2017 Spring Conference Proceedings

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SP17-01 4-3-2-1 Leadership: Tools You Can Use Now!
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Leaders today don’t require “help” that sounds good in a PowerPoint presentation and fades under the heat and pressure of reality. They need tools that hold up when the stakes are high so that they can be better practitioners of their leadership craft. Using his 33 years of experience in leading America’s sons and daughters and providing the right support in the toughest conditions, Major General Vincent E. “Vinny” Boles, USA, Retired, a national hero and noted leadership author, shares 10 time- and battle-tested tools you can use immediately to ensure your “best gets better.”

4-The 4 Expectations teams have of their leaders.
3-The 3 Questions to ask AND answer when leading others.
2-The 2 Reasons for stress in an organization.
1-The 1 Critical thing to focus on when leading. (86 minutes)

SP17-02 DC Clean Rivers Project – An Extraordinary Multi-Faceted CSO Project
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D.C. Water Director Carlton M. Ray, P.E. informs us about the District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority’s Clean Rivers Project for the District’s combined sewer system. This complex project consists of a 13-mile system of tunnels and diversion sewers for the capture of combined sewer overflows (CSOs) that discharge to Rock Creek and the Anacostia and Potomac Rivers for treatment at DC Water’s Blue Plains Advanced Wastewater Treatment Plant. The project also includes the implementation of Green Infrastructure providing benefits beyond traditional sewer solutions. Geoprofessionals are active in the design and construction of the DC Clean River Project. Don’t miss this opportunity to hear about the many lessons learned during the implementation of this extraordinary project. (47 minutes)

SP17-03 Business Practices Committee Business Snapshot Survey
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How do you feel about the state of your practice? Learn how your peers feel about economic conditions and the impact they have on our professional practice. This annual favorite presentation of the Business Snapshot Survey allowed the audience the opportunity to provide input during the presentation on important survey questions affecting our business. Consistent with prior surveys, Matt Moler, P.E. (S&ME, Inc.) shares and compare respondents’ perceptions from past years regarding the state of the economy. (9 minutes)

SP17-04 Employee Retention: How to Keep Your Rising Stars
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Employee retention is one of the three most significant business challenges of GBA-Member Firms. Keeping your best employees is a multifaceted challenge that affects firms of all sizes and disciplines. It’s not all about the money! Retaining talented staff requires balancing individual employees’ needs with their roles in their firm.

As part of this presentation, GBA’s New Leaders’ Committee surveyed a diverse group of member firm employees aimed at individual employee priorities. Victor S. Barchers, P.E. (Kleinfelder, Inc.) and Edward J. “E.J.” Barben, P.E. (Gannett Fleming, Inc.) highlight the areas where firms should focus on developing a proactive approach for retaining the best and brightest geoprofessionals in your firm. (41 minutes)

SP17-05 Affordable Care Act’s Impact: Past, Present, & Future
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Providing health insurance for employees is a significant expense to your business. David Lewis (OperationsInc) is an expert who works daily with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and clients. During this presentation, he shares facts to help you understand ACA’s impact – now and in the future. He answers questions regarding how to comply, future anticipated changes, strategies that work, and ways to navigate the recent shift in design.

In this fast-moving, highly-interactive session, discussions cover the evolution of the ACA, what compliance has looked like through 2017, changes announced to date along with anticipated changes, and how to best adapt and comply with what is coming down the road. In addition, David reviews some of the biggest misconceptions, along with the areas businesses are failing to address as part of past and future program design elements. (46 minutes)

SP17-06 Why I Hired an Executive Coach and Why You Should Too
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Gary W. Raba, D.Eng., P.E., CEO of Member Firm Raba Kistner, grew up in his family-owned geoprofessional business where most of the training he received was on the job. When he was named CEO, Gary recognized that some 500+ families were now depending on his leadership to run and grow the business. During the transition, Gary engaged with an executive coach and credits that decision with challenging his thinking and providing him with candid performance feedback.

