Val Riva 1953-2004

Valentin J. Riva, president and chief executive officer of the American Concrete Pavement Association since 1997, died Sept. 13 of complications after heart surgery in August, the association said. Riva, known as Val, was 50.

Riva was well-known on Capitol Hill and in construction circles in Washington. Speakers at his funeral Sept. 20 in Potomac, Md., included Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle of South Dakota and Rep. James Oberstar of Minnesota, the top Democrat on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta also was among the hundreds who attended the service, said an industry official who was there.

Before taking the top job at ACPA, Riva was the American Road & Transportation Builders Association's general counsel. In a tribute to Riva posted on ACPA's web page, Peter Ruane, ARTBA president and CEO, said Riva's contributions included drafting provisions in surface transportation bills "that created the financial mechanisms that are now driving public-private ventures that are funding transportation projects across America."

Earlier, Riva worked at what is now the National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association, the Associated General Contractors, where he was associate director of the highway division, and the National Association of Government Employees.

He was born in Havana, Cuba, and received a bachelor's degree from the University of Maryland and a law degree from Georgetown University Law Center.

ACPA continues to invite people to write tributes to Riva. More than 20 testimonials already appear on the organization's web page. For mail, fax and email addresses regarding tributes, or for information on condolences and memorial donations, see