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GBA 2019 Fall Conference, Louisville, KY


October 3 - October 5

Join 150+ geoprofessional executive level industry leaders forGBA’s 2019 Fall Conference convening October 3-5, 2019 at the Omni Louisville Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky.   This two-and-a-half-day conference will offer premier programming on key topics as well as networking and social events allowing attendees the opportunity to build lasting personal and professional relationships with major industry stakeholders.






7:00AM – 1:00PM
Board of Directors Meeting
Board of Directors and staff.

8:30AM – 1:00PM
Emerging Leaders Meeting

1:00PM – 2:00PM
Group Meetings

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

Operations 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 group coordinator.

External Affairs Group Meeting
Chairs and Vice Chairs of the Emerging Issues and Trends and the Council of Fellows will meet with the GBA Board of Director group coordinator.

2:00PM – 4:00PM
GBA Guest Lounge

We encourage our conference attendees’ guests and spouses to visit the GBA Guest Lounge to relax, connect with other guests, learn about local attractions, and make plans to explore all that Louisville has to offer. To kick start your sightseeing plans, an Omni Hotel Concierge will be available to answer questions and discuss details on what to see as well as do in Louisville. Conference materials, Louisville information and maps will be on hand. In addition, beverages and snacks will available from 2:00PM to 4:00PM.

2:00PM – 5:00PM
Committee 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: Steven K. “Steve” Noble, P.E., PTOE
(DOWL) 907/ 562-2000 [email protected]

Construction Materials Engineering and Testing Committee (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 Committee Meeting
Chair: Victor R. Barchers, P.E. (Kleinfelder, Inc.)
512/926-6650 / [email protected]

Geotechnical Committee Meeting
Chair: Richard D. “Rick” Heckel, P.E., D.GE (Ardent Geotechnical Consultants)
615/962-5314 / [email protected]

Legal Affairs Committee Meeting
Chair: Ji Shin, Esq. (Earth Systems, Inc.)
805/781-0112 (ext. 107) / [email protected]

Peer Review Committee Meeting
Chair: Richard E. “Rich” Johnson, P.G., C.E.G., C.H.G. (BSK Associates)
916/853-9293 (ext. 105) / [email protected]

4:00PM – 5:00PM
Emerging Leaders Meeting

6:15PM – 7:00PM
Emerging Leaders Reception
The newly formed Emerging Leaders Class and all graduates of past Emerging (New) Leaders classes are invited to attend a reception to network and share experiences before the Welcome Networking Reception.

6:30PM – 7:00PM
First-Time Attendee Reception
New to GBA? First time participating in a GBA conference? We are excited you have decided to attend. Designed with you in mind, this reception will provide first-time attendees and new members an opportunity to meet GBA leadership, staff, and other first-time attendees. GBA wants your conference experience to be the best it can be. Join us for this reception and learn about the different ways you can get involved to make the most of your GBA membership and conference experience. This is a great opportunity to make connections just prior to the larger welcome reception.

7:00PM – 9:00PM
Welcome Networking Reception
Plan to attend this opening welcome reception kicking-off GBA’s Fall Conference. This event provides an excellent opportunity for attendees to network with other conference participants, reconnect with colleague and friend, and meet new attendees prior to the start of the programming sessions on Friday.

*This reception is included with a full conference registrant and/or full guest/spouse registrant fee. Individuals or guests not attending the full conference may register a la carte for this event at a $195 fee. A buffet dinner and full open bar is provided. Your Conference Name Badge is required for admittance.


7:00AM – 7:45AM
Council of Fellows Meeting and Breakfast
Breakfast and coffee service provided in the meeting room!

7:00AM – 7:45AM
Member Networking Breakfast
Breakfast and coffee service provided for meeting attendees.

7:45AM – 7:55AM
Opening Remarks and Business Meeting
GBA President Arthur G. “Art” Hoffmann, P.E., D.GE (Gannett Fleming, Inc.) and Executive Director Joel G. Carson (Geoprofessional Business Association)

7:55AM – 9:05AM
Embracing Big Data and Disruptive Innovation
Patrick Schwerdtfeger – Keynote Speaker (Trend Mastery, Inc.)

The explosion of big data technologies and Internet of Things (IoT) sensors have led to dramatic advancements in data-driven optimization, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. Data analytics is revolutionizing countless industries including energy production, infrastructure development, transportation systems, and commercial and residential construction. Industry by industry, region by region, and country by country, we are optimizing everything we do on this planet. Patrick Schwerdtfeger is a business futurist who specializes in technology trends. In this session, he will highlight the areas most disrupted by big data and what we can expect to see in the years ahead. He will also introduce two (2) models to anticipate and even capitalize on disruptive innovation. Geoprofessionals need to leverage big data opportunities. This is a time for innovative thinking and bold leadership!

8:00AM – 9:30AM
Guest-Spouse Meet and Greet Breakfast
Join us as you meet old friends and make new ones during this signature breakfast event hosted by CeCe Carson (wife of Executive Director – Joel Carson). This breakfast not only allows veteran spouses to catch-up, but it provides a welcoming opportunity for new guests to easily meet fellow spouses. We strongly encourage participation as veteran guests will attest to the amazing friendships that have blossomed from attending past events. The full Guest/Spouse Registrant or Child Registrant Fee includes this breakfast.
All other guests not registered in this category may still attend but must pre-register as an A La Carte Registrant (pay per event fee).

9:05AM – 9:25AM
Networking Break / Visit with Sponsors

9:25AM – 9:35AM
Introduction of Sponsors, GBA Past Presidents, Committee Chairs, and First-Time Attendees

9:30AM – 1:30PM
Spouse/Guest Activity: Kentucky Derby Museum and Horticulture Tour

Per Person Cost: $58.00
And you’re off for fun and excitement when you visit the Kentucky Derby Museum located on the famous grounds of Churchill Downs. You will experience the most dynamic and unique celebration known worldwide as the “Greatest Two Minutes in Sports™”. Get an up close and personal view of the event that has WOW-ed the world for over 145 years.

