General Session kicks off with former Harley-Davidson executive
Erica Terrini
/ Categories: ATSSA, Press Release

General Session kicks off with former Harley-Davidson executive

ATSSA celebrates its 50th year of advancing roadway safety at Convention & Traffic Expo

Contact: Maria Robertson
ATSSA Director of Marketing & Communications

General Session kicks off with former Harley-Davidson executive
ATSSA celebrates its 50th year of advancing roadway safety at Convention & Traffic Expo

FREDERICKSBURG, Va. (Jan. 9, 2020) – The American Traffic Safety Services Association (ATSSA) holds the Opening General Session of its 50th Anniversary Traffic Convention & Expo on Jan. 26 with keynote speaker Ken Schmidt, former director of communications for Harley-Davidson Motor Company.

“I love to startle people by exposing them to proven ideas and concepts they’ve never imagined, and I often use motorcycles to do that because they lend themselves to great, memorable imagery,” Schmidt says in his company bio. “I always find that when hearts and minds are in perfect synch, real learning happens.”
Schmidt, author of “Make Some Noise: The Unconventional Road to Dominance,” currently operates his own firm, the Ken Schmidt Company.

The Opening General Session also includes farewell remarks by longtime President and CEO Roger A. Wentz and a panel covering ATSSA’s half-century history in a discussion of the past, present and future of traffic safety.

Greg Schwem, whom the Chicago Tribune called the “king of the hill in the world of corporate comedy,” will lend a lighter note to the morning as he serves as master of ceremonies for the event.

ATSSA’s 50th Annual Convention & Traffic Expo takes place in New Orleans, kicking off on Jan. 24 with two activities in support of The American Traffic Safety Services Foundation, which provides programs that support injured or fallen roadway workers and their families.

This year’s golden anniversary event also features the Chairman’s 50th Anniversary Reception and Gala on Jan. 25 and three days of training, exhibits and new products offering the latest tools for achieving roadway safety.

The Opening General Session officially starts the training and expo portion of the event and takes place at 10 a.m. on Jan. 26 at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans.

ATSSA’s annual convention began as a white-top table event, drawing fewer than 100 people and has increased its attendance to more than 3,500 in 2019.

“Over the past 50 years, ATSSA has continuously worked to stay at the forefront of the roadway safety infrastructure industry and there’s no better place to get a full picture of those efforts than at our annual convention and, more specifically, at our OGS event,” said ATSSA Director of Meetings & Conventions Necoya Tyson. “Once again, we’ve completely revamped the session, which kicks off the start of our traffic expo, where guests can see thousands of roadway safety devices and products.”

Opening General Session also includes:

  • A report on ATSSA developments from Board of Directors Chair Juan Arvizu
  • Passing of the gavel to incoming Board Chair Greg Driskell
  • A report on The ATSS Foundation from Board President Dave Krahulec

ATSSA was incorporated as an international trade association in 1970 and today has more than 1,500 members. Nearly 1 million people have been trained since the association established its training emphasis in 2001.

As ATSSA drives into 2020, it remains committed to its members and the roadway safety infrastructure industry with the philosophy, “Safer Roads Save Lives.”

“This will be my final time attending convention and Opening General Session as ATSSA president & CEO so the start of 2020 will be bittersweet,” said Roger Wentz, who retires in February after 22 1/2 years at the Association. “I’m honored to be able to celebrate ATSSA’s 50th anniversary and am proud to say we’ve held true to our mission ‘To Advance Roadway Safety.’ The Opening General Session will be a prime opportunity to get a glimpse into the future and how we will continue to fulfill ATSSA’s core purpose.”

For more information about ATSSA’s 50th Annual Convention & Traffic Expo, visit

Opening General Session Panel

Topic: “The Past, Present and Future of Traffic Safety. A look at where we’ve come from to where we’re going.”
Moderator: Greg Driskell
Panelists: Amy Ford, Patrick Son and Roger A. Wentz.

Panel Biographies:

Moderator: Greg Driskell, president, PPP Inc.

Greg Driskell is president of PPP Inc. of Jacksonville, Fla., and begins his term as Chair of the ATSSA Board of Directors on Jan. 26. He previously served two terms on the ATSSA board and two terms on The Foundation Board. He also served on the ATSSA Pavement Marking Committee, the Member Engagement Committee and the Traffic Expo Subcommittee.

Greg has served the transportation safety infrastructure industry for nearly three decades and is recognized for his visionary leadership and innovative approach to problem solving. He is deeply dedicated to the safety of the millions of mothers, fathers, sons and daughters who travel our roadways every day. His business combines the experiences and practices of the past with the tools and technologies of today, to inspire the development of safe, smart, simple solutions for a safer roadway future.

Greg is a leader, innovator, inventor, father, husband and believer.

Panelist: Amy Ford, director, Mobility on Demand Alliance for ITS America

Amy Ford is director of the Mobility on Demand Alliance for ITS America. She leads the creation, strategic direction and activities of the Alliance. Prior to working with MODA, she served as the chief of advanced mobility for the Colorado Department of Transportation, responsible for accelerating innovation programs and policies, including connected and autonomous vehicles, mobility operations, workforce of the future, communications and other transportation technologies.

She holds a Master in Public Administration degree from the University of Colorado.

Panelist: Patrick Son, P.E., managing director, National Operations Center of Excellence

Patrick Son is managing director of the National Operations Center of Excellence in Washington, D.C., which is dedicated to serving the emerging transportation systems management & operations (TSMO) community.

He is a registered civil engineer with more than 10 years of experience including transportation and traffic planning, design, operations, and construction inspection. Prior to starting his current position in 2016, he served as vice president of technical programs for the Intelligent Transportation Society of America (ITSA).

He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in civil engineering and an Executive Master’s in Leadership degree from Georgetown University.

Panelist: Roger A. Wentz, CAE, ATSSA President and CEO

Roger Wentz was appointed president & CEO of ATSSA in October of 1997. He is a Certified Association Executive and has served on the Board of Directors of the American Society of Association Executives. Prior to ATSSA, he held positions at the American Trucking Associations, where he founded the ATA Training Institute, and the American Bankers Association, where he had responsibility for the business operations of 21 banker divisions with total annual revenues of $32 million.

Wentz serves as staff liaison to the ATSSA Board of Directors, as the ATSSA representative to the Traffic Control Devices Pooled Fund Study, on the board of the Roadway Safety Foundation, and as Treasurer of the National Committee on Uniform Traffic Control Devices.


ATSSA’s core purpose is to advance roadway safety. ATSSA represents the roadway safety industry with effective legislative advocacy and a far-reaching member partnership. The association also leads the nation in work zone safety training and education for roadway workers across the country. ATSSA members accomplish the advancement of roadway safety through the design, manufacture, and installation of road safety and traffic control devices. Visit to learn more.

Previous Article Discounted registration ends soon for ATSSA’s 50th Annual Convention & Traffic Expo
Next Article ATSS Foundation scholarships offer opportunity for education & healing
7395 Rate this article:
No rating
Please login or register to post comments.