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Last chance to register: "Doing e-mail Right" webinar
If you haven't experienced this webinar before, you need to make it a MUST experience at 11 a.m. PDT/2 p.m. EDT Thursday, Sept. 19. It doesn't go that deep into writing style — that's a topic for other strong ASFE/GBA webinars — so much as it focuses on the mechanics of e-mail:
• what to do first when initiating or responding to an e-mail,
• what to do next, and
• so on, all the way to the very last thing you do before clicking SEND.
If within the past six months you have sent an e-mail
• without the promised attachments or with the wrong attachments,
• to people who shouldn't have received it, or
• with threads you wish you had deleted,
we have good news and bad news. The bad news: Chances are you've done all those things more than once in the past six months along with other things you wish you hadn't if only you had been aware of them (ignorance is most definitely not bliss). The good news: Our presenter — John Bachner — will give you a variety of tips you and everyone else on staff can apply NOW to make your e-mail far better and far less problem-prone.
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Oct. 11-17 is Geoprofessionals' Week in Massachusetts. Celebrate Oct. 10-12 in Boston
Confront practice risk in Boston at the ASFE/GBA 2013 Fall Conference, Oct. 10-12.
Just a few of the topics:
• enterprise risk management,
• climate change,
• business basics for the fast future,
• business round tables,
• communicating project risk,
• managing risk through white-knighthood,
• acceptable geotechnical risk,
• getting to the C level, and
• more! more! more!
Get smarter and more connected … and have a great time doing it (while earning PDHs, depending on where you’re licensed).
Business 101: Can geoprofessionals use gamification too?
Gamification — the application of game mechanics into nongame activities and processes — is a proven, powerful strategy for engaging, influencing, and motivating diverse groups of people. The business community has just begun to realize the power of gamification to enhance customer interaction, build loyalty, and incentivize employees and partners. And the concept has the potential to overcome a variety of obstacles outside the traditional business environment as well, in areas such as health and wellness, education and training, and public policy and government. Does it fit a geoprofessional practice? A new white paper from Bunchball provides food for thought.
Register today for the GBA Fall Conference! Join us in Boston - in-person or on-line - for two days of outstanding education, networking, and experience-sharing, October 10-12, 2013.
Join us for Local Color Night in Boston!
Join us on Saturday, Oct. 12 when 36 fun-loving geoprofessionals will depart at 5 p.m. for a Duck Tour of Boston's historical sights aboard a WWII-style amphibious landing vehicle. ASFE/GBA is grateful to Boston-area Member Firms for subsidizing the cost of the tour, making it available to attendees for only $20 per person, including snacks and nonalcoholic beverages. ASFE/GBA will furnish a list of local restaurants so tour-goers and others can make their selections and reserve seats for dining well in advance of Oct.12 (highly recommended for a Saturday night). Principal sponsors of ASFE/GBA's 2013 Fall Conference Local Color Night are GZA GeoEnvironmental Inc. and Sanborn, Head & Associates Inc., with Kleinfelder and TTL Inc. also pitching in. Contact Conference Committee Vice Chair Laura R. Reinbold, P.E. (TTL Inc.) to reserve tour space now!
ASFE/GBA website — a wealth of information
The information you and everyone in your firm needs to manage risk and achieve business excellence is available on asfe.org. Every single employee in a Member Firm is considered a member of GBA. Make it a point to visit the site daily, and encourage your colleagues to visit GBA's website and sign up for a password at http://www.asfe.org/index.cfm?pid=12065.
Project owners and design teams can tame "wild" but needless risks, new ASFE/GBA publications explain
Geoprofessional issues are the principal source of construction-industry claims, says John Bachner, executive vice president of ASFE/The Geoprofessional Business Association (GBA), "and many of those claims — probably most — are avoidable, providing owners and designers confronting geoprofessional risks in a more aggressive manner."
GBA has developed a series of ten "message flyers" — all available free of charge — that focus on different aspects of geoprofessional risk. Each addresses a specific issue for a
specific audience. GBA-Member Firms can use these flyers not only to inform clients, colleagues, and other external audiences, but also to educate their own personnel, so they can gain valuable understandings that they can share with others.
