Pave It Black is the official podcast of the National Asphalt Pavement Association. Hosted by NAPA's Richard Willis and Brett Williams, Pave It Black focuses on the people, issues, and technologies of the asphalt pavement industry, road building, and research and innovation.
Recent Podcast Episodes
Women of Asphalt
Season 6, Episode 10
For the season 6 finale, we dig into how the Women of Asphalt organization continues to help bring awareness about the opportunities that abound in the asphalt industry. In this episode of Pave It Black, Richard and Brett talk with Sheila Barkevich, President of Women of Asphalt and Northeast Division Performance Manager at CRH Americas Materials about how she became involved with the Women of Asphalt and the numerous efforts that the organization is undertaking at both the national level and with their local branches. Tune in to learn more about Women of Asphalt.
The Fast Forward Button
Season 6, Episode 9
Proving out technologies and innovations in asphalt mixtures and pavements can be difficult when industry already expects our pavements to perform 20 years or more into the future. In this episode of Pave It Black, Richard and Brett talk with Randy West, Director of the National Center for Asphalt Technology at Auburn University about the research conducted at the test track and how that enables the asphalt industry and agencies to quickly evaluate new products as well as find answers to challenges faced by pavement owners. Tune in to learn about the many ways that asphalt research is making a difference in the performance and efficiency of our infrastructure as well as seeding our industry with the next generation of asphalt materials and pavement experts.
Ensuring Resilience Beyond Infrastructure
Season 6, Episode 8
Brett and Richard talk with Andy Decraene of AJAX Paving of Florida about resilience. When Hurricane Ian hit Florida in 2022, AJAX was called on to rebuild the Sanibel Causeway within weeks after the disaster. Richard and Brett explore what resilience is with Andy and learn that it goes far beyond just infrastructure and begins with building resilient companies who take care of their people.
Accelerating Asphalt Research
Season 6, Episode 7
While asphalt pavements serve many uses ranging from nature paths to interstate highways, some of the heaviest loads asphalt pavements carry occur at airfield runways and taxiways. In this episode of Pave It Black, Richard and Brett talk with Navneet Garg of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) about the research work he does at the William J Hughes Technical Center, the National Airport Pavement Test Facility (NAPTF), and the National Airport Pavement & Materials Research Center (NAPMRC) to continue to advance asphalt pavement innovation, performance, and sustainability. Listen to learn more about the accelerated loading facilities that the FAA employs to conduct research on asphalt pavements, and hear about some of FAA’s research looking into RAP, WMA, and perpetual pavements.
Watch For Us
Season 6, Episode 6
For National Work Zone Awareness Week, the hosts of Pave it Black dive into NAPA's Watch for Us campaign, and how member companies work to protect their staff as they maintain and construct our countries infrastructure. Richard and Brett talk with Emily Bay of Rieth-Riley Construction Co., Inc. about the role that communication plays in safety and how they share information with employees as well as the public. Emily shares some of the measures that Rieth-Riley has taken to ensure that safety is engrained into their company’s culture and remains paramount on their jobsites and throughout their operations. Listen to learn how Rieth-Riley uses the Watch For Us campaign to share stories about their crews and help the traveling public understand the importance of not driving distracted, especially in work zones, and how work zone intrusions can result in terrible outcomes for drivers as well the hard-working crews that keep our roads and highways in good condition.
The Asphalt Industry's Highest Award
Season 6, Episode 5
In this episode of Pave it Black, we discuss the Sheldon G. Hayes Award with representatives from the latest company to be honored with the award. Richard and Brett talk with Scott Roe, Michael Terry, Derik Huber, and Ryan Booth of Kiewit Infrastructure South Co. about what it takes to win the highest award as well as what the award means to the company and its staff. The team shares how communication plays a critical role in achieving top quality projects as well as other areas they focus on while constructing asphalt pavements. Listen to learn how Kiewit uses project specific goals to create incentives for staff that help achieve the owners’ requirements and bonuses on all of their projects while driving quality.
Partnering on Workforce
Season 6, Episode 4
In this episode of Pave it Black, we talk workforce and how some companies in the asphalt industry and other technical fields are addressing the staffing challenges they face. Richard and Brett talk with Jason Duininck of Duininck Inc, Jim Sieben of Nova-Tech Engineering, and Mike Kroeker of Willmar High School about the Manufacturing and Production (MAPs)program and how their organizations partner to help students learn about different career opportunities. Listen to learn more about the partnerships that have formed as well as the benefits that the businesses have realized from participating in the program.
