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2017 GBA Fall Conference


Oct 19, 2017 @ 1:00 pm - Oct 21, 2017 @ 9:00 pm



Join 150+ geoprofessional executive level industry leaders for GBA’s 2017 Fall Conference convening October 19-21, 2017 at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort in Phoenix, AZ.    This two and a half day conference offers exceptional education programs, networking, and social events allowing you the opportunity to connect, learn, and collaborate with major stakeholders within the industry.

Click here for Conference Highlights and Featured Speakers

Click here to register on-line 

Click here to register by mail

October 19-21, 2017, Phoenix, AZ.  There are a limited number of GBA Conference Sponsorships available.



  • Excellent session topics and speakers
  • Two Social Events / Networking Receptions:
    • Held Thursday and Friday evenings, these social events allow regular attendees, first-time attendees, guests, sponsors, and distinguished speakers time to interact in a casual setting while enjoying local inspired cuisine and cocktails in a spectacular outdoor setting (weather permitting).
  • Terra Insurance Company Shareholder Meeting and Luncheon
  • Full Registration Includes:
    • Thursday: Committee Meetings and Networking Reception
    • Friday: Breakfast, Keynote Speaker, Concurrent Education Sessions,  Lunch, Afternoon Forums, Round Table Sessions, and Networking Reception
    • Saturday: Breakfast, General Session Presentations, and Lunch
  • Spouse/Guest Registration Includes:
    • Thursday: Afternoon Break and Networking Reception
    • Friday: Breakfast, Morning/Afternoon Breaks, and Networking Reception
    • Saturday: Breakfast and Morning Break
  • Optional Spouse/Guest Activities:
    • Details for Friday and Saturday Activities Coming Soon!

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 18, 2017                 *** Special Pre-Conference Workshop***
Business “Jump Start” for Geoprofessional Managers
Wednesday – 12:00PM to 5:00PM and Thursday – 8:00AM to 1:00PM

This GBA sponsored workshop will take place immediately prior to the 2017 Fall Conference to help you “jump-start” your business.  This 10-hour course includes instruction and group exercises geared toward taking your team to the next level.  Whether you are a successful manager looking for a refresher, a future manager looking for tips and techniques to improve your firm, or the owner of a GBA member-firm, this course is for you!

The course will start on Wednesday, October 18th at 12:00Noon with a kick-off lunch and will conclude by 1:00PM on Thursday, October 19th allowing workshop participants to attend the regularly scheduled GBA committees/councils meetings that afternoon.

Course content will include:

  • Understanding key performance indicators (KPIs) and driving profit and shareholder value through incremental improvement (this is a follow-up to the well-received presentation last conference of “The Power of 1%”).  This will include an interactive session geared towards giving attendees specific ideas for implementation.
  • Jump starting “Good Growth” with effective sales and marketing.
  • Employee recruitment, reviews and retention- how to win in the war for talent!
  • Leadership and ownership transition.  How to make sure your successors are in place, how to position your firm for long term stability, and an introduction to buying a firm, or selling your own.
  • The changing world of risk, and what you need to do to protect your firm.

This information packed program offers GBA members a rare opportunity for such specific attention and mentoring from Bill Siegel and Kevin McMahon, two long time industry veterans who have successfully run organizations with thousands of employees and who have delivered advanced training content though other professional organizations to great acclaim.    Recent attendees at courses they instructed have said:

  • Bill and Kevin are clear experts in their subject matter.  I learned quite a bit in the session and wished I had more time to discuss.  All in all I give them an A+!”
  • “Excellent examples (real life) shared by both presenters, helps to drive home the important points and provide great ideas”
  • “The content and presentation were fantastic across the board”.

A great value at $795, and scheduled so that attendees are only away one additional night, the course is the perfect developmental activity for existing and upcoming generations of leaders.



Pre-Conference Workshop – Day 2
Business “Jump Start” for Geoprofessional Managers

See Wednesday, October 18th for details.

Board of Directors Meeting

Board of Directors and staff.

12:00Noon – 2:00PM
New Leaders’ Committee Meeting

Chair: Victor S. Barchers, P.E.  (Kleinfelder, Inc.)
512/517-6153 / [email protected]

Noon – 5:00PM
GBA Central
Conference materials, information about unique things to see and do in the Phoenix/Scottsdale area, and afternoon beverages will be available from 2:00PM-4:00PM for Spouse/Guest Registrants.

