2012 is off to a great start in the Austin area! The end of 2011 provided a well-needed rest and opportunity for reflection on the accomplishments of the year. January brought a few changes to our Austin area officer roster. Curtis Van Cleve (SEMA Construction) was recruited to serve as Area Chairman after having successfully guided the area as Highway Vice Chairman for the last two years. Mike Brown (APAC-Texas) will take over as Highway Vice Chairman and co-chair our joint meetings with District Engineer Carlos Lopez. Amanda Abrams Rimer will continue the excellent work she did in 2011 as area Public Affairs Vice Chairman. Jim Siddons will once again serve as Associate Vice Chairman. Amanda and Jim’s work on coordinating the activities of our area PAC and organizing PAC fundraising events will be crucial in this new election year.
In January and February the area meetings with the Texas Department of Transportation were revitalized somewhat with the inclusion of the Austin district Area Engineers. These joint area meetings continue to be productive and an important resource for the membership. The leadership of District Engineer Carlos Lopez and District Construction Engineer Tim Weight has created an extremely positive working environment in the district. The concept of partnering is alive and well in our district and there is a true commitment between the chapter and the department to continual improvement.
The chapter’s focus on highway funding and the activities associated with our education and awareness campaign are highlighted at all area functions. The January Austin Monthly Luncheon featured a discussion on the chapter’s Highway Funding Task Force goals and objectives for the New Year leading up to the legislative session in 2013. In February, the area members were privileged to have State Senator Kirk Watson speak about transportation issues and his other key legislative priorities for the next session.
Another important goal for 2012 is to focus and develop the working relationships critical to our market in the municipal arena. This effort will be ongoing throughout the year and will take a coordinated approach from more than one of our members who are engaged with municipal owners.
It is an exciting time to be involved in the AGC of Texas, and we are looking forward to the New Year, and we are ready to step up and work hard to address our challenges.