Joe Milazzo II, PE

RTA Executive Director

Joe serves as Executive Director of the Regional Transportation Alliance. RTA is the voice of the regional business community on transportation in the Research Triangle region of North Carolina.

Joe directs the regional business community’s leadership and advocacy efforts on transportation issues, policy, and strategy. Joe and the RTA unite the regional business community and connect the public and private sectors to accelerate transportation solutions essential for economic success.

Under Joe’s leadership as RTA executive director since 2002, the RTA has successfully advocated for the construction, enhancement, and advancement of more than 250 miles of freeway worth more than $3 billion, three successful countywide transit referenda, a new statewide low-cost mobility fund, and the launch of a new transatlantic flight.

Joe’s primary roles and focuses with RTA are to:

  • Advance the business community’s transportation priorities and drive the regional agenda forward, in concert with more than 100 RTA member companies and more than 20 member chambers of commerce
  • Direct the voice of the organized regional business community on transportation issues and priorities through the purposeful development and deployment of RTA strategy and policy, and
  • Engage elected and transportation officials at the local, regional, state, and federal level, as well as civic, business, and media organizations

Joe has guided the RTA to exponential growth, with the coalition now including more than 125 of the leading businesses, universities, and transportation partners across our market. The number of major investors ($5,000 annually and higher) has doubled to 30+ companies since 2013, and the RTA now includes more than 20 member chambers of commerce across central North Carolina.

Joe holds master’s degrees in both business management and civil engineering from North Carolina State University and a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Pennsylvania State University. He has been a licensed professional engineer in North Carolina for more than 20 years, and a registered lobbyist in North Carolina for more than 15 years.

Joe serves on the Rethinking Southern Cities regional initiative council for the Urban Land Institute (ULI) Carolinas district, and the Transportation Committee for the ULI Triangle chapter.

He served as a member of The Conference Table, an advisory committee for the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau, and is a past board member of the Triangle Advertising Federation (“Triangle AdFed”, an affiliated club of the American Advertising Federation/AAF).

He has served on the strategic initiatives council of the NC Section of the Institute of Transportation Engineers and was previously recognized as the young professional of the year for NCSITE.

Joe was a past chair of the Young Executives Forum of NC Citizens for Business and Industry (the predecessor to the NC Chamber of Commerce) and a founding member of MBA Alumni Board at NC State University. He is a current member of Leadership North Carolina class XXVII.

Joe and his wife, Claire, have three children and live in Cary. Joe served as the chair of St. Michael the Archangel Catholic School Advisory Council in Cary from 2015 to 2017, serving a parish of approximately 15,000 members.

Contact Joe at 919.664.7065 or or follow him via Twitter at @RTATriangle or @JoeMilazzoII. You also can read Joe’s perspectives on the RTA blog, available here.

Natalie Griffith Ridout

RTA Policy and Member Engagement Director

Natalie serves as the Policy and Member Engagement Director for the Regional Transportation Alliance business coalition.  She coordinates organization management and engagement through communication, marketing, and membership and community outreach.

Natalie works to effectively demonstrate RTA’s mission, objectives, and accomplishments which allow RTA to fully engage stakeholders and provide valuable opportunities for the regional business community. She has helped coordinate meetings with transportation professionals from across the country, as well as state and federal leaders and elected officials to advance transportation in the Triangle.

Natalie is a graduate of the 31st Leadership Raleigh class of the Raleigh Chamber.

Natalie has been a member of the RTA staff since 2011, and previously served as RTA Marketing and Policy Manager and RTA Operations Manager. She is a graduate of N.C. State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication, and is currently completing a Master of Professional Studies in Community and Economic Development at Penn State.

Natalie remains focused on enhancing RTA program awareness, involvement, and success in order to help progress transportation in our region.

Contact Natalie at 919.664-7062 or