The first stop will be a visit to the racetrack’s amazing 12,000 square foot Horticultural Center where you will learn from the horticulture director what it takes to keep the grounds beautiful on Kentucky Derby Day and year-round.
After the horticulture tour, you will enjoy a 30-minute historic walking tour of Churchill Downs Racetrack led by a knowledgeable guide. You will view the racetrack, finish line, Winner’s Circle and the iconic Twin Spires. You will also have an opportunity to view the stables that house the Resident Thoroughbred and companion pony.

And to finish your tour, you will have an opportunity to wonder through the museum’s two floors of interactive exhibits, including a 360-degree theater that shows the HD video “The Greatest Race” which will make your heart race and emotions soar. Through the film and exhibits, you will learn what goes into the breeding and training of a young foal and the path it takes to the Kentucky Derby’s winner circle.

9:35AM – 10:20AM
Advanced Data Analytics in Geotechnical Engineering: Data Management and Artificial Intelligence Will Transform How We Investigate, Design and Build
Nick Machairas (New York University)

Big data, machine learning, artificial intelligence, data science; tech jargon that has been flooding the news lately, demonstrating both the noble and dark sides of scientific and technological advancements. Undoubtedly though, scientists aided by state-of-the-art data analytics techniques have been transforming their respective industries, producing remarkable predictions and insights. At the same time, how has the broader Geotechnical Engineering field benefited from the same data analytics techniques and how can we prepare for the future? In order to answer the question, this presentation will offer a brief introduction on advanced data analytics. It will also highlight the significance of proper geotechnical data management both as a means of day-to-day operational optimization and as a treasure chest of readily available information that can be processed by intelligent analytical and predictive models in order to minimize design uncertainties and risk, among other things. Case in point, drawing from the speaker’s research experience, this presentation will demonstrate how Data Warehousing and Machine Learning improved the design of driven pile foundations. The same concepts can be readily applied to enhance almost any other process for geoprofessionals.

10:20AM – 10:35AM
Networking Break / Visit with Sponsors / Move to Concurrent Sessions

10:35AM – 11:15AM Concurrent Sessions

Delivering Real-Time Results – The Future of Laboratory Operations
James “Jim” Murphy (Strata, Inc.) and Robert “Bob” Tuttle (Agile Frameworks)

Today’s Construction Materials Lab is an integral part in the safety of large and small construction projects. We all depend on the integrity of the soil and concrete testing protocol to deliver accurate and reliable results when we step into a building or drive over a bridge. Nevertheless, there is risk inherent in the current model. Project requirements drive teams to be more accurate and faster in turning around testing results. In this session, Agile Frameworks CEO Bob Tuttle and Jim Murphy, CEO of Strata, Inc. will look into the future of laboratory operations 5 to 10 years from now. Can you imagine more tests on the construction site happening in real time? Imagine no more testing cylinders for compressive strength. Or, imagine sensors delivering immediate results regarding air, water, and other readings to predict failure models for hazard analysis.

Almost Fifth Years of Case Histories: What Lessons Have We Learned?
Woodward L. “Woody” Vogt, P.E., D.GE, F.ASCE, F.ACI, F.ASTM (Paradigm Consultants, Inc.)

In his textbook Design and Construction Failures – Lessons from Forensic Investigations, the ninth of Dov Kaminetsky “Ten Basic Rules” is, “The best was to generate a failure on your job is to disregard the lessons to be learned from someone else’s failures.” For almost 50 years, GBA-Member firms have been sharing their stories, their mistakes, their failures, and their lessons learned so that their fellow Members can learn and avoid making the same, or a similar mistake. Of all the GBA “stuff,” nothing is downloaded more frequently than our case histories.

As we approach the home stretch with our 101 rebranded case histories, we see patterns developing in the lessons taught by our case histories. For almost all the original stories of the 70s and 80s, new lessons, some more fundamental, have being developed. Certain lessons, some that were not specifically identified in the original version, appear to be eternal. “If it isn’t in writing, it didn’t happen,” or some version of that theme, continues to dominate. The implementation of a “go/no-go” process by Member Firms, not only in accepting an assignment but in continuing to work on a project after significant changes, ranks as the second most common lesson. This presentation will provide a brief background of the GBA Case Histories and discuss some of the most frequently appearing lessons, again in hopes of helping fellow Members learn from our failures and avoid the mistakes of the past.

11:15AM – 11:25AM
Networking Break / Visit with Sponsors / Move to Concurrent Sessions

11:25AM – 12:05PM Concurrent Sessions

Moving Geotechnical Practice to 3D Slope Stability Analysis
Murray Fredlund, Ph.D., P.Eng. (Bentley Canada Inc.)

Slope stability analysis is the most common analysis performed by geotechnical engineers. 2D numerical approaches have dominated the analysis performed by geotechnical consultants, and the need for technological innovations that provide powerful, flexible and efficient analysis platform is a real geotechnical market demand.

Moving to 3D analysis has encountered a number of barriers in common geotechnical practice. These barriers have included both perceived and real barriers. Science has conclusively proven that 3D analysis is more advantageous in many situations. Yet in many situations 2D analysis remains the most commonly utilized. This presentation looks at the challenges and victories of a paradigm shift in the making for practicing geotechnical engineers.

