GBA Timeline

1969 - 1978

GBA founded as Associated Soil and Foundation Engineers, Inc.
Commonly referred to as ASFE

First Loss-Prevention Seminars offered
Training/professional development offerings are a staple of the Association

Standard Contract Clauses developed
Tools for strengthening agreements with clients

Practice Reference Manual and other publications free to members
All association publications are free to members

Limitation of Liability (LOL) implementation materials introduced
Guidance for the most significant AE contract provision

Fundamentals of Professional Practice Course created
A unique six-month program for firms’ rising stars

First Case Histories published
Over 100 geoprofessional accounts of lessons learned

Report Review Program launched
Association reviewers evaluate member firm reports for loss prevention, tech content and style

Education programs offered in audio format
For project managers and field representatives

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) advancements
GBA developed first new alternative to arbitration in 100 years

Peer Review Program developed
ENR in 1999 named this most innovative construction-industry-association-developed program in 125 years

1979 - 1988

First client-oriented Materials offered
Materials used to educate client representatives

Hazardous Waste Task Force launched
Support for emergence of environmental services being offered by member firms

ASFE Contract Reference Guide created
For many firms, the “contract bible”

The "ASFE Story" published
First historical account of the Association

Backyard Seminars offered
Loss prevention training at member firm office locations

Hazardous Materials Contract Addendum published
Risk management element for environmental services

Geotechnical Engineer Model Contract published
Risk management element for geotechnical services

Advocacy against price-based procurement
US Air Force withdraws price-based AE selection, one of many successes against possible Brooks Act violations

Objections to proposed ASCE standards
Early example of the Association making sure prescriptive approaches don't replace professional judgment

First Winter Leadership Conference
This gathering became a staple of organizational leadership efforts held in Jan/Feb of each year

Association of Soils and Foundations Engineers (ASFE) renamed
New name is simply ASFE

Institute of Professional Practice (IPP) formed
Independent entity with a grant from the Association

PSA Research begins
PSA (now ESA) practice evaluation

Growing Pains of a New Profession: Soil Mechanics 1925-1940 presentation by Ralph Peck
Definitive historical account by one of the most honored geotechnical-engineering educators

Practice Alerts published
A variety of member alerts on impactful, timely issues

1989 - 1998

Association of Geotechnical Specialists (AGS) formed in the UK
Modeled after ASFE - unaffiliated

ASFE and the Hazardous Waste Action Coalition (HWAC) reach agreement on areas of focus
ASFE focus on ESAs, USTs and loss prevention; HWAC focus on safety, manuals and standards

BOD forms Hospitality Committee
Furthering the tradition of the Association conferences welcoming the attendance of family and significant others

Sponsorship of PSA Report Review
Association effort to document PSA (ESA) standard of care; work conducted in collaboration with HWAC

Input provided to OSHA for excavation and trenching regulations
One of many efforts to promote safe work practices

Council of Fellows discusses "The Future of Geotechnical Engineering" 20 year vision
Precursor to what became the Crystal Ball Workshop

Advocacy regarding problematic ASTM ESA standards language
Early stage of long disagreement with ASTM regarding limitations on professional judgement in standards

Support provided for legal brief in response to LOL appeal threat
One of many examples of the Association's assistance with legal briefs on behalf of geoprofessional interests

BOD Endorses Faculty Membership
Expanded membership to academics

Opposition to FEMA requirement for certification
An example of frequent advocacy by the Association against client certification requirements


In-House Review of Reports Guide published
Report review best practices summary

Model Daily Field Report published
Field documentation component/format suggestions

Memorandum of Understanding with American Council of Independent Laboratories adopted
Pursuit of mutual interests

Membership Task Force formed
Addresses membership needs

Limitation of Liability Guide published
Update to LOL best practices

NEWSlog becomes semi-monthly publication
Association's primary source for news

ASFE/HWAC form committee on Alternative Project Delivery
Affiliated entity collaboration on environmental issue

Emerging Issues Committee formed
Precursor to Emerging Issues and Trends Committee

Environmental Task Group formed
Focus on environmental service business issues

Environmental Site Assessments: Message to Clients - revised
Publications are frequently updated as practices evolve

