Dean Blake was born in Charleston, WV on June 22, 1939 to Lucien Dean and Maymie Marie Blake, where he and his younger sister, Ann, spent their childhood. A gifted student and all-state athlete, Dean attended Charleston High School, graduating in 1957 as class president. Dean accepted a scholarship to Virginia Tech, where he was a four-year player on the varsity basketball team. He graduated with a degree in Industrial Engineering in 1961. He married the former Judie Young on June 30, 1962.
After graduation, Dean worked for the Department of the Navy in Maryland. Assigned to the Polaris Missile Project, Dean was charged with developing a scheduling and management information system that would encompass the myriad components of this massive project.
Dean accepted the position of Management Analyst for the West Virginia Department of Highways in 1964. Over the next 15 years, Dean dedicated himself to improving efficiencies within the WVDOH, while aggressively pursuing adequate funding for more and better roads. Dean’s accomplishments at WVDOH culminated in his being named the Deputy Commissioner in 1977. As second in command, Dean also served as Chairman of the Governor’s Task Force on Secondary Roads. Under his leadership, the state undertook its most aggressive and fruitful secondary roads program in its history.
Dean became the founding Executive Director of the Flexible Pavements Council (FPC) of West Virginia in 1979. FPC was the first organization in West Virginia dedicated to the promotion and improvement of asphalt. In this role, Dean continued to lead the fight for adequate funding for transportation on both the state and national levels.
Since 1983, Dean has served as the Executive Director of the Plantmix Asphalt Industry of Kentucky (PAIKY), where his mission continues to be to work for a better product, improved quality, and to expand the asphalt market. In his 21 years of service in Kentucky, he has seen many changes in the asphalt industry. From changing economic and political times to the implementation of environmental controls, technical advances, and Superpave, Dean has been an integral voice through the “Asphalt Revolution.”
Dean has been elected twice by his peers to act as chairman of the State Asphalt Pavement Association Executives (SAPAE). The National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA) honored him with its prestigious “Distinguished Service Award.” A former member of NAPA’s Board of Directors, he serves as a 25-year member of their Quality Improvement Committee. Dean is on the Board of Directors of Kentuckians for Better Transportation (KBT), is a past board member for The Road Information Program (TRIP); is a past chapter president of the American Society of Highway Engineers (ASHE). He is a member of the Association of Asphalt Paving Technologists (AAPT), the Highway Advancement Task Force, and UK’s Construction Management Industry Advisory Committee. He is a registered lobbyist and a prolific writer on highway related subjects.
His experience, longevity, and principled leadership have resulted in measurable benefits to the industry and have earned him the respect and admiration of all who know him. He remains committed to his career-long dedication to fight for proper funding for the maintenance and growth of the nation’s all important highway system.
Dean’s community involvement has included being a Little League coach for both his son and daughter’s teams. He also coached church league basketball, girls and boys teams, for 15 years with great success. He taught Sunday school and was on his church’s Building Committee.
Dean and Judie consider their family their greatest blessing. Daughter Jennifer and her husband, Drew Waggener, have two children, Jessica and Scott. Son David and his wife, Lisa, are parents to Haley and Jeremy.