Careful Reading of Test Results: Can It Minimize Risk to the Geoprofessional Business?
Stephan Mavrakis (SpectraQEST America Corporation)

A nightmare scenario faced by Geoprofessional Leaders we talk to, is one where compromised data (produced, for example, by a careless or rogue employee, or by systemic failure) find their way to customers, lead to a serious issue which results in expensive remediation, loss of brand value and even legal action against the firm.

This presentation will demonstrate, using tens of thousands of anonymised (but real) data points, from multi-site testing operations in the U.S. and beyond, that it is possible to identify potentially problematic practices. It will also demonstrate that not all operations within one Geoprofessional business perform the same, and with careful analysis it should be possible to pinpoint which office (or laboratory), or which individual technician presents an opportunity for improvement and risk minimisation.

12:05PM – 1:25PM
Lunch and Round Table Sessions (NEW Format)
Round Table Session Topics coming soon!

1:25PM – 2:15PM
Data Security: The Role of Geospatial Data in Larger Cyber Threatspace
Max F. Kilger, Ph.D.

When a data breach occurs, most people narrowly evaluate the event in terms of monetary and reputational loss. What have my competitors learned about my business strategy? How will the disclosure of information directly affect the level of trust that my clients have in my organization? What are the potential consequences for my clients and my organization? The true nature of data breaches is however much more complex and geospatial data plays a special role in this case. “Everything has to be somewhere” is a unique quality that distinguishes geospatial data from other types of information. Discover some of the synergies between geospatial data and the multidimensional nature of the evolving cyber threatspace and learn to view your organization’s data in a new light.

2:00PM – 4:00PM
GBA Guest Lounge

Available to individuals registered for the conference as a guest/spouse or child registrant. This lounge will only be open from 2:00PM to 4:00PM on Friday. Light snacks and beverages will be available.

2:15PM – 2:35PM
Networking Break / Visit with Sponsors

2:35PM – 2:50PM
What Does the Future Hold? Crystal Ball Workshop Highlights
Bradley M. “Brad” Melocik, P.E. P.H. (DOWL)

2:50PM – 3:35PM
Big Data, Small Firm
Thomas W. “Tom” Blackburn, P.E., G.E., F.ASCE (Blackburn Consulting) and Bryce W. Moore (Blackburn Consulting)

Large geotechnical design and COMET projects often mean large amounts of historical and current data. Geo-professional firms experience significant challenges with how to manage, effectively use, share, display, and report large amounts of data. Additionally, the challenges multiply when many staff members and other parties work on the same project.

We will present how our firm handled large quantities of historical and current data from design and construction of two large-scale levee projects. We will discuss what the challenges were, what we did to address these challenges, our successes and failures, lessons learned and what we are doing to improve our capacity with large amounts of data.

4:00PM – 5:30PM
Optional Activity – Hatitude
Per Person Cost: $30.00
What’s your fashion attitude? Big brim with lots of trimmings or simple and chic? Join us for an afternoon of fun as your flex your Hatitude! Enjoy a glass of wine or other beverage as you create your very own personally designed Kentucky Derby hat or fascinator. Choose from a range of hat styles for both women and men including big brimmed hats, small brimmed hats, fedoras, cowboy hats, fascinators, and more. All the ribbons, bows, flowers, and feathers will be provided along with staff assistance and all the fanfare – you just provide the style! (FYI: This event may extend beyond 5:30PM if necessary so regular members can participate if they desire after their conference session ends! – Due to material costs additional hats made are $30.00 each)

3:35PM – 3:55PM
Networking Break / Visit with Sponsors

3:55PM – 4:45PM

Local History: Lessons Learned from a Local Business Icon

Bill Samuels, Jr. (Maker’s Mark Distillery Inc.)

Learn how the Samuels family grew Maker’s Mark business from a family hobby into one of the most iconic brands in the world. Hear tales of Kentucky history (the birthplace of bourbon) from a legendary and always entertaining storyteller. You will hear a bit about Bill’s life, his untraditional path into the family business, and learn why he’s often referred to as The Father of Modern Bourbon.

4:45PM – 4:55PM
Regular Session Conclusion, Announcements & Drawings

7:00PM – 9:00PM

Following a full-day of education sessions relax, unwind, and enjoy cocktails with friends and colleagues.
More details coming soon!


7:15AM – 8:00AM
Member Buffet Breakfast

8:00AM – 8:05AM
Welcome Day Two of Conference and Other Announcements

8:05AM – 9:15AM
The Proximity Principle: The Right People + The Right Places = Opportunities
Ken Coleman – Keynote Speaker

An acclaimed interviewer and broadcaster, Ken Coleman inspires and informs audiences by drawing knowledge                                  
from some of the most well-known industry leaders, influencers, heads of state and celebrities. Host of The KenColeman Show and the top-rated EntreLeadership podcast, Coleman equips, encourages and entertains listeners through thought-provoking interviews, helping them grow their businesses, pursue their passions and move toward a fulfilled purpose.

Whether you’re happy in your current career but would like the opportunity to advance or looking for a new challenge, Ken Coleman’s Proximity Principle will help you find your sweet spot. His presentation will encourage you to discover your top talents and passions. He’ll show you how to put yourself in proximity to the right people and places to make your dream job a reality. If you’re already in your dream job, Ken can help you achieve impact and influence within your field or industry.

9:15AM – 9:35AM
Networking Break / Visit with Sponsors

9:00AM – 10:00AM
Guest/Spouse 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. Side by-side with GBA spouses and guests, you will build strength, increase flexibility, and find focus.

9:00AM – 12:00PM
GBA Guest Lounge

Available to individuals registered for the conference as a guest/spouse or child registrant. This lounge will be open on Saturday from 9:00AM to 12:00PM. A Continental Breakfast will be available from 9:30AM to 11:00AM; beverages only will be available until 12:00PM.

