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Text Version    RSS    Subscribe    Unsubscribe    Archive    Media Kit March 5, 2014
Vol. 44 No. 16

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A rose is a rose is a
ASFE/GBA is at somewhat of an awkward point in its life. We are on the brink of making some significant changes, most of which relate to names and graphics…but the principal vehicle for conveying those changes — our Website — is not easily or inexpensively changed. For that reason, we will soon be initiating work on an altogether new Website; one that incorporates the latest technology (ours is antediluvian by contemporary standards) and is simpler and faster to navigate. If we could easily update what we now have, we would. However, as those of you who have confronted similar circumstances know full well, the most effective approach is simply to replace…and that's just what we'll probably do. All of which means that we'll be at an awkward stage, where what's new is most decidedly new, but will not be used 100% of the time, until the new Website is up and running. We'll keep you posted, but — in the meantime –— read on.
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ASFE/GBA is about to become GBA
"You're making a terrible mistake by dropping the ASFE name. It has so much name recognition." Not just a few representatives of ASFE/GBA-Member Firms said that, or words to that effect, when we announced that a name change was on the way. Undeniably, many practitioners who more or less grew up in ASFE love the four letters in that order. But here are a few facts: A comprehensive marketing study that ASFE commissioned about five years ago found that not only was there extremely little recognition of the ASFE name, but some of the "I have no clue." responses came from people within ASFE-Member Firms. (There was no point to asking them what they thought ASFE stood for.) More recently, via the MGI branding survey we commissioned, we asked representatives of Member Firms, former Member Firms, and prospective Member Firms, to tell us what they thought about the name change: 555 people gave it overwhelming approval. And when we asked people to tell us what Geoprofessional Business Association meant to them, almost all responded that it meant an association that focused on the business aspects of geoprofessionals. Which is exactly what we do. We will present at the upcoming meeting the ASFE/GBA bylaws changes required for us to change our name from ASFE, Inc. to the Geoprofessional Business Association. At the same time, we are developing the new logo. Actually, we will have more than one new logo. How can that be? Read on!
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Committees and councils
ASFE/GBA has overhauled its committee structure. Although the change is significant, it's not the kind that most members would notice. In essence, rather than having one Director serve as liaison to one committee, the committees have been organized into groups, with each being overseen by a Board Coordinator. As an example — and one not chosen at random! — the Technical Group comprises our three "practice committees": the Construction-Materials Engineering and Testing Committee, the Environmental Committee, and the Geotechnical Committee. Each of these is an element of the Geoprofessional Business Association, of course, but — as we've also come to realize — those associated with the three disciplines involved do not necessarily regard themselves as geoprofessionals, especially since the word is somewhat new and, in fact, one that ASFE/GBA coined. Someone suggested that instead of calling these committees committees, why not relabel them as the Construction-Materials Engineering and Testing Business Council, the Environmental Business Council, and the Geotechnical Business Council, with each name immediately identifying what the committees — and ASFE/GBA itself — are all about? At the recently concluded Winter Leadership Conference, we asked committee members about the proposed change. The acceptance was so enthusiastic, the Board of Directors decided to make the change immediately, in part because it should make membership recruitment that much easier. In fact, much of our material is generally applicable, just as much is also applicable to just one discipline. As such, each discipline will be able to benefit from a wealth of material available from ASFE/GBA in general and the specific "Business Council" in particular. And yes: Each council will have its own logo – part of a family of logos – and each Council logo will note that the council is part of the Geoprofessional Business Association.

We're not done yet! But surely that's enough for the time being.

Do you have comments about this? We'd be delighted to hear from you. E-mail us at

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Business 101: Preparing for ownership transfer
Construction Executive
Most companies don't make it past first generation ownership; some make it to the second generation; a few go beyond. One-generation companies are the norm because many owners fail to create value in their companies beyond themselves; i.e., they make a conscious or unconscious decision that their company will die when they die or when they retire, whichever comes first.
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GBA in Hawaii — the place to be. Join us!
Glorious sun. Extraordinary topography. The place where just about the whole world would rather be: HAWAII, HAWAII ("The Big Island"). As fabulous as the locale may be, however, your ASFE/GBA Conference Committee has put together a program that is absolutely dazzling! All the speakers will be great. Three of them will be signing their newest books. Top-flight all the way. And given how hard you've been working for the past five years, don't you deserve a business trip this good? Aloha!
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  Past conferences on demand

Bring home the best of GBA conferences with content on demand — online and on DVD.

