Meeting Archive:
TIGER Grants and Rural America: Part 2

Meeting Description:
Join us for the second of a two-part webinar series on the Department of Transportation's Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) Grants and Rural America. Smart Growth America has partnered with the American Public Transportation Association, the National Association of Development Organizations, the National League of Cities, PolicyLink, Reconnecting America, Rural Assembly, and Transportation for America to help rural communities submit superior TIGER applications. After a successful first webinar that provided an overview of the TIGER program for rural communities, this webinar will explore in-depth the various aspects of the TIGER application process. First, Matt Ward a Grant Writing Partner and Sustainable Strategies Team Leader at The Ferguson Group will share how to go through a federal grant application as well as tips to make the application competitive. Next Jack Wells, the Chief Economist at the United States Department of Transportation will present the USDOT’s criteria for Benefit-Cost Analysis, a critical component of the TIGER application. Carol Coyle, the Grant Coordinator for the City of McCall, Idaho will showcase how her rural community has been successful in bringing in federal funds. Finally, John Robert Smith, the Co-Chairman of Transportation for America will discuss how to form regional partnerships for a TIGER project. Roger Millar, Director of Smart Growth America’s Leadership Institute, will moderate the webinar.
Date: Wed, Aug 31, 2011
Time: 02:00 PM EDT
Duration: 1 hour
Host(s): Smart Growth America
 Presenter Information
Matt Ward, Partner at The Ferguson Group
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Matt Ward is a partner with the national government affairs firm The Ferguson Group (TFG), the leading advocacy organization for local governments in the country.  Matt is also an Of Counsel lawyer with the environmental law firm Somach, Simmons & Dunn. 

Matt has served as national policy director to a number of organizations including the National Association of Local Government Environmental Professionals, the National Association of Towns and Townships, the Climate Communities coalition, the Mayors Automotive Coalition, and the American Waterfront Revitalization Coalition.  He joined TFG in 2005 after being a partner at the Washington, D.C. law firm Spiegel & McDiarmid, where he provided advocacy consulting to communities for more than a decade.   He has co-authored many works in the field of urban planning as well as numerous articles in journals and magazines. Matt served as a city councilman and planning commission director in his hometown of Charles Town, WV for more than a decade. 

Jack Wells, Chief Economist at the U.S. Department of Transportation
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Jack Wells serves as the Chief Economist at the USDOT.  His major focus has been on finding ways to use economic analysis to make the transportation system more efficient.           

For the past two years, he has focused particularly on analyzing the impact of investments in transportation infrastructure on economic recovery, job creation, and economic competitiveness, particularly export expansion.  He has also led the Department’s economic analysis of high-speed rail investments.

He has previously served as

  • Chief Economist at the Bureau of Transportation Statistics
  • Deputy Administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration Minority Staff Director of the House Subcommittee on Railroads
  • Staff Director of the Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight of the House Public Works and Transportation Committee
  • Assistant Professor of Economics at George Mason University
  • Economist at the U.S. General Accounting Office

 Mr. Wells has a B.A. from Harvard and a Ph.D. from Yale, both in Economics.

John Robert Smith, Co-Chairman, Transportation for America
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John Robert Smith is the former Mayor of Meridian, Mississippi, and a long-time leader on behalf of passenger rail. He is co-chairman of Transportation for America, a former Chairman of Amtrak’s board, and a former member of the transportation committees of the National League of Cities and the U.S. Conference of Mayors, as well as former co-chairman of the National Forum on the Future of Passenger Rail. He is a veteran of the station-centered community development movement, and led the drive to renovate the City of Meridian’s Union Station, a $7 million historic restoration project that created a new multimodal transportation center, dramatically increased use of the station, raised property values and city tax receipts, and lowered crime in the station's neighborhood. He served on Reconnecting America’s board for five years, and was a founding partner and board member of Reconnecting America’s predecessor organization, the Great American Station Foundation.


Carol Coyle, Grant Coordinator for the City of McCall, Idaho
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Carol Coyle is the Grant Coordinator for the City of McCall, Idaho. She has an M.S. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Idaho. Since 2001, she has helped the City receive approximately $4.3 million in grant funding from federal, state, and private sources.  Funded projects have included planning grants, environmental assessments, facility improvements, energy efficiency projects, land acquisition, parks, transit, road, sewer, and water improvements, law enforcement enhancements, urban forestry, and improved library and recreation programs. In addition to grant research and submitting applications, Carol has served as grant administrator and project manager for a number of funded projects.  She is a certified Block Grant Administrator through the Idaho Department of Commerce.