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2018 Draft Agenda

 Tuesday, April 10, 2018

10:30 AM
Regency Foyer
12:00 - 1:30 PM
Awards Luncheon with Keynote 
Regency Ballroom
1:30 - 1:45 PM
1:45 - 2:45 PM
Panel Discussion
“Inclusion, Commitment, and Results”
How to Create Successful Partnerships
Regency Ballroom
2:45 - 3:00 PM
3:00 - 5:00 PM
Franklin Room A-D
5:00 - 6:30 PM
Civil Rights Transportation Symposium Networking Event

 Wednesday, April 11, 2018

7:00 AM – 8:00 AM
Open Registration / Continental Breakfast
Regency Foyer-Ballroom
8:00 AM – 8:50 AM
Regency Ballroom
8:50 - 9:00 AM
9:00 - 9:50 AM
Panel Discussion
“Recruitment, Coaching and Team Building”
Success in sports and business
Regency Ballroom
10:00 - 11:50 PM
Morning Workshops
​Franklin Room A-D
12:00- 1:30 PM
• ODOT Civil Rights College Scholarship Presentation
• Keynote Speaker
Regency Ballroom
​2:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Prime Contractor Consultants meet with DBEs
Franklin Room A-D

 Keynote Speaker


Gene Smith

Gene Smith is in his 13th year as director of athletics at The Ohio State University.  Hired in 2005, he was promoted to Senior Vice President and Wolfe Foundation Endowed Athletics Director in May of 2016.  He is widely recognized among the leaders of his profession and has been named “one of the most powerful people in collegiate sport.” 

Smith is the eighth person to hold the athletics director position at Ohio State.  He previously served as director of athletics at Arizona State, Iowa State and Eastern Michigan universities and is entering his 32nd year in the role.

At Ohio State, the 61-year old Smith oversees the nation’s most comprehensive and one of its most successful collegiate athletic programs.  The department sponsors 36 fully-funded varsity sports with more than 1000 student-athletes competing for Big Ten Conference and NCAA championships.

Smith has additional oversight responsibility for the Business Advancement division of Ohio State which includes:  Schottenstein Center, Nationwide Arena, Blackwell Hotel, Drake Union, Fawcett Center, and Trademark & Licensing.

Smith is known for outstanding fiscal controls.  The athletics department is completely self-supporting; it receives no university funds, tax dollars or student fees.  In fiscal year 2015-16, the department transferred nearly $39 million in assessments to the university, including more than $19 million in grant-in-aid reimbursement.  Both athletics and the university will derive benefit from the unprecedented $252 million partnership agreement signed with NIKE in 2016.

As a highly-recruited student-athlete and member of national championship teams as a college athlete, coach, and administrator, Smith is passionate about the well-being of student-athletes and the championship experience. 



 Special Guest Speaker


Victor Mendez

 Victor Mendez is the Principal at VMM Consulting, providing consulting and advisory services to clients in the transportation industry.

Victor Mendez was appointed by President Obama in 2014 to serve as the 20thUnited States Deputy Secretary of Transportation.  He served in that role from July, 2014 through January, 2017.

As Deputy Secretary, Mendez was the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) chief operating officer, responsible for the day-to-day operations of the 10 modal administrations and the work of more than 55,000 employees.  Mendez was focused on ensuring the safety and efficiency of America’s transportation system, which plays a key role in improving quality of life and the economy.

Mendez, along with former Secretary Foxx, led the USDOT in an unprecedented pivot towards innovation to solve safety challenges in American transportation.  For his accomplishments, in March of 2016, Mendezwas recognized as the Legacy Award recipient by the Arizona Chapter of the American Council of Engineering Companies.

Before becoming Deputy Secretary, Mendez was appointed by President Obama in 2009 to serve as the 18thAdministrator of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).  As FHWA Administrator he oversaw the agency’s 2,900 employees in Washington, DC and field offices across the country.

During his time at FHWA, he turned his lifelong interest in innovation and technology into launching the Every Day Counts initiative, which gives states a range of tools and technologies to streamline construction projects and make them more cost effective.

Before joining USDOT, Mendez served as the Director of the Arizona Department of Transportation under former Governor Janet Napolitano.  He has more than 20 years of State DOT experience.

Mendez earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Texas at El Paso and later earned an MBA from Arizona State University.  He is a registered professional engineer in the State of Arizona.

Victor has also been actively engaged in international transportation issues throughout his career.  During his tenure in federal government, he traveled to South Korea, China, Cuba and Russia to meet with his federal-level counterparts to address transportation issues.  In 2007, he participated and presented at the World Road Congress in Paris, France as a member of a United States transportationdelegation.  He is fluent in conversational Spanish.