WAPA’s 61st Annual Conference and Business Meeting

WAPA’s 61st Annual Conference and Business Meeting is going virtual with a mix of live and pre-recorded presentations over three days, from December 1-3, 2020.

Register Now!


Earn up to 8 Professional Development Hours for attending! Sessions and speakers are subject to change.


Welcome Address and Opening Comments
Brandon Strand, WAPA Executive Director
Mike Byrnes, WAPA President

Wisconsin Department of Transportation Update
Craig Thompson, WisDOT Secretary
This session will provide an update from the department including an emphasis on the importance of partnerships between the agency and WAPA, and will discuss WisDOT’s commitment to new research and long-term investment in Wisconsin’s infrastructure.

2020 Awards Winners and Scholarship Recipients
Debbie Schwerman, WAPA Engineering Director

WisDOT Asphalt Technical Update
Speakers TBD
In collaboration with industry representatives, WisDOT develops best practices to ensure pavement performance by specification revisions and implementing innovations through research and partnerships. In this session, there will be an emphasis on continued communication with stakeholders to improve the quality of asphalt pavements to deliver a quality transportation system that is essential for public safety and economic prosperity.

Pavement Management
Debbie Schwerman, WAPA Engineering Director
In this session, we will discuss the essentials needed to develop a pavement and asset management system for our roadways. Utilizing the PASER rating system of pavement conditions, we will discuss different maintenance, preservation, overlay, and rehabilitation options that are available and the timeliness of when they should be considered.


Return of the Economist: COVID-19 Economic Update
Anirban Basu, Sage Policy Group
COVID-19 has rocked what had appeared to be a nearly invincible economy – one associated with substantial job growth, multi-decade lows in unemployment, sturdy compensation increases, robust retail sales, low inflation, and strong financial market performance. Underneath that strong performance, however, was a set of fragilities that have been exposed by the pandemic. This session speaks about our current economic circumstances, how difficult things are likely to become over the foreseeable future, and the contours of the brisk recovery to come thereafter.

Back to Basics: Forensics
Buzz Powell, National Center for Asphalt Technology
A successful overlay starts with identifying and correcting deficiencies in the existing pavement surface and structure. This session will demonstrate how to recognize different types and severities of pavement distresses through the use of the LTPP distress identification manual, as well as explain how to conduct pavement forensic analyses to determine why pavement distresses have occurred so they can be corrected.

Back to Basics: Tack Coats
Jim Musselman, National Center for Asphalt Technology
A strong layered pavement system owes much to the bond between layers, and a good tack coat allows two independent pavement layers to act as a single unit. This session will outline what materials are available for tack coats, as well as how to recognize and avoid common distresses and problems associated with improper tacking. Participants will also learn how to differentiate between acceptable and poor tack coats.

Back to Basics: Communication on Projects
Tim Murphy, Murphy Pavement Technology
Ensuring good communication, coordination, and cooperation occurs throughout building an asphalt project is key to your financial success and the long-term performance of the asphalt installation. This session is an open and honest discussion on how to get the most out of yourself and your employees specific to clear and concise communication on construction projects.


Election Analysis and Transportation Funding Update
Bill McCoshen, Capitol Consultants
Ashley Jackson, National Asphalt Pavement Association
Jay Hansen, National Asphalt Pavement Association
This session will provide post-election analysis and discuss the impact of the results on transportation funding and related industry issues at the state and national levels.

Life-Cycle Cost Analysis
Debbie Schwerman, WAPA Engineering Director
Life-cycle cost analysis is a decision-making tool that factors in both present-day costs of building a pavement and projected costs of maintenance and repair over the duration of the analysis period. As such, it is important for each agency to conduct a realistic assessment of pavement economics in order to provide objective input into the life-cycle cost analysis. The determination of life-cycle costs of alternative pavement types is an important part of a rational means for decision making and this session will educate you on making informed decisions to get the least expensive project in the long run.

Ethics Training
Jeff Russell, UW-Madison
Back by popular demand, this session will focus on the fundamental canons of professional conduct and other appropriate administrative rules and regulations. The discussion is designed to demonstrate a working knowledge of professional ethics and satisfy the requirement for “professional conduct and ethics.”


Craig Thompson

In January 2019, Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers appointed Craig Thompson to serve as secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT). WisDOT is one of the largest state agencies, with 3,400 employees and a biennial budget of more than $6 billion. The department supports all modes of transportation, including state highways, local roads, railroads, public transit systems, airports, and harbors. In addition, the department includes the Division of Motor Vehicles, which serves about 50,000 customers each week, and the Division of State Patrol that enforces laws and assists motorists throughout the state.

Previously Craig was the executive director of the Transportation Development Association (TDA) of Wisconsin. He has more than 25 years of experience working with Wisconsin businesses, communities, legislators and units of government. Prior to leading TDA, he served as the legislative director for the Wisconsin Counties Association, managing legislative initiatives at the state and federal levels.

Anirban Basu

Anirban Basu is Chairman & CEO of Sage Policy Group, Inc., an economic and policy consulting firm in Baltimore. Anirban serves as the chief economist to Associated Builders and Contractors and as chief economic adviser to the Construction Financial Management Association. In 2007 and then again in 2016, Mr. Basu was selected by the Daily Record newspaper as one of Maryland’s 50 most influential people. The Baltimore Business Journal named him one of the region’s 20 most powerful business leaders in 2010.

Bill McCoshen

Bill McCoshen is the Managing Partner of Capitol Consultants, a firm specializing in government relations, public affairs and issues-based grassroots advocacy. Before joining Capitol Consultants, Bill was appointed by Governor Tommy Thompson to be the first Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Commerce in state history. He was responsible for assisting citizens, businesses and communities with financing and economic development programs.

At the age of 29, Bill was the youngest cabinet secretary ever appointed in Wisconsin history. Prior to being appointed the Secretary of Commerce, Bill was the manager of Governor Thompson’s historic third-term campaign victory. The landslide 68% victory was the second highest margin in state history and the largest margin since 1922. The ’94 reelection campaign captured 71 of 72 counties, and Governor Thompson received more votes than any gubernatorial candidate in history. At age 27, Bill also served as Governor Thompson’s chief of staff.

Ashley Jackson

Ashley Jackson is the Senior Director of Government Affairs for the National Asphalt Pavement Association. Since joining NAPA in June 2015, Ashley has liaised with the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, as well as the House and Senate Appropriations Subcommittees on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development on highway funding, asphalt research, and pavement-type selection issues. Named one of Association TRENDS’ 2020 Leading Lobbyists, Ashley serves on the TRIP Board of Directors, the Americans for Transportation Mobility Coalition Management Committee, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Transportation and Logistics Committee. Ashley is also co-chair of the Women in Government Relations, Transportation & Infrastructure Task Force.

Jay Hansen

Jay Hansen is the Executive Vice President for Advocacy at the National Asphalt Pavement Association. Jay joined NAPA in November 1998 as Vice President for government affairs after more than 12 years of working on transportation issues in Congress. Jay has led the industry’s efforts to secure federal highway funding, worked to defeat harmful pavement-type selection mandates, and secured asphalt pavement research and deployment funding. He also arranged for the construction of an asphalt pavement exhibit at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, which attracts more than 4 million visitors annually. In November 2011, Jay was named NAPA’s Executive Vice President.