9:35AM – 10:20AM
The Geek Whisperer’s Guide to Developing a Holistic Data Management Strategy
Linda K. Lannen (Kleinfelder)

Technology advancements offer opportunities to improve on nearly every aspect of the Geoprofessional’s workflow. Most firms are using tools including UAVs, LiDAR systems and mobile field data collection systems, which have a fundamental impact on data gathering activities. These technologies create enormous amounts of data, which needs to be managed in new ways. Centralization and improvements of data management systems provide enhanced system performance & reporting capabilities, and cloud-hosted services impact how we manage the data. Suddenly, your IT team is at your door, wondering where that terabyte of data came from that just brought the network to its knees. Why would they care about your project data?

Predictive analytics and machine learning will impact the speed with which we model the world, conduct analyses and create meaningful reports. However, machine learning algorithms only work well if they have access to large amounts of well-organized and consistent data. Who can help you with that? Not the local Geek Squad, but your local Analytics team can.
Organizations with multiple service lines also find themselves at a crossroads when organizing this data: which group gets to decide how the data is collected, organized and analyzed? Learn why knowing these things up front will help you avoid re-classifying or re-collecting data later, and what Kleinfelder is doing to create a holistic Data Management Strategy across is multiple service lines.

10:20AM – 11:05AM
Does Big Data Mean Big Problems? Project Records Retention & Litigation Discovery in the Digital Age
Steve Wendland, P.E., R.G., D.GE (Kleinfelder) and Alison A. Grounds (Troutman Sanders, LLP)

Most GBA-member firms have made the transition from project records that are primarily hard-copy to project records that are primarily digital (e.g., computer files, emails, scanned documents). However, most firms still have project records retention policies and practices that don’t adequately address digital records. The policies don’t address the wide variety of digital media that are now in use such as text messages on employees’ cell phones, posts on social media, instant messaging, digital voice mail records, or emails that have been “deleted” but still exist on servers. The issue is further complicated by storage of digital files in multiple locations on local computers, office-based servers, and cloud storage. Furthermore, digital files can be retrieved well after they’ve been deleted making legal discovery more uncertain. As with paper files, poor file management can acerbate litigation and introduce inefficiencies in business operations.

GBA member firms should update their project records retention policies and practices to account for these new digital tools and the complications and liability that comes with them. GBA is currently updating Practice Alert 37 “Project Records Retention” to provide guidance to member firms.

Expanding volumes of electronically stored information also preset unique challenges and opportunities in the eDiscovery process for litigation and investigations as both the law and technology constantly evolve.

This presentation will:

  • Discuss complications of digital project records retention
  • Show how the wide variety of media can be addressed
  • Provide examples of how poor digital records retention exacerbated litigation or made business operations inefficient
  • Discuss best practices for digital project records retention,
  • Discuss common pitfalls with ESI preservation, collection, review and production in litigation; and
  • Solicit input from member firms for the current efforts to update Practice Alert 37.

11:05AM – 11:25AM
Networking Break / Visit with Sponsors

11:25PM – 12:15PM
The Seven Crucial Questions of Extraordinary Business Success (What’s Not Changing Much in a World Where Everything is Changing Fast!)
John D. Doehring (J. Doehring & Co.)

The Fast Future isn’t just coming – it’s already here. Over the next twenty-five years grand-scale, disruptive, transformational change will profoundly reshape virtually everything in our world. Rapidly accelerating developments in technology and information are already driving the “datafication” of everything – and challenging creative leaders to rethink business models, products and services, markets and marketing, operational systems, and the global supply chain. Professional firms in every sector, industry, and market segment must act now to define fresh enterprise objectives, strategies, and initiatives – or face the consequences of big threats and missed opportunity.

And yet, in the vortex of this transformational tempest, the foundations of good business aren’t really changing much at all. What matters most in creating an industry-leading, ‘Top Firm’ is remarkably stable. Exceptional leaders understand this apparent paradox, and they’re hard at work today building businesses that are strong and resilient, agile and flexible, strategic and adaptable. In this engaging and entertaining session, we’ll look at what lies ahead for professional firms – and reveal the seven crucial questions that all extraordinary leaders are answering today for sustainable, Fast Future business success.

12:15PM – 12:25PM
GBA President’s 6 Month Report
Arthur G. Hoffmann, P.E., D.GE (Gannett Fleming, Inc.)

12:25PM – 1:00PM
Now is the Time to Plan/Prepare/Execute for a Future Recession
Lee James, CPA, CBI, CMC® (Lee James & Associates, Inc.)

This presentation will introduce the What, When, Where, Who, Why and How of planning, preparing and executing for a future recession. Included is the introduction to the Fall Conference presentation that answers the questions of What should be done?, When should needed actions occur?, Where within your organization should this occur?, Who should be the key people involved?, Why important?, and How should this be completed? Lee will share with you best practices and lessons to be learned from prior recessions; challenges and specifics to address so you can be better prepared; and he will emphasize the need to be proactive in planning, preparing and executing to best survive and thrive through a recession.

New Business / Call for Motion to Adjourn
Arthur G. Hoffmann, P.E., D.GE (Gannett Fleming, Inc.)

1:00PM – 1:45PM
Group Luncheon

1:00PM – 2:15PM
Board of Directors and Committee Chairs Luncheon & Meeting

2:15PM – 3:00PM
Board of Directors Meeting

Stay and Play- Optional Activity – Louisville Slugger Museum Tour
Per Person Cost: $15.00

Join us as we smell the wood, see the wood chips fly, and learn about the history of an American icon,
the Louisville Slugger Museum. For starters, you will explore (initially on your own) galleries filled with remarkable memorabilia and entertaining interactive exhibits. See and touch thousands of signatures from players who signed contracts with Louisville Slugger. These are the same signatures that were burned into their bats. The impressive collection of branded autographs is sure to stir memories of childhood heroes.

