2012 Fall Conference Proceedings

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These videos were produced when the Geoprofessional Business Association was known as ASFE.

12-FA-Creating Your Own Crystal Ball: Scenario Planning Made Practical
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Learn to use the process executive leaders apply to imagine alternative futures and so help develop effective strategy. How could the economy affect your firm? What about the election? What can you do to be prepared either way, so all your eggs don’t go into the one proverbial basket? Learn from the pros: Rod Hoffman, P.E. and Barb Smith. Rod is co-founder and CEO of S&H Consulting, an A/E management consulting firm. He previously served as senior vice president and director of strategic planning and acquisitions for HDR. Barb Smith is co-founder and president of S&H Consulting. Before working with S & H she served as an HR and training manager for Texaco and Shell. (86 minutes)

12-FA-Being Safe in a Risky Business
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Why do clients care so much about safety? Why do they ask for so much data? What’s the role of workers’ compensation and EMR? Can you afford to not care? How much will it cost to care? What does a good safety program look like? What is the firm’s existing safety culture? How does OSHA select job sites for inspection? What are some of the best resources available? And a whole lot more! This is material you really need to know; safety is becoming steadily more important. Our speaker is Donald A. “Don” Kubik Jr., P.G., CIH, a Western Regional Health, Safety, and Environment (HSE) Manager for AMEC Environment and Infrastructure, Inc. Don has more than 25 years of uniquely diverse experience in the environmental and health-and-safety/industrial-hygiene field, as well as experience managing and conducting environmental and geotechnical field projects and managing corporate HSE operations. (70 minutes)

12-FA-Keeping Female Consultants in the Workforce
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About four of every ten female engineers leave engineering. Why? Because the profession requires too much travel, too little advancement, not enough salary, an unwelcoming workplace climate and culture, heavy-handed management, and sacrifice of family time. But a 40% turnover rate? Is it even worthwhile for companies to recruit and develop female geoprofessionals? This important issue will be addressed by Shelley Frost, P.E., P.G., who used her Fundamentals of Professional Practice (FOPP) research assignment to examine the benefits, policies, and cultural experiences that affect female geoprofessionals in selected Northeastern states, and – in particular – the benefits and policies that female geoprofessionals found most important for staying the course. Shelley is a senior engineer with New England EnviroStrategies, Inc., where she specializes in cost allocation, water-resources development, and investigation and 3-D visualization of subsurface characteristics. (28 minutes)

12-FA-Hydraulic Fracturing: A Panel Discussion
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Hydraulic fracturing – “fracking” – will save our nation, some say. Others say it will destroy it. Controversial? You bet! And we have put together a top-flight panel to discuss the current and developing issues affecting the practice. On the agenda: the regulatory landscape, environmental challenges, business opportunities, and litigation and case law created by hydraulic fracturing. Michael “Mike” Covert, P.G. (Terracon), vice chair of GBA’s Environmental Business Council, moderates the discussion. Mike is Terracon’s National Director of Environmental Services, responsible for overseeing environmental operations in more than 100 offices throughout the U.S. The panelists include two eminently qualified individuals: Gail L. Wurtzler, Esq. is a partner of the Davis Graham & Stubbs, LLP law firm in Denver. She has more than 20 years’ experience and has served as the lead defense lawyer in more than 20 toxic-tort, personal-injury, and medical-monitoring cases and more than 25 toxic-tort property-damage cases. Advising clients and their consultants about interactions with regulators is an important component of her practice. Muthukumarappan “Kumar” Ramurthy is a Technology Manager with Halliburton’s Tech Team in Denver. He has more than 14 years’ experience with Halliburton and is the author or coauthor of several papers, including “Coalbed Methane-Principles and Practices” and “Unconventional Reservoir Stimulation: CBM and Shales.” (51 minutes)

12-FA-Think Global, Act Local
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Think global and act local is exactly what we need to do if we’re to overcome the commoditization and marginalization that geoprofessionals must confront every day. We have to win the war by changing attitudes, one client representative at a time. And for every conversion you achieve, all geoprofessionals benefit…but you and your firm benefit most of all. GBA’s External Relations Committee is ready to help and Victor R. “Vic” Donald, P.E. will tell us how. Terracon’s National Director of Geotechnical Services, Vic says that the commoditization/marginalization battle is one that he wages every day, and frequently wins! Winning is not nearly as difficult as some assume, providing you know what’s available, how to use each tool and for whom it’s appropriate, and – of course – just do it! (19 minutes)

12-FA-Successes in Social Media
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Fact: Social media like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are not at all flashes in the pan. They give us the ability to tell our story faster, more economically, and potentially more effectively than ever before. Can your firm benefit from leveraging these platforms? Yes, and this engaging presentation will show you how by highlighting business-success stories using one or all of the three major social-media platforms. (41 minutes)

12-FA-Understanding P3 Risks
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Public-private partnerships – P3s – are an effective means for developing much-needed state- and local-government infrastructure projects. While P3 may be a boon to the agencies that benefit from their construction, they carry huge risks for geoprofessional firms. These include “the usual suspects”: unanticipated conditions, design defects, delays, and disputes. But P3 carries even more risks, like what happens if the project is cancelled or the expected income (potentially tens of millions of toll dollars) is lost? David J. Hatem, Esq. will explain some of these risks and how GBA-Member Firms can manage them. A long-time GBA Consultant Member, David is a founding partner of Donovan Hatem LLP, a Boston-based law firm. David is nationally recognized for his expertise in professional-practice issues, especially those related to major subsurface projects. (71 minutes)