1:00PM – 2:00PM
Group Meetings

Technical Group Meeting
Chairs and Vice Chairs of the Constructions Material Engineering and Testing Business Council; Environmental Business Council; and the Geotechnical Business Council will meet with the GBA Board of Director liaison.

Operational Group Meeting
Chairs and Vice Chairs of the Business Practices Committee; Legal Affairs Committee; and Peer Review Committee will meet with the GBA Board of Director liaison.

External Affairs Group Meeting
Chairs and Vice Chairs of the Emerging Issues and Trends Committee; External Relations Committee; and the Council of Fellows will meet with the GBA Board of Director liaison.

2:00PM – 5:00PM
Committee and Council Meetings
We encourage you to attend the meeting of any committee that interests you, except the Legal Affairs Committee which is restricted to attorneys only.

Business Practices Committee Meeting
Chair: Matt Moler, P.E. (S&ME, Inc.)
336/553-1245 / [email protected]

Construction Materials Engineering and Testing Business Council (CoMET) Meeting
Chair: Daniel K. “Dan” Schaefer, P.E. (Froehling & Robertson, Inc.)
919/828-3441 / [email protected]

Emerging Issues and Trends Committee Meeting
Chair: Bradley M. “Brad” Melocik, P.E., P.H. (DOWL)
907/562-2000 / [email protected]

Environmental Business Council Meeting
Chair: Michael E. “Mike” Covert, P.G. (Terracon)
913/577-0427 / [email protected]

External Relations Committee Meeting
Chair: Travis J. Wambeke P.E., P.G. (Geoprofessional Innovation Corporation)
509/339-2000 / [email protected]

Geotechnical Business Council Meeting
Chair: Richard D. “Rick” Heckel, P.E., D.GE (Ardent Geotechnical Consultants)
559/497-2880 / [email protected]

Legal Affairs Committee Meeting
Chair: Ji Shi, Esq. (Earth Systems, Inc.)
805/781-0112 / [email protected]

Peer Review Committee Meeting
Chair: Richard E. “Rich” Johnson, P.G., C.E.G., C.H.G. (BSK Associates)
916/853-9293 / [email protected]

4:30PM – 5:30PM
GBA/Terra Insurance Company Joint Board of Directors Meeting
Terra and GBA directors and staff.

5:00PM – 6:00PM
New Leaders’ Committee Meeting

Chair: Victor S. Barchers, P.E.  (Kleinfelder, Inc.)
512/517-6153 / [email protected]

7:00PM – 9:00PM
Welcome Networking Reception
Plan to attend this kick-off opening celebration of GBA’s Fall Conference. We encourage all Full Member Registrants and Spouse/Guest Registrants to attend this ice-breaker reception.  Veteran attendees will enjoy catching up with old friends and first-time attendees will make new ones.


7:00AM – 8:00AM – Council of Fellows Meeting
Coffee Service Provided

8:00AM – 4:00PM
GBA Central
For registered spouses, guests and child registrants.  A Spouse/Guest Breakfast will be available from 8:00AM to 9:00AM; beverages will be available from 2:00PM to 4:00PM.

8:00AM – 9:00AM
Spouse/Guest Breakfast
Registered full spouses/guests registrants should attend this special buffet breakfast.

8:00AM – 9:25AM
Breakfast and Opening General Session    (Please note this is a sit-down/plated breakfast)
President Charlie L. Head P.E., P.G. (Sanborn Head & Associates, Inc.)) Program Chair Arthur G. “Art” Hoffmann, P.E., D.GE (Gannett Fleming, Inc.), Treasurer Kimberly Morrison, P.E., R.G. (Morrison Solutions, Inc.) and Executive Director Joel G. Carson (Geoprofessional Business Association)

Our surprise guest breakfast speaker has presented more than 2,500 times over the last 30 years to audiences that have included such dignitaries as Bill Gates, President Clinton, the Prime Minister of Canada and to hundreds of Fortune 500 companies. He attributes his success to years of training in dealing with challenging circumstances and his experience consulting with both non-profits and private sector corporations. Our surprise presenter will show us how to maintain confidence under pressure and how to support our clients and colleagues to remain effective and committed to constructive dialogue when stressful circumstances arise.


