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Speaker Biographies

Motivational speaker Chad Porter to give keynote address!

Chad PorterChad Porter is one of the nation's most inspirational and motivational speakers. He has been speaking for over 20 years, telling his amazing story of overcoming obstacles, perseverance, dealing with life's challenges while inspiring hundreds of thousands in the process. He was the lead Motivational Speaker on the Zig Ziglar International Team. He comes highly recommended by Corporate CEO's, Fundraising Executives, athletic teams both collegiate and professional, and Conference Event Planners all over the country. Sean McDermott, Head Coach for the Buffalo Bills describes Chad as “truly inspiring and one of the best motivational speakers they’ve ever had!”

Thank you to our keynote sponsor!
Ritchie Bros.

Highway Division Speakers

Eric Boyette

Eric Boyette, NCDOT Secretary of Transportation

Eric Boyette was appointed secretary of the N.C. Department of Transportation in February 2020. With more than 20 years of experience in state government, Boyette began his career with NCDOT and served in several leadership roles, including chief information officer, inspector general and Division of Motor Vehicles commissioner. 

In April 2017, Boyette was appointed as secretary and state chief information officer at the N.C. Department of Information Technology. In this role, he led the state department responsible for all IT procurement, state cybersecurity, operational services, broadband infrastructure, solutions division, data analytics center, the N.C. 911 Board and strategic IT planning. He previously served as the deputy state chief information officer for solution delivery for NCDIT. 

Leland ColvinLeland Colvin, SCDOT Deputy Secretary for Engineering

Leland has been with SCDOT for over 25 years and currently serves as the Deputy Secretary for Engineering. He has served in various positions throughout the Department including Director of Construction, the Design/Build Construction Engineer and the Program Manager for the Charleston metro area. His most fascinating assignment was being involved with the demolition of the Grace Memorial and Silas Pearman bridges in Charleston. Despite being a faithful Clemson fan and season ticket holder, he is a graduate of the University of South Carolina and holds his Professional Engineer’s license. Leland is married to the former Kelly Jenkins and the proud father of two girls. He and his family reside in Irmo. 

 
Christy Hall

Christy Hall, SCDOT Secretary of Transportation

Secretary of Transportation Christy Hall is responsible for leading the Department of Transportation for the state of South Carolina.  In her capacity as the head of the agency, she is responsible for directing and guiding all of the agency’s planning, maintenance, construction and operational efforts for the nation’s fourth largest state-owned highway system.

Secretary Hall rose through the ranks of the agency and has served in a variety of roles in both Headquarters and the Field during her twenty-plus-year career with SCDOT.  She has just about done it all at the agency from design, to construction, to maintenance to serving in several different leadership positions on the Finance and Engineering sides of the agency.  Secretary Hall’s unique experience has served the agency well so far, whether it was leading response and recovery efforts during the recent natural disasters that struck South Carolina or providing valuable assistance to the state’s policy makers which resulted in an unprecedented increase in state funding for our state’s crumbling roads and bridges.

Ms. Hall is a South Carolina native, a graduate of Clemson University, and a registered Professional Engineer. She has been blessed with several awards and recognitions, including the state’s highest civilian honor, The Order of the Palmetto, which Governor Nikki Haley conferred upon the Secretary.
Ronnie Keeter

Ronnie Ketter, NCDOT Chief Engineer

As chief engineer, Ronnie Keeter oversees and directs the engineering and program activities of the N.C. Department of Transportation’s 14 highway divisions, Transportation Mobility and Safety Division, the Central Units, and the Technical Services Division.

He has been with NCDOT for more than 27 years and has served in several field engineering positions across the state, including Division Engineer in Division 4. He became Eastern Deputy Chief Engineer in 2019, responsible for directing construction, maintenance and operations programs across the state’s seven eastern highway divisions. He was appointed Chief Engineer in November 2020. 

Beau Memory

Beau Memory, NCDOT Chief Operating Officer

As the chief operating officer, Beau Memory oversees the Division of Highways, Ferry Division, Aviation Division, Rail Division, the Integrated Mobility Division (Bicycle and Pedestrian Division, Public Transportation Division), Division of Planning & Programming, and Office of Communications, Community Outreach and Public Engagement.
Memory has spent his career working in transportation and has served in leadership roles in the public and private sectors. In his previous role, Memory served as National Transportation director at SAS Institute, supporting transportation agencies as they leverage available data for evidence-based decision making, operational efficiencies and cost savings. 

Josh Quattlebaum, SCDOT Bridge Construction Engineer/Co-Chair CAGC/SCDOT Joint Bridge Subcommittee

Josh is a Bridge Construction Engineer in the Director of Construction Office for SCDOT, and the current co-chair of the CAGC/SCDOT Joint Bridge Subcommittee.  He is a graduate of the University of South Carolina, receiving his BS and MS in 2002 and 2003, respectively.  Prior to joining the department as a geotechnical engineer in 2014, he previously worked in the private sector as a structural designer, materials engineer, and geotechnical engineer with two local consulting firms.  Josh is a registered professional engineer in SC and currently resides in Irmo with his wife Leah, also an engineer with SCDOT, and their two children.

