Transportation Future Summit

September 21-22 | Columbia

Presented by HNTB

The road to stronger transportation infrastructure begins at Transportation Future Summit. The Missouri Chamber, state leaders and industry stakeholders are united in the goal to drive Missouri’s future as a logistics hub — from roads and bridges, to airports, rail and waterways. Take a front seat on this critical business issue and learn from top transportation officials, get updates on current efforts and discuss fresh solutions.

Member rate: $249 | Non-member rate: $299

Full Agenda

Sept. 21 | 1:30-6pm
Breakouts & Welcome Reception

Sept. 22 | 8am-1pm
Breakfast, Keynotes & Lunch


Conference Hotel

The Transportation Future Summit will be held at the Holiday Inn Executive Center in Columbia (2200 I-70 Drive S.W.). 

The discounted hotel block has been extended to Sept. 15! 


Sponsorship Opportunities

Interested in networking with infrastructure professionals and getting additional brand exposure? Sponsorship opportunities are available! If you’re interested in learning more you can click below to view our brochure or call 573-634-3511 to speak to Chris Burruss.

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Dr. Buttlar holds the Glen Barton Endowed Faculty Chair in Flexible Pavement Systems at the University of Missouri-Columbia, where he oversees the Mizzou Asphalt Pavement and Innovation Lab (MAPIL), funded by members of the Missouri Asphalt Pavement Association, or MAPA. Dr. Buttlar is also the Founding Director of the Missouri Center for Transportation Innovation, or MCTI, and serves as an Editor-In-Chief of Road Materials and Pavement Design.

Dr. Buttlar has authored over 350 technical publications and has delivered over 150 invited presentations and keynote lectures across the globe. His areas of expertise include asphalt pavements, pavement cracking, data science in pavements including deep machine learning, and sustainable and resilient infrastructure materials.

Jeff Davis of BNSF, heashot

As Executive Director of Public Affairs for BNSF Railway, Jeff is responsible for BNSF’s state government relations and public affairs in Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska.  In 2020, Jeff was recognized as “Employee of the Year” by BNSF for his PR work in reactivating a rail line that hadn’t been used in 20 years.

Prior to joining BNSF, Jeff served as a member and Chairman of the Missouri Public Service Commission where he chaired Governor Matt Blunt’s Energy Task Force, served as President of the Mid-America Regulatory Conference (MARC) and President of the Regional State Committee (RSC) for the Southwestern Power Pool (SPP).  Before his PSC appointment, Jeff served as General Counsel & Chief of Staff to the President of the Missouri Senate.  Jeff began his career as a law clerk to the Honorable Paul J. Simon, Missouri Court of Appeals, and worked at the Missouri Attorney General’s Office.

Commissioner Terry Ecker, headshot

Terry L. Ecker was initially appointed to the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission on September 8, 2017 by Governor Eric Greitens. His term expires March 1, 2023. Ecker and his wife, Susan, raise corn, soybeans, and cattle on their farm Northwest of Elmo, just one-quarter of a mile from where Ecker’s great, great grandfather settled in Nodaway county in 1868. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture Economics from the University of Missouri-Columbia and is a graduate of Agriculture Leaders of Tomorrow Class IX. Ecker was appointed by three different U.S. Secretaries of Agriculture to represent the State of Missouri on the United Soybean Board. He is a past Vice-Chairman of the U.S. Soybean Export Council. Ecker has served as an Agriculture Field Representative for Congressman Sam Graves. He is a member of Missouri Farm Bureau and currently serves as Nodaway County Farm Bureau President. Ecker is a member of the Missouri Cattlemen’s Association, Missouri Corn Growers, and Missouri Soybean Association.

Praveen Edara is department chair and professor in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at the University of Missouri. He teaches and conducts research in the areas of traffic operations, work zones, design, and safety. His research has been supported by various US agencies including the US DOT, NSF, and several state DOTs. Research projects that he and his team led were selected by American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) as the 2015, 2021 and 2022 High Value Research Projects. Prior to joining MU, he worked as a research scientist for the Virginia DOT’s Virginia Transportation Research Council conducting research in traffic operations and intelligent transportation systems. He is a registered professional engineer in Missouri.

