It’s always a nice to get away for a few days and attend the annual convention of the Florida Transportation Builders Association Inc. (FTBA). It’s even better to come back with an award recognizing company-wide achievement.

Tucker Paving Inc. was well represented Aug. 6-9 at the FTBA 2015 Annual Convention at the Naples Grande Beach Resort. The convention featured educational sessions, associate meetings, a Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) roundtable discussion, social time, and a lot of great food and fun (including golf and fishing tournaments).

A highlight of the convention was a talk by FDOT Secretary Jim Boxold, who gave a brief history of his department and then an overview of the statetwide FDOT work program from 2016 through 2020. It was interesting to note that FDOT is observing its centennial— the 100th anniversary of its establishment by the Florida Legislature as the State Road Department (SRD). FDOT came into being in 1969 when the State Road Board and the SRD were merged. Boxold said that in the SRD’s first year, in 1915, the state highway program brought in a whopping $3,647 in revenue (from auto license fees) and disbursed only $974, leaving a balance of $2,673 to carry over into 1916. Boxold added that in 1915, the average cost of a vehicle was $500.

The convention opportunity was nice for our Tucker Paving representatives in many ways. We saw what the state is doing with our transportation dollars; we learned about the current trends, methods, and challenges in the transportation and paving industries; and, we were able to rub shoulders with the top leaders and business people in these fields.

When it came time for the awards breakfast on Aug. 7, Tucker Paving was very pleased to accept a FTBA safety award, recognizing stellar company achievement in this area. We take workplace and worksite safety very seriously at Tucker Paving, so we were happy we could return from the convention with an award to share with every single person on our team.