The Great Lakes Region (formerly known as Region 1) was founded and held its first formal meeting on July 22, 2005 at the Foxfire Golf Club in Lockbourne, Ohio, prior to the Central Ohio Section’s Annual Golf Outing. The Region consisted of Central Dacotah, Central Ohio, Cuyahoga Valley, Derby City, Lake Erie, Northwest Ohio, TRIKO Valley and Western Reserve Sections. The following ASHE members were in attendance at this meeting:
- Robert Hochevar, Region 1 National Director / Cuyahoga Valley Section
- David Jones, Past National President / Central Ohio Section
- Frank O’Hare, Central Ohio Regional Representative
- John McGeorge, Central Ohio President
- Bonnie Teeuwen, Lake Erie President
- John Motl, Lake Erie Regional Representative
- Pat Welsh, Cuyahoga Valley / Western Reserve Regional Representative
- Pete Bick, Northwest Ohio President
- Mike Thompson, TRIKO Valley President
- Jim Collins, TRIKO Valley Past President
- Julie Burkert, Western Reserve Secretary / Treasurer
- John Coy, Western Reserve President
During this first formal meeting the initial structure of the region was established and tasked with enhancing communication and coordination between ASHE National and the Sections. The following officers were elected to the Region 1 board:
Secretary / Treasurer
Region 1 traditionally held three meetings per year where the board worked together on various initiatives to grow and establish Regional functions. These meetings were held at the annual Ohio Transportation Engineering Conference (OTEC) in October, during January or February at various locations in Columbus and at the Central Ohio Section’s Annual Golf Outing in July. During the tenure of Region 1, the Derby City was chartered in 2006 and the Western Reserve Section was dissolved May 1, 2008.
On June 1, 2010, ASHE National reorganized the regional structure and Region 1 was transitioned to the Great Lakes Region which would geographically serve the states of Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin. At the time of the reorganization the Sections included Central Ohio, Cuyahoga Valley, Derby City, Lake Erie, Northwest Ohio and TRIKO Valley. In addition to collaborating with the Sections within the geographic boundaries of the Great Lakes Region, the Region also facilitates communication and acts as the parent region with the Central Dacotah Section of the North Central Region, as they are currently the only chartered Section in that Region.
In January 2014, the Great Lakes Region reorganized the structure of its board to include various standing committees that closely matched the ASHE National Board’s structure. The following committees were established in 2018:
- Budget / Audit
- New Membership Database
- New sections
- Public Relations
- Region Awards
- Student Membership
- Technical / Scanner
In 2019, the Great Lakes Region consisted of eight sections located in Ohio and Kentucky including Central Ohio, Cuyahoga Valley, Derby City, Lake Erie, Northwest Ohio, TRIKO Valley and Bluegrass. These eight Sections included over 860 members from all sectors of the highway industry. Sections within the region held monthly or bimonthly meetings with a wide range of topics in the highway industry. Most of the sections held social events such as golf tournaments, seminars, etc. which help support their local scholarship programs.
The Great Lakes Region (and the North Central Region) has been proud to host six National Conferences since its inception:
1992 ASHE National Conference: The Central Ohio section hosted the 1993 ASHE National Conference in Columbus, Ohio.
2000 ASHE National Conference: The Central Dacotah section (North Central Region) hosted the 2000 ASHE National Conference in Bismarck, North Dakota.
2003 ASHE National Conference: The Cuyahoga Valley section hosted the 2003 ASHE National Conference in Akron, Ohio.
2014 ASHE National Conference: The Central Dacotah section (North Central Region) hosted the 2014 ASHE National Conference in Bismarck, North Dakota.
2010 ASHE National Conference: The Great Lakes Region, in conjunction with the TRIKO Valley Section, hosted the 2010 National Conference in Cincinnati, Ohio from June 9 through June 12. The National Board meeting was hosted on June 13. Events included golf, a Cincinnati Reds baseball game, an Ohio riverboat cruise, as well as a full technical day of technical sessions and many technical tours.
2018 ASHE National Conference: The Lake Erie Section hosted the 2018 National Conference in Cleveland, Ohio. The 2018 National Conference was the 60th anniversary of the National Organization. The conference was held on May 17-20, 2018 at the Westin Cleveland Downtown with 576 registered attendees. Notable conference actives included a Friday night off-site event at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum followed by a reception at the Corner Alley, informative technical sessions and tours highlighting local and national infrastructure, a guest program that highlights Cleveland area attractions including the museums in University Circle, the Pro-Football Hall of Fame, local breweries and our Metroparks system.
Annually the Great Lakes Region hosts an All-Region ASHE lunch meeting at OTEC where ASHE members and Section leaders from across the Region are able to network and share experiences. The meeting traditionally hosts the ASHE National President, which provides a unique opportunity for the Section members to meet the National President and hear about President’s and organizations goals. The lunch meeting also provides an opportunity to award and celebrate the Regional Projects of the Year.
The Great Lakes Region is proud to be the first Region to implement a formal Project of the Year program, which was established in 2010. The Project of the Year Award recognizes unique and significant projects that were completed during the previous year by ASHE members. Each Section is provided an opportunity to submit a project for consideration for the Regional Award. The Region recognizes two projects – one with a construction cost under $5 million and one with a cost over $5 million. The success of the Great Lakes Region awards program led to the establishment of a committee, led by the Great Lakes Region, to develop the National Project of the Year Awards that were first awarded at the 2017 New York City National Conference. Each year the winner of the Regional award is forwarded to ASHE National for consideration of the National Award.
Since the establishment of the Great Lakes Region, Sections have increased their exposure with Universities promoting careers within the highway industry. Sections have developed relationships with the University of Akron, the University of Cincinnati, Cleveland State University and Case Western Reserve University by offering discounted membership costs and free meeting attendance and by attending various career fairs to meet students. Most influential though are the Sections scholarship programs that directly benefit students interested in transportation engineering which has awarded over $120,000 total dollars to students.
Since the establishment of the Great Lakes Region, there have been both Sections that have been chartered as well as Sections that have been dissolved. On August 14, 2015, the Circle City Section of Indianapolis, Indiana (chartered January 28, 2010) was dissolved due to ongoing lack of engagement and leadership. During 2017, the Bluegrass Section of Lexington, Kentucky was chartered. Moving forward the Regional Board is exploring ways to restart the Circle City Section as well as potentially charter a Section in Detroit, Michigan.
Since 2005, the Great Lakes Region has been led by several dedicated ASHE members to advance the mission of the organization. The following is a listing of the Region Presidents that have volunteered their service:
2005 – 2007
2007 – 2010
2010 – 2013
2013 – 2016
2016 – 2019
2019 – Present
(Moved to National Director Position in 2007)
(Moved to National Director Position in 2015)
(former National Director 2010 – 2015)