Travis Fitzwater is a husband, father and business professional who started his career in politics knocking on doors for local campaigns in mid-Missouri. Once then-Rep. Jeanie Riddle decided to run for the Senate, Travis ran for and won her House seat in 2014, serving in the chamber for eight years. Consequently, upon Sen. Riddle’s much-deserved retirement after a long career of public service as a teacher, House and Senate member in 2022, Travis ran for her Senate seat and won a close primary, subsequently going on to win the general election in November.

He has spent his life outside the Capitol serving God and community, working in college ministry, serving thousands in nonprofit management, investing in real estate and starting small companies while also administering his wife’s counseling business.

He graduated from Presbyterian College in South Carolina with a bachelor’s degree in political science with an emphasis on international relations. Travis has also attained a master’s degree in Atlantic history and politics from the Kinder Institute on Constitutional Democracy at the University of Missouri.

He and his beautiful wife, Amy, and three daughters live in Holts Summit with their beloved dog. His wife is a licensed professional counselor committed to serving children and families in mid-Missouri. They homeschool their daughters who love ice skating, playing, reading, traveling, being outside and spending Friday nights over pizza and movies.

headshot of Congressman Graves wearing a suit and tie in front of US flag

Congressman Sam Graves is a lifelong resident of Missouri’s Sixth Congressional District. As a small businessman and a sixth-generation family farmer, Sam has spent his life working to make Missouri a better place to live, work, and raise a family.

In Congress, Sam serves as the Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. As Chairman, Sam leads the Committee as it has jurisdiction over all modes of transportation – our aviation system, highways and bridges, transit and rail transportation, pipelines, and maritime and waterborne transportation. Sam’s role in transportation is critical as he works on behalf of Missouri’s 34,000 highway miles and 10,400 bridges in need of maintenance and repair as well as the 6th Congressional District’s two major rivers – the Missouri and the Mississippi.

Sam is also a member of the House Committee on Armed Services. Missouri has a $15 billion military footprint and plays a critical role in ensuring our troops have the resources they need. Sam remains determined to protect Missouri’s various military installations and all of the brave men and women who serve in uniform.

Congressman Graves was born in Tarkio, Missouri on November 7, 1963. He graduated from Tarkio High School in 1982 and attended college at the University of Missouri-Columbia, where he received his degree in Agronomy from the School of Agriculture.

In 1992, Sam won his first race for State Representative. In 1994, he was elected State Senator for the 12th Senatorial District and was subsequently re-elected in 1998.

Sam’s leadership has been recognized by organizations like the Missouri Chamber of Commerce, the Missouri Farm Bureau, the Missouri Hospital Association and the National Federation of Independent Businesses. As a father, grandfather, farmer, businessman, and former State legislator, Sam knows the values, hopes, and beliefs of the hard-working people of the Sixth District, and continues to work tirelessly for Missouri families in the United States House of Representatives.

Dr. Habtemichael is a transportation research scientist at Battelle and has more than a decade of transportation research experience including Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS), traffic safety, traffic operations, simulation and traffic analysis tools, and transportation economics. He also have significant experience in the area of connected and automated vehicles for improving traffic operations and safety. In addition, he has experience in analyzing the trends from various transportation data sources including: traffic safety and operations, e.g., data collected from probe-vehicles. Dr. Habtemichael has published articles in peer-reviewed journals and has presented at conferences such as the TRB.

As Canadian Pacific Kansas City’s (CPKC) Senior Director of US Government Affairs, Larry Lloyd is responsible for managing a range of government relations initiatives to promote business and policy objectives in each of CPKC’s US network states. Larry is a long time advocate for the world’s best freight rail network as previously the lead for CN Railway’s public and government affairs efforts across its US network as well as the Midwest Field Director for GoRail.

Larry is in his 21st year of service to the nation with the US Army. Currently a First Sergeant with the 415th Civil Affairs Battalion, he recently served on the staff of United States Army Europe & Africa (USAREUR-AF) headquarters coordinating Civil Affairs Operations as a part of the European Defense Initiative. He was the lead USAREUR-AF Civil Affairs planner for Operation Allies Refuge and Allies Welcome, the largest humanitarian air evacuation in history. His previous deployments have been to Bulgaria and Hungary where he lead a Civil Affairs Team that worked to bolster the resiliency of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and working with the Ugandan People’s Defense Forces in support of the African Union Mission in Somalia. A combat veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Lloyd served with 1-187th Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division as an infantry squad leader on over 250 combat missions. An advocate for a bold US globally, he has spent time in some of the world’s most troubled areas including the DMZ in Korea and Cyprus as well as Eastern Europe, Kosovo, East Africa, Israel and the Palestinian Territories.

