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Guest on The Infra Blog: Frank Vacca, Chief Program Manager, California High-Speed Rail Authority

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014
Frank Vacca, Chief Program Manager, CHSRA

As of Oct. 2012, Frank Vacca has been the Chief Program Manager for the California High-Speed Rail Authority. In his role, Vacca leads technical and engineering teams as they focus on delivering the high-speed rail project.

“I believe California will be the first high-speed-rail system in North America…We’ve overcome all the legal challenges before us…We have the first billion-dollar contract, and the designs are mature enough to start construction…So there’s nothing, no obstacles, in front of us right now.”

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Guest on The Infra Blog: Erik Steavens, Rail Division Director, Texas Department of Transportation

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014
Erik Steavens on The Infra Blog

Erik Steavens is a twenty-year transportation professional with a diverse background in multimodal transportation. For the past two years, he has managed his own firm, TIP Consultants, to assist public and private sector clients in navigating through the complex transportation funding and implementation environment. Previously, Steavens was the division director of intermodal programs for the Georgia Department of Transportation, where he managed the state’s rail, transit, aviation and port interests.

“Certainly we have been blessed with corridors in Texas that have the potential for the ridership and revenue growth that could sustain a high-speed rail operation…There are very few places in the country that could make those claims. So we are optimistic. We are hopeful that we can help facilitate a project that could be a true game changer for Texas.”

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Guest on The Infra Blog: Lynn Richards, President & CEO, Congress for the New Urbanism

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014
Lynn Richards, Center for the New Urbanism

Lynn Richards is President and CEO of the Congress for the New Urbanism. Previously, Richards had a long and distinguished career at the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), holding multiple leadership roles over 13 years including Acting Director and Policy Director in the Office of Sustainable Communities. She worked with dozens of state and local governments to implement placemaking approaches by developing policies, urban design strategies, and environmental solutions for vibrant, prosperous neighborhoods. Additionally, she produced groundbreaking research on water and land use strategies.

“The U.S. is anticipated to grow by another 100 million by 2050. So there will be a need for new transit infrastructure. There will be a need for new streets and roads. There will be a need for new schools…We can use our infrastructure investment as a way of revitalizing cities and to bringing people back into the cities and to create…thriving economies.”

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