We are excited to share that EIP’s co-founder and chair, Phil Washington, has been inducted into the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) Hall of Fame! This esteemed recognition underscores Phil's unwavering commitment to equity and his consistent and outstanding leadership in the transportation industry. As most of you recall, before assuming his current role as CEO of Denver International Airport, Phil led Denver’s Regional Transit District (RTD) and the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LA Metro).
Recently, Phil also had the opportunity to personally brief Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg on EIP and our rapidly growing coalition. Currently, we have 41 signatories, and this number will soon rise to 49. Some of our new coalition members will formally sign the EIP Pledge during a ceremony at Engineering News Record’s Los Angeles Infrastructure Forum on November 20.
Those signing include: Marty Adams, General Manager, LA Department of Water and Power Selwyn Hollins, Director, LA County Internal Services Department Kelly LoBianco, Director, LA County Department of Economic Opportunity Mark Pestrella, Director, LA County Public Works Stephanie Wiggins, CEO, LA County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) Matt Crane, EVP and Regional Chief Executive, AECOM Wilbur C. Milhouse III, Chairman & CEO, Milhouse Engineering & Construction Terry Ruhl, Board Chair & CEO, H.W. Lochner
ADVISORY COUNCIL UPDATE
The leaders who have signed the EIP Pledge are responsible for hundreds of billions of dollars in community-shaping infrastructure programs. EIP’s Advisory Council ensures that our work is driven by peers who understand the scope, scale, and significance of their responsibilities, which is essential to supporting these leaders in advancing concrete and meaningful action.
Our Advisory Council recently had its first full meeting since its inaugural gathering. There, members reflected on EIP’s growth since then – from 5 signatories to 41 – and, most importantly, set out a work plan in support of our efforts to make national change.
Advisory Council Chair Diana Mendes, HNTB’s Corporate President for Infrastructure & Mobility Equity, led the meeting at HNTB’s office in Arlington, VA. The meeting first touched on the Supreme Court’s recent rulings on affirmative action and how they add even more importance and urgency to EIP’s work. As uncertain as these times are, our Advisory Council noted that we are a voluntary coalition that can still make progress irrespective of the Supreme Court’s rulings. Furthermore, the Advisory Council honed in on California’s experience working under voter-enacted restrictions (Proposition 209) on race, sex, and ethnicity-based programs since 1996 as a useful source for how to promote diversity in the face of legal restrictions.
USDOT - OSDBU
The Advisory Council also took the opportunity of being near our nation’s capital to hear from Leonardo San Roman, who leads the USDOT Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU) Procurement Assistance Division. He noted that USDOT has set a goal of reaching 22% Small Business Enterprise (SBE) participation by 2026. These objectives are part of USDOT's Equity Action Plan and are further addressed by its Transportation Equity Committee–which Advisory Council Chair Diana Mendes, Advisory Council Member Eboni Wimbush, and EIP Chair and Co-founder Phil Washington were appointed earlier this year.
San Roman also presented OSDBU’s National Vendor Directory, which was created to facilitate access to and expand opportunities for HUBs and asked for EIP’s input in the creation of an improved Phase 2 directory. EIP will also provide OSDBU with access to our dashboard to improve alignment across federal, state and local agencies.
Advisory Council Work Plan
With the dramatic growth of EIP, Dwight Pullen, AECOM’s Global Aviation Leader, was announced as Advisory Council Vice Chair. Chair Mendes outlined a quarterly cadence of full Advisory Council meetings, along with a regular cadence of meetings of Council subcommittees: Metrics and Measuring Success; Contracting, Insurance and Bonding; and Access to Capital.
At its core, EIP seeks to prompt action by its signatories by researching, documenting, and sharing best practices. Advisory Council members honed in on the following areas of interest to guide this work: blueprints for pledge signatories on how to accelerate change; best practices for RFPs and engagement with labor and colleges and universities, including an emphasis on HCBUs; demonstrating that contracting with HUBs creates better outcomes; and documenting pledge signatory progress.
Participating in the Advisory Council meeting were:
- Leonardo San Roman, USDOT
Advisory Council Members
- Diana Mendes (Chair), Corporate President of Infrastructure and Mobility Equity, HNTB
- Dwight H. Pullen, Jr. (Vice-Chair), Senior Vice President of Global Aviation, AECOM
- Esther McGinnis, Executive Vice President & Director of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG), Gannett Fleming
- Ann McNeill, Chair & Founder, National Association of Black Women in Construction (NABWIC)
- Ingrid Merriwether, President & Chief Executive Officer, Merriwether & Williams Insurance Services
- Wilbur C. Milhouse III, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Milhouse Engineering & Construction, Inc.
- Joshua Morey, President & Chief Executive Officer, J. Morey Company, Inc.
- Dr. Leroy D. Nunery II, President, Evolution Advisors, LLC
- April Rai, President & Chief Executive Officer, Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO)
- G. Ramnujam, President & Chief Executive Officer, Somat Engineering
- Warner H. Session, Principal, Session Law Firm, P. C.
- Paul Skoutelas, President & Chief Executive Officer, American Public Transportation Association (APTA)
- Eve Williams, President, Dikita Enterprises
- Eboni Wimbush, President & Chief Executive Officer, Airport Minority Advisory Council (AMAC)
- Rebecca Zofnass, Managing Partner, Environmental Financial Consulting Group (EFCG)
- Athena Ullah, Chief of Staff, STV
- Phillip Owens, Director of Corporate Social Responsibility, Anser Advisory
- Tina White, Member, NABWIC
- Phil Washington, EIP Chair
- John Porcari, EIP Co-Founder
- Rick Jacobs, EIP Co-Founder
- Samantha Slusher, EIP Director
- Yusef Robb, EIP Consultant
MORE ABOUT OUR COALITION
- EIP partner and supporter The James Irvine Foundation recently highlighted its Investments Operations Manager in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month. We think she hit it right on the head when she said, “The Foundation holds the power to advance equity through its continued support of creating employment opportunities for the most overlooked communities in California.”
- EIP Chair and DEN CEO Phil Washington recently hosted Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis and Denver Mayor Mike Johnston to celebrate the completion of Taxiway EE, the FAA’s largest aviation safety project in the nation.
- EIP “First Mover” Pledge signer Dorval Carter, Jr. just stepped down as Chair of APTA, handing the gavel to Dallas Area Rapid Transit Board Chair Michele Wong Krause. Congratulations to both!
- EIP signatory the Hawaiʻi Department of Transportation hosted a free “Prime Time Networking” event on October 17 to connect small business owners and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) with prime contractors and contracting opportunities.