GBA Board Member Spotlight ~ Arthur G. “Art” Hoffmann, P.E., D.G.E. ~ Gannett Fleming

 GBA Board Member Spotlight ~ Arthur G. “Art” Hoffmann, P.E., D.G.E. ~ Gannett Fleming

My roots are international with a Swiss Dad and a  German Mom. They came to the U.S. after World War II to make a new life and found each other in the land of opportunity. Our extended family was eleven with 5 from Europe and 6 born in the U.S. As a mixed heritage family, we did not have rich traditions from Europe or the U.S. but developed our own over time.

I did not see much of the U.S. while growing up in Pittsburgh, but we regularly took special trips to Europe to visit my relatives. These trips were an opportunity to experience different languages, cultures, traditions, landscapes and senses of humor. Every trip was an adventure full of new amazing things to see and people to meet. These adventures were the start of my life passion to regularly experience new places and meet new people. I carry this passion with me today; now more than ever.

 

I followed my father’s footsteps and began studying electrical engineering at the University of Pittsburgh. Lissajous figures were not exciting to me and frankly, made no sense. My father’s warnings about becoming a “ditch digger” echoed in my head and I changed course to civil engineering like my roommate. It was through civil engineering that I found my true calling as a geotechnical engineer.

I found the hidden underground world of geotechnical engineering to present new and exciting design challenges, even on the “simplest” of projects. Additionally, each project included new owners, different teams of consultants and contractors and a variety of approaches to solving problems. This fueled my passion for new experiences and new people on every project.

When I arrived at Gannett Fleming 33 years ago, I was still a relatively new engineer. In a short time, I was given an opportunity to experience a wide variety of multi-discipline design projects, each with its own unique challenges and located all over the country. It was rewarding to meet, work with, and build relationships with so many people in so many places.

Additionally, Gannett Fleming has given me the opportunity to volunteer my time with ASCE, the
Geo-Institute, and GBA. Each of these have given me the opportunity to meet new people and expand my network of geoprofessionals across North America while helping to elevate my profession.

In my early years with Gannett Fleming I advanced from a staff engineer, to project manager and quickly became an office manager. Then, someone decided I should be the new Corporate Quality Officer, so I learned what ISO 9001 was and helped the firm become certified. Internal auditing required I visit all of Gannett’s offices (over 60 locations) across the country. Traveling and experiencing America was great but meeting almost everyone in the firm was by far the best part of that job. New people in new places talking about new projects was wonderfully rewarding.

As Gannett Fleming’s footprint expanded, I had the opportunity to visit our offices in Doha, Qatar, Abu Dhabi and Dubai in the UAE. Again, my role was fueling my passion by allowing me to explore new parts of the world and meet new people from diverse cultures.

I am currently Gannett Fleming’s Chief Administrative Officer and I am responsible for Human Resources, Legal Services, IT Services and Safety. As a geotechnical engineer, I virtually knew nothing about each of these areas but I learn every day from the experts with whom I’m privileged to work and each day is a new and exciting experience.

 I could not have predicted my career path when I changed courses from electrical engineering to geotechnical engineering. I never imagined that I’d have the chance to do the things I’ve done, develop relationships with all the people I’ve met, and regularly been amazed by our vast world. I’m so lucky that I have been accompanied on this journey with my wonderful wife of 35  years, Lisa, and my amazing, accomplished daughters Amy and Holly. And now I am a  Grandpa!

They say change begins at the edge of your comfort zone. I’ve never regretted pushing that boundary as it has provided a career of growth and fulfillment. I’d love to hear your stories of pushing past the edges of your comfort zones and the excellent adventures that you’ve had.

Welcome New Members

Welcome New Members!

Geoprofessional consulting firms continue to join GBA to access                                             
the many benefits of membership. Please join us in welcoming the
following firms who have joined GBA since the beginning of our fiscal year:

Associated Engineers, Inc. (Madisonville, KY)
Castle Rock Geotechnical Engineering PLLC (Bozeman, MT)*
Carolinas Geotechnical Group (Charlotte, NC)
CDG Engineers and Associates (Andalusia, AL)
GeoStrata (Bluffdale, UT)
Hillis-Carnes Engineering Associates, Inc. (Annapolis Junction, MD)
Morell Engineering, Inc. (Athens, AL)
• Patrick Engineering (Lisle, IL)*
Professional Engineering Consultants, P.A. (Wichita, KS)
Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc. (VHB) (Watertown, MA)

* indicates a returning GBA Member-Firm

GBA Member Directory: HERE

Top 5 Downloads for Website

What Are You Downloading?

