Designs for the Future

Beautiful natural resources, developing industries in science and technology, competitive educational institutions, and geographic location make North Carolina a desirable place to live, visit and do business. They are also factors that have placed our state among the fastest growing in the nation.  To meet the travel demands of a growing population and remain vital requires attention and investment in our transportation infrastructure.  How we design our cities for 21st Century living and the efficient transport of goods and services are as important as the choices we make in repairing the existing infrastructure—not to mention how we will pay for it all. UNC-TV's original special, Blueprint North Carolina: Designs for the Future takes a look at our state’s most pressing concerns around transportation infrastructure and creative solutions for the future.

UNC-TV and the Institute for Emerging Issues at North Carolina State University are teaming up on a project to examine North Carolina’s infrastructure needs. UNC-TV presents a Blueprint North Carolina: Designs for the Future panel discussion featuring state experts who will define North Carolina’s most pressing infrastructure needs and provide an overview of possible solutions. In addition to this special television program, UNC-TV and the Institute for Emerging Issues are partnering on two community forums and a complimentary webinar series to continue the statewide discussion of these important issues.

Transit in the Triangle: The Benefits for You and the Region
As a follow up to Community Forums and a Webinar series this summer, IEI and UNC-TV are teaming up again to host a conversation on regional transit options for the Triangle. As the Triangle's population grows, it is clear we will require additional transportation options to get us where we need to go. How can transit positively affect our quality of life? What transit options are available to us that will meet our unique needs? What is transit-oriented development and how can it help promote transit for us? And, finally, what tools do we have to make transit a reality in the Triangle? For the answers to these questions and more, mark your calendars for the Transit in the Triangle event January 28, from 5-8 PM, at the McKimmon Center at NC State University. The event is free and open to the public, but register today because space is limited!

The production team of UNC-TV’s Blueprint North Carolina wishes to thank Smart Center Cary, the North Carolina Department of Transportation and generous individuals on the UNC-TV staff for their contributions to the creative set design of the program.

Blueprint North Carolina is a part of our larger project called Blueprint America. Blueprint North Carolina is funded by a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation to the Blueprint America project. Produced by Thirteen/WNET - with major funding from the Rockefeller Foundation - Blueprint America is an unprecedented multi-platform initiative that harnesses the power and reach of public broadcasting to shine an unyielding spotlight on this issue that is so critical to our quality of life and economic security. PBS’s most prestigious and most-watched news and public affairs programs, as well as several public radio outlets, are producing individual reports on the topic of America’s infrastructure.

Major support for Blueprint America is provided by the Rockefeller Foundation. Since its establishment in 1913, the Rockefeller Foundation has sought to identify and attack at their source the underlying causes of human suffering. The Foundation pioneered the frontier of global philanthropy and continues to find and fund solutions to many of the world’s most intractable challenges.

The Rockefeller Foundation attempts to harness the creative forces of globalization, supporting breakthrough solutions to 21st century challenges. This is smart globalization: ensuring that the opportunities unleashed by globalization are accessible to more people, more fully, in more places — and that poor and vulnerable people are equipped to seize them.

Panelists:
     

Christie Barbee
Executive Director, Carolina Asphalt Pavement Association and founding member, NC Go!
Christie Barbee is the Executive Director of the Carolina Asphalt Pavement Association. Before coming to CAPA, she was a member of the senior staff of Governor James B. Hunt, serving as his Director of Citizen Affairs. Ms. Barbee's background includes political consulting as a strategist and fundraiser for many candidates, including Governor James B. Hunt, Governor Mike Easley, and Congressman David Price. Since joining Carolina Asphalt Pavement Association 16 years ago, Ms. Barbee has focused on building partnerships with other businesses and groups interested in transportation. She is a founding member and officer of NC Go!, a statewide coalition of organizations dedicated to improving North Carolina’s transportation system. Ms. Barbee works with a number of business and industry coalitions to promote a positive environment for economic development in North Carolina, and is the past president of the North Carolina Professional Lobbyists Association. She is a past chair of the State Asphalt Pavement Associations and is a member of many national committees and task forces, including the Asphalt Pavement Environmental Council.
Christie is a native of North Carolina and is a graduate of Meredith College.
       
