Baxter Burns, President of Ergon Asphalt & Emulsions received the Asphalt Institute Roll of Honor Award on December 8, 2021. According to the Asphalt Institute, this award is presented to those who "have contributed tremendously to the asphalt industry through either sustained technical achievement or through the substantial contribution of leadership."

Over four decades following his epiphany that improving infrastructure would be his vocation, Baxter has led the charge to improve America’s infrastructure through the development of innovative technologies and education on best practices.

If the Hard Hat Fits …

If you've ever asked children what they wanted to be when they grew up, they likely gave you one of the typical answers like a doctor, lawyer, police officer, firefighter or the infamous President of the United States. Very seldom, if ever, did you hear a child mention contracting. That is, unless you just so happened to ask a nine-year-old Baxter Burns.

Following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather, Baxter could be found on several occasions in his youth driving a pickup truck back and forth in his driveway, pretending to be a contractor. “My dad’s friends would come over to the house and I would get in their trucks wearing a hard hat like I was a contractor,” said Baxter. “There was no doubting the line of work I would be in.

The Push for Pavement Preservation

Baxter has played a vital role in helping agencies understand best practices for better road networks throughout the U.S. He has been instrumental in helping to push the concept of pavement preservation to extend the life cycles of roadways. In 1998, during the first national meeting on pavement preservation, Baxter helped create the strategy for introducing this concept to industry stakeholders and educating them on resulting long-term performance and cost benefits. He has since remained committed to his involvement in lobbying, educational and marketing efforts on both the state and local levels in hopes of pavement preservation becoming an even more common and widespread practice.

An Industry Leader

Baxter has held key positions in numerous industry organizations throughout his career, including Vice President (1993-1994) and President (1994-1995) of the Asphalt Emulsions Manufacturers Association, Chair of Asphalt Institute (2003 and 2012), President of the Foundation for Pavement Preservation (2010 -2011), and member of the National Center for Pavement Preservation Advisory Board (2005-2011).

Baxter was inducted into the Asphalt Emulsion Manufacturers Association Hall of Fame in 2017.