These are the most frequently downloaded reference documents this year! If you are not reading them, you are missing out.

Important Information About This Geotechnical-Engineering Report

GBA has updated one of its most frequently, all-time best-selling resource – Important Information about This Geotechnical-Engineering Report. Some of the language and sections have been modified and updated,
including a new section about understanding the geotechnical engineering services.

Literally millions of copies of the previous versions are in print or virtual print. Only GBA-Member Firms have the right to insert the document “as-is.”.  And members get them for free.  Stay current and get your copy now!

Download Important Information about This Geotechnical-Engineering Report Here

BUSINESS BRIEF: Fiscal Year 2018-2019 Financial Performance Survey Report

Net Multipliers and Utilization Ratios are higher, DSO is lower.  Overall, financial performance for GBA members is improving!

For more than 15 years, GBA has been collecting key financial metrics from member-firms so our members can measure their success, improve business performance, and optimize efficiency.  The newest GBA Business Brief —  is free for all members and compiles data from GBA Business Practices Committee’s 2018-19 Financial-Performance Survey in a short report, covering key financial-performance issues of surveyed firms.

Download GBA Business Brief:  Fiscal Year 2018-2019 Financial Performance Survey Report Here

CASE HISTORY Updates 61-65

Learn from others. Don’t repeat the mistakes of the past! GBA Case Histories are being used by our members for loss prevention discussions in support of professional development and mentoring. That is why GBA case histories are so valuable, and why GBA is updating them all, while adding new ones, too.

CASE HISTORY NO. 61 (download)

The owner of a gasoline station retained an environmental consultant to perform a Phase II ESA at the request of prospective purchasers, acting through an intermediary. When problems were discovered later, the consultant wound up as a target in a maze of litigation.

CASE HISTORY NO. 62 (download)

The GBA member was retained by a general contractor for a major utility project. Corners were cut and failure occurred. Although the GBA member was relatively blameless, it had agreed to an unwise indemnity in its contract and faced the potential of litigation that would likely cost it more than $1 million before reaching a settlement.

CASE HISTORY NO. 63 (download)

A GBA member assigned an inexperienced field representative to observe a grouting project. The field representative began giving directions to the contractor, who was unfamiliar with local regulations and had staked out the project incorrectly, filling the sewer lines with grout.

CASE HISTORY NO. 64 (download)

The GBA-Member Firm’s civil-engineer client erred when transferring information from the member’s report to a set of plans. Serious problems resulted and the geotechnical engineer took strong proactive measures to resolve issues between the civil engineer, client, and contractor.

CASE HISTORY NO. 65 (download)

Knowing that its proposal was accepted as submitted, a member firm did not examine the contract it received from its client, a municipality. There, in the“boilerplate,” was a reference to a construction specification that greatly expanded the Member Firm’s responsibility. When a major problem occurred, then Member Firm, unaware of its additional responsibility, failed to exercise it, thus not doing what could have been done to have kept the problem from growing. The end result: The Member Firm paid $500,000 to settle the case.

Access all GBA’s Case Histories Here

GBA BEST PRACTICES: Deposition Do’s and Don’ts for Facts Witnesses

Lawsuit. Interrogation. Sworn testimony. All intimidating words that most people don’t like to hear. But as a geoprofessional, it’s possible that at some point in your career you will be asked to testify in a lawsuit as a fact witness. Typically, this will include a deposition, and it can be helpful (and far less intimidating) to know what to expect when you’re walking through the legal process. Enter the latest GBA Best Practices monograph, Deposition Do’s and Don’ts for Fact Witnesses.

Download GBA Best Practices: Deposition Do’s and Don’ts for Fact Witnesses Here

GBA BEST PRACTICES: E-Communication 

Communication is critical to the success of any business. As our communication methods change to include an increasing reliance on e-communication, it is important for us to understand potential problems and solutions to those problems. This GBA Best Practices covers e-mail, and a wide variety of newer communication platforms you and your employees use regularly to help you manage risk and optimize
business performance.

