Caltrans District 8 superintendent honored for ‘enthusiasm, passion and hunger to learn’ in a surprise presentation of the award
The International Pavement Association (IPMA) has honored John Hubbs, APM, California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) area superintendent, with the organization’s inaugural IPMA Academy Award of Excellence.
He was the first-ever person to complete the Academy coursework to receive this honor.
Hubbs was picked for the award because of his unique analysis of the course material, high level of enthusiasm of correlating the course material to real on-the-job use, and the initiative he took to engage others taking the course. He was also one of the biggest contributors to the private, online forum as well as having one of the highest GPAs in the Academy.
“He was a real catalyst for other learners,” says Blair Barnhardt, executive director and founder of IPMA. “He was one of the biggest contributors to our online user group and was always asking questions.”
One of the first people to sign up during the course’s inaugural enrollment earlier this year, Hubbs continued this level of passion for the subject matter.
Barnhardt says that Hubbs “went above and beyond the call of duty” to make the most out of the knowledge being presented.
“He was forever sending me videos of actual jobsites,” Barnhardt says. “He took a lot of initiative to share jobsite stories, photos and videos related to the subject.”
Basem E. Muallem, P.E., Caltrans District 8 director and Hubbs’ supervisor, says that Hubbs is extremely deserving of this award, particularly because of his high-level of involvement in better understanding pavement management and maintenance.
“He shows a lot of enthusiasm and has the intrigue and hunger to learn,” Muallem says. “He will champion new products and try to understand all the concepts and new ideas for pavement preventive maintenance.”
The APM coursework is based on the “Three-Legged Stool” principle, a marriage of Pavement Management, Pavement Preservation and In-Place Asphalt Recycling. Those completing the coursework go through 70 hours of training and bonus videos to cover in the curriculum during a 21-week time frame, many of them already experienced pavement managers, to receive their accredited pavement manager (APM) designation.
“Many of these people have two decades of experience as pavement managers, but this helps them fill in the blanks through condensed, comprehensive training and gives them more credibility,” Barnhardt says. “Learning from each other is just as important as learning from the Academy.”
“The biggest benefit is putting the worlds’ greatest pavement managers together,” Barnhardt continues. “John Hubbs is of these great pavement managers and an asset to the Academy and we wanted to recognize him for that.”
Going into the course with more 30 years of experience in highway maintenance, Hubbs says he “knew what we did and why we did it” but didn’t have a complete understanding of “nuts and bolts” and the science or theory with some of the newer processes.
“My personality is an innovator, so I accept challenges,” Hubbs says. “I know in-place processes work; I have the knowledge, resources and materials to start educating others within and outside our organization to revolutionize the way we perform pavement preservation and utilize the three-legged stool. Not only will we save on dollars, it is better for our environment.”
Hubbs says he wants to change the attitude of “this is the way we have done it for 50 years” while following the Leadership Practices, Model the Way, Inspire a Shared Vision and his personal favorite, Challenge the Process, that he learned in the IPMA Academy.