9:25AM – 9:35AM
GBA Business Meeting, Introduction of First Time Attendees, Introduction of Sponsors, and announcements








9:35AM –  9:50AM
Break/Visit with Sponsors



  1. Bridging the Gap: Where the Responsibilities of the Geotechnical Engineer of Record End and the Geotechnical Specialty Contractor Begin
    Richard D. Heckel, P.E., D.GE (Ardent Geotechnical Consultants, LLC) and Michael J. Marasa, P.E. (Hayward Baker, Inc.)

The Geotechnical Business Council (GBC) formed a special task force, which met during the Fall 2016 meeting in Seattle, to address the gap between geotechnical consultants and geotechnical specialty contractors. The task force was comprised of prominent geotechnical consultants and contractors who are motivated to collaborate on ways to bridge the gap.  During this presentation GBA member-firm representatives Mike Marasa, P.E. and Rick Heckel, P.E., D.GE will present the contractor and consultant point-of-view.


  1. Emerging Trends in Regulatory Issues
    Dan Schneider, P. E., CHMM (Terracon Consultants, Inc.)

    We are at a crossroads in environmental management.  For over 35 years, environmental regulations have  evolved into a complex set of sometimes contradictory approaches to protection of public health and the environment.  As we continue to discover contaminants previously unknown and currently not regulated, we have the opportunity to determine how these emerging contaminant impacts will be regulated.  This presentation will also discuss the current administration’s approach to existing and future environmental regulations as well as a paradigm shift in both the scientific approach and the societal benefits, building on the past 4 decades of “lessons learned” in environmental management.


  1. The Top 5 Warning Signs of a Claim and Frequent Sources of Claims
    Lisa Dyson Gamblin, Esq. (Terra Insurance Company)Anyone who has lived through a claim knows that claims cost more than money: sleep, productivity, stress, and sometimes, business relationships. It is important to be vigilant and proactive in recognizing and addressing possible claims when they arise.  Lisa will identify the top five precursors to claims and suggest ways of mitigating potential claims before they develop or worsen.   In addition, we will examine various statistics from Terra’s exhaustive claims database and discuss the types of owners, clients, and projects which tend to drive claims frequency and severity.

10:30AM – 10:45AM


  1. Engaging with Technology: Are You Ready to Throw Out Your CD Collection?
    Chris Bellusci (GeoEngineers, Inc.)Some change is easy – like ditching your flip-phone for a smart phone.  But what about things that you are heavily invested in?  You have time, money, infrastructure (yeah – we mean that CD player), and quite a few good memories invested in that CD collection.  Do you really need to go digital?  If 8-tracks and boom-boxes are any indication, then yes, you probably do!  In the geoprofessional world, revolutionary technology changes are on our doorstep and companies need to understand the future and prepare their people and business for those changes.  Sensors, drones, autonomous vehicles, and the Cloud to name a few.  How will you adapt and even take advantage of this new technology?   We probably need to start by understanding these things so we are not so afraid to start using them.


  1. Emerging Environmental Technologies
    Victor S. Barchers, P.E. (Kleinfelder, Inc.)

Technology and innovation provide opportunities for increased efficiency and profitability for environmental services, while also providing value to our clients.  During this presentation, Victor will discuss technologies and concepts that can be applied through each phase of an environmental project life cycle to help geoprofessional firms incorporate modern approaches to due diligence, site characterization, routine monitoring, and remediation.  The focus will  demonstrate how the efficiencies and data resolution gained from these technologies can ultimately reduce the overall life cycle cost when compared with traditional methods.

  1. Deposition Do’s and Don’ts for the Geoprofessional
    Michael D. Dodd, Esq. (Shannon & Wilson, Inc.) and Douglas C. Purdy (Morris Polich & Purdy, LLP)                                   It is highly likely that as a geoprofessional, at some time during your professional career, you will be subpoenaed to testify at a deposition, either as a party to the case (as the “geoprofessional of record” on the project), as an expert, or as a non-party witness.  How you perform at the deposition can have a significant impact on the case such as by changing the value or direction of the case.  Through a mock deposition, this session will focus on a case study in which a geoprofessional is being deposed as a party to the lawsuit or as a non-party witness, and will provide tips on preparing for the deposition and the best ways to answer questions.  It will examine what could have been done differently by the witness to change the outcome of the deposition.

11:25AM – 11:45AM

Break/Visit with Sponsor

11:45AM -12:25PM  

  1. Engineer of Record – Retooling the Basic & Resolute Principle for Tailings Dams

Kimberly Finke Morrison, P.E., R.G. (Morrison Solutions Inc.), Christopher N. Hatton, P.E. (Haley & Aldrich, Inc.), and Robert E. Snow, P.E.  (D’Appolonia Engineering Division of Ground Technology, Inc.)

