Distinguished Service Award - Dave Blackburn

Dave Blackburn

Dave earned a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Economics and Master of Business Administration in Marketing from Oklahoma State University. He started working with Koch Materials Company in 1985 and continued until 1998. He briefly worked at Equilong/Equiva Trading until he joined Asphalt Materials, Inc in Indianapolis, IN. Dave served as President of AMI until July 2018.

For the Asphalt Institute (AI), he served as chair in 2013 – just over a year after the IARC monograph on asphalt was completed in 2011. The final IARC report came out during Dave’s tenure. While the outcome was generally favorable for the industry, much work was done to help members and our industry understand the results and the implications worldwide. Dave’s leadership saw AI through this critical time.

Having weathered much of the economic landscape at the time and knowing that the IARC monograph effort was finally behind us, Dave’s approach was to take the AI message to our largest members – a major undertaking as ten members were visited at their headquarters over the course of his year as chair. Much was discussed during these visits including sustainability of asphalt, specification convergence, crude and slate changes and effects on quality, IARC outcome discussions, AI laboratory efforts to support the industry, organizational decision making and transparency, and promotional activities to name a few. The conversations sparked the first long range focus shift in AI’s strategic direction since the early IARC preparation years and directly impacted the reduction in the HSE assessment to the present 1.2 cents per ton for producer members.

To say that Dave’s initiative to visit the members was key to retaining many of them is an understatement – several treasured the opportunity to dialog about their concerns for the future of the industry and the direction we’d take organizationally following IARC’s monograph publication. These conversations were a needed catalyst for a deeper engagement with our members.

Dave also served as chair on the Marketing Committee, Public Policy and Relationship Committee and the Finance Committee, and served many years on the Personnel Advisory Committee, Executive Committee and Board of Directors as well as various Asphalt Pavement Alliance committees.

For the Foundation, Dave has chaired the Marketing and Communications Committee, co-chaired the Golf Task Force and served on the Education Committee. He presently serves on the Foundation’s Board of Directors.

He was nominated to receive the AI’s Emeritus status in 2021. Dave’s many years of service and leadership to our industry, the Asphalt Institute and its foundation is unquestionable.