Shortly after his election last month as 2013-14 American Road and Transportation Builders Association chairman, Doug Black cited transportation funding, policy, worker safety and innovation as priority objectives for the year ahead.
“ARTBA will advocate for a significant boost in federal funding for transportation infrastructure, as part of the 2014 reauthorization of MAP-21, while also facilitating state and local transportation funding initiatives,” said Black, who recently left Atlanta-based Oldcastle Inc. As part of the MAP-21 (Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century) implementation, he added, the association will push for improved policy reforms that affect the industry’s ability to efficiently build and maintain America’s infrastructure.
Black tied recent experiences as executive with a key operator in road building and pavement materials production and delivery to ARTBA’s strong commitment to worker safety. “This year, our company had three employees killed in our work zones by third party motorists…These were terrific employees, husbands, fathers, sons doing everything safely and correctly,” he explained. “Our industry expectation must be zero fatalities and ARTBA is currently and should continue to lead the charge in discovering and sharing work zone fatality elimination best practices.”
Consistent with a strategic plan ARTBA board members adopted in 2011, Black noted plans to focus on fostering innovation within the industry, calling it a driving force for the American economy. “The world is rapidly changing in this digital age and we have to keep up,” he said. “It is part of our charter at ARTBA to foster this innovation—in how we communicate, how we build, how we partner and finance, and how we ensure that the American people get the best return from every dollar spent on transportation infrastructure.”
Black’s election as chairman follows a host of leadership posts at ARTBA, including senior vice chair, first vice chair, vice chair at-large, president of the Materials & Services Division president and Strategic Planning Committee co-chair. At Oldcastle Inc., he most recently served as president and chief operating officer, transitioning from six years at Oldcastle Materials, the first two as president, the remaining as chief executive officer.
Prior to the Materials business—a top five player in ready mixed concrete, asphalt and aggregate shipments—Black held top Oldcastle Architectural, Precast and Distribution posts. He joined Oldcastle Inc. in 1995 as vice president of Business Development. His business career began at McKinsey & Co., where he drove strategy, sales force effectiveness and plant improvement projects in the telecommunications, airline, lumber, paper and packaging industries. As a U.S. Army Engineer officer from 1986 to 1990, he completed construction projects in the southeastern U.S., Central America and South America. Black holds an M.B.A. from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and a B.S. in mathematical science/civil engineering from the U.S. Military Academy, West Point.