2012 Spring Conference Proceedings

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

12-SP-Mayor 2 Mayor
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Mayor Buddy Dyer (Orlando, Florida) and Mayor Jim Suttle, P.E. (Omaha, Nebraska) join forces to tell us how to improve our municipal portfolios. And they should know, because both these big-city mayors know us! Buddy Dyer earned his BS in civil engineering from Brown University. Jim Suttle was vice chair of HDR. They discuss the challenges associated with municipal funding and the consultant-selection process, identify noteworthy project opportunities, and ways your firm can differentiate itself to win significant projects without marginalization. GBA’s Joel Carson (Kleinfelder) moderates, asking a series of questions pertaining to challenges of the economy, consultant selection, current geoprofessional needs and trends for U.S. cities, how to differentiate a firm and avoid commoditization / marginalization, and steps that are key to winning significant projects. (50 minutes)

12-SP-Successful Ownership Transition: Critical-Path Decisions
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You can’t manage your exit strategy alone. If it’s going to be successful, you have to prepare your people to help manage it, too. And that’s precisely the focus of this session, where Colvin Matheson, CFA – the founder and managing director of Matheson Financial Advisors, Inc. – discusses the principal success variables to position your firm for a successful internal or external transition. This fast-paced presentation focuses on key drivers of several successful strategies and then seeks to engage participants about their own views and experience on what works and what doesn’t. A boutique corporate financial-advisory firm, Matheson Financial Advisors performs business valuations and provides fairness opinions, strategic-capitalization reviews, internal-ownership transition consulting, ESOPs, equity-incentive plans, and mergers and acquisitions representation. (64 minutes)

12-SP-Developing Future Leaders
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Are your firm’s professional-development and mentoring programs aligned with the firm’s overall objectives? Do you know whom you will transition firm ownership to, or who will take over the responsibilities for a major client when you move on? Our panelists discuss their respective programs and experiences from small-, medium-, and large-firm perspectives, as well as the perspective of a new leader who has recently been through a leadership-development program. Hear what these folks have to say and you’ll take away successful examples you can apply to energize your staff and inspire your future leaders. Lee R. James, CPA, CMC, CBI (Lee James & Associates, Inc.) moderates a panel comprising GAI Consultants, Inc.’s Assistant Vice President and Chief Human Resources/Safety Officer David A. “Dave” Mollish; principal and founding owner of GeoConcepts Engineering, Inc. Tadeusz W. “Ted” Lewis, P.E.; Geotechnical Services, Inc. President Charles “Chuck” Brewer, P.G.; and Matthew “Matt” Moler, P.E., engineering department manager at S&ME, Inc. (35 minutes)

12-SP-Employee Engagement
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Bob Kelleher (The Employee Engagement Group) is the author of Louder Than Words, the critically acclaimed book regarded as a “call to arms” for leadership teams. Bob’s keynote will emphasises that engagement must stand the test of time, in both boom and recessionary times. He reinforces the ten key steps necessary to sustain an engaged culture, improve business results, and maintain credibility with employees, while also reinforcing the concept that success involves the “mutual commitment” of both leadership and employees. An in-demand speaker, Bob has addressed groups all over the world, has been featured on CNBC and CBS Radio, and has been written about by Business Week, Forbes, and Fortune. Bob was formerly the chief human capital officer for AECOM, where he spearheaded award-winning employee engagement programs and initiatives. (145 minutes)

12-SP-Benefits of Developing a Creative/Innovative Culture in Your Firm
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What do the American Society of Civil Engineers, Indiana Department of Natural Resources, and Daimler Chrysler have in common? Stuart G. Walesh, P.E., an independent management consultant. Stuart advocates for innovative thinking and begins his address by focusing on obstacles to creativity, then the tools that individuals and teams can use to take a whole-brain approach to addressing issues, solving problems, and pursuing opportunities. (72 minutes)

12-SP-Construction of Mickey’s Hat
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Preparing to launch the 100 Years of Magic Celebration honoring Walt Disney’s 100th birthday, Walt Disney World Resorts created a new park icon for Disney’s Hollywood Studios: A giant Mickey’s sorcerer hat that stands proudly at the end of Hollywood Boulevard, in front of Mann’s Chinese Theatre. As the design phase wound down, engineers realized the structure’s fiberglass panels failed to meet the Florida fire code. This presentation focuses on the emergency-redesign process, and especially the emergency-testing contract with Kleinfelder to provide up-to-the-second laboratory data around the clock in April 2001. You want to know how CoMET services can add value to a project? Ask Michael “Mickey” Mouse, P.E.! (21 minutes)

12-SP-Update on Engineers Without Borders – USA
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Since its incorporation in 2002, EWB-USA has grown from a civil-engineering professor and eight students to an internationally recognized, highly decorated organization of more than 12,000 students, faculty, and professionals. GBA Past President and EWB–USA President Daniel L. Harpstead, P.E. (Kleinfelder) updates us about the activities that have been so critical to EWB–USA’s success and provides information on how we each can make a difference. A senior principal professional for Kleinfelder, Inc., Dan has 30 years’ experience as a geoprofessional, focused principally on challenged sites involving urban fill and environmental remediation. He is well-known for his brownfields-site expertise, including design and construction of foundation systems while preserving environmental containment and cover systems. (21 minutes)

12-SP-Alliance Update (ADSC)
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ADSC-The International Association of Foundation Drilling (ADSC-IAFD) is an international trade association representing the anchored earth-retention, drilled-shaft, and micropile-construction and design industries. Headquartered in Irving, Texas, ADSC comprises 12 active chapters; nine in the United States, two in Canada, and one covering Central America. Members include specialty subcontractors, manufacturers, suppliers, design engineers, and academicians in the public and private sectors. ADSC-IAFD establishes design/construction/equipment standards and specifications; serves as an industry advocate between members and government agencies; promotes safety and quality awareness; provides project-review services; offers field and management training and workshops; funds and conducts pertinent research; promotes ethical practice; funds academic scholarships; and publishes Foundation Drilling magazine. (25 minutes)

12-SP-Wait! What? You want ME to use Social Media?
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LinkedIn. Twitter. YouTube. Slide Rule? Geoprofessionals may find it hard to imagine a world where our day-to-day activities could be conducted via social media. Nonetheless, no matter where you sit within your organization, whether or not you think you can use social media in your job, leveraging new tools and technology should be among your key concerns, just as e-mail was 20 years ago. Although we haven’t (yet!) done a great job telling others about geoprofessionals, the fact is that we’re the professionals who make our world a clean and manageable space by combining traditional and new technologies. This is the newest communications technology and we need to understand it. Think about this: It took radio 38 years to hit 50 million users; it took TV 13 years. The Internet? 4 years; iPod, 3 years; Facebook 2 years. Social media give us the ability to tell our story faster, more economically, and more effectively than ever before, providing we use it. We cannot maximize our importance and value to the marketplace without it! (24 minutes)