Gary and his coach, Linda Strom Petchenik, (GrowthLines, Inc.), share their experiences of the executive coaching process. They discuss the coach selection process, frequency of meetings, example discussion areas, unexpected benefits, and the investment costs. This presentation exposes you to the opportunities of having a professional coach and may prompt you to consider having a coach to support leadership development within your own firm. (46 minutes)

SP17-07 Passing the Baton: CEO Succession from Both Points of View
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GeoEngineers and Terracon are both completing a strategic transition of the Chief Executive Officer (CEO). World Class Leaders know when to pass the baton, and they do it thoughtfully so their firm will continue to thrive under the next generation of leaders.

In this GBA-exclusive interview format, Kurt R. Fraese, L.G. (GeoEngineers, Inc.) and David Gaboury, P.E. (Terracon) share their experiences with the succession process. They cover topics about knowing when the time is right for a leadership transition and how to safeguard the departure of critical institutional knowledge. These two leaders provide an overview of the comprehensive process two GBA-Member Firms took to set a transition timeframe, identify candidates with key competencies and skills necessary for business continuity, select a new CEO, and ensure a successful transition process.

This session includes interviews of the recently selected leaders of each organization, Michael “Mike” Hutchinson, L.G., LHG (GeoEngineers, Inc.) and Swaminathan “Vasan” Srinivasan, P.E. (Terracon), to learn from their experiences of the succession process. They describe how they prepared to take the ultimate step of professional growth in their respective companies and provide an overview of the selection process from their unique perspectives. We hear their thoughts on their new role and learn about any surprises they have encountered.

Leadership succession is an important topic for all GBA-Member Firms, and this session includes audience questions about preparing for succession in the firm. (64 minutes)

SP17-08 The Power of 1% – The Magic of Small and Incremental Improvements
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Understand the Power of 1% Improvement in four key firm metrics that will drive enormous gains in your bottom line and shareholder value. Small gains in Sales, Margin %, Cost Control and Cash Flow together produce BIG gains in bottom-line profit and the overall valuation of your firm. Learn practical and pragmatic lessons on how to achieve consistent incremental gains in these metrics and drive significant value creation. This session with Kevin J. McMahon (McMahon | Siegel Group) provides you with insights into how to achieve superior results for your firm financially and how to communicate and motivate your entire firm to be pulling in the same direction. (58 minutes)

SP17-09 Leading Organizational Change to Increase Profitability
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Change is hard for everyone! Many geoprofessional firms are growing and forced to develop strategies to improve and adapt people, processes, and systems. But how do we effectively overcome resistance and embedded cultures that fight change? June R. Jewell, CPA, (AEC Business Solutions) and Michael S. Rolband, P.E., P.S.W., P.W.D., Leed®AP (Wetland Studies and Solutions, Inc.) look at what holds some firms back from effective change and provide useful best practices, tools, and strategies for implementing change in your firm that will enable you to grow profitably and achieve your strategic objectives. (57 minutes)

SP17-10 Minimizing the Impact of Organizational Silos: Tear Down the Silos!
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Do you see the impact of silos in your organization? Are silos impacting client delivery or reducing the value of your firm? Unlike silos farmers use to separate different types of grain, organizational silos that separate different types of employees often hinder performance. A tight-knit department that works well together can be a plus for any business. However, organizational silos can be like fortresses within a company and eventually cause serious problems that might not be noticed until the damage is done.

Silos can negatively impact the efficiency, dependability, and overall value of your firm. While silos are present in almost all organizations, they often result in unintended and negative consequences. In this session, Nigel Miller, P.E. (Stantec Consulting) identifies how silos develop and how to prevent them from having detrimental effects on your people. The structure of your organization alone won’t solve these problems – the solution requires leadership to develop a healthy environment and incentives to minimize the damaging impacts of silos. (25 minutes)

SP17-11 You on Your Best Day – Act II
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Back by popular demand! In a continuation of the highly-acclaimed presentation shared at GBA’s October 2016 conference, director, actor, and Coach Michael T. Allosso returns to the stage and digs deeper into the ways we can impact our associates, our clients, and our family members with each and every communication. What are the tactics leaders use to heighten their presence and connection to others? In a dynamic performance that is at one moment poignant and the next moment funny, Michael models for us everything he talks about. Participants will learn how to heighten their stakes every day. The desired result? You will have the tools to be YOU ON YOUR BEST DAY every moment of every day. (92 minutes)