Download GBA Best Practices: E-Communication Here

These are just 5 of over 750 references available for FREE to GBA Members.  Access GBA’s resource library to become smarter, stronger, and more successful.

NEW GBA Business Brief: Preparing for the Next Recession Now

GBA Business Practices Committee

No one knows when the next recession will arrive, but most economists agree  that another recession is certain. Most also agree that we’re getting closer to the next recession.  What can geoprofessionals do now to prepare?

  • Create or Update Your Strategic Plan
  • Strengthen Client Relationships and Increase Your Brand Equity
  • Identify Ways to Increase Cash Availability
  • Examine Your Financial Structure and Results
  • Align Your Corporate Culture with Your Strategy

These themes are presented along with practices to deal with the recession once it arrives. The Business Brief focuses on how to help you prepare for and thrive during the next recession.

Download Business Brief:  HERE

 

Updated Important Information about This Geotechnical-Engineering Report – Updated!

GBA has updated one of its most frequently, all-time best-selling resourceImportant Information about This Geotechnical-Engineering Report. Some of the language and sections have been modified and updated, including a new section about understanding the geotechnical engineering services.

Literally millions of copies of the previous versions are in print or virtual print.

Only GBA-Member Firms have the right to insert the document “as-is.”.  And members get them for free.  Stay current and get your copy now!

Download Important Information about This Geotechnical ReportHERE

 

 

2019 Fall Conference Videos Available On-Demand

GBA’s 2019 Fall Conference videos and presentation slides are now available on our website for “on-demand” viewing.

 Watch 2019 Fall Conference Videos:  HERE

Now you can review the presentations on your time and share what you learned from these speakers with your colleagues.  They make great lunch-and-learns for professional development of small groups or your entire staff.

________________________________________________________

As a reminder, our 2019 Fall Conference lineup was:

EMBRACING BIG DATA AND DISRUPTIVE INNOVATION

Patrick Schwerdtfeger (Business Futurist)

ADVANCED DATA ANALYTICS IN GEOTECHNICAL ENGINEERING

Nick Machairas (New York University)

 DELIVERING REAL-TIME RESULTS:  THE FUTURE OF LABORATORY OPERATIONS

James “Jim” Murphy (Strata, Inc.) Robert “Bob” Tuttle (Agile Frameworks)

50 YEARS OF CASE HISTORIES:  WHAT LESSONS HAVE WE LEARNED?

Woodward L. “Woody” Vogt, P.E., D.GE, (Paradigm Consultants, Inc.)

MAKING TECHNOLOGY WORK FOR YOU

Ryan J. Thompson (Kordata)

ANALYSIS OF TEST RESULTS:  MINIMIZE YOUR RISK

Stephan Mavrakis (SpectraQEST America Corporation)

THE ROLE OF GEOSPATIAL DATA IN LARGER CYBER THREATSPACE

Max F. Kilger, Ph.D. (University of Texas at San Antonio)

HOW YOU CAN PREPARE FOR BIG DATA, AI, AND MACHINE LEARNING

(Crystal Ball Workshop Highlights)

Teresa L. Peterson, P.E., C.M.E. (Gannett Fleming, Inc.)

BIG DATA, SMALL FIRM

Thomas W. “Tom” Blackburn, P.E., G.E., & Bryce W. Moore (Blackburn Consulting)

BUSINESS LESSONS FROM THE KENTUCKY BOURBON INDUSTRY

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

THE PROXIMITY PRINCIPLE:

THE RIGHT PEOPLE + THE RIGHT PLACES= OPPORTUNITIES

Ken Coleman (Best Selling Author and Nationally Syndicated Radio Host)

PROJECT RECORDS RETENTION & LITIGATION DISCOVERY IN THE DIGITAL AGE

Steve Wendland, P.E., R.G., D.GE (Kleinfelder, Inc.) and Alison A. Grounds (Troutman Sanders)

THE SEVEN CRUCIAL QUESTIONS OF EXTRAORDINARY BUSINESS SUCCESS (What’s Not Changing Much in a World Where Everything is Changing Fast!)

