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Nominating Committee announces 2014-15 GBA slate
ASFE/GBA's Nominating Committee has announced its slate of officers and directors for ASFE's 2014-15 fiscal year. ASFE/GBA President-Elect Steven D. Thorne, P.E., D.GE (Terracon) will become president. Those nominated for the other positions are:
For President-Elect: Gordon M. Matheson, Ph.D., P.E., P.G. (Schnabel Engineering);
For Secretary-Treasurer: Joel G. Carson (Kleinfelder);
Kimberly Finke Morrison, P.E., R.G. (Morrison Geotechnical Stewart G. Osgood, P.E. (DOWL HKM),
Laura R. Reinbold, P.E. (TTL, Inc.),
Alex Sy, Ph.D., P.Eng. (Klohn Crippen Berger Ltd.), and
Woodward L. Vogt, P.E., D.GE, F.ACI, F.ASCE (Paradigm Consultants, Inc.)
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World infrastructure requires $57 trillion fix
"We basically need to replace all the infrastructure stock on the face of the planet. It's an enormous amount — and then some." So said Robert Palter, co-head of management-consulting firm McKinsey & Co.'s global-infrastructure practice, speaking at the Infrastructure Investor's LP Summit in New York City. How much is "an enormous amount"? $57 trillion is McKinsey's best guess, and there seems to be a good deal of private capital to support roads, power and water-related projects, particularly at the state level.
Terra now working through agents to supplement direct marketing
Terra Insurance Company
Terra Insurance Company is now distributing its products via selected insurance agents throughout the United States. The new approach is supplementing the direct-marketing strategy Terra has employed exclusively since its creation in 1968. Terra provides a variety of professional-liability insurance coverages principally for geotechnical, civil, environmental, and construction-materials engineering and testing professionals.
Now FREE to all members! Fall Conference sessions on demand
Jump into the New Year with free training from GBA! Earn PDHs while you enjoy great sessions such as these:
Risk in the Project Context: Have you or your staff ever missed something in the field, broken a promise to a client representative, missed a report deadline, or lacked the gumption to tell a client "No"? If you haven't, it's just a matter of time: You will! Learning from others' mistakes and taking a proactive approach can be extremely profitable.
Covering Your Assets: The ROI of Internal Engagement: People are the most precious asset of just about any professional-services firm. Is your firm doing enough to protect and develop those precious assets? Two industry leaders share tips and tools to create successful internal engagement programs.
The Continuously Improving Safety Program: Federal, state, and local regulations as well as client requirements make a continuously improving safety program more important than ever before. Cynthia "Cindy" Sundquist addresses some of the fundamental programs GBA-Member Firms should implement.
BUSINESS 101: Protecting your firm from bank fraud
Were a cybercriminal or untrustworthy employee to drain your funds, you'd have very little chance of ever seeing that money again: Federal regulations that protect financial accounts from fraud only cover personal accounts, leaving business accounts out in the cold when there's a cybersecurity breach. Regrettably, it’s all too easy for such scenarios to materialize, because so many business owners rely on outdated security tools and strategies that are ineffective against cyberattacks in the first place.
Webinar: Justice Theater: Litigation and the Resolution of Your Disputes
Litigation. You need to understand the process if you're going to make an all-out effort to avoid it. From file review through discovery, the trial, and the appeals. John Bachner will give you a tour you're not likely to soon forget. This on-demand webinar may qualify for one Professional Development Hour (PDH).
Book your BackYard Seminar
ASFE/GBA BackYard Seminars are mostly full-day presentations; a few take 1.5 or 2 days. Some firms put them on solely to meet their own needs. Others invite client representatives and/or government officials (especially for Write Right; usually at a discounted rate or via a free pass) and/or representatives of area ASFE/GBA members (for a reasonable fee). For more information, contact John Bachner at 301/565-2733, ext. 223 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
All aboard? High-speed rail creates a world of geoprofessional opportunity
The Denver Post
Although the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) has not yet selected a high-speed-rail-system route plan, the one seemingly most favored would run from Fort Collins to Denver International Airport and then south to Colorado Springs. The price tag? About $10 billion, an amount so significant CDOT would likely have to construct the system in stages, depending on funding from the federal and local governments. According to CDOT spokesperson David Krutsinger, the environmental studies alone "will cost of tens of millions of dollars."
Learn how to improve your CoMET clients' satisfaction with new survey from GBA's CoMET Committee
The Construction Materials Engineering and Testing (CoMET) committee will announce a new survey tomorrow to everyone who has signed up for news from the CoMET Committee. The survey is intended to be completed by clients of GBA-Member Firms, and the committee will use the results to assess current levels of satisfaction with CoMET services overall and develop recommendations for how Member Firms can improve their CoMET services. If you'd like to know more about this survey, sign up TODAY for news from the CoMET committee (login, then edit your information to opt-in to CoMET news), and you'll get all the details in your inbox tomorrow.
