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GMA sponsors “Bring your executive to Capitol Hill”

June 1st, 2008 / By: / Updates

In April, members of Geosynthetic Materials Association (GMA) came to Washington, D.C., for the annual “Bring your executive to Capitol Hill.” The two-day event featured a dinner and reception with James Ray from FHWA, a GMA executive council meeting, issues briefings, and meetings with senators, representatives, and staffers on Capitol Hill.

An evening dinner and reception with speaker James Ray, the acting/deputy administrator at the Federal Highway Administration, was the first order of business. After speaking, Ray took questions from the group. Among his comments, the GMA members were pleased to hear him note that when he speaks to his staff about seeking innovations in transportation, he uses geosynthetics as an example.

The next day, GMA members gathered at the Kemp Partners/Whitmer & Worrall offices for an executive council meeting, issues briefings, and a review of the day’s congressional meeting schedule. Throughout the day GMA members met with their senators and representatives on Capitol Hill.

Capitol Hill meetings

Meetings on Capitol Hill included:

  • John Henderson and Wally Moore (TenCate), Steve Warner (Industrial Fabrics Association International), and James Kemp (Kemp Partners), with Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) and Bridges Sinyard, legislative assistant
  • Boyd Ramsey (GSE) and Tom Worrall (Whitmer & Worrall), with Sarith Ruiz, transportation legislative assistant to Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas)
  • Steve Warner (IFAI), Andrew Aho (GMA), and Tom Worrall (Whitmer & Worrall), with Andy Burmeister, legislative assistant to Sen. Norm Coleman (R-Minn.)
  • Jim Pruitt and Bill Fields (Highland Industries), and James Kemp (Kemp Partners), with Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), J.P. Pierpan, transportation legislative assistant, and Chris Wall, economics legislative assistant
  • Steve Bowlds and Frank Hollowell (Fiberweb), Paul O’Malley (Propex), and Martin Whitmer (Whitmer & Worrall), with Ryan Berger, legislative assistant to Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.)
  • Steve Bowlds and Frank Hollowell (Fiberweb), Paul O’Malley (Propex), and Martin Whitmer (Whitmer & Worrall), with Brent Wiles and Tom Craig, transportation legislative assistants to Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.)
  • Steve Warner (IFAI), Andrew Aho (GMA), and Tom Worrall (Whitmer & Worrall), with Mark Wilson, senior transportation legislative assistant to Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.)
  • John Henderson and Wally Moore (TenCate), Steve Warner (IFAI), and James Kemp (Kemp Partners), with Mike Quiello, transportation legislative assistant to Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.)
  • Steve Warner (IFAI), Andrew Aho (GMA), and Tom Worrall (Whitmer & Worrall), with Peter Frosch, senior legislative assistant for appropriations to Rep. Betty McCollum (D-Minn.)
  • Bill Fields and Jim Pruitt (Highland Industries) and Martin Whitmer (Whitmer & Worrall), with Rep. Brad Miller (D-N.C.) and transportation legislative assistant Mike Canning
  • Paul O’Malley (Propex) and Martin Whitmer (Whitmer & Worrall), with Rep. Zach Wamp (R-Tenn.), Amanda Schoch and Leigh McLure, legislative assistants to Rep. Wamp
  • Jim Pruitt and Bill Fields (Highland Industries) and Rudy Barry (Whitmer & Worrall), with Patrick Pearce, transportation legislative assistant to Sen. Elizabeth Dole (R-N.C.)

Reaction and follow-up

During the April meetings, GMA members and lobbyists encouraged members of Congress to support these GMA legislative initiatives:

  • Water Resources Development Act (WRDA)–GMA language directing the use of geosynthetics be included in the bill.
  • 2009 Federal Appropriations Request– Educate the Educators Program partnership with the University of Minnesota to teach civil engineering professors about geosynthetics so they can bring that knowledge to the classroom.

“These meetings help us develop friends on Capitol Hill and have added to the momentum of support that has been building for GMA and geosynthetics,” said Andrew Aho, GMA managing director. “After our Capitol Hill Day in Washington in April, Rep. Heath Shuler of North Carolina submitted significant language in the WRDA bill that directs the Army Corps to conduct studies and demonstration projects on geotextile tubes, geotextile reinforcement in levees, geosynthetic-reinforced walls, and erosion control. The language also requires that canals, pipelines, reservoirs, and dams used for water conveyance be lined with geosynthetic liners.”

Andrew Aho, GMA Managing Director.

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