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/ Categories: ATSSA, Convention & Expo

Keynote speaker: Don’t rob others by refusing to change

Chad Hymas urges ATSSA members to embrace change and innovation to save lives

For the first five years after he became a quadriplegic in a farming accident, Chad Hymas refused to pursue his love of scouting for elk.

Finally, after his father invited him again, said it wasn’t about him and said he would take his two sons himself, Hymas answered the challenge.

That was a turning point for Hymas and one he keeps constantly before him by posting a photo all around him of his son from that day. The boy is grinning, dirty and wearing his father’s oversized camouflage jacket.

Hymas, who was injured near his home in Utah on April 3, 2001, was the keynote speaker for ATSSA’s 51st Annual Convention & Traffic Expo. He took part in the Convention’s second general session today, which also included a Government Relations Panel featuring Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, (R-W.Va.), American Highway Users Alliance President & CEO Laura Perrotta  and ATSSA Vice President of Engagement Nate Smith discussing their outlook on transportation funding. ATSS Foundation Board Chair Dave Krahulec provided an update on Foundation efforts and fundraising events.

Hymas urged ATSSA members to act immediately on the lessons and inspiration they receive at the Convention.

“The longer you wait to act on what you’re learning … the less likely you are to do something about it,” he said.

Acting with urgency is important and sometimes it takes getting the proper perspective.

“We will do things for others that we won’t do for ourselves,” he said. That’s what spurred him to go on the elk outing with his father and his two boys and what he knows the people attending the Convention are inspired by as they pursue their mission of keeping people safe on the nation’s roadways.

He said it’s important to be willing to change, to embrace technology, to be innovative and even to get dirty to achieve the goal.

“This organization is here to set the bar, to raise the standard,” he said, and urged them to be proactive rather than reactive and to speak up and speak out.

Everyone registered for the 51st Annual Convention & Traffic Expo has access to recordings of sessions for 60 days from the Convention's start.

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