The hallowed Bat Vault with more than 3,000 original bat models created by some of the game’s greatest and most legendary players is a must-see. The oldest documented bats in the Vault are 100 years old! From Ted Williams to Babe Ruth, the Bat Vault contains unique treasures for baseball fans that can’t be seen anywhere else. Here is where you get to hold bats that were actually used by the greatest players in the game. Legends like Mickey Mantle, Johnny Bench, David Ortiz, Derek Jeter and many more past and present heroes. These are genuine artifacts, real pieces of history. And, yes, you get to hold them!

After your (on own) exploring you will take a group factory tour which begins with a thrilling movie that transports you to the forests and mills where every Louisville Slugger bat begins. Next you will walk through the heart of the factory production line and check out never-before-seen steps in the bat-making process including the creation of the fan favorite mini-bats. At the end of the tour, you’ll get a free souvenir mini-bat in a gallery that showcases quotes about Louisville Slugger from superstars like Babe Ruth, Roberto Clemente and Cool Papa Bell.
“You don’t have to be a big baseball fan to enjoy the Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory.” There’s something fun for everyone.

(FYI: Transportation on own: Louisville Slugger Museum is a 20-minute walk from the hotel, or individuals can take Loulift Free Main – Market Street Circular)

Speaker Biographies

Friday, October 4th – Speakers

Patrick Schwerdtfeger is a business futurist specializing in technology trends including big data, artificial intelligence, and blockchain. He’s the author of “Anarchy, Inc.: Profiting in a Decentralized World with Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain” as well as four other books and has lectured at numerous academic institutions including Purdue and Stanford Universities. He is also a regular speaker for Bloomberg TV, founder of Trend Mastery Inc., and host of the Strategic Business Insights video blog (with over 25,000 subscribers and six million views on YouTube). Patrick has spoken about business trends, technology and digital marketing at hundreds of conferences all around the world.

Nick Machairas is a geotechnical engineer, lecturer and consultant who ventured into applied and predictive analytics, exploring new ideas at the intersection of computer science and civil (geotechnical) engineering. His areas of expertise include probabilistic-driven improvement offoundation design methodologies, deep learning (A.I.), pre/post-processing and analysis of building and geotechnical sensor data and open source software development, with six years of experience in predictive analytics and data warehousing. At NYU, Nick recently concluded his doctoral studies under the mentorship of Dr. Magued Iskander, while at Columbia University he is teaching graduate courses in Relational & NoSQL Databases, Machine Learning and Applied Analytics. He is an active supporter and developer of the Data Interchange for Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Specialists (DIGGS) standard, a crucial piece of the Big Data puzzle of the geotechnical industry.

Jim Murphy, STRATA Inc’s chairman and CEO, joined the firm in 2011, when the company he owned and operated merged with STRATA. Jim led Gillette, Wyoming-based Consolidated Engineers & Materials Testing, Inc. (CE&MT) to success as an award-winning engineering firm. Since joining STRATA, Jim has served on the Board of Directors as Chief Operations Officer (COO). In that role, Jim was responsible forthe daily operation of the company, and led the execution of STRATA’s strategic plan including the designand implementation of their electronic data recording/reporting system (MetaField). Jim’s professional certifications have included International Code Council (ICC) Special Inspector,National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET), the American Concrete Institute (ACI), Western Alliance for Quality Transportation Construction (WAQTC), Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT), Washington Association of Building Officials (WABO),and the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy and Pre-Medicine from Gonzaga University.

Robert Tuttle joined Agile Frameworks as president and CEO in June of 2017. Bob is atechnology industry leader who sets organizational strategy, attracts, inspires and manages high performing teams, exercises strong judgment, and acts with integrity to consistently deliver results. Most recently he served as executivevice president at Verisae, Inc. an enterprise SaaS field workforce maintenance and Internet of Things (IoT)platform. Prior to Verisae, Bob served as president and chief executive officer at Vcommerce Corporation, a SaaS-based Ecommerce company. He brings a broad background in high-growth technology organizations disrupting traditional business models and creating shareholder value. Bob holds a B.S. in business administration and management from the University of Minnesota.

Woodward L. “Woody” Vogt, D. GE, P.E., is president of Paradigm Consultants, Inc. in Houston.

He has more than 40 years’ experience providing geotechnical, construction materials, and investigative and forensic engineering services. Prior to serving as GBA’s 2018-2019 President, Woody served on the GBA Board of Directors, and was a founding member of the GBA Construction Materials Engineering and Testing (CoMET) Council and chaired the GBA Accreditation and Certification Task Force. Woody is a Diplomate of Academy of Geo-Professionals and a fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers, ACI International, and ASTM International. He participates in committee activities of ACI International and ASTM and is past chair of ASTM E36 – Accreditation and Certification. Woody has served on the board of directors of the International Council for Certification of Construction Inspectors and is past board chair of the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation. He served as president of TCEL/Geoprofessionals Serving Texas and the Houston Chapter of TCEL. Woody received his Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees from the Georgia Institute of Technology (“Georgia Tech”) and is a licensed professional engineer in Texas and Louisiana. A contributor to many GBA publications, Woody heads the GBA Editorial Committee and has authored four case histories and the GBA publication “Moist-Curing Room Design, Construction and Maintenance” published by the GBA CoMET Business Council.