Model 3rd Party Reliance Letter published
Suggested format/content for 3rd party reliance letters

Partnering Agreement with ACEC adopted
Pathway for more collaboration

Model Contract Clause Library released
Efficient access to loss limiting contract clauses

Design-Build Contracts Document published
Contract guidance for design-build projects

Association's first webpage established on the "Worldwide Web"
View the evolution of the Association's webpages at*/

White Papers published
Covering a variety of topics, with emphasis on the future

White Paper on ASTM Issues published
Part of the Association-led effort against well-intentioned, but potentially catastrophic standardization

ASTM Geotechnical Engineering Report Standard withdrawn
Successful resolution through influence of the Association

1999 - 2008

Amicus Briefs filed with support of the Association
Common practice of providing the Association's insight for geoprofessional legal defenses

Project Manager Training Program created 
Focus on best practices for project managers

Advocacy for members regarding certification issues
Often successful efforts to fend off client requests for members to certify professional opinions

Member unionization issues addressed
News and guidance provided by the Association addressing efforts to unionize segments of the industry

Model Testing Laboratory Contract published
Contract suggestions for member laboratory services

Mold Task Force established
Addresses emerging environmental issue

CoMET Committee formed
Forum to address business issues unique to Construction Materials Engineering and Testing Services

Advocacy for improvements in EJCDC contract models
Loss prevention concerns addressed with Engineers Joint Contract Documents Committee (EJCDC)

Second Position Paper on Organized Labor published
Association's perspective on member unionization issues

"Risky Business" audio training series offered on-line
Popular loss prevention training program

Environmental Services Proposal Insert Sheet published
Message to clients about environmental services

Regional organization campaign launched
Liaison and affiliations with CAGE, CGEA, TCEL

Accreditation and Certification issues addressed
Longtime COMET Committee focus

Mold services research results published
Environmental service standard of care documentation

Three more Regional Organizations affiliate
CCTIA, CMEC, WACEL liaisons established

White Paper: ASFE in 2020 published
EIT Committee Crystal Ball Workshop vision

Rapid-Response Project Intervention Teams publication
Practice Alert with guidance for assembly these teams

Project-Records Retention Practice Alert published
Guidance for filing system best practices

Branding campaign launched - "Best People On Earth"
Celebrating member professionalism in the industry

New Leaders Committee formed
Welcoming and engaging the next generation of leaders; future ED Joel Carson named its first chairman

Member issues advocacy re: US Small Business Administration
USBA "Right-To-Sue" letter concerns addressed

Top Ten Ways to Lose Money with IDIQ Contracts published
Produced by the Business Practice Committee

100th Case History published
Milestone for essential lessons learned from members

2009 - 2018

40th Anniversary of the Association - Legacy Video
Historical reflections of the Association's Founders at Gala Celebration, October Conference in Monterey, CA

eBrownbag training series introduced
Program for efficient professional development over lunch

Business Round Table Discussions launched at conferences
Has become regular feature of Fall Conference

Hurricane Katrina recovery community service event
Dozens of Association members at New Orleans Conference participated in St. Bernard Parish rebuilding

First webinar hosted for members
New Leaders Committee perspectives shared

Statement supporting environmental sustainability issued
Value recognition of sustainability efforts by businesses

Wikipedia defines "Geoprofessions"
Initiated achieved through the efforts of the Association

Hard Copy NEWSlog publication is ended
Digital publication format adopted


ASFE/The Geoprofessional Business Association introduced
New name adopted to capture the essence of who we are

Mission revision adopted to combat commoditization
Help geoprofessionals maximize their importance and value, achieve business excellence, and manage risk

Model Site-Access Authorization for Geotechs published
Tools for managing site access risks

LOL and Economic Loss Doctrine Bibliography published
Index provided by the Legal Affairs Committee of LOL and ELD case legal decisions 1956 to 2012.

