Copeland named next president and CEO of NAPA

Updated Oct 2, 2018

Audrey Copeland has been named the next president and CEO of the National Asphalt Pavement Association. She will assume the new role at the NAPA 2019 Annual Meeting in January.

Copeland succeeds Mike Acott, who has served as NAPA’s president since 1992.

“I am honored to serve the asphalt industry as NAPA’s next president,” says Copeland.

“NAPA has played an important role over the years leading the asphalt industry through challenges, guarding the industry’s interests, and forging partnerships for success all while working to foster and encourage innovation and excellence. I will continue that tradition, as we address today’s needs and prepare to take full advantage of tomorrow’s opportunities.”

Over the coming months, Acott and Copeland will work together to ensure an orderly transition of the leadership of NAPA, which is the only national trade association focused exclusively on the interests of asphalt pavement mix producers and paving contractors. During the transition period, Copeland will serve as NAPA’s CEO.

The selection of Copeland comes after an intensive search process conducted by a succession task group comprised of NAPA members, led by Kevin Kelly, president and  CEO of Walsh & Kelly Inc. of Griffith, Indiana.

“We engaged in a long and very thorough search, and Audrey clearly stood out as the best person for the job,” says Kelly. “She brings a high level of expertise, passion, and perspective to NAPA.”

Copeland’s selection was confirmed unanimously by NAPA’s Executive Committee.

“Audrey’s technical background, combined with her experience with federal agencies and her relationships with NAPA members and industry partners around the world, position her well to take on the challenges the industry faces from day one,” says Craig Parker, 2018 NAPA chairman and executive vice president of Silver Star Construction of Moore, Oklahoma. Parker also served on the succession task group.

Copeland joined NAPA in 2012 as vice president for engineering, research and technology.

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In that role, she has grown NAPA’s engineering team and forged strong relationships with the State Asphalt Pavement Associations, Asphalt Pavement Alliance, National Center for Asphalt Technology at Auburn University, the Asphalt Institute, Federal Highway Administration, and other industry professionals and partners.

She also served as technical lead for more than $2 million in industry-funded research projects. She secured a cooperative agreement with the Federal Highway Administration that has invested more than $2 million in government funding to advance asphalt technologies.

The transition in leadership comes at the NAPA 2019 Annual Meeting, January 21–23, 2019, in Marco Island, Florida, marking the end of Acott’s 27-year term heading NAPA.

“It’s difficult to step away from something that has been such a big part of your life, but I know that NAPA, it’s members, and the asphalt pavement industry as a whole are in good hands with Audrey. I look forward to seeing where she takes the industry,” Acott says.

Prior to NAPA, Copeland served as a highway and materials research engineer with FHWA. She earned her doctorate in civil engineering at Vanderbilt University, and holds master’s and bachelor’s degrees in civil and environmental engineering from Tennessee Technological University.

She is a licensed professional engineer in Maryland and Virginia.