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International Conference on Asphalt and Traffic


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The ICAT Vision

 

 

Dr. Amir Al-Khafaji
ICAT Chair

Bradley University

 
   

The task of serving as the founding chair of the ICAT was truly daunting because of its remarkable mission and vision to bring prominent leaders from across the globe to Peoria, Illinois.  Over the past 31 years, the ICAT conference took on many conference titles and started with fewer than 40 attendees in 1987 to being sold out since 2009. The past 17 years, the ICAT Boards focused on bringing decision makers from government, legislators, scholars and business executives to solve major problems facing business and governments through dialogue and candid discussions at 20 VIP events annually. This journey was rewarded by the solutions achieved, insights we collectively developed, and satisfaction we continue to derive from engaging many eminent leaders whose penetrating wisdom helped participants across the globe.  This wonderful journey was initiated and consummated with utmost loyalty to our profession.

 

For me, the first responsibility of a leader is defining reality not the way they wish it but the way it is and to effectively navigate through the political, social, cultural, and economical landmines that shape our reality today. Achieving success must not achieved on the expense of sacrificing core values, dignity or integrity. Leadership is not about speeches and an unrealistic vision but about producing results and helping constituents create a better future. Great leaders have a sense of humor, are never tamed by small misfortunes, make promises sparingly but keep them faithfully, know that people of character bend circumstances to their will, and realize that no one person is good enough to succeed alone.

  

The theme of our conference this year is Sustainable Funding of Infrastructure for Illinois.  We intend to search for creative funding and financing mechanisms to help Illinoi secure a better future. Thus, we have assembled some of the finest minds from across the world, not as Republicans or Democrats, but as wise men and women who share the passion to create a better business climate for our state and world. We intend to have a candid conversation and find solutions to problems facing major businesses, disadvantaged businesses, and promote better opportunities for decision makers to partner with prominent leaders from infrastructure to help build a better Illinois.

The ICAT objectives are to promote business partnerships, align and leverage new alliances and address challenges facing the infrastructure industry. The uncertainties presented by the global economy will drive revolutionary business developments and innovation on a greater scale than ever before. We must seize the moment to bring leaders together to build a great State, a nobler America, and a better world. Special thanks to the many prominent leaders whose wisdom and presence brought class and prestige to the ICAT. In the of Summer 2017, I formed a new Women in Business Summit to help identify challenges faced by prominent business women leaders throughout their careers. It is our hope to develop recommendations to address major women issues and concerns. I am happy to report that my friend Ms. Tana Utley, VP, Caterpillar Inc. will Chair the 2018 Women in Business Summit.

A special thanks to my friends and Program Chairs who continue to provide needed support to ensure the ICAT is successful. My spirit to seek new horizons, conquer new frontiers and to dream beyond the possible will never be tamed!