by Carter Dabney, ISSA President
On behalf of the ISSA board of directors, I’m pleased to announce that we’ve finalized our agreement with WSB and Associates, Inc. to appoint Tom Wood as the ISSA Executive Technical Director (ETD). Tom has over 25 years of experience in slurry, micro surfacing and chip seals. He brings a rare combination of passion for and expertise in the pavement preservation industry.
Tom began working in the industry in 1991. He was instrumental in the development of the MnDOT slurry seal and micro surfacing programs and established MnDOT’s standard specifications on micro surfacing, chip seals and crack treatments. He’s been involved in a number of successful pavement preservation research projects, including testing high residual contents and softer pen asphalts for micro surfacing, the use of micro milling prior to preservation treatments, and highly polymer modified micro surfacing, just to name a few. He has served as a technical advisor, teacher, troubleshooter and liaison to the industry. Tom also has a reputation for his passionate speeches (over 100 through the years) about pavement preservation. Tom comes to us backed by the support of WSB and Associates out of Minneapolis, Minnesota. WSB & Associates is a professional consulting and design firm providing engineering, planning, environmental, and construction services.
The decision to appoint Tom was unanimous and we are very excited about the possibilities that lie ahead. Appointing a dedicated technical director has been a goal for many years and thanks to the support of ISSA member companies, it has finally become a reality. The opportunity for growth in our industry is as strong as ever, but the demands on our small but dedicated volunteer force are increasing exponentially. While member volunteers remain a crucial part of our organizational success, appointing a dedicated technical director gives us the ability to pursue new opportunities and projects that were not possible before. In Tucson this past February, we had a combined committee meeting with more than 30 ISSA members to provide direction for the new ETD. Unfortunately, the list of tasks and responsibilities was so long that we would need three ETD’s to accomplish everything. That being said, the meeting clearly indicated the value that Tom can add to ISSA and that the timing was right to bring on a dedicated ETD.
When the board of directors began our search for a technical director, we were seeking someone who had technical expertise, but also was a great communicator with passion for the industry. Given these high expectations and our specialized market, we were not sure that individual was out there. I think I speak for the entire board and the ISSA members who know him in saying that we have hit a “home run” in appointing Tom Wood as the new Executive Technical Director for ISSA.