Dr. Murray Fredlund received his training from the University of Saskatchewan and Texas A&M University and has published over 50 research papers on topics related to database design, finite element modeling, and unsaturated soil knowledge-based systems. In 1997 he started SoilVision Systems Ltd. with a database software product called SoilVision which could be used to estimate unsaturated soil behavior. He has since directed the development of eight other finite element software packages covering areas of groundwater flow, contaminant transport, geothermal analysis, air-flow analysis, stress / deformation, and slope stability. The software products of SoilVision Systems Ltd. are used in over 100 countries by consultants, universities, government agencies and multinational corporations. More recent work has involved supervising the development of the state-of-the-art 2D/3D SVSlope slope stability software. Recent work has also been related to the development of large-strain consolidation software and its application to uranium, gold, and oil-sand tailings. Work has continued with involvement with dewatering of oil-sand tailings through the application of large-strain consolidation software.

Stephan Mavakis completed his Bachelor’s Degrees in Electrical & Electronic Engineering, as well as Computer Science in Adelaide, SA and obtained a federally funded scholarship to do postgraduate work in Business – more specifically technology commercialization. In 1997, he joined Spectra Systems as a Support Engineer and soon after, he identified a major restructure opportunity which resulted in Spectra QEST being formed with new, additional shareholders and a renewed focus in growth and R&D. Stephan’s entrepreneurial skills contributed in the unprecedented company growth that followed which was recognized in 2015 when Spectra QEST received one of the three inaugural “Impact Awards” awarded in South Australia. In the 21 years between 1997 and 2018 Stephan held leadership positions in Spectra QEST and is today recognized as an expert in the field of software solutions for the testing of construction materials for geoprofessional engineers, materials testing and materials producing firms, as well as Government. Following the acquisition of Spectra QEST by the largest software group in Canada in 2018, Stephan is currently the Head of Global Sales for the Company.

Max F. Kilger, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor in Practice in the Department of Information Systems & Cyber Security at the University of Texas at San Antonio and Director of the Masters in Data Analytics Program. He is also the Academic Director of the IC CAE Critical Technology Studies Program which prepares young people for a career in the Intelligence Community. Max received his Ph.D. in Social Psychology from Stanford University.   He has over 20 years of experience in the area of information security concentrating on the social and psychological factors motivating malicious online actors, hacking groups and cyberterrorists. Max has written and co-authored a number of journal articles, book chapters and books on profiling, the social structure of the hacking community, cyberviolence and the emergence of cyberterrorism.   He co-authored the popular cyber counterintelligence book Reverse Deception: Organized Cyberthreat Counter-Exploitation and also co-authored his second book Deception in the Digital Age. He is working on his third deception book with an international team of authors. He is a founding and board member of The Honeynet Project – a not-for-profit information security organization with 50 teams of experts in 42 countries working for the public good. Max was a member of a National Academy of Engineering committee dedicated to make recommendations for combating terrorism. He is also a member of a multinational instructional team for a NATO counterterrorism course and a faculty member of the Cyber Center for Security and Analytics. Recently Max was an instructor for a United Nations Counterterrorism exercise in SE Asia. He is also on the Scientific Board of the graduate interdisciplinary cyber security program at LUISS Guido Carli University in Rome. Max is a frequent national and international speaker to industry, federal law enforcement, the military and intelligence communities.

Thomas W. Blackburn, PE, GE, F. ASCE, F. ACEC is Blackburn Consulting’s President and provides strong leadership not only for the company, but also for professional and local communities. He exemplifies a solid work ethic and integrity. Tom specializes in forensics and complex engineering projects. Licensed in California and Nevada, his 30+ year track record and close relationships with clients and employees tell the story for Tom. He has served as a consultant and expert on hundreds of public works, residential, and commercial projects. Tom’s technical expertise includes: deep foundations, landslides, expansive clay, earth pressures, settling soils, surface and subsurface drainage, ground vibrations, seismicity, liquefaction, codes, and construction practices. He has worked on: dams, canals, penstocks, levees, bridges, pavements, concrete slabs, deep and shallow foundations, ground improvement, retaining walls, anchors, and structures.

Bryce W. Moore started with Blackburn Consulting in 2006 as a materials testing/inspection technician. He now leads Blackburn’s Construction Services. Bryce’s 18-plus years of experience includes: construction and project management, inspection, and materials testing for city and county roadways, public works infrastructure, levees, Caltrans roadways and bridges, subdivisions, water/wastewater, schools, and pipeline projects. He is Caltrans, ICC, and ACI certified. Bryce graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, CA with a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture Business and a certificate in Construction Management from U.C. Davis. Bryce also completed the Fundamentals of Professional Practice course.

Bill Samuels, Jr. is Chairman Emeritus – Maker’s Mark Distillery, Inc. While his parents forever changed the bourbon industry with the introduction of Maker’s Mark Bourbon in the early 1950’s, Bill was born into a family that had been making whisky for six generations. An active 79 year old, Bill spent his early years living on Whisky Row in Bardstown next door to Col. Jim Beam (his godfather); watched as his mother and father created Maker’s Mark; also watched as his mother and sister created bourbon tourism (now the wildly popular Ky Bourbon Trail); Bill drove Col. Harland Sanders around Kentucky as he was starting his chicken business; transitioned Maker’s during his 36 years as CEO from family hobby to national iconic brand;transitioned leadership of the business to his son Rob eight years ago where he is rapidly building the brand’s international status. During Bill’s years at Maker’s he also found time to chair the Board of Directors of 25 nonprofit organizations – and stay married to the same wonderful woman for 48+ years. A very busy life.

Saturday, October 5th – Speakers

Ken Coleman is host of The Ken Coleman Show and the top-rated Entre Leadership Podcast, and author of One Question: Life-Changing Answers from Today’s Leading Voices. An acclaimed interviewer and broadcaster, Coleman equips, encourages and entertains listeners through thought-provoking interviews, helping them grow their businesses, pursue their passions, and move toward a fulfilled purpose. Coleman joined Ramsey Solutions in 2014 and frequently guest hosts The Dave Ramsey Show—the third-ranked nationally syndicated talk radio show in America.