John D. Doehring, CMC® (J. Doehring & Co.)

PLANNING, PREPARING, AND EXECUTING FOR THE NEXT RECESSION

Lee James, CPA, CBI, CMC® (Lee James & Associates, Inc.)

 

 

GBA Releases Five More Case Histories: 61-65

 

Learn from others. Don’t repeat the mistakes of the past! GBA Case Histories  are being used by our members for loss prevention discussions in support of professional development and mentoring. That is why GBA case histories are so valuable, and why GBA is updating them all, while adding new ones, too.

Five more Case Histories have been re-issued.

CASE HISTORY NO. 61 (download)

The owner of a gasoline station retained an environmental consultant to perform a Phase II ESA at the request of prospective purchasers, acting through an intermediary. When problems were discovered later, the consultant wound up as a target in a maze of litigation.

CASE HISTORY NO. 62 (download)

The GBA member was retained by a general contractor for a major utility project. Corners were cut  and failure occurred. Although the GBA member was relatively blameless, it had agreed to an unwise indemnity in its contract and faced the potential of litigation that would likely cost it more than $1 million before reaching a settlement.

CASE HISTORY NO. 63 (download)

A GBA member assigned an inexperienced field representative to observe a grouting project. The field representative began giving directions to the contractor, who was unfamiliar with local regulations and had staked out the project incorrectly, filling the sewer lines with grout.

CASE HISTORY NO. 64 (download)

The GBA-Member Firm’s civil-engineer client erred when transferring information from the member’s report to a set of plans. Serious problems resulted and the geotechnical engineer took strong proactive measures to resolve issues between the civil engineer, client, and contractor.

CASE HISTORY NO. 65 (download)

Knowing that its proposal was accepted as submitted, a Member Firm did not examine the contract it received from its client, a municipality. There, in the “boilerplate,” was a reference to a construction specification that greatly expanded the Member Firm’s responsibility. When a major problem occurred, the Member Firm, unaware of its additional responsibility, failed to exercise it, thus not doing what could have been done to have kept the problem from growing. The end result: The Member Firm paid $500,000 to settle the case.

GBA Case Histories are FREE to all Members. Access all GBA’s Case Histories HERE

GBA Board Member Spotlight – Chuck Gregory, P.E. ~ Terracon

GBA Board Member Spotlight – Chuck Gregory

Mom grew up on a farm east of Austin, TX and became an elementary school teacher.  Dad, after returning from service in the Army in Germany, worked his entire career in the oil and gas business.

In the small, south Texas town where I grew up, everyone played sports.  Baseball in the vacant lot across the street that we kept mowed,  basketball games in our driveway and football in our neighbor’s side yard, kept me, my three brothers, and the neighborhood kids busy  and out of trouble.  Later we started organized sports, first Little League then Junior High and High School.  Most of the folks in our town are HUGE Dallas Cowboys fans even going so far as to schedule the Sunday morning services to allow time for the congregation (which included our family) to make it home in time for a noon kickoff.

Of course, my goal in life was to become the quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys. As my sports’ “career” began to develop in high school, Dad made it clear that I needed a backup plan.  He was right.

After graduating from high school with my other 32 classmates, I was fortunate to get a full-time summer job with the nearby Area Office of the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT).  Until then, I had primarily mowed yards and worked part time at local grocery stores. The TxDOT job was my first exposure to civil engineering and surveying.  For the next 4 summers, I had a  great time learning about surveying as a member of the field party, preparation of drawings for highways, running tests in a hot mix lab at a remote batch plant and working as an inspector at a ready mixed concrete plant.  To this day, I fall back on what I learned and enjoy some of the relationships that I formed.

College included a two years at a nearby junior college, 3½ years at Texas A&M University to earn my bachelor’s degree in civil engineering followed by another 18-months of graduate school for a master’s degree in civil engineering with emphasis on materials and geotechnical engineering.

After 15-months of full time research work for the Texas Transportation Institute, I began my career working in Houston for Woody Vogt, GBA’s Past President.  Shortly thereafter I transferred to the firm’s San Antonio office.  Since the fall of 1984, I have lived in the San Antonio area and worked as a geoprofessional consultant.