For a complete list of upcoming events, click here.
New study debunks mid-size-A/E-firms myth
For decades, Engineering News-Record (ENR) has been ranking the "Top 500" U.S. architecture-/ engineering-design (A/E) firms based on their annual revenue in an industry that boasts more than 116,000 firms, 1.4-million employees, and $254 billion in annual revenue.
To gain an understanding of A/E firms' growth trends, University of Colorado Professor Paul S. Chinowsky, Ph.D., and a team of researchers — including ASFE/GBA Past President Gerald J. "Gerry" Salontai, P.E. (Salontai Consulting Group) — examined 35 years of Top-500 rankings. The research showed that smaller firms – those that didn't make 2012's Top-500 list — generated 66 percent of the A/E industry's 2011 revenue, while larger firms accounted for 27 percent. Then the team examined the recent fate of mid-size firms, which account for 7 percent of industry revenue. Given the competition and ongoing A/E-industry consolidation, industry insiders have asked, "How can the mid-size firms survive?" The answer: "Just fine, thank you, and it's no accident!"
Webinar: Proofreading 101
"If this is the best webinar you've ever seen, we'll give you your money back!" It’s amazing how often people accidentally omit the word "not," and so commit to a sentence that means the opposite of what they intended to say. STOP IT! Learn how to REALLY proofread. It's not reading it slowly and carefully. It's so much more. And knowing so much more helps you:
• avoid embarrassment,
• avoid claims,
• submit better, more-professional proposals, and
• project a more professional, quality-focused image.
This webinar — one of the most popular John Bachner offerings — has helped people improve their proofreading ability by 40 percent and more, which isn't surprising, given that most folks for whom proofreading is essential have never learned how. Get on board! This on-demand webinar may qualify for one Professional Development Hour (PDH).
Know an environmental firm that should be a member?
ASFE/The Geoprofessional Business Association (GBA) has made a commitment to bring its 45 years of business excellence and risk-confrontation know-how to a wider section of the environmental community. Do you know a firm we should be talking to about membership? If so, please contact John Bachner at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you can help us with a personal introduction, that's even better, but if not, we'd still love to get your recommendations.
Congratulations to Rex Upp!
R. Rexford "Rex" Upp, Ph.D., P.E., G.E., P.G., C.E.G., C.H.G. (Upp Geotechnology Division of C2Earth) can add yet another designation to his list: C.P.W., as in cash-prize winner (C.P.W.). Rex took home $500 in a drawing that included the names of all those who completed the recent ASFE/GBA branding-survey questionnaire. We had a record-high participation rate on the most valuable survey we've ever conducted. Actually, all ASFE/GBA members are winners, because your feedback will help us understand where we are and where we need to be to serve your needs and the needs of other geoprofessionals like you. Thanks to everyone who participated! You'll see the results playing out soon as we incorporate your feedback into more changes coming.
July 2013: Construction industry has a pulse!
U.S. Department of Commerce
The U.S. Department of Commerce has estimated July 2013 construction spending at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $900.8 billion, 0.6 percent more than the revised June estimate of $895.7 billion and 5.2 percent ahead of the July 2012 estimate of $856.3 billion. (January-July spending in 2013 ($493.9 billion) was 5.6 percent ahead of what it was in 2012.)
July 2013 spending on private construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $631.4 billion, 0.9 percent above the revised June estimate of $625.6 billion. Residential construction gained 0.6 percent; nonresidential construction gained 1.3 percent. In the public sector, spending fell 0.3 percent between June and July: educational construction fell 1.5percent; highway construction fell 1.1 percent.
GBA's webinars at your fingertips
Nearly every webinar GBA has ever done is available on-demand at your convenience — and you can earn PDHs, too! Check out the list of nearly two dozen professional-practice and writing topics today.