Engineer of Record (EoR) is a simple and resolute concept that is applied throughout the western world for civil works construction. But how can the EoR concept be applied to a transient design – one that implements the observational approach with a construction life that covers decades, often exceeding a design engineer’s career or lifetime, and one that is directly impacted by changes in the state of practice? Tailings storage facilities (TSFs) are the necessary result of successful mining, milling and/or power production. However, unlike conventional water storage dams that are viewed as an asset by their owners, TSFs and the dams that retain them are an ever-expanding and undesirable, yet necessary and ongoing, liability throughout the life of operations and into perpetuity. In the wake of the Mount Polley (Canada) tailings dam failure in August 2014 and the Samarco (Brazil) tailings dam failure in November 2015, the efficacy of the EoR for TSFs has been brought into question globally. GBA’s Tailings EoR Task Force is leading this important initiative in the United States.


  1. Pick Your Poison – Emerging Contaminants
    Daniel F. Gradishar, P.E. (GeoCapitol Engineering, LLC)

Are you ready to take on a new list of emerging environmental contaminants?  Our dynamic business climate includes changes to the regulatory guidance associated with assessment, analysis, and remediation of a new list of contaminants.  During this session, you will learn from Dan as he shares information about arsenic, 1-Dixon-Furan, BPA, PAHs, micro-beads, and other emerging contaminants so you can provide up-to-date guidance to help your clients manage their environmental risks.


  1. Toll of Litigation
    Stephanie Hayes Cook (Andrews Myers, P.C.)

Have you or your firm been brought into a lawsuit?   Stephanie Hayes Cook, a seasoned construction lawyer, will provide valuable insight on the financial and the emotional toll that litigation can have on your firm, and you personally.  During this presentation, you will learn how geoprofessionals are viewed in litigation and how you, as a geoprofessional, are likely to be brought into a lawsuit by either the plaintiff or another defendant.

Litigation is often rationalized as just a cost of doing business and ultimately, it’s often not about who’s right and who’s wrong but about who has money available to pay or contribute to the damages.  Unfortunately, the stress of litigation can be more devastating and debilitating than the financial costs.   Fear, anger, and humiliation leading to tension and stress-related disorders are but a few of the common emotional responses and consequences of a claim.  If you are not successful in avoiding litigation, your goal will be to minimize the personal and professional impact of litigation and get it behind you as quickly and economically as possible.

12:30PM – 1:40PM    (LUNCH)

    1) Networking Luncheon

    2) Terra Insurance Company Shareholder Meeting and Luncheon (Terra Members ONLY)
David Coduto, CEO of Terra Insurance Company, will update Terra owner/insureds – about Terra’s recent
performance and other issues pertaining to the company.

  1:45PM – 2:55PM    (THREE FORUMS)

  1. Stump the Lawyers
    Fred J. Potthast (Earth Systems Pacific), Ji Shin, Esq. (Earth Systems, Inc.) Michael D. Dodd, Esq. (Shannon & Wilson, Inc.), Douglas C. Purdy (Morris Polich & Purdy, LLP), Audrey J. Daly (Gannett Fleming, Inc.)

Stump the lawyers and win a prize!  Forum attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions to a panel of in-house and outside counsel to address common legal issues faced by the geoprofessional. This is your chance to learn from the panel’s responses to your peers’ most pressing risk management concerns, and from the most frequently asked questions submitted anonymously from the GBA Survey. You will be sure to walk out with relevant and useful information. Specific hot topics to be covered may include proactive risk management practices, contract terms and negotiations, records retention and discovery in the Information Age, providing pro bono services, and lawsuit basics.