In 2004, our firm was acquired by Terracon Consultants where I am currently the San Antonio office manager, Regional Manager, Sr Principal and a Vice President.

My wife Maricia, a retired public school administrator (32 years), and I have been married over 30 years.   We are very proud of our two gainfully employed Christian children, namely David (Texas A&M Class of 2014; Petroleum Engineering major) and Alicia (2017 graduate of Abilene Christian University with a BS in Interior Design and a minor in Art).

GBA bylaws state that only one person from a given Member Firm can serve on the Board at the same time.  This is my 3rd term on the GBA Board.  The first two were cut short because Terracon either hired a person (or bought a firm with a key person) who was already on the Board and I stepped off each time.  So far, so good for this go ‘round with the GBA Board, I enjoy serving our members and our profession.

As a proud Texas A&M alumni, I cannot forget the universal approval for all Aggies.  Gig ‘Em.

NEW: GBA Case History: Practice Management Related to FMLA and ADA

GBA Publications Committee

After terminating an employee for poor attendance and inadequate job performance, a member firm is faced with alleged violations of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ATDA).  This Case History emphasized Project Managers must be trained in basic human resources (HR) issues and the importance of documentation when dealing with employee performance management.

Learn from others.  Don’t repeat the mistakes of the past!  GBA Case Histories are being used by our members for loss prevention discussions in support of professional development and mentoring. That is why GBA case histories are so valuable, and why GBA continues to produce new ones.

GBA Case Histories are FREE to all Members.

Download GBA’s Case History #107:  HERE

 

 

 

 

GBA Guide to Teaming Agreements and Joint Ventures


GBA Legal Affairs Committee

As a valued member of a design team, geoprofessionals should play a very important role in the pursuit of projects, particularly large projects with significant potential costs associated with soil-related design issues.  These pursuit relationships are often defined in Teaming Agreements or even a more formal relationship, known as a Joint Venture.

This GBA Best Practices document discusses the most common types of project-pursuit agreements identifying what you should and should not do, elements of complete Teaming Agreements and Joint Ventures with a complete sample agreement for your use.

GBA Best Practices are Free to all members.

Download GBA’s Guide to Teaming Agreements and Joint Ventures HERE

 

 

Are We Cutting Pie or Baking More Pies?: Lessons Learned from a Bourbon Legend

GBA Executive Director – Joel G. Carson

I had an insightful conversation with Bill Samuels, Jr. this week about his upcoming keynote presentation at GBA’s 2019 Fall Conference. Mr. Samuels is the Chairman Emeritus of Maker’s Mark, a well-known Kentucky bourbon, iconic for its red wax dipped bottles. Son of Maker’s Mark Founder Bill Samuels, Sr. and godson of Jim Beam – Bill Samuels, Jr. has been an eyewitness to many milestones in bourbon history and made history himself.

 

 

When talking about his business, Bill shared with me his experience with the value of collaboration among Kentucky distilleries and the creation of the Bourbon Trail.  He emphasized the importance of different distilleries sharing ideas and solving problems together to benefit the entire industry.  Now, the Bourbon Trail rivals the Napa Valley for popularity among tourists and spirits enthusiasts, because they have created a unique experience in one of our nation’s most scenic areas.

Mr. Samuels agreed that although each distillery is in competition with the others, through group communication and shared ideas, they are elevating the entire industry. During this time of collaboration, bourbon has become the “hottest” spirit among consumers.  He emphasized the point with the well-known adage, “a rising tide lifts all boats.”

When Mr. Samuels described situations where the distillers were competing for market share, he said they were cutting up the pie.  When he described situations where they were collaborating on ideas to elevate their industry, he said they were making more pies.   His logic is sound and applies to GBA Member-Firms.  When we collaborate and elevate our profession, we create more opportunities, market share and value in the services we provide.  Together we are stronger than we are individually.

Please join us in Louisville, Kentucky, October 3-5 for our 2019 Fall Conference.  Among others, Bill Samuels Jr. will educate, inspire and entertain us.  While we are there, in GBA’s unique way, we will make more pies.

