Mike Heiligenstein: An Individual Who Works Hard For The Growth Of Austin


May 25th, 2017

In Viewpoint Editorial’s September 3rd issue, the American-Statesman confronted the issue of traffic congestion in Austin. However, with the help from Central Texas Regional Mobility, Austin can reduce traffic congestion by creating tolled roads. When agency implemented its first toll road 183A, it minimized traffic congestion in both tolled lanes as well as non-toll roads. With building MoPac Express Lanes, our intent is the make people’s commutes more predictable and reliable. Working alongside Metropia, MoPac will integrate a traffic app keeping people updated with the latest traffic conditions. As a result, it will prevent people from running late and allowing them to reach their destination with ease.


Another addition to reducing congestion, we’re working with Carma, a carpool app, to increase the amount of people who carpool. That will lead to less cars being on the road allowing for smoother travels for the population. Where it’s possible, Mobility Authority will build Shared Used Paths to allow bikers and pedestrians to reach their destination. In cases of emergencies, Mobility Authority plans on creating a free roadside assistance program for motorists with help from the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization. Although Mobility Authority doesn’t have all the answers, it plans on implementing the solutions it does have.


Mike Heiligenstein is the Executive Director of the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority. Mike has served the Mobility Authority since 2003. He saw Mobility Authority grow from a startup to a recognized national leader in toll road operations. Alongside his work with the Mobility Authority, he’s been a public official for 30 years. First he was a Round Rock City Council Member and then he was a Williamson County Commissioner. During his time serving, he focused on infrastructure projects that included transportation, major parkland acquisitions and the development of the Bushy Creek Regional Trail.


He also contributed to the regional air quality initiative when he was the chair or the Clean Air Force. He currently serves on the board of the Texas Transportation Institute as well as the International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association. His service to the public is in making transportation as seamless as possible while also contributing to the overall wellbeing of the Austin community.



Great interview:

Here is a new release regarding Texas spending:  http://www.chron.com/news/transportation/article/Flush-with-cash-TxDOT-still-looking-for-toll-11090442.php

“With all the restrictions we have now on transportation, we may have to rely on (comprehensive development agreements) or put these projects on hold,”
– Mike Heiligenstein, executive director of the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority


Mike Heiligenstein is Executive Director of Austin’s Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority in, Texas. This autonomous government agency was designed in 2002 to design a contemporary, regional transportation network for Texas. The current and future projects of Mobility Authority are primary elements in a multi-modal, carefully planned transportation system designed to meet the dissimilar mobility needs of this region that is growing at a rapid pace. Heiligenstein has been with this authority since its inception. He has overseen the expansion of their very first project, 183A in Williamson County. 183A is one of the very first projects in the whole country to transition to all cashless, electronic toll collection. The Authority recently opened Manor Expressway (290 Toll) project and is also constructing



Express Lanes on Loop 1 (MoPac).



Mike currently serves as President of the Tunnel and Turnpike Association. He serves on the Advisory Board of A&M Transportation Institute in addition to numerous several other committees and groups that are dealing with transportation issues. Before taking the controls at the Mobility Authority, Heiligenstein served the Williamson County for more than two decades as a public official.



While many discussions in whole Austin area focus on Austin itself, Williamson County Growth Summit that took place on Thursday was an opportunity to frame challenges about transportation around the needs of suburban communities. The discussion of the whole panel included Mike Heiligenstein, Executive Director of the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority, Joseph Kopser, founder of RideScout LLC, Leandre Johns, External Affairs Director of Uber Technologies Inc. Texas and Jared Ficklin from ArgoDesign, a product designer who has proposed an aerial gondola system for whole Austin. At the event held at the Sheraton Georgetown Texas Hotel & Conference Center, their discussion centered on how technology is changing the face of transportation in the Austin region and across the globe.



Heiligenstein, while noting that modern technologies like ridesharing apps and driverless vehicles could transform transportation infrastructure radically, said that this area still needs to invest so that transportation capacity could grow, particularly by building smarter roads. Mike also mentioned that it is the only way to properly serve the mobility demands of a swiftly growing population where the growth is in the suburbs. Williamson has also done an amazing job of structuring the infrastructure over a decade or so. But you’re still going to have an additional number of individual coming here. It was the nineteenth year of annual Williamson County Growth Summit in the Austin Business Journal.