Closer Look: NAPA's Ray Brown Airport Award
Season 6, Episode 3
In this episode of Pave It Black, the hosts explore the Ray Brown Award and learn more about NAPA's annual recognition of the nation's highest scoring airport asphalt pavement project. Richard and Brett talk with Chris Croom, with S.T. Wooten Corp., about recently winning the 2022 Ray Brown award as well as previous awards the company’s work has been recognized with. Listen to learn how recipients earn the industry's highest honors through a focus on quality and paving projects designed to allow for increased consistency.
Season 6, Episode 2
In this episode of Pave It Black, we discuss government relations and the fast-changing world of policy, funding, and implementation. Richard and Brett talk with John Hay, with CRH Americas Materials, about engaging with elected officials and how those interactions can impact how our industry does and the way we operate. Listen to learn the importance of developing relationships and how that process needs to be an on-going effort, as well as discussion on roles, communications, activities, and the importance these play in ensuring that industry voices are heard by our elected officials.
Environmentally Preferred Asphalt Pavements
Season 6, Episode 1
In the Season Six premiere episode of Pave It Black, NAPA's Richard Willis and Brett Williams return to discuss the standards the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) has developed for Environmentally Preferable Asphalt. Richard and Brett talk with Pat Weaver, former president of Solterra Materials, LLC, about how his company learned about the new GSA requirements and how they ended up being one of the first companies to complete a paving project with these new project standards for asphalt materials. Listen to learn how published EPDs using the Emarald Eco Label tool allow companies to learn about new project opportunities as well as provide material selection options to customers.
En Route and Engaged
Season 5, Episode 11
In the season five finale of Pave It Black, Richard and Brett talk with NAPA President and CEO Audrey Copeland and NAPA Chairman Jim Mitchell about The Road Forward and the asphalt pavement industry’s early efforts toward achieving net zero emissions asphalt pavements. The discussion covers a range of topics from the initial embrace of the program and industry’s goals, all the way to the continued importance for the onward push from all sectors of the industry. Listen to learn about the importance of engaging with the program and everyone’s role in forming the industry’s path to net zero.
Construction Sector Sustainability
Season 5, Episode 10
In this episode, Richard and Brett talk with Kelly Roberts of Walter P. Moore about the industry’s focus on sustainability and how great strides have been made in this area over the last decade.
Questions on Energy
Season 5, Episode 9
In this episode of Pave It Black, we discuss the transition to cleaner energy and the logistics and policies that are making it possible. Richard and Brett talk with Peter C. Balash with the U.S. Department of Energy about the agency's role in meeting the national goal for cleaner energy as well as addressing the changing demand for different and cleaner energy sources. Listen to learn more about energy and opportunities that companies can explore to reduce their operation’s emissions and become more sustainable.
Partnering on The Road Forward
Season 5, Episode 8
In this episode of Pave It Black, we discuss The Road Forward and the industry partnerships the program is forming. Richard and Brett talk with Will Hadeka and Bob Yaremko of Peckham Industries and Dan Staebell of Cargill about their company’s investment and dedication to The Road Forward program and the initiatives the industry has set out to achieve. Listen to learn about how the inaugural partners in The Road Forward program are looking to leverage the collaboration of the industry to help move the needle and reduce emissions while continuing to make their companies and the industry more sustainable.
Season 5, Episode 7
Richard and Brett talk with Peter Mazzarella and Julian Smith of Harsco Environmental about the company’s approach to innovating with asphalt pavement materials and their focus on achieving carbon emission reductions. Listen to learn about nontraditional approaches to innovate with asphalt materials and the important science behind emissions accounting and reporting that is crucial prior to marketing green innovations.
Season 5, Episode 6
Richard and Brett talk with Shane Buchanan of CRH Americas Materials about the company’s approach to recycled asphalt pavement (RAP) and its efforts to maximize mixture quality while optimizing the use of recycled materials. The conversation covers topics ranging from opportunities to further employ recycled pavements to how recycling fits into the company’s Environmental, Social and Governmental efforts.
Carbon Eutrophication & Ozone Depletion—Oh My!
Season 5, Episode 5
Richard and Brett talk with Heather Dylla and C.J. Hoy of Construction Partners Inc. and Wiregrass Construction about their perspective on Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) and their experience working with the Emerald Eco-Label tool. During the discussion, we learn ways asphalt producers can use the EPD tool to optimize operations and compare operational parameters to increase efficiency of their operations.
