The International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association (IBTTA), the worldwide association representing toll facility owners and operators and the businesses that serve them, honored Earl J. “Buddy” Croft III, Executive Director of the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority (RITBA) with the association’s Lifetime Honorary Membership Award at a ceremony last week in Baltimore, Maryland.

“I am honored to be recognized for this prestigious achievement by my colleagues with the International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association,” said Croft. “Over the last several decades of service, I have seen the tolling industry change and evolve in exciting new ways. Tolling and transportation leaders are striving to meet the demands of our customers. We have delivered world class transportation and mobility to customers not only throughout Rhode Island, but across the country and the globe. I thank IBTTA and my fellow colleagues in the industry for this important recognition.”

On Tuesday, October 16th during IBTTA’s 86th Annual Meeting & Exhibition in Baltimore, Maryland, IBTTA Executive Director and CEO Patrick D. Jones presented the award bestowing the honor of lifetime membership to Rhode Island’s Buddy Croft.

“Buddy’s lifetime of service to the tolling industry has been invaluable to our association and we’re honored to be able to recognize his years of leadership with this prestigious Lifetime Honorary Membership Award,” said Patrick D. Jones, Executive Director and CEO of IBTTA. “The Lifetime Honorary Membership Award is the highest honor our association can bestow on a member and speaks to the special place Buddy occupies in the history of transportation and tolling. The people of Rhode Island and drivers throughout the country have benefited because of Buddy Croft’s leadership and on behalf of our worldwide membership we thank him for his distinguished and dedicated service.”

Earl J. “Buddy” Croft III is the Executive Director for the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority, where he is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority.

Previously Croft was the Chief of Staff of the Rhode Island Family Court, where he was responsible for supervision of approximately 150 employees, as well as overseeing a budget, personnel, public relations, grant funding and administrative matters of Court. He also served as the Drug Court and Truancy Court Coordinator and the Director of Intergovernmental Relations.
Buddy serves on the Executive Board of the E-ZPass Interagency Group and is a Past President of IBTTA. Buddy served previously as the Vice Chairman for the National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP) and the Chair, Fundraising/Development Committee for NADCP. He holds a BA in Political Science from Providence College. Buddy has four children,
eleven grandchildren and resides in Rhode Island with his wife, Shelly.

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Ryan Belmore has been the Owner & Publisher of What's Up Newp since 2012. He also currently works for Mountain News, where he serves as Senior Editor - North America for OnTheSnow. He previously worked for the New England Patriots and American Cancer Society. He currently serves as Vice President of Fort Adams Trust and is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers and North American Snowsports Journalists Association (NASJA).