Clay Richter, SCDOT Road Construction Engineer/Co-Chair CAGC/ACEC/SCDOT Design-Build Subcommittee

Clay is the Road Construction Engineer for Districts 4 and 5 in the Director of Construction Office for SCDOT, and the co-chair of the CAGC/ACEC/SCDOT Design-Build Subcommittee.  He is a 2003 graduate of Clemson University and has worked for SCDOT for 18 years.  Clay began his career at SCDOT in the Beaufort/Jasper Construction office, gaining progressive experience in field construction and inspection that lead him to be the Resident Construction Engineer in both Abbeville and Anderson.  Clay is a registered professional engineer in South Carolina and currently lives in Lexington with his wife Ruth and their two children.

Boyd Tharrington, NCDOT State Construction Engineer

Boyd Tharrington is a 1999 graduate from NC State with a BS in Civil Engineering. He has 19 Years of service with the Department of Transportation which covers five years as Assistant Resident Engineer, twelve years as Resident Engineer, and two years as Division Construction Engineer. He is a register professional engineer in North Carolina. 

Utility Division Speakers

Lynn Hansen

Lynn L. Hansen, Crowder Constructors Inc

Lynn Hansen became Chief Executive Officer of Crowder Constructors Inc. in June 2019, previously serving as the President and Chief Financial Officer of Crowder. Lynn began her career with Crowder, as the Vice President of Finance and Administration in 1999. Lynn has also been actively involved in operations by serving as the Division Manager of Crowder Heavy Civil along with her role as CFO. Lynn has a wealth of knowledge in strategic planning, risk management and finance. Her leadership has been integral to the growth and success of Crowder over the last two decades.

Lynn is a graduate of the University of North Carolina with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting. She is a Certified Public Accountant and is active and holds leadership positions in several professional and civic organizations including the Carolinas AGC, American Heart Association, the McLeod Center, and her church.

Kiri Anderer, P.E.

Kiri AndererKiri Anderer is a Senior Environmental Engineer on the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund Team at EPA headquarters. The DWSRF provides water infrastructure financing for public health protection, with an emphasis on small and disadvantaged public water systems. She works on technical and policy issues and has spent much of her 12 years with the agency working on the American Iron and Steel and Buy American requirements, as well as resiliency and sustainability aspects of the program. Prior to EPA, Kiri spent 11 years working as a consulting engineer in the Baltimore and then Phoenix metropolitan areas, assisting communities with integrated water resource planning. Kiri is a registered Professional Engineer in Maryland. She has a BS in Civil Engineering from Lehigh University, and a Master of Public Policy from The George Washington University.

Tim Connor

Tim Connor is a Senior Chemical Engineer in the Office of Wastewater Management (OWM) in EPA’s Office of Water. For the past decade Tim has led the Buy American / American and Iron and Steel programs for the Clean Water State Revolving Fund. Prior to joining OWM, Tim worked for more than a decade leading engineering and economic analysis development for EPA’s water quality standards and industrial effluent guidelines programs. Before joining EPA, Tim worked as a Defense contractor and as an oil and gas drilling engineer. Tim holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of New Mexico and an M.S. in Environmental Science Engineering from Clemson University.

Ty Edmondson

Ty EdmondsonTy serves as Co-President of T.A. Loving alongside David Philyaw. As Co-President/Division Manager of the Utility/Heavy Civil Division of T.A. Loving Company, Ty’s primary responsibility is to oversee the day to day operations of the division and its personnel. Ty has extensive knowledge of this division as he has spent his entire professional career with T.A. Loving Company and brings over 30 years of experience to the company. He has worked in various positions and knows the requirements of each job well. He is closely involved with each project and has built long-lasting relationships with partnering Owners and Engineers. These relationships, along with our ability to deliver a quality product, are key to our repeat business with many customers.

Ty earned his B.S. in Civil Engineering with Construction Option from North Carolina State University in 1989 and holds his Professional Engineer Certification. He currently serves on the Carolinas AGC Board of Directors and is a founding member of Grace Community Church in Goldsboro.

Building Division Speakers

Ted Abernathy

Ted AbernathyTed is the Managing Partner of Economic Leadership LLC, a consultancy that is currently working in more than a dozen states to develop economic and workforce strategies. Ted has 35 years of experience in directing economic development and workforce development programs. From 2008-2013, Ted was the Executive Director of the Southern Growth Policies Board, a 42-year old public policy think tank that provided economic development research, strategy and marketing advice, to states and communities across the South. He also served as economic development policy advisor to the Southern Governors Association.

Before coming to Southern Growth, Ted was a practicing economic developer for 28 years. From 2000-2008, he served as Executive Vice President and COO for the Research Triangle Regional Partnership. During his eight years directing RTRP’s operation he worked with hundreds of clients and helped generate 65,000 new jobs and almost $10 billion in investment.