Linda K. Lannen is Kleinfelder’s Corporate Services Director and is responsible for strategic planning and operations of Kleinfelder’s Corporate Services, including all facets of business technology, such as collaboration and  financial management systems; practice technology systems, including CADD, GIS and laboratory information systems; our field data collection system (FieldNet); information and physical security; technology infrastructure & customer support services. In addition, Ms. Lannen is responsible for managing our real estate portfolio of 70+ locations and forcorporate procurement. She also serves as the Executive Sponsor for the firm’s Corporate Social Responsibility programs including Sustainability, Volunteer programs, Disaster Relief, and Diversity & Inclusion. Ms. Lannen joined Kleinfelder in 2010 and has over 30 years of experience in operations management and team leadership. She holds an M.B.A. from University of Denver’s Daniels College of Business, and a B.S. in Business Administration & Finance from Regis University.

Steve Wendland, P.E., P.G., D.GE is Kleinfelder’s Director of Geo-Engineering. He is responsible for technical leadership of Kleinfelder’s geotechnical and geological engineering. He has provided geotechnical engineering services and analyses for a wide variety of structures and facilities. Steve has also conducted forensic analyses and expert evaluations of structures that have been impacted by a variety of geotechnical conditions,engineering practices, or construction methods.  Steve received his MS, Civil (Geotechnical)Engineering, from the University of Texas – Austin and his BS, Geological Engineering, from Missouri University of Science & Technology.

Alison Grounds

Alison Grounds is a trial attorney and eDiscovery advocate who combines legal strategy and evolving, leading-edge technology to discover the facts needed to help clients achieve optimal results, win cases and settle at the right value.  Alison’s areas of focus include: eDiscovery and Data Management; Business Litigation; Cybersecurity, Information Governance and Privacy; and Information Technology.

With a practical, efficiency-obsessed approach, Alison assists clients in all discovery-related aspects of litigation, internal and governmental investigations, subpoena response, and due diligence, as well as proactive litigation readiness. Clients across varied industries rely on Alison’s litigation experience and technology prowess to develop and manage the overall strategy and to advocate on their behalf during discovery conferences, meet and confers, and hearings. She regularly handles discovery disputes across the country to ensure the compliance and responsiveness of her clients’ adversaries, and takes and defends eDiscovery-related depositions in support of her clients.

Alison is the founder and managing director of eMerge, a wholly owned subsidiary of the firm, which provides end-to-end, integrated discovery services for legal matters. eMerge’s attorneys and technologists combine legal strategy with the latest technology to manage data, reduce costs and identify facts needed to resolve disputes.

Alison is ranked by Chambers as a national eDiscovery practitioner and is as an adjunct professor of eDiscovery and Legal Technology at Emory University School of Law.   In 2015, Alison was the inaugural recipient of the Monica Bay STEM Leadership Award; was recognized as ILTA’s Technology Advocacy Professional of the Year in 2012; and has been selected as a Georgia Super Lawyer for eDiscovery (2015 – 2019). Alison is an active member of Sedona Working Group 1.


John D. Doehring is an accomplished speaker, author, and (certified) management consultant- focused in the professional services markets of design, planning, environmental, and construction. Founder and Managing Principal of J. Doehring & Co. – John and his colleagues provide advice and counsel on matters of significance: business strategy and planning, leadership development and transition, and breakthrough operations transformation. The firm’s clients range from largeto small, broadly-diversified to niche-specialist, around-the-block to around-the-world. John’s passion is helping leaders to plan for the future, growth their business, and make more money! John is a popular writer on business and organization improvement for professional services firms and their leaders – and he’s been featured in many industry newsletters, magazines, trade publications, and websites. He is the author of Fast Future! Ten Uber-Trends Changing Everything in Business and Our World and The BackPocket Business Plan! Outrageously Simply Business Planning for Extraordinary Business Results. John is currently working on a new book on leadership: Stop Eating Your Leaders! Get Going, Do What Works, and Ignite the Next Generation in Your Firm.

Lee R. James is a certified public accountant, certified management consultant, and certified business intermediary. Through his firm – Lee James & Associates – individualized services, such as benchmarking, coaching, facilitating, financial and operational assessment, leadership development, project-management performance, ownership transition (internal and external), software conversions, strategic planning, and training. Lee is also well known for the many seminars and other training programs he leads, and is a highly regarded speaker. Lee has worked tirelessly for GBA,  donating many years of service to the organization’s Business Practices Committee.

GBA will award Professional Development Hours (PDHs).

Details available in late June 2019!

Omni Louisville Hotel           

400 S. 2nd Street

Louisville, Kentucky 40202

Main Phone:  502-313-6664

Reservations Phone Line:  800-843-6664

On-line Reservation Link:   Click Here For the Link


The Omni Louisville Hotel with 612 elegantly appointed guest rooms is the new cornerstone of downtown. The hotel boasts several unique dining experiences including: Bob’s Steak & Chop House open nightly for dinner and located off the lobby offers award-winning prime steaks and wines in a classic setting with interior celebrating the history and tradition of American thoroughbred racing; Pin + Proof (speakeasy) offers cocktails and a light menu as well as four professional bowling lanes where you can get your game on with colleagues;  the Water Company rooftop pool and bar (open seasonally) offers the perfect place to relax and socialize around fire pits as you share a cocktail while enjoying views of the downtown skyline; and the Library Bar is the perfect place to indulge in Louisville’s bourbon culture with locally inspired cocktails.

The hotel’s convenient location allows guests to easily make their way to Main Street and indulge in Louisville’s bourbon culture at the many popular distilleries or to visit the Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory or Churchill Downs race track.  The hotel is also less than 10 miles from the Louisville International Airport.