Charter Member of Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure (ISI)
Innovative environmental sustainability program support

Spring Conference videos made available to members
First offering of full conference video content

GBA acronym introduced
Geoprofessional Business Association (GBA)

ASFE/GBA management transition plan announced
Task Force report on plan for self management after Bachner Communications Management (Since 1973)

Formal process for conference presentation abstracts adopted
Among a number of conference value enhancements

New Tagline Introduced

GBA NEWSlog Graphics Introduced
Multi-briefs service used to publish NEWSlog

COMET Tales series launched
Practice briefings

Lunch and learn training sessions introduced
Teaching modules created for in-office brown bags

LinkedIn and other social media app use launched
New tools for Association communication and offerings

Safety Committee formed
Expands risk management focus

Executive Director John Bachner honored for 40 Years of Service and Leadership to ASFE/GBA
Boston Fall Conference

Risky Business Quiz Show Game created
Loss prevention game that can be enjoyed by the whole office, 12 categories and 1,000 questions

Committee structure revised
Environmental, Geotechnical and CoMET Business Councils formed

ASFE officially becomes the Geoprofessional Business Association (GBA)
Related bylaws changes approved

CoMET Client-Satisfaction Survey Tool issued
Developed by the CoMET Business Council

Best Practices Series of Monographs launched
Topic No. 1: E-Mail Disclaimers

Avoiding Allegations of Corruption published
Best Practices Monograph

GBA's CLAIMS 101: The Fundamentals of Claims Detection and Response published
Developed by the Legal Affairs Committee with support from Terra Insurance

Confronting Workplace Bullying published
Best Practices Monograph

Getting Paid: A How to Guide published
Guidance for achieving prompt payment

Joel G. Carson Announced as GBA Executive Director
GBA will becomes fully self-managed November 2015

Environmental Business Council launchers new Phase I ESA Standard-of-Care Survey
Covers 2007-2010, focus on vapor phase contaminants

"Can't You Come up with a Cheaper Alternative?" published
Value engineering guidance from GT Business Council

Expectations Management published
Best Practices Monograph

Documentation-Management Fundamentals published
Best Practices Monograph

John Bachner completes tenure as ED on October 31, 2015
Managed ASFE/GBA for 42 years

Strategic Association Involvement published
Best Practices Monograph

GBA Resources Catalog published
217 page summary of publications and training materials

Mine Tailings Task Force established
Provides guidance about serving as the engineer of record (EOR) for mine-tailings-storage facilities (TSFs)

Important Information about This Geotechnical-Engineering Report updated and republished
Number-one, all-time most-popular GBA resource, a message to client's about the use of geotechnical reports

GBA and AEG agree to Memorandum of Understanding
Pathway for collaboration

Field Representative's Reference Guide published
CoMET guide comprises 15 chapters

GBA and the GeoInstitute Hold Summit Meeting
Focus on local GI chapter leaders and affiliated interests

Effort to refresh Case Histories launched
Present day context for historical best lessons learned

Business Brief: A Look Inside the Crystal Ball published
Water-Energy Nexus future - what it means for members

NEWSlog approach and content refreshed
Fresh format with more GBA content/suggested links

New Standard of Care Report for Phase I ESAs published
Review of 197 reports from 2007-2010 with commentary on vapor phase contaminant standard of care

Ted-Talk/Podcast Topics introduced with GBA-hosted teleconference discussion forums
Value added issue discussions

Ethics and Professional Conduct Training Program offered
Another piece promoting commitment to professionalism

Effective Presentations published
Best Practices Monograph

National Practice Guideline Geotechnical Engineer of Record update published
Cover roles/responsibilities of the geotechnical engineer of record, client, and owner on design/bid/build projects

Emerging Contaminants Spotlight Introduced
Prepared by the Environmental Business Council

Occasional NEWSlog themes introduced
First themed Issue: "War for Talent"

Message to Owners: Construction Risks and Limitation of Liability update published
Outreach tool to keep clients informed of risk management issues

Webinar: Getting More Work from Existing Clients presented
Business development guidance

Partnering with Lipscomb and Vanderbilt Universities
Program for student participation at GBA Fall Conference including Business Roundtable discussions

CEO Peer to Peer Group Launched
Facilitated Peer to Peer Forum of 6 CEOs to Discuss Business Issues/Perspectives

2019 - Current

GBA's 50th Year Anniversary
Kick-off to year of recognition and celebration at Spring Conference, Maui, HI