The AsphaltPro staff continues its series to introduce you to the asphalt industry directors who help guide the positive direction of the asphalt industry. This month we share the new national director of the Asphalt Pavement Alliance (APA), Amy E. Miller, P.E., who was introduced at the annual meeting of the State Asphalt Pavement Associations in Williamsburg, Virginia, August 2015. She is a professional engineer licensed in Florida with a background in pavement design and pavement type selection. She is a past-president of the Florida Structural Engineers Association and has worked as a consulting engineer.
Your Full Name:
Amy Elizabeth Miller, P.E.
Asphalt Pavement Alliance (APA), Lanham, Maryland
How long have you been in the asphalt industry?
Do you have a degree related to the industry?
Bachelor of Science in Environmental Engineering; Master of Business Administration – both from UF
When I was in college, the computer lab was a room in the basement of our building with two computers. We were required to take FORTRAN, an autoCAD 10 class and one other class that required a little spreadsheet work. A lot has changed.
Could you verbalize for AsphaltPro readers the benefits your background in environmental engineering brings to the sustainable/green building conversation for our industry?
I chose Environmental Engineering as my discipline of study because I was interested in an engineering degree in general and I felt that Environmental Engineering would allow me the opportunity to give back by creating solutions that better the environment. This many years later it’s interesting to find myself working with a product that is the most recycled in the US. The asphalt industry doesn’t always get the credit it deserves for sustainable contributions such as use of recycled asphalt pavement (RAP), recycled asphalt shingles (RAS), development of warm mix asphalt (WMA) and even ground tire rubber (GTR).
In what year was your association formed?
In what month do you hold your annual meeting?
The APA doesn’t hold a specific annual meeting but is part of the SAPA, AI and NAPA annual meetings. APA attends various industry trade shows on behalf of the asphalt industry. We currently have a designated office employee that helps with trade shows, the perpetual pavement award and other typical office requirements. The APA’s website is: www.driveasphalt.org; With the release of PaveXpress, a web based pavement design software found on our website, we have hosted several webinars explaining the software.
On a scale of 1 to 5 (1 being none at all; 5 being very much), how much of a threat to your members’ marketshare/livelihood is the concrete industry in your state?
Because the APA represents asphalt across the United States, this number certainly varies from region to region. There are some regions that face little threat from concrete while others repeatedly fend off threats.
Could you share what methods you have already seen reported to AI/NAPA/& the SAPAs as successful?
In regions where concrete has made strides to take market share, the local network has been able to fend off those strides through established, trusting relationships and fact-based discussions.
On a scale of 1 to 5 (1 being none at all; 5 being very much), how involved are your asphalt members in transportation issues such as funding and infrastructure improvements? Many NAPA members and many within the conglomeration of SAPA executives work very diligently to support greater response to transportation needs through funding. There is a national approach in some cases and in many other cases there is work being done on the local level. Michigan is one such state where members have worked very hard over the past few years to push for additional funding and it appears that work is going to pay off for that state.
Why (or how) did you join the asphalt industry?
The APA is a partnership of the Asphalt Institute, National Asphalt Pavement Association and the State Asphalt Pavement Associations. The idea of managing an organization that is the synthesis of three major asphalt associations was intriguing. The basis of the APA is to create additional opportunities through a variety of means. The APA taps into the resources of all three associations to solve problems, enhance opportunities and create value. I feel fortunate to get to work with the people I do and to help orchestrate delivery of output to the marketplace.
What do you see as the most important part of your job as the director of APA?
To ensure communication delivery between the three major sectors of the APA such that deployment of products is effective and successful. The Pavement Economic Council attacks the problem and creates resultant output. The Go-To-Market group packages the output in forms specific to the target audience. The Deployment group delivers the message. In particular, the Deployment group is the key aspect demanding my involvement. Delivering the final message through various means is key to being successful in the marketplace.
Could you define for the readers of AsphaltPro, what is the “resultant output” that the PEC produces based on its research/fact-gathering within the scientific realm?
The “resultant output” is a combination of third-party, scientific research from the PEC combined with packaging of the material from the marketing or GTM division of the APA. This information matriculates into the hands of the SAPAs, members and ultimately into the marketplace in a variety of forms through marketing campaigns (example: Driveability) and include a variety of deliverables (white papers, fact sheets, videos and webinars to name a few).
What is the most challenging part of your job?
There are 39 SAPA organizations with various focuses combined with AI’s membership, which is a different sector of the marketplace than NAPA; conjoining all the needs of each entity to a concise plan can be challenging.
What do you find most enjoyable about your job as the director of APA?
I enjoy the challenges that come along with this job, meeting new people and learning about a different business sector of the construction industry.
What has been the most rewarding experience for you during your time as the director?
I would have to reiterate my previous point about meeting new people. I was told by a business associate I would find the people in the asphalt industry to be very wonderful people. He was right!