Follow Mike’s Twitter feed:


Greg Finch Expert Orthopedic Surgeon

Greg Finch has worked in medicine to better the treatments for degenerative disorders at Auckland University, the UK, then Germany and is practicing now in New York. Though he has worked with adults his specilization is for children and now only treats spinal problems that stem from degenerative disorders and scoliosis.


Greg Finch performs detailed spinal revisions and reconstructive surgeries that sometimes include removing tumors found on the spinal cord. As a member of the Australian Spine Society, the North American Spine Society and the Royal Australian College of Surgeon award reciprient, his work has branched out to include the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and the Shriner’s Children’s Hospital.Here are some of the specilties that he has worked on.


– Hip Replacement: The hip replacement invlolves a prosthetic implant procedure and work to relieve the arthritic pain that came from the damage previously done.


– Ankle Replacement: Bone cancer or simple deformaties can cause the need for this procedure. Special attention is placed on reviewing the nerves and vessels that can become damaged from the degeneration over the years.


– Rotator Cuff Tendon: Reattachment of the rotator cuff is an essential part of relieving the pain and pressure which keeps many sufferers incapacitated. This releives that.


These repairs are something that previously people thought could never be fixed. With his efforts now, it is a new start for children that would have been incapacitated for life previously. Greg Finch has helped those children and continues to make strides to chage the lives of countless spinal disabled children. It gives them a new way to grow and thrive. They can move around after the process is completed and enter physical theraphy to begin to lead normal lives. All of this in turn from Greg Finch’s efforts in degen erative diseases that previously crippled children for life.


His efforts are changing the face of Orthopedic Surgery today, one patient at a time. His contribution towards this field are impossible to qualtify as it is making strides still daily. The work is on-going though. It’s an effort that is never truly done. New discoveries in modern medicine work to help children everywhere be cured of degenerative issues and live a normal life.

Andrew Rolfe: Remodeling Ubuntu Operational Philosophy

Led by its chairman, Andrew Rolfe, Ubuntu Fund has adopted a radical yet transformative operational strategy aimed at shifting their services from donor-centered to beneficiary-centered. The decision by the non-governmental charity organization founded by Jacob Lief is informed by the operational restrictions it previously experienced with their old strategy. Like in the case of many charitable organizations, Ubuntu Fund was burdened by the interference of its benefactors. The powerful donors usually influenced the company’s decisions on key issues touching on its founding. They restrict the activities their funds can be used to finance and how such funds are managed. Moreover, they provide intermittent funds on a yearly basis. Even for continuing projects, non-governmental organizations such Ubuntu Fund must reapply for grants. This usually leads to halting of projects and consequently, the beneficiaries are affected negatively. In some cases, these organizations have to deal with individuals appointed by the donors to sit on their boards. Due to differences in mission and goals, these individuals can impede the operations of the organizations.


These are the operational challenges that Ubuntu Fund’s leadership and board of directors headed by Andrew Rolfe aim at offsetting with their new approach. Informed by the fact that donor representatives including Andrew Rolfe can be experienced professionals, they encourage their inclusion in the organization’s management board. However, the company has full control of how the finances donated are used. This allows the company to execute its fundamental objective of helping the needy achieve dreams. It is this operational independence is the core pillar of the Ubuntu model.


Services Offered by Ubuntu Fund


The adoption of the Ubuntu model will ensure that Ubuntu Fund achieve its core goal of improving the quality of life of their beneficiaries. Using the expert insight by the numerous professionals incorporated into its management board, Ubuntu Fund aims at supporting children from needy families to gain access to quality education. This includes offering them financial support to cater for their school fees from primary, secondary to tertiary education. These experts including Andrew Rolfe have also helped the organization provide health services to the needy including tackling HIV/AIDS. The South Africa-based organization primarily operates within the Greater Port Elizabeth Area.