ASHE National Conference 2001
This year's national conference was hosted by the
Southwestern Pennsylvania Section and was held at Seven Springs
Resort near Uniontown, PA. Nestled in the Laurel Highlands,
the conference setting provided the perfect backdrop for a weekend
of camaraderie, technical exchange and all around good times.
The turnout was exceptionally good, with over 650 delegates
attending the activities.
Those arriving on Thursday had plenty of opportunities to acquainted
with each other, whether over a round of golf, in the hospitality
room, at the exhibits, or at that night's ice breaker. The ice
breaker featured live entertainment by the Kendall brothers
of Deja Vu, and a full course barbecue buffet.
Friday, which was the busiest day around the conference center,
included a full slate of technical presentations, the Past Presidents
/ Person of the Year Luncheon and the exhibit hall. The technical
sessions were kicked off with an informative presentation by
PENNDOT Deputy Secretary Mr. Michael Ryan, P.E., and the Honorable
Senator J. Barry Stout. The conference theme, "Legendary
Highways", was the focus of one of the technical sessions.
During this session, participants learned how to take a journey
into the past in present day Pennsylvania on our many byways.
Other technical sessions included an arousing panel discussion
of the pros and cons of "Design-Build" contracting.
Attendance at all of the sessions was remarkable, as there was
seldom an empty seat in the house.
It was ASHE's honor to recognize Wayne Shackelford as the Robert
E. Pearson Award for Person of the Year during the Past Presidents
Luncheon. Throughout his career, his contributions and leadership
have had a positive impact on highway engineering and transportation
policies in Georgia, where he was Commissioner of the Georgia
DOT, and throughout the nation. Also at the Past President's
Luncheon was our nation's first president, George Washington
(William Sommerfield), who took time off from his regular duties
at Independence Hall in Philadelphia to deliver a message about
his early visits to the area, followed by a press conference
with the audience.
Saturday was a good day to relax around the resort or participate
in one of the many tours that were offered. The tours included
something for everyone, including a tour of the world famous
Fallingwater, an invigorating bicycle ride at Ohiopyle State
Park, or a more laid back afternoon at a local winery. If touring
was not in your plans, Saturday's golf outing at the resort
provided good competition, good times and best of all, prizes.
After the business of each day, the night life at Seven Springs
got into full swing. For dinner Friday night, participants were
treated to the dining speciality of Seven Springs, their famous
"Seafood Buffet." Afterwards, conference attendees
were encouraged to try their luck at "Las Vegas Night,"
which included several games using play money. The Annual Banquet
was held on Saturday night. This event served as the grand finale
for the conference and gave ASHE the opportunity to install
the new officers, including incoming National President Cooper
E. Curtis, P.E.. Congratulations and good luck to all the incoming
In addition, Gene Smith was presented with an ASHE Honorary
Membership Award. This is a prestigious and exclusive honor,
as Gene is only the fourth member of ASHE elected to the grade
of Honorary Member. His career in the highway industry spans
nearly 40 years. In that time, he has held several offices in
ASHE, including National President in 1980. Over the years,
he has worked tirelessly, devoting countless days to ASHE and
is one of the people who is most responsible for the growth
and dynamics of the organization. Congratulations and thank
The Southwestern Pennsylvania Section was very proud to have
hosted the Annual Conference this year and would like once again
thank the over 150 sponsors and exhibitors.
In closing, we hope that everyone enjoyed their time spent
in southwestern Pennsylvania. We truly cherished the company
we had the privilege of keeping for those few days. As a reminder,
next year's in conference stays in western Pennsylvania, but
moves about 200 miles northward to the sandy beaches of Lake
Erie. We look forward to seeing everyone there!
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