2024 Spring Conference Proceedings

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SP24-01 Why Curiosity Is the Ultimate Competitive Advantage
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In today’s ever-changing business climate, your role has evolved far past the job descriptions. You face a volatile external environment – encounter pressure to stay relevant to clients, experience challenging workforce issues, and you are often being asked to do a lot more with a lot less. All of this requires you to be an innovator. The big question is, are you doing it the hard way or the easy way?

With a keynote based on her book, The Curiosity Muscle, Ms. Diana Kander helps leaders and aspiring leaders who don’t have “innovation” in their job description to embrace the role of and identity as an innovator. Diana shares key skills and habits that make innovation easier and a lot more fun. And she enables you to harness the power of curiosity to unlock new possibilities and drive business growth. You will leave this session identifying as an innovator and seeking opportunities to use new skills.

ROI & Key Outcomes:
How to institutionalize curiosity by asking better questions to stay competitive and relevant to your customers.
How to determine blind spots within your organization and avoid falling into the “expert trap”.
How to create a more innovative culture that leads to results and drives growth. (59 minutes)

SP24-02 What’s in It for Them? Engagement Strategies in Changing Times
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The neural network of interaction and collaboration is the human superpower. These processes are evolutionary ingrained, but Guy Marcozzi, P.E., D.GE, LEED AP BD+C, F.ASCE postulates that they are being challenged by recent rapid changes in technology and demographics. In challenge is an opportunity for new takes on empathy and effective engagement. This session raises your awareness and understanding by championing new interaction strategies to experiment with that may enhance your success and overall fulfillment. (57 minutes)

SP24-03 GBA Meets Reality TV Emerging Leader Class 5
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You have heard of “Shark Tank”. Well, get ready for the Emerging Leaders Class 5 as they put on their entrepreneur hats and make their pitch to the GBA Board in a Tiger Cage style business presentation.

Watch your fearless GBA leaders in Tiger-mode as they face the task of deciding whether to invest in the ELC 5 project or send the presenters back to the drawing board. The Tigers have the chance to evaluate three separate GEO Kits (Geotechnical, Environmental, and COMET) to be used by working professionals, teachers, parents, or anyone interested in getting young people excited about careers in the Geoprofession. Will the GBA Tigers offer a handshake deal to launch the GEO Kits into production or will the ELC 5 class end their two-year tenure empty-handed? Tune in and see. You don’t want to miss this session! (21 minutes)

SP24-04 One of GBA’s Most Valuable Programs: Perspectives on Peer Review
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GBA applies 55 years of peer experience to help you and your business be smarter, stronger, and more successful. It is proven that one of the most visible ways it does this is through GBA Peer Review. GBA Peer Review provides valuable feedback on your existing business practices so you can champion excellence through continuous improvement. Among its many other benefits, GBA Peer Review can help enhance the quality of your practice while simultaneously reducing your exposure to professional liability claims and losses.

Peer review stands as an indispensable cornerstone in our pursuit of excellence and progress. It’s not just a process; it’s a catalyst for innovation, growth, and professional development. This session shines a spotlight on the immense value embedded within the peer review process. Our esteemed panel of experts made up of David Coduto, Tom Blackburn, P.E., G.E., F.ASCE, F.ACEC and Bob Rabeler, P.E. dissects and illuminates the transformative power that peer review holds for individuals and organizations alike and shares with you the adaptations that have been made to the Peer Review process that make it even more valuable now. (57 minutes)

SP24-05 Business Snapshot Summary
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For more than 20 years, GBA’s Business Practices Committee has invited member-firms to participate in a brief qualitative survey on their businesses, the state of the economy, and the greater geoprofessional industry. Gary Torosian shares the most recent survey results and reviews important trends to help you assess how your firm is performing relative to others in the nation and provides important trends you can use as you plan for a healthy and robust future where everyone succeeds together in championing excellence in geoprofessional consulting. (14 minutes)

SP24-06 ADAPT: Overcoming Adversity to Become a Champion and Role Model
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As a one-handed athlete, some would say Jim Abbott overcame obstacles to become a standout Major League Baseball pitcher. Abbott would beg to differ and say he was incredibly blessed. To continue toward your goals, you must be willing to adapt, change, and mold yourself to meet challenges in your own way. Using ADAPT as an acronym, Abbott shows you how to enact a powerful set of words which each stand alone in their significance, and string them together like a chain for amazing results. A – Adjustability; D – Determination; A – Accountability; P – Perseverance; T – Trust. (65 minutes)

SP24-07 Becoming a Champion of Our Profession for Future Geoprofessionals
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A lower number of students entering the geoprofessions, staffing shortages, and a record backlog of projects has created an urgent circumstance for our industry. The situation will only become more dire as the demand for our services grows with the projected increased funding for critical infrastructure upgrades in the coming years. Should we throw our hands up in the air, shrug, and hope things will change? Absolutely not! Let’s talk about the issue and find out what is needed from you (yes, you!) to champion our industry and its importance to inspire students to join our honorable and rewarding profession. You will hear from Carrie Foulk, P.E., G.E. how we can all be a part of the solution and increase the pipeline of students interested in the geoprofessions. Together we can help future generations scream “I Want to be a Geoprofessional When I Grow Up!” (58 minutes)

SP24-08 Into the Unknown: How Leadership, Ingenuity, and Perseverance Put a Rover on Mars
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Only Adam Steltzner and his talented team at Jet Propulsion Lab could follow their “Curiosity” rover success with the stunning Mars 2020 mission to land the rover “Perseverance” on the red planet. The magnificent landing on Mars on February 18, 2021, was akin to hurling a dart from New York City to land in a 5-foot circle in Washington DC. More than a technological achievement, the successful mission stands as an extraordinary leadership accomplishment in the midst of a global pandemic. In his exhilarating keynote, full of fascinating anecdotes and breathtaking images, Steltzner shares his own innovation challenges, leadership struggles, and flawless execution. Most importantly, he shows how you can overcome daunting obstacles in times of uncertainty and change. The human spirit is boundless, and Steltzner leaves you unafraid to journey from your comfort zone to explore your own exciting future. (58 minutes)