Recruiting a dream team
By Deb Hunt
You should to be recruiting 24/7/365, because it can take months to find the perfect person. You may not need anyone right now and really have no openings, but if you wait to find people when you need them, it may be too late. You want to always be looking for the dream team, so, when dream people walk in, you will find a place for them. When you continue in this way, you will never feel held hostage because you are always looking and building on your dream team.
NJIT develops children's reading resource
New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) Civil and Environmental Engineering Professor Priscilla P. Nelson, Ph.D., D.GE and an NJIT computer-science capstone team have established the Creative Engineering Learning Resource website (CELR.org or CELR.ME), an "electronic bookshelf" for finding and writing children's books with content that develops engineering concepts. According to Dr. Nelson, "The site makes engineering-related kids' books in print easy to find and allows kids to download children's K-4 books that are written by NJIT civil-engineering first-year and senior students as part of their Fundamentals of Engineering and Engineering Capstone Team design classes." The project stemmed from the Engineering Better Readers program founded by the Engineers' Leadership Foundation
Coach seats are downright uncomfortable. And while we can't force airlines to increase legroom, widen the seats, or stop that person in front of us from reclining into our lap, we can apply some helpful tips and products to make the next flight more bearable.
Doesn't Georgia Tech graduate geologists, too?
"We chose Georgia Tech because we want to do the impossible, and this school is equipped with the resources and faculty to help us do just that." So said Georgia Tech sophomore Nicholas Selby in off-the-wall and genuinely inspiring welcoming remarks to the 2,700 members of the incoming class of 2017. Backed by the theme music of Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey, the mechanical-engineering student went on to note, "Our mission as students is not to follow in the footsteps of the astronauts, Nobel Prize laureates, or the presidents that graduated before us, but to exceed their footsteps, crush the shoulders of the giants upon whom we stand!"
It’s really worth watching the YouTube video.
YOU'VE JUST GOT TO BE KIDDING
There’s more to the Downtown Hotel in Dawson City, Yukon, than comfortable rooms, Jacuzzi, telephones, wireless Internet access, and a motorcycle-cleaning station. Lots more, because the Downtown Hotel is home to the famous Sourtoe Cocktail. One of its ingredients is a shot of Yukon Gold whiskey. The other is a human toe and, to gain access to the Sourtoe Cocktail Club, drinkers must kiss the toe … or at least touch their lips to it. There's a sign next to the toe — on display between assignments — saying that a $500 fine must be paid by anyone who swallows the toe. And that’s no joke. The hotel has had eight toes go missing over the years, especially so because — for many drinkers — the Sourtoe Cocktail is not the first drink of the evening (or of the morning, for that matter). But it was the first drink for an American who was spending his last night in town on the town, at the Downtown. Flush with cash — he had just gotten his rent deposit back — the man put the glass to his lips and down it went, toe and all. And with that, he put $500 on the table and left. Fortunately, the bar had a back-up toe, but is now in the hunt for another ready reserve. And as a warning to others, note that the fine for swallowing the toe has been upped to $2,500. (And let the record show that your editor did not even once refer to toe-main poisoning.)
Find case histories — free to members
GBA has 100 case histories full of lessons learned from projects gone bad, and they're all available absolutely free to members. Don't repeat history — look here first to find a cautionary tale of how to do things better than someone else did!
2013-2014 BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Kurt R. Fraese, L.G.
(GeoEngineers, Inc., Seattle, WA)
Steven D. Thorne, P.E., D.GE
(Terracon, Somerset, NJ)
Gordon M. Matheson, Ph.D., P.E., P.G.
(Schnabel Engineering, Inc., Glen Allen, VA)
Joel G. Carson
(Kleinfelder Group, Omaha, NE)
Stewart G. Osgood, P.E.
(DOWL HKM, Anchorage, AK)
Laura R. Reinbold, P.E.
(TTL, Inc., Nashville, TN)
Woodward L. Vogt, P.E., D.GE
(Paradigm Consultants, Inc., Houston, TX)
John P. Bachner, NewsLog Editor-in-Chief, 301.565.2733 ext. 223
Contact ASFE: The Geoprofessional Busines Association
Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
View media kit
Caitlin Harrison, Content Editor, 469.420.2657
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