  1. Risks and Challenges for Geoprofessional Firms on P3 Projects
    William C. Siegel, P.E. (WS Group International), Martin LaRoche, Eng. (SNC-Lavalin, Inc.), John E. Carlson, DBIA (Sundt Construction, Inc.), and Kenneth E. Smith, P.E. (HDR)

Do you have enough information on a P3 project before committing your firm to be involved?   Public Private Partnership (P3) projects are complex in many ways.  The model is used to deliver large capital construction projects transferring the risks (and potential rewards) from the public to the private sector.   In many cases, a Financier leads the project which is usually divided in two:  1) Design-Build (DB) and 2) Maintain-Operate (MO).  The Geoprofessional firms’ role and responsibilities are very important during the entire cycle of the project, from the proposal stage to the end of the MO period.  Permitting, soils, and rock conditions have a huge impact on price and schedule.  During this presentation, Martin LaRoche will provide an overview and share his first hand experiences and challenges of being involved with different models of P3 projects. Following the overview, a panel of experts will provide insight on how your firm can perform with excellence and make money in this complex environment composed of large contractors, design engineering firms, financiers, MO groups, owner’s representatives, and many other stakeholders. At the conclusion of this presentation you will have a better understanding of how these projects are different for geoprofessionals; what you should know before starting one of these projects; and how you can position yourself and your firm from losing money or worst, getting sued for millions of dollars.

  1. Risk Management Best Practices and Case Studies
    Kurt R. Fraese, L.G. (Fraese and Associates, LLC), Michael J. Yost, Esq. (Terracon), John A. Buchheit, (Gannett Fleming, Inc.)

Join GBA member firm representatives as they share case studies highlighting risk management lessons learned while doing the business of being geotechnical professionals.  You will hear from different perspectives, learning from the experiences of your esteemed colleagues where landmines might exist when doing business in our profession: technical, legal, and management to name a few.  You will see firsthand the value GBA brings to member firms, having 24/7 access to risk-management materials at your fingertips, sharing best practices with other member firms and networking with peers to elevate us all in doing business better.

2:55PM – 3:10PM
Break/Visit with Sponsor

3:00PM – 4:00PM
Spouse/Guest Activity – Build a Bear / Donate to Local Charity

Join other spouse/guests for a give back to the community type event where you will build and dress teddy bears which will be donated to a local charity that helps Phoenix/Scottsdale area children in need.  Full Spouse/Guest Registrants as well as A La Carte Registrants are welcome to participate.   The cost is $70.00 per person and will include food and beverages.  More details coming soon!

3:10PM – 5:05PM

Great Minds Sharing Great Ideas: Business Round Table Discussions   
(Three 35-Minute Round Table Sessions)
Always a popular session at the Fall Conference, we will discuss each of ten or more topics in three, practitioner-moderated, consecutive, 35-minute sessions with a quick break in between to move to another table.


5:05PM – 5:10PM
Conclude regular session, announcements and drawings

Program Chair Arthur G. “Art” Hoffmann, P.E., D.GE (Gannett Fleming, Inc.)

7:00PM – 9:00PM
Following a packed day of education sessions and round table discussions, relax, unwind and enjoy cocktails and an array of Southwest Cuisine with friends and colleagues at a great outdoor setting.


7:30AM – 8:15AM
Continental Breakfast

8:00AM – 9:00AM
Spouse/Guest Activity – Rise and Shine Yoga with CeCe

Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned yoga veteran, join CeCe as she guides you through a sequence of moves. You will build strength, increase flexibility, and find focus.

8:00AM – 12:00PM
GBA Central

For registered spouses/guests registrants.  A Continental Breakfast will be available from 9:00AM to 10:00AM; beverages will be available from 9:00AM to 12:00PM.

8:15AM – 8:25AM
Business Meeting

Charlie L. Head, P.E., P.G. (Sanborn Head & Associates, Inc.)

8:25AM – 9:15AM
The Leadership Challenge
John Rosso (Peak Performance Management) and Frederic Masse (Menard Group USA)

What does it take to be an exemplary leader? The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership model continue to prove its effectiveness as a clear, evidence-based path to achieving the extraordinary – for individuals, teams, organizations, and communities.  It turns the abstract concept of leadership into easy-to-grasp practices and behaviors that can be taught and learned by anyone willing to step up and accept the challenge to lead.  In this presentation, John Rosso will lay out the principles of the Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership model which are:  Inspire a Shared Vision; Model the Way; Encourage the Heart; Enable Others to Act; and Challenge the Process.  With low employee turnover and continual company growth, Frederic Masse will present Menard Group USA as a practical application case study.