He is a graduate of Albion College where he earned degrees in Political Science and Holocaust Studies, as well as from the University of San Francisco with a Master in Public Leadership. A native Michigander, he and his wife Kimberly reside in Elgin, Illinois with their three kids and two dogs.

Patrick McKenna headshot with suit and tie.

Patrick K. McKenna became Director of the Missouri Department of Transportation in December of 2015. As director of MoDOT, Mr. McKenna oversees all operations of the department. Prior to coming to Missouri, he served as the deputy commissioner of the New Hampshire Department of Transportation. Mr. McKenna also spent 13 years in Washington, D.C. working in the United States Senate, serving as chief financial officer among other positions. Mr. McKenna was elected to a one-year term as president of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) in October of 2019. The previous year, he served as vice president of the association and chair of the Strategic Management Committee and Transportation Policy Forum during the development of AASHTO’s surface transportation reauthorization policy. He is also a member of AASHTO’s executive committee. Mr. McKenna served as president of the Mid America Association of Transportation Officials from 2017-2018. He is a member of the executive committee for the National Academy of Science’s Transportation Research Board (TRB), a national group that provides innovative, research-based solutions to improve transportation. TRB is a division of the National Research Council of the United States which serves as an independent adviser to the president of the United States of America, Congress and federal agencies on scientific and technical questions of national importance. Mr. McKenna has a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance from Bentley College and a Master of Science in Management and Finance from the University of Maryland University College. He and his wife, Suzanne, have two sons, Patrick Jr. and Connor, and a daughter, Kelsey.

Man in dark suit with yellow and blue striped tie.

A 26-year veteran of the U.S. aviation industry, Justin rejoined the Kansas City Aviation Department in April 2014. As the Deputy Director of Aviation – Marketing and Air Service Development he leads the marketing, communications and customer service efforts for the Kansas City Aviation Department’s two airports. Additionally, Justin works with airline planners to increase flights and add new routes from Kansas City International Airport (MCI). Justin was actively involved in the planning for Build KCI, the $1.5B new single terminal at Kansas City International Airport, where he advocated for the customer experience to be one of high accessibility and inclusiveness.

Angela Nelson headshot, Vice President of Public and Governmental Affairs at AAA Missouri

Angela Nelson is the Vice President of Public Affairs and Government Relations for the Automobile Club of Missouri, part of the Automobile Club Enterprises Group.  In this role, Angela is responsible for managing legislative and regulatory relationships on a variety of insurance, motor club and traffic safety matters.  In addition, she and her team are responsible for community outreach and media activities within a seven-state territory.

Angela is a former insurance regulator for the Missouri Department of Insurance.  She served at the Department for 19 years in various roles including the Director of the Market Regulation Division and as the Director of the Consumer Affairs Division.

Angela graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in Management and earned an MBA from William Woods University.

She received the Graduate College Award in 2012 from William Woods University in recognition of her efforts on behalf of Missouri insurance consumers.  In 2018, she was the recipient of the Paul DeAngelo Memorial Teaching Award given by the Insurance Regulatory Examiners Society.

Mike Parks headshot with formal suit.

Mike Parks is the Airport Manager at the Columbia Regional Airport.  Mike has worked for the City of Columbia for nearly 23 years with over the last 21 at the airport.  Mike has seen the airport grow from a single flight to Kansas City and St Louis to daily service to two major hubs across the country.  Mike is in charge of ensuring compliance with FAA Part 139, air service development, grant application and tracking, capital project management, lease negotiations, and management of his vital airport staff that help the airport grow and remain safe on a daily basis. Mike also spends much of his time speaking in the community and entire region about the importance of the airport to the local economy.

Gov. Parson in dark suit with red tie and lapel pin.

