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U.S. Senator George Voinovich (R-Ohio) and Rich Wagman, chairman and chief executive officer of highway and bridge contractor G.A. & F.C. Wagman, located in York, Pa., are the recipients of the American Road & Transportation Builders Association’s (ARTBA) highest honor – the 2009 “ARTBA Award.” The awards were presented May 25 during the association’s Federal Issues Program held in the Nation’s Capital.
Established 50 years ago, the “ARTBA Award” recognizes individuals for outstanding contributions that have advanced the broad goals of the association. Since 1972, the “ARTBA Award” has been presented annually to at least two individuals, one from the private sector and one from the public sector.
Throughout the years, “ARTBA Award” recipients have included several governors, more than 25 U.S. senators or representatives, two U.S. secretaries of transportation and dozens of top leaders and executives from government and the private sector of the transportation construction industry.
Voinovich, the public sector winner, was recognized for his long-time advocacy on transportation investment and policy issues during his tenure as Cleveland mayor, Ohio governor and U.S. Senator. As head of the National Governors Association, he worked tirelessly for passage of 1998’s Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21).
As chair of the Senate Clean Air and Nuclear Safety Subcommittee, he fought to reform the transportation conformity provisions of the Clean Air Act. And as a leader on the Senate Environment & Public Works Committee, he was instrumental in the passage of the 2005 highway/transit law known as SAFETEA-LU.
In articulating the need to boost federal surface transportation investment, Voinovich also remained true to his convictions as a budget hawk, and argued such expanded investments be financed through an increase in the federal gasoline tax.
In honoring Wagman, the private sector recipient, the “ARTBA Award” Committee cited his career body of work during 40 years with G.A. & F.C. Wagman, and his extensive ARTBA service, including: chairman of the board, senior vice chairman, first vice chairman, northeastern region vice chairman, Long-Range Planning Committee chairman, Contractors Division president, ARTBA co-chair on the AASHTO-AGC-ARTBA Joint Committee, and Transportation Development Foundation trustee. The committee also noted his leadership roles as the chairman of The Road Information Program (TRIP), and as president of two ARTBA chapters — the Associated Pennsylvania Constructors and Maryland Highway Contractors Association.