9:15AM – 9:30AM

Break / Visit with Sponsor

9:30AM – 10:20AM
Great by Choice:  The Keys to Building a Dynamic and Sustainable Company
Gerry Salontai, P.E. (Salontai Consulting Group, LLC) and Rod Hoffman, P.E. (S&H Consulting, LLC)

Leading a business seems to be more challenging all the time with just a fine line between success and failure for any size company. And yet some navigate these waters very well. Learn how they do it – based on “hot off the press” research of industry trends related to growth, diversification and best practices using over 40 years of industry data and personal interviews with key leaders of ENR Top 500 companies. This research reveals the strengths and vulnerabilities of companies and what can position your organization for the future – whether it’s in good times or bad.

10:20AM – 11:10AM
Staying Ahead of Risk:   How the Salt River Project Will Manage Water in Central Arizona for the Next 100-Years 
Charles E. Ester, III (Salt River Project)

The Salt River Project is a water and power utility in central Arizona serving the majority of the metropolitan Phoenix area’s water and power needs.   SRP is one of the nation’s first reclamation projects authorized in 1903 under the Reclamation Act of 1902.  Originally a vast and productive agricultural area, the Salt River Valley’s desirable climate and dependable water supply provided by SRP quickly fueled an ongoing metropolitan expansion.   Phoenix is now the nation’s 5th largest city.  This agricultural conversion to city has demanded innovation and creative adaptation to maintain a reliable and adequate water supply for the past 120-years.   As identified in the recent GBA Crystal Ball Workshop, the next century will demand even greater flexibility and agility in managing our precious water supplies for the growing population.   Climate change, aging infrastructure, water scarcity, droughts and floods, forest and headwater ecosystem health, and an unending burgeoning population threaten the future resiliency and reliability of water supplies.   During this presentation, you will learn about The Salt River Project’s commitment to build upon its rich legacy of water management as it faces the next 100-years.

11:10AM – 11:25AM
Break/ Visit with Sponsors

11:25AM – 12:35PM
Leading through Change in a New Age – When Every Day is a New Age
Dr. Gary Bradt

This upbeat and interactive keynote will give you the tools you need to adapt to change faster and better, both at work and at home. The tools – or new ways of thinking, feeling and behaving – are rooted in practical wisdom. They are drawn from Dr. Bradt’s 30 years of experience as a psychologist, entrepreneur, and business owner. These lessons learned are from years of working with executives just like you: those striving to adapt to shifting government regulations, new technologies, and volatile markets – all while trying to maintain some semblance of life balance. In sum, going through change is not a market differentiator. Adapting to it faster and better than your competition can be. Let this keynote show you the way.

 12:35PM – 12:45PM
Business Meeting / Call for Motion to Adjourn

12:45PM – 1:30PM
Group Luncheon

12:45PM – 2:15PM
Board of Directors and Committee/Council Chairs Lunch Meeting

2:15PM – 3:45PM
Board of Directors Meeting

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

  • 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM Pre-Conference Workshop (Day1) Business “Jump Start” for Geoprofessional Managers

Thursday, October 19, 2017

  • 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM – Pre-Conference Workshop (Day2) Business “Jump Start” for Geoprofessional Managers
  • 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM GBA Board of Directors Meeting
  • 12:00 PM – 2:00 New Leaders Committee
  • 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM Group Meetings with Committee and Council Chairs
  • 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM Committee and Council Meetings
  • 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM Networking Reception

 Friday, October 20, 2017

  • 7:00 AM to 8:00 AM Council of Fellows Meeting
  • 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM Conference Programming (Opening Session with Breakfast, Concurrent Sessions, Afternoon Forums, and Round Table Sessions)
  • 8:00 AM to 9:00 AM – Spouse
  • 12:30 PM to 1:45 PM Terra Insurance Company Shareholders Meeting/Luncheon
  • 12:30 PM to 1:45 PM  Networking Luncheon
  • 3:00 PM to 4:30 PM – Spouse/Guest Activity – Build a Bear for Charity
  • 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM Networking Reception

Saturday, October 21, 2017

  • 7:30 AM to 8:00 AM Continental Breakfast
  • 8:00 AM to 12:45 PM Conference Programming (General Session Presentations)
  • 8:00 AM to 9:00 AM – Spouse/Guest Activity – Yoga
  • 12:45 PM to 1:30 PM Group Luncheon
  • 2:15 PM to 3:45 PM Board of Directors Meeting with Committee/Council Chairs

GBA will award professional development hours (PDHs)

JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort
5350 East Marriott Drive
Phoenix, AZ 85054-6147
Phone:  480-293-5000

The JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa is woven into the Sonoran Desert where Phoenix meets Scottsdale.  This modern upscale resort offers everything you’ll require for a remarkable experience. Showcasing an array of first-class resources, intuitive service and a picture-perfect location in the heart of Phoenix, the resort provides an effortless blend of style, comfort and luxury. The tastefully appointed hotel rooms and suites have top-quality amenitiesas well as awe-inspiring views of immaculate desert vistas and striking mountains.  Amenities for you to enjoy include 36-holes ofchampionship golf at the signature Wildfire Golf Club, a rejuvenating spa, a fitness center, a wide range of stellar restaurant options and multiple outdoor pools, complete with a lazy river and waterslides. Discover a lifetime’s worth of luxury at the JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa.

