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Award-Winning Government Affairs Committee

Award-Winning Government Affairs Committee

The ASCE Texas Section Government Affairs Committee has continued their year of excellence by receiving not one, but TWO national Outstanding Advocate of the Year Awards given by ASCE. 

Tiffany Reed-Villarreal PE received the Individual Award as the Chair of the Government Affairs Committee.  Tiffany has built relationships at the State Capitol and TxDOT to champion funding for Texas’ roads.  This includes her contributions to the 2017 Report Card for Texas’s Infrastructure both as a part of the release team and in sharing the grades and solutions with key audiences.   Tiffany helped create the new Government Affairs Committee section of the Texas Section website (TexASCE.org/GovAffairs), which has allowed for the promotion of member engagement in public policy by encouraging participation in the Key Contact Program, Texas Legislative Drive-In, and the ASCE Legislative Fly-In.  Tiffany also helped lead the effort for the Government Affairs Committee to receive two State Public Affairs Grants (SPAGs) to conduct government relations training and distribution of the 2017 Report Card for Texas’s Infrastructure.

The entire Government Affairs Committee was the recipient of the Team Award.  The Government Affairs Committee began the year by planning the inaugural Texas Legislative Drive-In to the State Capitol in February 2017.  While under the pink dome, they made legislators aware of the forthcoming 2017 Report Card for Texas’s Infrastructure and advocated for transportation and water resources funding.  

Upon release of the 2017 Report Card for Texas’s Infrastructure in September during CECON 2017, which coincided with Hurricane Harvey’s landfall in the Houston area, the committee members again met legislators to share the grades and solutions to support their earlier requests to fund the State Highway Fund and General Highway Fund as well as the State Water Implementation Fund for Texas (SWIFT) program.  ASCE Texas Section is proud to have an award-winning Government Affairs Committee team and leader as part of our membership and is thankful for all their hard work and dedication to advocating on behalf of our industry.  Congratulations!

Texas Section Government Affairs Committee receives the ASCE Outstanding Advocate of the Year Team award. Pictured (left to right): Griselda Gonzales PE, Kristina Swallow PE (ASCE President), Tiffany Reed-Villarreal PE, Gabriella Whitman PE, and Travis Barnett PE  Not pictured: Augustine Verrengia PE, Sid Edmonds PE, and Glenn Celerier PE.

Both the Individual and Team Awards were announced at the 2018 ASCE Legislative Fly-in in Washington D.C. in March 2018, where committee members and other Texas Section members met with legislators to advocate for infrastructure and the civil engineering community.  Attendees received briefings on current issues from the ASCE Government Relations team and insight from keynote speakers. They also spent the afternoon advocating for aviation, water and water resources infrastructure, as well as urging members of Congress to draft a comprehensive infrastructure bill.  Texas Section Members met with legislators or staff at both Senate offices as well as numerous Representative offices and left behind fact sheets and advocacy materials at additional Representative offices.  The Fly-In was a success, and our members will continue to be actively engaged in policy updates while developing relationships with legislators to advocate for infrastructure and civil engineering.