By T. Peter Ruane
I have been fortunate to have had some very serious experiences early in my career. They prepared me for the unique challenges of serving as president and chief executive officer of the American Road & Transportation Builders Association for the past 30 years.
ARTBA has a noble mission. It was one of the things that really attracted me to the job. And our singular mission hasn’t changed since the association was founded 116 years ago—growing and protecting the U.S. transportation infrastructure market to meet the public and business demand for safe and efficient mobility.
When it comes to serving a higher purpose, that’s right up there in my book. The U.S. economy literally rides on the work you, the men and women who comprise ARTBA, do. Your work product facilitates the American freedom of mobility and quality of life that are the envy of the world.
You are also what attracted me to ARTBA. In the association’s membership, I saw “doers,” risktakers, men and women of action who have great pride in helping build a better nation. That’s the kind of team I wanted to be part of and help lead.
ARTBA’s consistently strong volunteer leadership and state chapter grassroots network are its strength now, and will continue to be in the future. Of that I am sure because of the type of people ARTBA attracts. It has been my privilege to work with you.
Together, we have come a long way. Federal investment in highway and transit work alone has grown from $16 billion in 1988 to $60 billion today—almost double the rate of inflation. And while ARTBA certainly cannot take sole credit for that achievement, no other organization has devoted and focused more time and resources to that objective over the period. And that is because of you.
So I thank you.
I also thank the incredible ARTBA staff I’ve had the privilege of building and leading on your behalf. You have an extremely strong core group of seasoned, mission-driven veterans who will carry on the fight, backed by a team of highly talented, ambitious younger professionals. In my opinion, dollar for dollar, there is not a better staff in the Nation’s Capital.
Finally, I would be grossly remiss if I did not thank my wife and partner of 50 years, Pat, for the fantastic support she has given me. She deserves your thanks as well.
I will miss the battle. Securing a robust and sustainable revenue solution for the Highway Trust Fund-supported programs remains Job #1. But I leave confident that with your continued strong personal and financial support of the association, you have the 9th inning pitchers and sluggers on your ARTBA Washington team to win the game.
Keep marching BOLDLY. The path to victory has been laid. Be ready to make the final push. Don’t ever quit!
(Pete Ruane retired from ARTBA on Oct. 31.)