“I prized the individual who was eager to sacrifice for our common good.”
–Legendary U.C.L.A. Coach John Wooden

By Dave Bauer, president, ARTBA

As a devoted sports fan—and youth sports parent—I often look to that world for lessons in leadership. One of my favorite sources is the late John Wooden, who led the U.C.L.A. Bruins to an incredible 10 NCAA basketball championships, including seven in a row. Throughout his 99 years, Coach Wooden documented his wisdom through countless books, articles and interviews.

As we near the end of 2019, I am thinking about the past year at ARTBA, and looking ahead to what we want to achieve in 2020, a process that begins in January when the ARTBA Strategic Planning Committee convenes in Charlotte. I’ve asked the entire ARTBA staff to do the same by using smart goal-setting as a means of achieving organizational and individual growth. In my case, there is a personal dimension to this exercise, because New Year’s Day 2020 marks the completion of my first year as ARTBA’s president, the greatest honor of my professional career.

A key principle in Coach Wooden’s “Pyramid of Success” ties this all together.  Team spirit, as he described, is an “eagerness to sacrifice personal interests of glory for the welfare of all.” At ARTBA, we are indeed blessed by volunteer leaders who devote significant time and resources to benefit the entire industry.

Early in 2019, ARTBA’s Reauthorization Task Force, a diverse and experienced group of 27 members, hammered out a policy blueprint under an accelerated timeline for the next federal surface transportation bill. They built on the work of a similar group who met in 2016 and developed prospective revenue solutions for the Highway Trust Fund. Collectively, these thorough and thoughtful recommendations have been well-received on Capitol Hill.

In July, the Senate Environment & Public Works Committee unanimously approved a bipartisan, five-year highway bill, America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act (ATIA). It represents the largest boost in highway investment through a reauthorization bill in more than 20 years. While this legislation is far from final, ARTBA members are among those urging their representatives in both houses of Congress to make it reality. It will remain ARTBA’s Priority #1 for 2020.

As of this post, ARTBA has filed nearly two dozen sets of comments on proposed federal rules changes this year. We have achieved notable regulatory victories in areas such as proprietary products, Waters of the United States, and hours of service. ARTBA members have helped lead these efforts by identifying rules to be improved or repealed, and showing decision makers the “real world” ramifications of these regulatory hurdles.

Led by passionate industry leaders, ARTBA’s Safety Certification for Transportation Project Professionals™ (SCTPP) program completed its third year as we move closer to having 500 professionals having earned this unique credential.

Throughout 2019, ARTBA leaders have devoted personal time for advocacy, attended events, prioritized safety and provided financial support through dues investment, sponsorships and contributions to the “Transportation Makes America Work!” (TMAW) program.  They have also regularly provided the ARTBA staff and me with wise counsel.

In the spirit of Coach Wooden, ARTBA is a true team, a nationwide network of transportation design and construction professionals headed by the most selfless of industry leaders. ARTBA’s accomplishments in 2019—and basis for optimism in 2020—belong to them.

This column appears in the November-December issue of ARTBA’s Transportation Builder magazine.