Run of House $219.00 Single/Double $229.00 Triple $239.00 Quad Plus 16.07% Current Tax



All reservations must be guaranteed by a valid major credit card, which must be supplied at the time the reservation is made.  Regardless of how the reservation is made, any guaranteed reservation not cancelled 72-hours prior to arrival will be subject to one night’s room and tax cancellation fee.  In addition, attendee that fails to arrive on the scheduled arrival date will be considered a “No Show” and a charge of one night’s room and tax will be posted to the individual attendee’s credit card on file.

Upon check-in, each guest will be required to present a valid credit card, on which an amount of sufficient pre-authorization can be obtained to cover the room, tax charges and possible miscellaneous charges.

  • Call the room reservation line at 800-843-6664
  • Mention the Geoprofessional Business Association or GBA and the GBA’s 2019 Fall Conference to be quoted the group rates.
  • Room Reservation Link
  • Secure room reservation earlyGBA’s cut-off date is Friday, September 6, 2019…. Once GBA’s room block is filled the hotel and GBA cannot guarantee availability of guest rooms at the GBA group rate.
  • Pre/Post Room Nights: Limited guest rooms may be available for up to 3 days pre/post the official conference dates of October 3-5, 2019 at the hotel based on availability at the time reservations are made and at the hotel’s discretion.   If you plan to extend your stay prior to or post the official conference dates, please contact the hotel as soon as possible for best availability.
  • Hotel Reservation Changes and Cancellations: The Omni Louisville Hotel has a 72-hour room reservation cancellation policy.   Room reservation cancellations received less than 72-hours prior to arrival will be subject to one night’s room/tax cancellation.
  • 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 Omni Louisville Hotel so that the guest room nights can be re-sold to other GBA guests. If you have questions, contact GBA staff – Barb ([email protected]) or Sara ([email protected]) even if you have to cancel late so that GBA can try to assign your guest room to someone else.
  • Check-in / Check-out Times: Check-in time is 3:00 PM; check-out time is 11:00 AM. If you plan to arrive earlier than 3:00PM, call the hotel directly on your arrival day and ask the front desk attendant if there are any rooms available allowing you to check-in early. The Geoprofessional Business Association and the Omni Louisville Hotel cannot guarantee check-in before 3:00 PM. Requests for late check-out on your departure day may be limited and is at the discretion of the Hotel.
  • Early Departure Fee/Policy: The Omni Louisville Hotel has an Early Departure Fee/Policy; i.e., if you reserve to depart on the 4th, 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 manager 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 staff or GBA’s chosen hotel (Omni Louisville Hotel) contacts you and suggests that they represent any GBA event, they do NOT.   It is GBA’s recommendation that you book your hotel guest room directly with the Omni Louisville Hotel.  Don’t be scammed!   Should you have any questions, please contact Barb Nappy at 727-457-2272 (cell) or via e-mail at [email protected]


Louisville – A charming city nestled on the banks of the Ohio River offers 120 attractions. Louisville is home to many one-of-a-kind original attractions, events, and places including the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory, internationally known Muhammad Ali Center and Churchill Downs – home to the Kentucky Derby. The birthplace of the cheeseburger, the Mint Julep, Derby Pie and more Victorian-style homes in one area than any other city in America…Louisville’s originality is obvious in many ways. Connoisseurs visit Bourbon Country and food aficionados come for the diverse dining as the city rates as one of Bon Appetit’s “top 5 foodiest small towns” and Southern Living’s Top 10 Tastiest Towns. The city’s history, art, and architecture constitute itineraries all their own.  Louisville combines serious business with serious southern hospitality.

Things to See and Do in Louisville

Louisville’s Culinary Scene – Louisville’s growing food reputation is putting the city on the culinary map. And it’s not just the city’s eclectic, innovative and award-winning restaurant scene, but also locally made products that are setting the city apart (with and beyond the Bourbon!). The accolades continue to grow from the World Food Travel Association’s grand prize award for “Best Destination Experience” to Southern Living magazine’s “top 10 tastiest towns in the South,” to Zagat naming Louisville “one of the top eight ‘awesome foodie getaways in the world’” – the only US destination. Travel + Leisure named Louisville one of the “Best Places to Travel” and Fodor’s put Louisville on their “Go List” for 2015, largely based on culinary reasons. Highlights include: the hot dining corridors of Bardstown Road, Frankfort Avenue, NuLu and Whiskey Row; the approximately 50 independent restaurateurs that unite as the Louisville Originals; Louisville’s emerging craft beer scene – termed Lou’s Brews; and of course the bourbon culture that permeates in the state that produces 95% of the world’s bourbon supply. Louisville is the Culinary Capital of Bourbon Country.

Best Restaurants and Dining in Louisville

Click on any of the links below to view various maps of Louisville, Kentucky, local attractions and area neighborhood.

Louisville Area Maps

Downtown Louisville Pedestrian Walking Map

Area Attractions Map

Louisville International Airport and Ground Transportation 


A refund (less $125/per person administrative fee) will be given to individuals whose cancellations are received by 5:00PM Eastern Time, Friday, September 6, 2019.   For cancellations received after that date, but not later than 5:00PM Eastern Time, Friday, September 20, 2019, the cancellation fee will be $250/per person, for administration, food service and related guarantee charges that GBA will have to absorb.  No refund or credit may be given after 5:00PM on Friday, September 20, 2019.

Please note:  GBA may charge an individual whatever GBA has to pay the hotel (in attrition fees) if you fail to cancel a room reservation in a timely manner and GBA is unable to assign the room to someone else.  Be sure to notify Barb ([email protected]) or Sara ([email protected]) even if you have to cancel late so that GBA can at least try to mitigate any additional charges.


October 3
October 5


Omni Hotel