While setting up his Dana Point-based office with Western Emulsions in 2009, there was no way Phil Vandermost could have imagined he would have a hand in language contained in the final MAP-21 federal transportation legislation signed into law by President Obama on July 6, 2012. But that’s just what happened.
The thin pavement treatments marketed by his client’s industry had difficulty catching on with states using mainly federal funding for their pavement maintenance programs. The constant excuse given: preventative treatments weren’t eligible for federal funding.
Vandermost helped coalesce company leaders from a variety of asphalt suppliers, equipment manufacturers, and trade groups to reach consensus on a message platform and plan of action. They would educate key members of Congress about pavement preservation treatments, and demonstrate how they enhance driver safety, prolong the useful service life of the roads, and save billions in taxpayer dollars.
The group, now incorporated as the Foundation for Pavement Preservation, enlisted DC firm Williams and Jensen. Using talking points based on his initial draft, Vandermost and other industry spokespeople spent hundreds of hours meeting with members of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee and their legislative staff.
The resulting language had immediate impact, clearing the way for educating the company’s public agency customers about the expanded federal support for pavement preservation.