Getting Warm: Asphalt Mixtures
Season 5, Episode 4
In this episode, Richard and Brett talk with Ashley Batson and Dean Fraley of Ingevity about the benefits of producing warm mix asphalt, ranging from reduced emissions and energy savings to mixture performance and extending a pavement's expected service life. During the discussion, learn why asphalt producers have used the technology over the last 20 years and ideas about increasing its use in the future.
Sponsored by Ingevity.
Virginia Pavement Smoothness
Season 5, Episode 3
Richard and Brett talk with Kevin McGhee of Virginia Department of Transportation Research Council and Tanveer Chowdhury of the Virginia Department of Transportation about how VDOT specifies smoothness for newly constructed asphalt pavements as well as how the department uses smoothness measurements to help manage their pavement network.
Season 5, Episode 2
Richard and Brett talk trucking and the opportunities to improve the efficiency of hauling materials for asphalt paving and production operations. Brad Regner of Eurovia Altantic Coast/d.b.a. Northeast Paving talks about technologies that provide big dividends when looking to reduce emissions and ensure efficient trucking. Brad shares how Northeast Paving was able to use logistics technology to streamline operations on a project that won the 2021 Sheldon G. Hayes award.
Sponsored by Earthwave Technologies.
The Road Forward
Season 5, Episode 1
In the Season 5 premiere of Pave It Black, Richard and Brett discuss the asphalt industry’s vision for a net zero carbon emissions future by tracing the path the Climate Stewardship Task Force took to create The Road Forward. Raven Adams of Granite Construction talks about her experience serving as one of the members of the Climate Stewardship Task Force and the areas where Granite Construction has initially focused their efforts to work toward the industry’s goals
In this episode of Pave It Black, the season of opportunity wraps up with a discussion about government affairs and the various aspects of an asphalt business that engage with the government. Richard and Brett talk with Summer Strand of the Walbec Group about her career path into the transportation infrastructure industry and how she works within the company’s operations on topics ranging from infrastructure funding to telling the company's story.
In this episode of Pave it Black, hosts Richard Willis and Brett Williams talk with Martha Pauley of Superior Paving Corp. about human resources and the important role the department plays in securing and retaining the talented staff needed by the company. Martha shares how Superior values the face to face interaction with their team members and how they use those conversations to gauge successes as well as address opportunities for improvements. The conversation also includes highlights about how Superior Paving Corp. celebrates victories for both the company and for its employees.
In this episode of Pave it Black, learn how accounting integrates into the many aspects of an asphalt business. Hosts Richard Willis and Brett Williams talk with Brandy Vaughn from Pike Industries about her experience and how her tasks reach into all of Pike's operations. Brandy shares how understanding different aspects of your company can make you more effective at your job and allow you to be a stronger team member. Brandy also talks about the vast learning opportunities offered in the industry.
Learn how technology can be put to work to help companies operate at peak performance and how these tools can help attract the next generation of employees. Hosts Richard Willis and Brett Williams talk with Bo Walters of Dunn Construction about his work experience and path into his current role of Vice President of Operations. Bo shares how Dunn Construction is integrating technology into its operations and the benefits the company has quickly realized.
Sponsored by Earthwave Technologies
In this episode of Pave It Black, learn how project managers earn wins for the communities and agencies they are serving by delivering infrastructure projects that are on-time and on-budget. Hosts Richard Willis and Brett Williams talk with Lance Driskell of Wiregrass Construction Company about his work experience and path into the role of being a project manager. Lance shares his perspective on some of the keys to his career success along with a discussion on the many facets of managing road and highway construction projects.
In this episode of Pave It Black, hosts Richard Willis and Brett Williams jump into the laboratory and learn how engineers work to design asphalt mixtures that will perform long into the future. Samantha Dixon of Reeves Construction discusses researching and designing high-quality asphalt pavements for the Colas companies. Samantha shares how she works to ensure quality and also helps the companies effectively utilize recycled materials and other sustainable products.
Dave Beeching of Michigan Paving & Materials Company discusses his 39 years of experience in the asphalt industry and his career path into his current role managing field operations. Beeching discusses how rewarding leadership in asphalt can be, from being part of a team member's growth and career success to the satisfaction of riding down a highway that you were a part of building.
In this episode of Pave It Black, the season of opportunity continues with a discussion about marketing, business opportunities, and the pursuits of improving, growing, and making for more profitable and better businesses. Richard and Brett talk with Jeani Ringkob of StoryBuilt Marketing and Consulting about her experience growing up in the asphalt industry and how that has led her into a role consulting with businesses on strategy and identifying opportunities within their operations.
