Former commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan to speak at NAPA annual meeting

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Stan McChrystal
Stan McChrystal

Retired Gen. Stan McChrystal, who commanded U.S. and international forces in Afghanistan, will be the keynote speaker for the 2021 Annual Meeting of the National Asphalt Pavement Association.

This years’ event, from February 16-18, will be NAPA’s first virtual annual meeting. NAPA decided to hold the event virtually because of the pandemic and to help keep members informed on the asphalt industry and issues affecting it.

Along with McChrystal, the event will examine industry and legislative outlooks for asphalt contractors, as well as address such topics as workforce, asphalt resiliency, research and innovations. The event will also include education sessions on paving topics, as well as opportunities for attendees to socialize and to ask questions of presenters. There will even be a virtual magic show.

McChrystal, who co-founded leadership consulting firm McChrystal Group, will speak on the topic of “Leading in Crisis.” The topic was chosen as contractors are faced with the challenges of leading their companies during the Covid-19 pandemic. McChrystal draws on his experience in commanding counter-terrorism forces.

The virtual conference will also honor top asphalt paving contractors. Three contractors are vying for the Sheldon G. Hayes Award for the highest-rated highway pavement in the country: Lindy Paving Inc., Pittsburgh; Pittman Construction, Georgia; and The Shelly Co., A CRH Co., Ohio.

Other award presentations are for the Ray Brown Award for the highest-rated airport paving project in the country and the Larry H. Lemon Awards for the 11 highest-rated paving projects under 50,000 tons in the country.

To learn more about the annual meeting and how to register, click here.

Schedule highlights

Here’s a rundown of some of the three-day event’s scheduled highlights (All times are Eastern Standard Time.):


11 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. – Hayes Award winner; McChrystal speech

12:45 - 1:45 p.m. – General Session: “Your Brain is Good at Inclusion...Except When It’s Not!” Speaker: Steve Robbins, chief “what if?” officer at S.L. Robbins & Associates, will discuss the importance of open-mindedness

2:15 - 3 p.m. – Concurrent workshops: “Employee Engagement: Influencers that Drive Top Performance”; “Environmental Impact of Stormwater Runoff from RAP Stockpiles”



11 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. – Ray Brown Award winner; State of the Industry Roundtable

12:45 - 1:45 p.m. – General Session: The Business Case: How Sustainability and Resilience Positively Impact Profits

2:15 - 3:15 p.m. – Workshop: Resilient Infrastructure and Pavements – Agency Perspectives

3:30 - 4:30 p.m. – Magic Show: The Virtual Magic of Gary Ferrar!



11 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. – Larry H. Lemon Award winners; Highway Funding Outlook

12:45 - 1:45 p.m. – The State of NAPA Address and Annual Business Meeting (Open to NAPA Members and SAPA Staff Only)

2:15 - 3:15 p.m. – Workshop: Rethinking Design: A Framework for Innovation