By Mark Holan, editorial director, ARTBA

Joe L. Romano IV, director of highway engineering at Pennsylvania-based Larson Design Group, was encouraged to attend the 2015 Industry Leader Development Program (ILDP) after a promotion to project manager.

At the time, the ARTBA Foundation’s introduction to federal and state advocacy for transportation infrastructure market development and protection was known as the Young Executive Development Program.

“I expected to get a better understanding of policy for funding and other industry needs,” Romano says five years later. “The ILDP program fulfilled those expectations and gave me a greater understanding for what ARTBA does for our industry.”

Nominations for the 2020 ILDP—the 25th annual class—are open through April 1. The program will be held May 12-14 in Washington, D.C., in conjunction with ARTBA’s annual Federal Issues Program and Transportation Construction Coalition Fly-In.

Romano, 39, adds that he still benefits from his ILDP experience.

“I have taken the experience of initially meeting with congressional representatives, back in 2015, and have continued to lobby on our industry’s behalf in Washington, D.C. and in Pennsylvania,” he says.  “I keep a close eye on what is happening, ARTBA helps me do that.”

Romano is a member of ARTBA’s Planning & Design Division board of directors, where he is joined by another 2015 ILDP graduate, Chris Nazar, vice president and senior transportation planner at CDM Smith. 

“Since completing the ILDP program, my network associated with ARTBA has grown significantly to the point that I typically talk with a fellow member on a weekly basis regarding project pursuits or challenges associated with our similar management roles,” Romano says.

He recommends the program.

“Do it,” he says. “You will learn great things about the transportation industry, and you will meet new lifelong friends!”

For more information about ILDP, please contact ARTBA’s Nick Goldstein