President’s Update # 6 – October 6, 2021

GBA’s Fall Conference – Highlights of Our Reunion

By: Tom Blackburn, PE, GE, F. ASCE, F. ACEC

Hello everyone. I hope your geo-journeys are going well. I look forward to seeing many of you in Henderson, NV for our fall conference on October 21-23, 2021. That’s going to be fun! It has been so nice to start attending meetings in person again. I think we’ll be using virtual meetings more often now, but they simply can’t replace in-person experiences.

Henderson is located about 16 miles southeast of Las Vegas, so we will have access to the world class food and entertainment of Las Vegas to the west and the fascinating high desert and Hoover Dam/Lake Mead to the east.

Henderson itself is a destination you won’t want to miss. We will have close access to eight championship golf courses, a Botanical Cactus Garden, Lion Habitat Ranch, and the Bird Viewing Preserve. Lots of choices for everyone in your family.

Mostly though, I’ll just be happy to see old and new friends and raise the bar for our profession.

Here’s a general run-down of the conference:

On Thursday (October 21st), our Board, Committees and Task Forces will meet and move their agendas forward. On Thursday evening we will re-connect as a community during our always enjoyable receptions.

On Friday (October 22nd) we will learn about:

  • The mistakes made that lead to the Florida International University bridge collapse and how we can avoid similar mistakes on our projects,
  • The creative solutions and risk management techniques DOWL used on a complicated project in remote Alaska that won GBA’s Project Excellence Award,
  • Experiences of our Emerging Leaders during their journey of growth over the last 2-years before we officially graduate Class 4,
  • Memory training techniques to improve our ability to recall names, facts, figures, processes, as we all strive to be better professionals and leaders.
  • Important steps we can all take to improve our employees’ sense of belonging and the value of inclusive workplaces to improve company performance.
  • Best practices on important topics as we collaborate during GBA’s always popular Business Roundtables.

On Saturday (October 23rd) we will learn about:

  • GBA progress in the past year and our direction for the future,
  • Communication lessons that all leaders can use to improve effectiveness in a dynamic business environment
  • Business challenges associated with shifting cannabis rules and regulations,
  • The future of engineering in an era of accelerating technology, rapidly evolving societal needs, and growing environmental imperatives,
  • A historical perspective of dam safety including Hoover Dam.
  • Hoover Dam as we tour the facilities and peak at Lake Mead as it hits its lowest levels since the 1930s. (if you stay to play!).

We’ve also built-in lots of networking opportunities so you can connect with friends and business partners from across North America.

See you in Nevada my friends!