2016 Transportation & Infrastructure Summit

April 28, 2016

Transportation Summit Header with logo

When: Thursday, April 28, 2016 | 8:15 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Where: Sheraton Imperial Hotel & Convention Center | 4700 Emperor Boulevard, Durham, NC – Reserve a room!

Pricing: Cornerstone $139 | Member $159 | Non-Member $239
Special Pricing for Two Attendees | $259!


Hotel: Special room rate of $135 available on Wednesday, April 27

What: In 2012, North Carolina’s transportation network faced an uncertain future. Decaying infrastructure had resulted in the 37th worst bridge safety rating and the 2nd highest fatality rating on non-Interstate rural roads of any state in the nation, while growing congestion meant North Carolina drivers spent an extra $6.5 billion annually in additional vehicle operating costs, lost time and wasted fuel. To make matters worse, elected leaders had cut and capped transportation revenues on numerous occasions and allowed transfers out of the Highway Fund to pay for non-transportation expenses.

Recognizing the looming transportation crisis, the North Carolina Chamber and our members agreed to focus on the transportation network – and funding it with a stable, reliable, recurring revenue source. In 2012, the NC Chamber Foundation commissioned a study, Diversifying Revenues to Improve Commerce and Economic Prosperity, which ultimately called for the passage of funding and efficiency reforms, like ending revenue transfers from the Highway Fund to the General Fund, and recommended 16 alternative sources of revenue to fund our transportation future. The NC Chamber followed that report up by pushing for long-term, sustainable solutions to the transportation crisis. Our advocacy and the support of our members ultimately encouraged elected leaders to pass Senate Bill 20 and House Bill 97, which included the first true long-term transportation funding reforms secured in North Carolina since 1989.

We’ve come a long way to protect our infrastructure future in North Carolina, but we’ve still got room to grow. There are currently more than ten million people living in North Carolina, and the population is expected to grow to 12 million, making North Carolina the seventh most populated state in the nation. This growth brings many opportunities, but it begs the question: Are we ready? To meet the demands of our fast-growing economy, sufficient physical infrastructure support remains a priority issue for North Carolina. Join the NC Chamber and other industry thought leaders as we discuss how economic growth, safety and quality of life improvements are interconnected and dependent on investments in transportation, water and sewer, energy and broadband. Together, let’s move the infrastructure discussion forward to keep growing good jobs and securing North Carolina’s future.

Stay engaged: #MovingNC

Presented by


Gold Sponsors

DOM-ACP-RGB-R-SMALL CentruyLink CSX_HTM_inside_Black_Blue_RGB_300dpi_sm


Silver Sponsor

Hanson Aggregates Southeast, LLC

Bronze Sponsor

North Carolina Railroad Company
Smith Anderson


Guardian Retention Systems

Draft Agenda

8:15 a.m.
Opening Comments
Lew Ebert, President & CEO, North Carolina Chamber

8:30 a.m.
Opening Keynote: Connecting North Carolina – Rural Opportunities & Challenges
Ted Abernathy, Chief Economist & Managing Partner, Economic Leadership
Dan Gerlach, President, Golden LEAF Foundation
This session will focus on some of the key elements of our rural study – with an emphasis on infrastructure and how to better prepare rural areas to connect and compete.

9:20 a.m.
Concurrent Sessions

Session 1: Roads & Bridges: Are We Moving at the Rate & Pace Necessary to Accommodate a Rapidly Growing Population & Economy?
Ward Nye, Chairman, President and CEO, Martin Marietta (Host)
Charles Edwards, Director, Strategic Planning at the NC Department of Transportation
Jule Smith, President, Fred Smith Company
This session will focus on changes made to funding during the 2015 session and the acceleration of projects that will occur as a result of additional funding.

Session 2: Energy: Are We Building Enough Capacity to Handle North Carolina’s Rapid Growth?
George Everett, Independent Consultant
David Fountain, North Carolina President, Duke Energy
Bruce McKay, Senior Policy Director, Dominion Energy
Robert B. (Bob) Schwentker, SVP and General Counsel, North Carolina Electric Membership Corporation
This session will focus on how eastern NC will benefit from 2015 legislation that allowed municipal power agencies to reduce their long term debt load.  There will also be an update on the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and its potential to aid economic development in eastern NC.  In addition, Duke Energy will provide an update on its capability to meet environmental mandates while providing adequate supplies of power at competitive rates in NC.

10:00 a.m.

10:20 a.m.
Concurrent Sessions:

Session 1: Airports: What Can We do to Better Capitalize on One of Our Most Important Economic Development Tools?
Joe Milazzo, Executive Director, Regional Transportation Alliance (Moderator)
Michael Landguth, President & CEO, Raleigh-Durham International Airport
Brent Cagle, Interim Aviation Director, Charlotte Douglas International Airport
Kevin Baker, Executive Director, Piedmont Triad International Airport
This interactive session will focus on whether we are making the necessary investments to keep one of our state’s most important economic development tools running at the speed of business. We will also hear ideas from the audience.

Session 2: Rails & Ports: How to Make One of North Carolina’s Greatest Assets Even Better
Jerry Cook, Vice President Government and Trade Relations, Hanesbrands Inc. (Moderator)
Paul Cozza, CEO, North Carolina State Ports Authority
Scott Saylor, President, North Carolina Railroad Company
This session will focus on future plans and capacity for our rail and ports and how business can capitalize on both.

11:05 a.m.
Concurrent Sessions:

Session 1: Water: Are We One Drought Away From Crippling Growth?
Richard B. Whisnant, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill (Moderator)
Dan McLawhorn, City of Raleigh
David Springer, Greenville Utilities Commission
This session will focus on how two cities are approaching water supply and demand.

Session 2: Broadband: How High Speed Broadband & IoT Will Catapult North Carolina’s Growth
Ted Abernathy, Chief Economist & Managing partner, Economic Leadership (Moderator)
Trey Rabon, Executive Director of Government Affairs, AT&T
Charles Swisher, Global Practice Lead, CenturyLink
Marcus Trathen, Counsel for the NC Cable Assn and Time Warner Cable
Eric Libow, Chief Technology Officer, Internet of Things Lab Services and Support, IBM
This session will focus on North Carolina’s high speed broadband connectivity and how the Internet of Things will help business reduce costs and improve efficiency.

11:50 a.m.
Lunch & Keynote:
North Carolina and CSX: Partnering to Deliver Economic Opportunity
Frank A. Lonegro, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, CSX Corporation

12:50 p.m.
Transportation Infrastructure: Driving North Carolina’s Competitive Future
Representative John A. Torbett

1:35 p.m.
Closing Comments
Lew Ebert

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