Visit https://aws.passkey.com/go/Geoprofessional  or call 1-800-835-6206 to reserve your guest room at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort.  Mention the Geoprofessional Business Association’s 2017 Fall Conference to receive the group rate of $269.00 single/double plus 12.57% tax per night.

  • How to Reserve: Call 1-800-835-6206, mention GBA’s 2017 Fall Conference to receive the group rate of $269.00 plus12.57% tax per night or visit https://awa.passkey.com/go/Geoprofessional to secure your room reservation online.
  • Secure room reservations early: Even though GBA’s Cut-off date is September 22nd. Once GBA’s room block is filled the hotel and GBA cannot guarantee availability of rooms at the GBA group rate or any other room rate.
  • Pre/Post Room Nights: At the discretion of the hotel and BASED ON AVAILABILITY at the time reservations are made, limited guest rooms may be available at the GBA group rate up to 2 days prior/post the official conference dates (October 19-21, 2017). Please secure your room reservation early for best availability.
  • Hotel Reservation Changes and Cancellations: The JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort room reservation cancellation policy is 3 days prior to your scheduled arrival date. Individuals who cancel their guest room reservation less than 3 days prior to their scheduled arrival date will be charged a cancellation fee of one night’s room and tax.
  • Please Note:  In order to minimize any charges to you, your firm, or to GBA, if you need to cancel your room reservation, please do so in a timely manner directly with the hotel so that the guest room nights can be sold to other guests. If you have to cancel your room reservation late (after the cut-off date) e-mail Barb at [email protected] so that we can try to assign the room to someone else.
  • Check-in/Check-out Times: Check-in is 4:00PM and Check-out is 11:00AM
  • Early Departure Fee/Policy: The JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort has an Early Departure Fee/Policy; i.e., if you reserve to depart on the 21st, but leave a day early, you will be charged for the night you “missed” at the group room rate plus tax, unless you make arrangements with the hotel’s front desk representative in advance.  Emergency and other special circumstance situations will be reviewed by the hotel on a case by case basis.
  • Beware of unauthorized hotel booking and housing agencies (Poachers)
    GBA is not affiliated or contracted with any outside hotel contracting company. If someone other than GBA or the GBA chosen hotel (JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort) contacts you suggesting that they represent any GBA event, they do not. It is GBA’s recommendation that you book your hotel directly with the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort.  Don’t be scammed!  If you have questions, please contact Barb Nappy at [email protected]

Click the link below to view maps of: Downtown Phoenix, The Greater Phoenix Area, Greater Phoenix Metro Light Rail and an Interactive Google Map.

Phoenix Area Maps

Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport

  • Distance 22 miles / 30 minutes between airport and JW Marriott Desert Ridge via car, Uber, Lyft or a taxi depending on traffic and time of day.
  • Estimate taxi fare is $65 (each way)
  • Transtyle Transportation 800-410-5479 or transtyle.com fee $65 (one way); reservation required
  • JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort does not provide any shuttle service.
  • Hertz Car Rental at JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort 480-538-5480
  • Reserve Super Shuttle with GBA Discount Code

A refund (less a $125/per person administrative fee) will be given to those whose cancellations are received by 5:00 PM Eastern Time, Friday, September 22, 2017.  For cancellations after that, but no later than 5:00 PM Eastern Time, Friday, October 6, 2017, the fee is $250/per person, for administration, food service and related guarantee charges GBA will have to absorb.  We’re truly sorry, but absolutely no refunds can be given for cancellations received after 5:00 PM Eastern Time, Friday, October 6, 2017.
NOTE:   Review hotel reservation and cancellation policy under the Reservation Deadline section.


Oct 19, 2017 @ 1:00 pm
Oct 21, 2017 @ 9:00 pm