The National I-73/74 Corridor Association held its Fall 2010 Road Rally at the JW Marriott in Washington, D.C., Sept. 30-Oct.1. It was well attended by National I-73/74 Corridor Association members from South Carolina as well as members and supporters from North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia. Several congressional staff members were also in attendance.
The Fall Road Rally began Thursday night with a welcome reception at the Rayburn House Office Building where association members and supporters were able to connect with one another and speak with some congressional staff members.
On Friday, Oct. 1, the association hosted a rally breakfast while the board of directors held a meeting. At the breakfast, Representative Doug Jennings D-Bennettsville, treasurer for the National I-73/74/75 Association, announced that everyone had been reelected to their position with the exception of David Akers, President and CEO of Akers Supply, being replaced by Tom Hall of the King Coal Highway I-73/74 Authority in Gilbert, WV.
The current board of directors is listed below:
President/Executive Director- Brad Dean, President and CEO of the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce, Myrtle Beach, SC
Chairman- Alan Clemmons, Clemmons Law Firm, Myrtle Beach, SC
Vice Chair- George Lester, CEO, The Lester Group, Martinsville, VA
Treasurer- Douglas Jennings, Douglas Jennings Law Firm, Bennettsville, SC
Secretary- James Armstrong, Director, Richmond County Planning and GIS Department, Rockingham, NC
Bob Johnson, Director of Planning and Neighborhood Development for Lansing, MI
Ann Hughes, President & CEO, Adrian Area Chamber of Commerce, Adrian, MI
Raymond Basham, Michigan State Senator, District 8, Taylor, MI
Steven Carter, Director of Scioto County Economic Development, Portsmouth, OH
Tom Kovacik, Executive Director of TAGNO, Toledo, OH
Steve Weathers, President & CEO Regional Growth Partnership, Toledo, OH
Tom Hall, King Coal Highway I-73/74 Authority, Gilbert, WV
Mike Mitchem, Executive Director, King Coal Highway I-73/74 Authority, Gilbert, WV
Christine West Coburn, Executive Assistant to Commissioner for Dept. of Highways, Princeton, WV
George Lester, CEO, The Lester Group, Martinsville, VA
Richard H. Eanes, President, Warren Trucking Company, Inc, Martinsville, VA
Joyce Waugh, VP Public Policy, Roanoke Chamber of Commerce, Roanoke, VA
Talmadge Baker, City Council Member, Asheboro, NC
James Armstrong, Director, Richmond County Planning and GIS Department, Rockingham, NC
Greg Errett, Planning Development Coordinator, Winston-Salem, NC
Representative Alan Clemmons, Myrtle Beach, SC
Representative Douglas Jennings, Douglas Jennings Law Firm, Bennettsville, SC
Danny Isaac, SCDOT, Myrtle Beach, SC
Chairman of the National Corridor Association Alan Clemmons then announced that Interstate 75 had been adopted into the association and that it would become a part of what brings all I-73/74 supporters and association members together. “Since I-75 lies within the I-73/74 corridor in northern Michigan and given the excitement surrounding I-75 in Michigan and Ohio, the inclusion of I-75 into the I-73/74 Association is a perfect fit. The I-73/74/75 Association is on the road to success,” Clemmons said.
National I-73/74/75 Corridor Association Treasurer Doug Jennings was also excited about the addition of I-75 to the National Corridor Association. “The decision to incorporate I-75 has energized our allies in Michigan and Ohio, allowing us to gain some real momentum as we seek funding for this project,” said Jennings.
There were six speakers during the general session on Friday, Oct. 1, including Joe Harris, Legislative Counsel for Congressman John Spratt; Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez; Senior Economist James O’Keeffe from the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works; Majority and Minority Subcommittee Staff Directors Jim Kolb and Jim Tymon of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee; and Payson Peabody of Counsel Dykema. All speakers offered critical advice to association members on ways to gain inclusion in the upcoming Highway Reauthorization Bill, like emphasizing the alleviation freight traffic. Others shared the importance of using nontraditional means of funding for I-73/74/75 construction by incorporating public private partnerships.
Towards the end of the rally, Director of Transportation Infrastructure in the Congressional and Public Affairs Division of the US Chamber of Commerce Janet Kavinoky energized those attending and encouraged them to continue visiting D.C. of behalf of I-73/74/75. “One of the most important things that anyone can do right now is make sure that they are in Washington as often as possible. You’ve got to sit in the lobby of your members of Congress and you’ve got to look them in the eye, you’ve got to look staff in the eye, and say ‘We’re not going to have jobs in our district until you do your job.’ You’ve got to be here to get the job done,” said Kavinoky.
The National I-73/74/75 Corridor Association will most likely be planning another trip to D.C. for I-74/74/75 association members and supporters in early 2011.