More Information:  GBA 2019 Fall Conference – Louisville, Kentucky

GBA Board Member Spotlight – Matt Moler’s Road to Becoming a Geoprofessional

I think most young boys imagined growing up to be a firefighter or a major league baseball player.  I took a different track, and thought the greatest job would be a big  rig truck driver.That’s right – driving an 18 wheeler across the country, seeing beautiful places , delivering loads of goods to folks – sure sounded like a great career to me! I can remember driving down to  the Interstate in the back of the family car, watching the big rig trucks roll by. If I was lucky, I could even get them to honk their horns.  Man that was cool!

  The Smokey and the Bandit movie and the country band Alabama may have been key influences on my initial career selection.  I’m not sure when the 18-wheeler dream was replaced by other career choices, but at some point I thought of ‘cooler things’ to do as a career.  For a while in high school, I was thinking about being a golf course superintendent.  I liked to play golf and I was working on the grounds crew of the local course, so becoming the course superintendent seemed logical. I then learned that a golf course maintenance career meant that every weekend required my services from dawn to dusk.  I’m not afraid of long hours, but I wanted to have weekends available for something other than work.

In my senior year in high school, I took an aptitude test that indicated I was good in math and problem solving.  A career choice that seemed to fit these strengths was engineering.  I heard that civil engineers got to spend a lot of time in the field, and I liked the sound of that – no boring office job for me!  I enrolled in West Virginia University with a focus in civil engineering the following fall, and from there I have never looked back.

I am thankful I arrived at my current career choice so early in life.  I enjoy getting up each day, heading to work, meeting with existing and new clients, solving problems, and generally making a difference in the world in which I live.  My biggest career reward is relationships I am making along the way.  As I think back to my initial career choice of a truck driver, I am thankful I didn’t go down that path.  While driving a big shiny truck all the way across the country would have been enjoyable, it would not have allowed me to build as many relationships as civil engineering has over the years.  It is quite amazing how things work out for the best.

NEW! GBA BUSINESS BRIEF – Fiscal Year 2018-19 Financial-Performance-Survey Report

Net Multipliers and Utilization Ratios are higher,                                                   
DSO is lower.  Overall, financial performance for GBA members is improving!

For more than 15 years, GBA has been collecting key financial metrics from member-firms so our members can measure their success, improve business performance, and optimize efficiency.  The newest GBA Business Brief —  is free for all members and compiles data from GBA Business Practices Committee’s 2018-19 Financial-Performance Survey in a short report, covering key financial-performance issues of surveyed firms.

GBA further enhanced this year’s report with more data and trendlines so our members can track their progress on key financial indicators.

In the spirit of our Association, GBA publications are a collaborative effort of GBA Member-Firms.  They are provided to GBA Members to make them stronger, smarter and more successful and they are FREE to all members.

DOWNLOAD HERE

Thank You!

GBA’s success is based on 50 years of collaboration and we continue to thrive because our members are willing to share information that helps each other and elevates our profession.                                                                                                                           

Thank you to all who completed this year’s financial survey.  Our response rate was  31% of member firms completing the survey which was supported by a whopping 70% of member firms in two categories (net fees $10M to $20M and net fees exceeding $100M).

Thank you to those firms that did not complete the survey but let us know why. Your feedback will help us to improve the survey in the future. A special thanks to Lee James (Lee James & Associates) and GBA’s Controller, Phil Pettway, for collaborating on the survey and for their efforts compiling of the results.

Lastly, thank you to all our GBA Ambassadors for sharing this information with your companies.  Your efforts to distribute GBA reference material enhances the value of membership to all your employees.

 

 

GBA Releases Five More Case Histories: 56-60

GBA Publications Committee

Learn from others. Don’t repeat the mistakes of the past! GBA Case Histories are being used by our members for loss prevention discussions in support of professional development and mentoring. That is why GBA case histories are so valuable, and why GBA is updating them all, while adding new ones, too. We are more than halfway done as five more case histories have been re-issued.

CASE HISTORY NO. 56 (download)

After a field representative failed to note that organic material had been buried instead of taken off site, the Member Firm that employed him submitted a form noting that grading had proceeded according to plans. The grading subcontractor relied on an outdated site map, which resulted in unsuitable organic fill beneath 100 of 250 housing lots.

CASE HISTORY NO. 57 (download)

A Member Firm environmental consultant agreed to indemnify landowners whose wells were to be tested, because EPA said it would indemnify the consultant. The EPA’s agreement was not in writing, however. When a problem developed, EPA refused to help resulting in a $60,000 settlement.

