By David Pendered
The Georgia Chamber of Commerce has hired a seasoned transportation advocate to serve as executive director of a chamber affiliate that will focus on long-term transportation strategy – including passage of the transportation sales tax.
Doug Callaway will lead the Georgia Transportation Alliance. The state chamber formed GTA in April to promote a new effort to improve the mobility of freight and people through Georgia.
Callaway now serves as president of Floridians for Better Transportation. He joined FBT in 2003, following his work with Carter & Burgess, a national engineering consulting and management firm.
Callaway is to start with GTA on Nov. 1.
Before entering the private sector, Callaway served as the federal programs coordinator for the Florida Department of Transportation. His biography on the FBT page says that Florida’s receipts of federal transportation funding increased from $445 million a year to over $1.2 billion during his tenure.
Callaway’s early experience was in the public sector. This is another snippet from his FBT bio:
“In the 1980s, Callaway was a Legislative Director for former Florida Congressman Tom Lewis (R-North Palm Beach) on Capitol Hill, and Organizational Director for Florida Congressman Clay Shaw’s (R-Fort Lauderdale) 1982 Reelection Campaign.”
“I am excited about this new opportunity, especially at this time in Georgia’s transportation history,” Callaway said in a media release issued Wednesday by the Georgia chamber. “The state has a great network of existing transportation assets to build upon and the business community can play a significant role in informing and executing the right strategy for the future. Passing the TSPLOST in as many regions as possible next year will be an important first step.”
This is what the chamber’s president and CEO, Chris Clark, said of GTA when its formation was announced in April:
“A quality, comprehensive transportation infrastructure is critical to Georgia’s current and future economic development,” Clark said in a statement. “This affiliate will allow us to bring key stakeholders together to focus on how we build and maintain a multi-modal network that moves both people and freight safely and efficiently.
“Our state has the opportunity to solidify its position as a transportation and logistics hub not only for the Southeast, but the entire nation. We cannot achieve that goal without proper planning, funding and commitment from the business community and our elected leaders.”