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International Conference on Asphalt and Traffic

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Honorary Chairs

The Honorable John J. Cullerton, President, Illinois Senate

Senator Cullerton is the President of the largest Democratic Caucus in the US.  He is a successful attorney and a dedicated elected leader.  On January 14, 2009, State Senator John Cullerton was inaugurated to his first two-year term as President of the Illinois Senate. As a lawmaker, Sen. Cullerton was an early national leader on strengthening child safety laws, passing the state’s Child Passenger Safety Act, and Illinois laws requiring that seatbelts be worn by all front seat passengers. He pushed for increased requirements for young drivers to ensure safer Illinois roads. He worked on the reform bill for the statewide indoor smoking ban to make sure all communities had the ability to ensure compliance. Senator Cullerton has won numerous prestigious awards including: "Buckle Up America Award"; “Highway Safety Hero”, “Legislator of the Year” award and others.


The Honorable Jim Ardis, Mayor, City of Peoria

Mayor Jim Ardis has served as the Mayor of the City of Peoria for three consecutive terms. Prior, he had served the City in many ways including over 17 years on the Peoria City Council. He believes that public service is a noble calling and is an honor the voters entrust him with this office. With a population of nearly 150,000 citizens, the City of Peoria is the urban hub of an exciting and beautiful region, blessed with an abundance of qualified and skilled human resources and rich natural assets. Mayor Ardis earned a B.S in Industrial Technology from Illinois State University. His Community involvement includes St. Vincent de Paul Parish, St. Jude Memphis to Peoria Runner (21 years), Board President of the Tim Ardis Foundation for Hope, Member of the St. Jude Midwest Affiliate Board of Directors, and Founder of Peoria Promise.


Mr. Simon Shaer, President, Cedar Hills Construction & Development Co.

Mr. Shaer is a major developer and manages the largest metal recycling company in Saudi Arabia, CBC International. He is the President of Cedar Hills Construction and Development Company, and owns and operates business in Egypt, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia.  Mr. Shaer earned a BS degree from Oregon State University, a Business Management degree and a diploma in Gemology from the Gemological Institute of America in Santa Monica, California.  In 1982, he established a recycling metal company, CBC Metal International, in Jeddah Saudi Arabia.  He formed CBC International Development and Construction Co. in Beirut, Lebanon in 1990 and has developed many high rise residential and commercial buildings. This company is one of the leading companies in Lebanon in the development and construction business. 


Mr. Mike Acott, President, National Asphalt Pavement Association

Mr. Mike Acott is the President of the National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA), the national trade association for hot-mix asphalt (HMA) producers and paving contractors. Mike has helped launch national initiatives on perpetual pavements, stone matrix asphalt, large stone mixtures, field management, and rubblizing and helped create the strategic partnership between NAPA, the Asphalt Institute, and the State Asphalt Pavement Associations known as the Asphalt Pavement Alliance. Mike has encouraged proactive strategies that included initiatives on engineering controls for pavers, odor and emission reductions, Diamond Achievement Commendation for plants/sites, warm mix, and the development of best practice guidelines.


Mr. J. Bryan Nicol, JD, Senior Vice President, Transportation Business Group, CH2M HILL

Mr. Nicol serves as Sr. VP of CH2M HILL’s Transportation Business Group. He was also the former President of AASHTO. He has 22 years of experience in the public and private transportation field, working on a variety of special projects and programs related to local, state and federal matters. Mr. Nicol’s expertise is in planning, program management, and construction of major highway and bridge projects in urban environments, with a special focus on innovative project delivery and operations. As a former Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner of Operations at the Indiana Department of Transportation, he possesses large program experience covering all modes of transportation and design-build delivery, including innovative sustainability practices.