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|May 10, 2017 ||
Vol. 47 No. 25
Those that attended GBA's 2017 Spring Conference in Washington D.C. agreed that the speakers were among the best ever. Now you can watch, listen to, and learn from these speakers, too, on your own schedule, and without leaving your office or easy chair. Just some of the eleven presentations include:
All videos from GBA's Spring 2017 Conference are available on-demand to members.
- You on Your Best Day — Act II — Michael T. Allosso
- 4-3-2-1 Leadership: Tools You Can Use Now! — Major General Vincent E. "Vinny" Boles, USA, Retired
- Why I Hired an Executive Coach and Why You Should Too. — Gary W. Raba, D.Eng., P.E. (Raba Kistner) and Linda Strom Petchenik, (GrowthLines, Inc.)
- Passing the Baton: CEO Succession from Both Points of View — Kurt R. Fraese, L.G. (GeoEngineers, Inc.); David R. Gaboury, P.E. (Terracon); Michael "Mike" Hutchinson, L.G., LHG (GeoEngineers, Inc.); and Swaminathan "Vasan" Srinivasan, P.E. (Terracon)
- Leading Organizational Change to Increase Profitability — June R. Jewell, CPA, (AEC Business Solutions) and Michael S. Rolband, P.E., P.S.W., P.W.D., Leed®AP (Wetland Studies and Solutions, Inc.)
- Employee Retention: How to Keep Your Rising Stars — Victor S. Barchers, P.E. (Kleinfelder, Inc.) and Edward J. "E.J." Barben, P.E. (Gannett Fleming, Inc.)
GBA is happy to announce the first all-new case history of the year has been released — GBA Case History 102 — which chronicles what can go wrong when the design team is a team in name only, resulting in inadequate communication, and when the prime design professional — a civil engineer — applies the wrong set of guidelines to establish design criteria.
Case History 102 includes valuable lessons learned including:
GBA case histories give all GBA-Member Firms an opportunity to conduct lunch-and-learn sessions, where participants — especially less experienced personnel — read the cases, then discuss what went wrong, what could have been done to mediate the problems, how issues that arose may be like issues in ongoing projects, and how to avoid similar issues in the future.
- Do not rely on others to safeguard your interests.
- Educate the inexperienced members of the team.
- Understand the design criteria applicable to the project.
- Include a limitation of liability provision in contracts.
- Address problems while they are manageable.
- Mediation is usually preferable to litigation or arbitration.
GBA-Member Firms use case histories to learn from others' misfortunes, so you don't have to learn through misfortunes of your own!
GBA would like to congratulate Mr. David P. Sauls, P.E. (GeoEngineers) for his induction into the Louisiana State University Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering (CEE) Hall of Distinction. An LSU alumni and only one of two who were honored by CEE this year, David has held numerous leadership roles in GBA, including most recently, Chairman of the External Relations Committee, and regularly serves as an ambassador for GBA. He has more than 30 years of experience as a geotechnical engineer and has served as the Chairman of the Board at GeoEngineers, Inc. since 2011.
Engineering and cycling may not seem to have a lot in common, but for Andrew Murray of Murray Engineers Inc., the two were a perfect combination. His passion for both sparked the idea for a unique and witty comic book series involving a new super heroine, GeoGirl. A story about the epic battles between Mother Nature’s geohazards and humankind’s ingenuity to suppress them, GeoGirl uses her uncanny ability to sense unstable earth conditions to combat geologic hazards and save the world from catastrophic disaster.
Murray has graciously offered complimentary copies of GeoGirl to all GBA members. A creative and valuable tool, the comic book’s focus is to generate an interest with elementary-aged students in the geoprofession.
Murray Engineers Inc.'s GeoGirl vs. Lance Lied! is available to members now!
ORDER YOUR COMPLIMENTARY COPY OF GEOGIRL HERE
All Bordeaux red wines are blends, relying on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot as the base grape. The top Bordeaux reds are legendary… and they have price tags to match: Chateau Margaux 2015, $750; Chateau Haut-Brion 2015, $600; Chateau Petrus 2015, $2800. Not all Bordeaux reds are that pricey, and not all are good. The trick, then, is to find low-priced, highly rated red Bordeaux. Impossible? Not at all. We've been "out there," tasting on your behalf, and have found many great choices. Examples: Chateau D'Hanteillan 2014, a truly superior red that Robert Parker rated 91 points. You can find it for as little as $15 a bottle. Chateau Deyrem Valentin Margaux 2014, a delightful wine rated 90 by Parker, available for $20 a bottle. Then there's Chateau Laussac 2015 about which Parker said, "The 2015 Laussac has a detailed, quite complex bouquet with lifted blackberry and cedar aromas, very expressive and welcoming. The palate is clean and fresh, very well balanced…and beautifully poised with an elegant finish that is an absolute delight…superb." The rating is 93 points, and that’s pretty special. The price? We got our case for $11.79 a bottle. Then there's Chateau Durand Laplagne, another 93-point beauty that will arrive on U.S. shores in September. The price? If you order now, $9.98.
Humana has released a new report on five key wellness trends. Geoprofessional-firm leaders might want to take a look. Trend 1 is the aging of the population. Many older workers must deal with the daily stress caused by having even-older loved ones who require both physical and financial support. And older workers themselves are more prone to issues of health. A wellness program can help. Trend 2 relates to financial well-being, an issue that more than one-third of U.S. workers worry about while on the job. Some of Humana’s suggestions for a financial-wellness program include the following, with click-to information provided for each:
- Just ask.
