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IBTTA Remembers Neil Gray

Celebrating the Life of Neil Gray

On Thursday, September 3rd, the IBTTA family joined Neil’s children Christina (Tina) and James (Jamie) and their family for an Open House to celebrate the amazing life of Neil Gray. 

Neil’s passing has left a huge hole in all of our hearts and in our industry. But in the spirit of what Neil would want, we had celebration of his life in a fun and uplifting way. There was storytelling, reminiscing, and celebrating -- it was a sendoff ft for a Scottish king – or Pirate!  Aaaarrrr!    If you'd like to share a story, anecdote, photo or playful moment that exemplifies what Neil meant to you, please email anything and everything to Wanda Klayman (wklayman@ibtta.org).  This will come in handy when we stand before the court of Scottish/Pirate justice to defend Neil’s life.  

 

 

 

The tolling and transportation industries lost a dear friend...

with the sudden passing of Neil Gray, IBTTA’s Government Affairs Director from 1993 through 2020.  Neil was 60.

Neil was a dear friend and colleague to many in the IBTTA family and throughout the transportation community in Washington, DC and around the world. For more than 40 years, Neil shaped surface transportation policy and served the members at three vital transportation associations.

Neil was one of the most kind, decent, honest, generous, and knowledgeable persons you could ever meet. He was the heart and soul of IBTTA as well as the institutional memory of the association and the tolling industry. Neil was a student of history, especially the history of the tolling industry. If anyone had a question about tolling – whether a member of IBTTA or a staff person to a Member of Congress – Neil knew the answer (or knew where to find it) and was always willing to share his knowledge freely, generously, and with a view towards building wider understanding and common ground.

Neil was serious about tolling and transportation, but he also had a playful side. Halloween was Neil’s favorite holiday and it wasn’t uncommon to see him running around the office in an inflatable dinosaur costume or stepping off the elevator dressed as a medieval knight complete with chainmail and sword.  And he frequently honored his Scottish heritage by wearing a kilt to the office and during IBTTA meetings.

At IBTTA over the last 27 years, Neil worked to promote a better Congressional understanding about the mechanisms and value of toll financing as a response to declining state and federal funding. He advocated for broader acceptance of innovative financing concepts by the U.S. DOT and state legislatures. For more than 10 years, he led IBTTA’s efforts to achieve nationwide interoperability of electronic toll collection. He also worked closely with Congressional staff on the details and passage of five transportation reauthorization bills.

Before joining IBTTA, Neil was the Director of Government Relations for the Highway Users Federation for Safety and Mobility (now the American Highway Users Alliance), a national coalition of highway interests focusing on federal fuel tax policies, alternative fuels, energy exploration, and other issues. From 1975 through 1987, he held positions with the National Asphalt Pavement Association, culminating in his role as Director of Government Relations. In this position, he represented highway contractors and equipment suppliers with a primary focus on highway funding, energy, and taxation issues as well as labor relations and disadvantaged business enterprises. 

In 2001, Neil served as President of the Road Gang, an informal group of business and government executives, highway engineers, consultants, and trade association officials from the highway transportation industry in Washington, D.C. In 2009, the Road Gang presented Neil with the Dan Hanson Award for outstanding service to the organization and industry.

Neil is survived by his mother Mary, brother David, children Christina and Jamie, and his longtime partner Beth Coleman.   Send your condolences to:

The Gray Family 
12415 Rustic Hill Drive
Bowie, MD 20715


Neil's life gave us memories too beautiful to forget.