     

Gene Conti
Secretary of Transportation, North Carolina Department of Transportation
Gene Conti was appointed as Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Transportation by Gov. Bev Perdue in January 2009. He brings more than 30 years of public service and private business management experience to this position, including a previous cabinet-level appointment as Secretary of the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation. From 2001-2003, Conti served as Chief Deputy Secretary for NCDOT and was responsible for cash management, safety initiatives, transportation planning and programming, and technology. In addition, Conti served three years as Assistant Secretary for Transportation Policy at the United States Department of Transportation. Prior to returning to NCDOT, he was District Director for PBS&J’s mid-South district, overseeing all business development efforts and community relations. Given his background and expertise, Conti consults nationally on transportation finance, programming, and management issues. As Transportation Secretary, Conti will continue to lead the department’s efforts to improve transportation in North Carolina. He has already worked to implement a reformed approval process for transportation projects and continues to oversee the department’s allocation of economic recovery money for infrastructure improvements. Conti is a native of Pittsburgh, Pa., and a long-time resident of Raleigh. He earned his Ph.D. in anthropology, as well as his master’s degree in policy sciences and public affairs, from Duke University. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology/Anthropology from Eastern Michigan University. Conti and his wife Betsy have four children.
       
     

Tom Eagar
CEO, North Carolina State Ports Authority Board
Tom Eagar was appointed Chief Executive Officer in August 2004 by the NC State Ports Authority Board of Directors. Mr. Eagar joined the Ports Authority in August 2000 as Deputy Executive Director Operations, assuming responsibility for operations at the Ports of Wilmington and Morehead City, and the inland terminal operations in Charlotte and Greensboro. In July 2003, he was promoted to the position of Chief Operations Officer. Eagar’s career in the maritime transportation industry spans thirty years and includes senior executive management positions with Sea-Land Service, Florida-based Crowley American Transport and Chiquita Brands North America in Cincinnati. International experience includes five years in Asia, three years in Canada and management oversight of international business units. Mr. Eagar holds a degree in business administration from California State University in Long Beach, CA. He and his wife Betty have two grown sons and live in Wilmington.
       
     

Lew Ebert
President and CEO, North Carolina Chamber
Lew Ebert became President and CEO of the North Carolina Chamber in 2006.  The North Carolina Chamber is a non-partisan business advocacy organization that works in the legislative, regulatory and political arenas to proactively drive positive change to ensure that North Carolina is a leading place in the world to do business. The North Carolina Chamber has a long and rich history as the leading advocate for businesses of all sizes and sectors in North Carolina.  The state Chamber’s advocacy mission centers on three priority areas: 1) education and workforce development, 2) infrastructure, and 3) competitiveness, or the cost of doing business. In addition to being the state affiliate of the US Chamber of Commerce, the North Carolina Chamber is also North Carolina’s official manufacturers’ association.
       
Dan Gallagher
Planning Manager, Charlotte Department of Transportation
     
Nina Szlosberg
Environmental Representative, Board of Transportation and President, Conservation Council
Nina Szlosberg is a communications professional with more than 25 years experience in broadcasting, media production, community relations and social advocacy. As a television correspondent for the nationally syndicated news magazine program "In America" Nina traveled the American landscape tackling a variety of issues of social importance. Her television and production work earned her more than 100 awards including an Emmy for a television documentary produced about land use planning and transportation. She has produced award winning public service campaigns on a variety of topics including health care, the environment and conservation. In 2000 Nina founded and continues to serve on the board of the non profit organization "The Hillsborough Street Partnership' which has successfully organized the community around the revitalization of a historic community in downtown Raleigh, NC. In 2001, the NC Chapter of the American Planning Association named her "Citizen Planner of the Year" and she was named by the Raleigh News and Observer "Tar Heel of the Week." In 2001, she was appointed by North Carolina Governor Mike Easley to serve as the state's first representative on the State Board of Transportation focusing on environmental issues. She also serves on the regional authority tasked with transit planning, the Triangle Transit Authority, and serves on two Metropolitan Planning Organizations. In 2003, Nina was selected as one of ten Eisenhower Fellows in the United States. She studied transportation-land use policy in Europe, with an emphasis on environmental protection and sustainability. During her study, she met with members of the European Union (Parliament and Commission), members of the German Bundestag and staff as well as local mayors, planners and citizen groups throughout Germany, France, Belgium and Poland. Nina also serves as president of the Conservation Council of North Carolina and its affiliated political action committee - spearheading efforts to identify and elect candidates for statewide office who support good transportation and land use planning and other issues of environmental significance. She also serves on Sustainable NC - a non profit working with businesses to promote sustainable businesspractices. Nina continues to use her knowledge of transportation and the environment and her experience in the field of communications serving on a variety of commissions and study groups including the Governor's Commission on Travel Demand Management, the Highway Trust Fund Study Committee, the Air Quality Roundtable and the Climate Change Advisory Group.