CASE HISTORY NO. 58 (download)

Precautions that were needed to help ensure success of an innovative approach were explained orally to a client, but not documented. The project failed. Despite overwhelming evidence that the client and earthwork constructor failed to comply with specifications, the client blamed the Member Firm resulting in a $300,000 settlement by the Member Firm.

CASE HISTORY NO. 59 (download)

Project risk is inversely proportional to project size, complexity and fee. The GBA-Member Firm conducted a Phase I ESA for a small area of a shopping center site, optioned to another party. The prospective purchaser discovered a tiny amount of contamination in an area the consultant was not authorized to study, then backed out of the deal, forfeiting its deposit. The prospective purchaser sued the Member Firm.

CASE HISTORY NO. 60 (download)

What started out as a favor for a potentially big client, turned into a nightmare. To meet a short deadline, a GBA member located an underground tank on its own, obviating contract protection. About 50 gallons of oil leaked when an exploratory boring impacted the integrity of the tank resulting in more than a year of conflict and negotiation.

GBA Case Histories are FREE to all Members. Access all GBA’s Case Histories HERE

 

GBA President’s Letter

Art Hoffmann FY 2019-2020

To serve as President of GBA is truly an honor, especially as we collectively celebrate GBA’s Golden Anniversary. As members of GBA we all enjoy the benefits of the hundreds of hard-working volunteer members who came before us and we look for opportunities to honor their contributions by expanding GBA’s value to future generations. Leading GBA through this milestone year is a rare opportunity and I am committed to working with our Board, staff and Member-Firm leaders to set the stage for the next 50 years.

Celebrating Our Foundation

This year, we celebrate our foundation by reflecting on GBA’s countless contributions to our profession including important publications such as Limitation of Liability, Alternative Dispute Resolution, and programs such as Peer Review which has been beneficial to many member firms and now enjoyed by the entire professional engineering services industry. We will take the opportunity throughout the year to highlight our accomplishments and our contributions to our members and our industry.

Building Our Future

Our milestone anniversary is also an opportunity for us to build our future as we identify ways to better serve our members and our profession in a dynamic business climate, always focusing on managing risk and optimizing business performance. We have a big, busy year planned and with the support of our volunteer leaders, I am confident we will use this opportunity to significantly impact the value of membership for future generations of geoprofessionals.

Refresh Our Councils, Committees, and Task Forces

Since our January Winter Leadership Summit our Councils, Committees, and Task Forces have been identifying ways to increase involvement, enhance their impact, and elevate their contributions to our Association and our profession. During our annual Summer meeting, the Board of Directors will be using what we’ve learned so far to refresh GBA’s operations. Ultimately, our goal is to engage as many individual GBA members as possible in our efforts to work and have fun with others while developing high impact, high value products and services for GBA members and the geoprofessions.

Focus on Diversity and Inclusion

Our newly formed Diversity and Inclusion Task Force will help to identify the issues and opportunities that surround diversity and inclusiveness in the workplace and develop reference material, programs and presentations that our member firms can consider adopting to ensure their firms better serve their employees.

Emerging Leaders Class Formation

We are forming our next class of emerging leaders to kick off our 2019 Fall Conference in Louisville, Kentucky. This wildly successful program provides a platform for your future leaders to develop a network of peers from across North America, enhance their leadership skills, and increase their engagement with GBA and benefit your firm.

Growing Our Annual Awards Program

GBA’s expansion of our Annual Awards Program debuted at the 2019 Spring Conference. We will continue to recognize greatness and celebrate success by highlighting individuals and Member-Firms that support GBA’s purpose and contribute to our success through engagement and volunteer support.

Thank You

Thank you for your support and for the opportunity to serve as your President for GBA’s 50th year. As we head into our second half-century, I am committed to celebrating our foundation and building our future. We can be proud of our past contributions and our future is bright as long as we continue collaborating on important issues that impact our profession with a keen focus on confronting risk and optimizing business performance. Our collective efforts will benefit our members and our chosen profession. Additionally, our efforts will ensure GBA maintains our position as the industry leader for geoprofessionals world-wide.