This episode includes a discussion about environmental compliance and how compliance officers work to protect the communities they serve. Guest Bob Beyke talks about his role and experience as Milestone Contractors’ manager of environmental affairs and shares his journey in the asphalt industry.
Sponsored by Surface Tech
In this episode of Pave It Black, our season of opportunity starts off exploring safety with a discussion of methods to successfully engrain safety into a company’s culture, including an exploration of the skills companies should seek out when hiring a safety manager. Richard and Brett talk with Candy Klingensmith, of the Knife River Midwest about her experience as the company's Safety Manager and her career journey into that role.
Season 3 of Pave it Black concludes with a discussion on drone technologies and how drones are used today as well as where the technology may take us tomorrow. Richard and Brett talk with Carl Pittman, of APAC Mississippi and Jessica Lewis, a graduate student at Mississippi State University about areas where drones are being utilized in construction along with some of the considerations with using the technology. With drones providing opportunities to increase safety and efficiency around project and plant sites their use has become common with many in the industry.
In this episode of Pave It Black, our season continues to explore technologies with a discussion on how software may help with some of the challenges an asphalt plant operation faces with keeping all the balls in the air from current work, upcoming work, different customers, suppliers, materials, testing, maintenance, and all of the communication that is required to keep the drum turning and customers smiling. Richard and Brett talk with Ben Adomyetz, of the Rogers Group about his company’s experience with incorporating software at some of their production facilities and how they are using the tool to help better plan, communicate, and track the critical information plant operators need.
In the latest episode of Pave It Black, Brett and Richard talk with mike Wills of Granite Construction about trucking and fleet management technology. While fleet management technologies contrinue to grow in utilization by the industry, we look to gain a perspective on how the technologies and help contractors efficiently deliver high-quality asphalt pavements as well as ideas for how the technology may provide opportunities to create additional benefits to and organization.
In this special episode of Pave It Black for National Work Zone Awareness week, our season continues to feature technology with a discussion on how robots can be employed to move workers out of higher risk locations and also improve task efficiency. With guest Todd Hendricks Jr. of Pioneer Industrial Systems.
Brett and Richard talk with Dan Ganoe of Lindy Paving about the implementation of e-ticketing and what it takes to move to a paperless world.
Brett and Richard talk with Brent Carron of Valley Paving about thermal profiling. While this tool is not widespread throughout the industry, it is potentially another opportunity for contractors to ensure high quality asphalt pavements.
Contractors have access to more data about their companies now more than ever before. But how many of them are using this data effectively? Brett and Richard, along with Dan Ridolfi of Lastrada Partners, explore how data analytics can change the asphalt industry.
Computing technology has changed over the past 20 years, and it is just going to continue to advance. Brett and Richard talk with Katie Peabody of Lakeside Industries about the opportunities available for construction companies to leverage new programs, communications tools, and streamlined software
It is estimated that more than 2 million electric cars are being sold globally each year now. Richard and Brett talk with Dan Gallagher about the impacts vehicle electrification could have not only the asphalt industry but also how it could be impacting the revenue of the Highway Trust Fund.
Brett and Richard have a discussion with Nick Webb, the keynote speaker from NAPA’s 2020 Annual Meeting in Maui, about the misconceptions of innovation and the ways to develop an innovative spirit. This conversation sets the stage for future podcasts in season three, which will focus on topics such as e-ticketing, fleet management, plant operations, data management, and more.
In this episode of Pave It Black, Richard and Brett talk with Navneet Garg of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) about the research work he does at the William J Hughes Technical Center, the National Airport Pavement Test Facility (NAPTF), and the National Airport Pavement & Materials Research Center (NAPMRC) to continue to advance asphalt pavement innovation, performance, and sustainability.
Richard and Brett talk with Emily Bay of Rieth-Riley Construction Co., Inc. about the role that communication plays in safety and how they share information with employees as well as the public.
Richard and Brett talk with Scott Roe, Michael Terry, Derik Huber, and Ryan Booth of Kiewit Infrastructure South Co. about what it takes to win the highest award as well as what the award means to the company and its staff.
Richard and Brett talk with Jason Duininck of Duininck Inc, Jim Sieben of Nova-Tech Engineering, and Mike Kroeker of Willmar High School about the Manufacturing and Production (MAPs)program and how their organizations partner to help students learn about different career opportunities.
Richard and Brett talk with Chris Croom, with S.T. Wooten Corp., about recently winning the 2022 Ray Brown award as well as previous awards the company’s work has been recognized with.