Bring home the best of GBA conferences with content on-demand — online and on DVD.
Lunch & Learn: Ethics
What are ethics? Why are ethics important? How do I incorporate ethics into my daily life and work? Use this Lunch & Learn as a platform to answer these questions and, in the process, teach staff what you need to know.
HUMAN-RESOURCES MANAGEMENT: Six questions to ask your health-insurance broker
Predictably, implementation of the Affordable Care Act is creating havoc in the health-insurance marketplace, and some insurers seem to be hedging their bets by raising their rates. To navigate the now-choppy waters, you need a knowledgeable health-insurance specialist on your team. Once you've identified some candidates, ask six key questions:
1. What does the Affordable Care Act mean to me and my firm?
2. Who will be working with our account?
3. What can you tell me about renewals?
4. Can you give me customized support?
5. What's your reputation?
6. What else can you offer?
The answers you receive can make all the difference.
Texas exploring high-speed rail options
The Dallas Observer
The privately funded Texas Central Railway says high-speed rail (HSR) between Dallas and Houston will permit a hassle-free, 90-minute trip that will attract enough passengers to make a $10 billion project investment worthwhile. Private money will be needed, because there's no state funding available. Nonetheless, the Texas DOT has been conducting feasibility and environmental-impact studies, including those for a Texas-Oklahoma connection; the report is due in one year.
Judge derails California high-speed rail project
Ruling that the California High-Speed Rail Authority had "abused its discretion by approving a funding plan that did not comply with the requirements of law," Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Michael Kenny agreed with the Kings County Board of Supervisors and two homeowners who sued the Authority on the ground that it broke the law by seeking $8 billion in bond sales to begin construction before disclosing how the $68 billion project will be financed. The rail authority has already signed a construction contract to build the first 29 miles of track from Madera to Fresno. The state has been trying to get the first 130-mile segment in the Central Valley built using $3.24 billion in federal funds and $2.61 billion in bond money.
DR. ENGLISH: Enclosed please find
A member recently contacted the good doctor for guidance about alternatives to trite phrases. Here are the phrases she was concerned about and the alternatives prescribed.
This is just a friendly reminder…
GRAPE PRESS: Whiteout
My daughter can no longer drink red wine, but white still pleases. She recently asked what whites she should try. I confessed to her that, my penchant for reds notwithstanding, I had been surprised by the variety and quality of many white wines, and actually had the ability to provide some recommendations. The names-only list follows. For the full list, including the name of an on-line source (if your state permits you to have wine shipped to you from an out-of-state retailer) or an importer your local wine store can order it from, via a distributor, just click here.
2011 Columna Columna Albarino
2011 Bodegas Catena Zapata Catena Chardonnay
2011 Beringer Chardonnay Private Reserve
2012 Beringer Chardonnay Luminus
2012 Beringer Chardonnay
2011 Chateau Gaudrelle Vouvray Clos le Vigneau Chenin Blanc
2012 Herencia Altes Garnacha Blanca
2012 Illahe Vineyards Gruner Veltliner
2011 Willow Crest Pinot Gris
2012 Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc
2011 Bodegas Ordonez Nisia Verdejo
2011 Michel Gassier Costieres de Nimes Nostre Pais
Webcast: Creating Value, Managing Risk, and Leveraging Growth Through Information Technology
"Should have a place in every meeting for the foreseeable future. This is a hot and quickly evolving topic."
This outstanding and highly rated panel session from GBA's 2013 Spring Conference, now available on-demand, comprises IT professionals of various-sized member firms and helps us consider how to get the most out of our ever-increasing investment in technology. The panel explores such topics as leveraging IT for growth and profit; cloud computing and mobile strategy; IT as a key risk area; and IT governance. Panelists help us form a vision for what is in store for us in the future. Emerging Issues and Trends Committee Vice Chair Charles L. "Charlie" Head, P.E., P.G. moderates.
You can earn a Professional Development Hour (PDH), too! Now FREE for all members! Watch it today!
YOU'VE JUST GOT TO BE KIDDING: Geoassassin wanted
Thanks to Derek L. Hodnett, P.E., P.G. (Terracon) for calling this one to our attention. Seems he received a note from a headhunter (literally?) seeking an "individual to help grow and manage [the client firm's] Midwestern operations as well as manage and execute high profile geotechnical projects and staff throughout the region." We can only assume that the firm is really really strict about enforcement of its HR policies and expects its new Midwestern operations manager to enforce those policies with no remorse: Staff members who don't toe the line…well, the job description speaks for itself.
For a complete list of upcoming events, click here.
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, 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)
7701 Las Colinas Ridge, Ste. 800, Irving, TX 75063