- Keep financial well-being top of mind.
- Don't just focus on financial solutions.
- Offer employees the opportunity to improve their financial well-being while still preserving their privacy.
- Consider using a "neutral third party" to administer financial wellness, to create a screen between employer and employee.
- Make communications appealing, respectful, and easy to understand.
Mark your calendar for these outstanding GBA get-togethers, and be on the lookout for announcements about others being finalized.
Future GBA Conferences
October 19-21, 2017
GBA Fall Conference
JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort
January 26-28, 2018
GBA Winter Leadership Conference
April 5-7, 2018
GBA Spring (Annual) Conference
Westin Chicago River North Hotel
Future Events Supported by GBA
AEG 2017 Annual Meeting — September 10-16, 2017 in Colorado Springs, CO
Future Training for GBA Member-Firms
Leading Change to Improve Profitability — June 21, 2017
Creating a Profitable Culture Through Accountable Learning — September 13, 2017
Developing Superstar Project Managers — December 13, 2017
GOLD: Geoprofessional Operations Leadership Development
Space is limited — reserve spots now for October 2017 Class
GOLD Registration Here
GBA EVENTS CALENDAR
7 Mile Advisors
Industry consolidation in the Architecture, Engineering, and Consulting ("AEC") industry has reached a new level with ATKINS' announcing that it has agreed to be acquired by SNC-Lavalin for $2.7 billion. The deal creates a global design and project management giant with more than 53,000 employees and $9 billion in revenues. This latest mega-deal in the AEC space comes on the heels of Wood Group's announcement that it would acquire Amec Foster Wheeler and New Mountain Capital's recent agreement to take TRC private.
If you were in charge of your corporate culture and knew it needed fixing, would you fix it? Certainly anyone in charge of change management would want to say yes to this question, but as anyone who is actually in charge of corporate culture knows, it's harder than it looks.
In the months following one of the most polarizing presidential elections of our time, it was widely agreed upon that a federal infrastructure package was the best hope for bipartisan cooperation under President Trump. It remains a hot topic today where congressional Republicans, Democrats and the White House can all find something they support — and with good reason.
U.S. construction spending unexpectedly fell in March from a record high amid a pause in private construction investment after five straight months of increases. The Commerce Department said construction spending slipped 0.2 percent. February's construction outlays were revised to show them surging 1.8 percent to a record $1.22 trillion instead of the previously reported 0.8 percent rise.
Harvard Business Review
The research is clear: when we choose humble, unassuming people as our leaders, the world around us becomes a better place. Humble leaders improve the performance of a company in the long run because they create more collaborative environments. They have a balanced view of themselves — both their virtues and shortcomings — and a strong appreciation of others' strengths and contributions.
Roads + Bridges
According to the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD), though crews are working to remove around 25 derailed rail cars from U.S. 95 about 10 miles north of Athol, both southbound lanes will remain closed for approximately two weeks.
The soils and sediments beneath our feet can contain an astonishing amount of carbon — more than in all of the world's plants and the atmosphere combined — and represents a significant potential source of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide. In a new study, Stanford scientists have uncovered a previously unknown mechanism that explains why microbes sometimes fail to break down all the plant and animal matter.
Inside Climate News
Every two and a half hours, workers installed a new wind turbine in the United States during the first quarter of 2017, marking the strongest start for the wind industry in eight years, according to a new report by the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) released on May 2.
When President Donald Trump announced his proposed "America First" budget, Democrats found a lot to complain about. Among the agency budgets that faced harsh cuts was the Environmental Protection Agency, which, under the Trump plan, would have seen its budget cut by 31 percent, and its manpower reduced by 20 percent, or about 3,000 positions.
Los Angeles Times
The budget deal reached in Congress this week penciled in $10.2 million for an earthquake early warning system for California and the rest of the West Coast for the budget year that ends in September. The funding represents an increase from the last fiscal year's federal budget, which allocated $8.2 million for the system.
The world's oldest and deepest waters are not immune from contamination, warn scientists. It had been assumed that "fossil" reserves found hundreds of metres underground would be largely untouched by modern water sources. But sampling from some 10,000 wells shows this not to be the case.
In the drive to reduce coal use because of the harm that carbon emissions cause, it's easy to dismiss the the pain of coal miners—especially when the US coal industry directly employs a relatively small number of people. But while the industry as a whole isn't that large, job losses in the coal industry have an outsize effect, devastating coal towns (partly via multiplying effects).
| || 2017-2018 GBA BOARD OF DIRECTORS|
Charles L. Head, P.E., P.G.
(Sanborn, Head & Associates, Inc. / Concord, NH)
Woodward L. Vogt, P.E., D.GE, F.ACI, F.ASCE, F.ASTM
(Paradigm Consultants, Inc. / Houston, TX)
Kimberly F. Morrison, P.E., R.G.
(Morrison Geotechnical Solutions, Inc. / Denver, CO)
Saiid Behboodi, P.E., G.E.
(PBS Engineering and Environmental Inc. / Portland, OR)
Thomas W. Blackburn, P.E., G.E., F.ASCE
(Blackburn Consulting / Auburn, CA)
Arthur G. Hoffmann, P.E., D.GE
(Gannett Fleming, Inc. / Harrisburg, PA)
Kenneth R. Johnston
(GZA GeoEnvironmental, Inc. / Norwood, MA)
Leo J. Titus, Jr. P.E.
(ECS, Ltd. / Chantilly, VA)
7701 Las Colinas Ridge, Ste. 800, Irving, TX 75063