Michael L. Parson was sworn in as Missouri’s 57th Governor on June 1, 2018. Governor Parson came into the role of Governor with a lifelong commitment to serving others and over 30 years of experience in public service. He previously served as the 47th Lieutenant Governor of Missouri from 2017–2018.

Governor Parson also served six years in the U.S. Army and as the Sheriff of Polk County from 1993–2005. He served in the Missouri House of Representatives from 2005–2011 and in the Missouri Senate from 2011–2017. As a member of Missouri’s General Assembly, Governor Parson sponsored and co-sponsored several landmark pieces of legislation including Missouri’s Castle Doctrine, which strengthened 2nd Amendment rights, and the Missouri Farming Rights Amendment, a piece of legislation that changed the Missouri Constitution to guarantee all Missourians the right to farm and ranch.

From day one, workforce development and infrastructure have been the top priorities for Governor Parson. He and his administration have achieved historic bipartisan progress on both issues through programs like Missouri One Start, Fast Track, MoExcels, and the transportation cost-share program. Working with the General Assembly, Governor Parson established the Focus on Bridges program, which will repair or replace 250 bridges throughout the state. This coupled with largest state in increase for transportation funding in 25 years, means road and bridge revitalization projects in every corner of the state to better serve Missourians.  

Under Governor Parson’s leadership, Missouri has experienced a booming economy with the lowest unemployment rate ever recorded, high wage growth, and billions of dollars in business and infrastructure investments. In 2022, Governor Parson signed the largest income tax cut in Missouri history and has continuously worked with the General Assembly to pass fiscally responsible and conservative budgets.

Governor Parson has also led Missouri through several major crises, including historic droughts, flooding, tornadoes, civil unrest, and the COVID-19 pandemic. He and his administration have worked nonstop through every crisis, to take a balanced approach and keep Missourians as safe as possible. Thanks to these efforts, Missouri continues to meet each challenge head on and is in a better position than before.

Eric Schroeter is the assistant chief engineer with the Missouri Department of Transportation. He’s been with MoDOT for 30 years and began in the Sedalia Project Office. Throughout his tenure he has served in roles in construction, maintenance, district administration and the design department before his current role as Asst. Chief Engineer. He is a graduate of University of Missouri and a P.E. with the state of Missouri. His hobbies include gardening, wood working, reading and working with Boy Scout Troop 120.

man in tan checked sport coat and white button shirt with hands clasped while smiling.

Jon, President & CEO of Port KC, is an economic development professional who has spent his career focused on utilizing thoughtful development concepts to improve the community. He is passionate about his city, and has built a reputation for creativity and collaboration.

Previous leadership roles include serving as president of one of the largest urban redevelopment districts in America, director of economic development for Kansas City, Kansas, and CEO of VisitKC. And, as an entrepreneur, he has guided boards and corporations to innovative success..

A University of Missouri alumnus, Jon is a frequent speaker on civic issues, and is an active board member for many organizations, including Visit KC, KC Streetcar, KCPT, Arts KC and the KCADC.

Brent Wood, Terminal Railroad

Brent Wood was named President of The Terminal Railroad on March 18, 2022 and serves as both President and CFO. Brent first joined TRRA in March of 2017 as CFO, with 33 years of experience in various roles in the coal and power industries, and a four year period in public accounting. From 1983 to 1986, Mr. Wood practiced in public accounting in St. Louis in the audit group of Conner Ash & Company, PC. From 1986 through 2007, he served in various corporate and division accounting roles for Zeigler Coal Holding Company/Old Ben Coal Company, AEI Resources, and Peabody Energy. From 2007 to 2011, he served as treasurer and corporate controller for Prairie State Generating Company, a $5 billion coal fired power plant and mining facility, where he developed the accounting and finance function for the start-up operation. From 2011 to 2016 Brent served as treasurer and corporate controller for White Oak Resources, a $600M start longwall mining operation in Southern Illinois.

He graduated summa cum laude from Southeast Missouri State University in 1983, earning his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, majoring in accounting. He passed the CPA exam in 1983, later earning an MBA in Finance from Webster University in 1995. Mr. Wood is currently a member of the Illinois and Missouri Society of CPA’s, as well as the AICPA.

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Contact Ashley Schwab if you have any questions.

Ashley Schwab

Director of Conference Development