Good CoMET services save lives
The Journal Record
May 20, 2013. An EF5 tornado sweeps through Moore, Oklahoma, leaving Briarwood Elementary School a pile of rubble, with at least 24 pupils and teachers injured when the school’s cinder-block walls fell. Chris Ramseyer, an associate professor of civil engineering at the University of Oklahoma and a coauthor of a soon-to-be-released report for the American Society of Civil Engineers and its Structural Engineering Institute, said his study of Briarwood debris showed that the school wasn't built to code.
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Kansas geopro pleads guilty to mail fraud, money laundering
U.S. Attorney's Office
Robert L. Fine, II, the owner of FINEnvironmental, Inc. (Lenexa, KA), has pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud and one count of money laundering in connection with Missouri's Petroleum Storage Tank Insurance Fund (PSTIF), to which Fine has agreed to pay $1,505,514 restitution. Seems that Fine used subcontractors to perform his environmental services and, fom August 2002 to February 2012, he falsified his subs' invoices by inflating the charges.
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Lunch & Learn: Risky Language
Words can kill, especially when a professional uses the wrong words. This well-crafted Lunch & Learn seminar focuses on a variety of taboo and other words and phrases that geoprofessionals should avoid or use with utmost care, for their own sakes and the sakes of their firms.
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Call for abstracts: Fall Conference in San Francisco
Have a creative idea for a presentation at the ASFE/The Geoprofessional Business Association (GBA) Fall Conference in San Francisco, October 23-25, 2014? Here is your chance to share it with us. Download and send us the submission form. The submissions will be reviewed by the ASFE/GBA Conference Committee. The theme of the conference is "Confronting Risk: Leading in an Era of Rapid Change."
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HUMAN-RESOURCES DEPT.: Listen better to lead better
Intuit Small Business Blog
You cannot be a leader if you have no followers. And you will have no followers if you make people feel unimportant to you: "Leader, I have what I believe is a big question." "Not now. Go away." You want to follow that person? Doubtful. How about this? "Leader, I have what I believe is a big question." "I'm on my way to an important meeting, follower. Walk with me and tell me what your question is. I want to know. You're important to me." Now you're talking!
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Webinars on demand
Looking for more webinars from GBA? We have nearly every one we've ever done available for viewing on demand. Most on-demand webinars qualify for PDHs, too! Check out our wealth of professional practice and writing skills topics today.
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ASFE/GBA Faculty Member Jack Germaine is new chair of ASTM D18; asks for your help. (It would help ASFE/GBA, too.)
Dear ASFE/GBA Colleague,

As of this January 1st, I begin service as the chairman of ASTM Committee D18 on Soil and Rock. D18 has nearly 1300 members from around the world and jurisdiction of more than 375 standards. These standards are essential elements for our profession. They provide specification for a wide range of activities from field investigations to classification to testing technology. ASTM regulations mandate that each standard be reviewed and reapproved every 8 years. This keeps the standards up-to-date and affords the opportunity to upgrade the technology. It also creates a considerable amount of work for the active volunteer members. There are no specific qualifications for membership.

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Fall Conference sessions on demand — FREE to members!
Earn PDHs for free while you enjoy great sessions such as these:

Getting to the C Level; Only Losers Sue White Knights: When your client representative works at the organization's C level, your scope is more robust, as is your project involvement; the financial and intellectual rewards can be gratifying. But how do you get to the C level? It's not nearly as difficult as you might believe. Next, lawyers and environmentalists benefit from doing pro-bono work, so why not geoprofessionals? Learn how to use your skills to solve problems in your community, so others see you as the proverbial "White Knight."

Climate Change: Assess, Design, Act: Climate change is redefining risk within our industry, if only because historic events are no longer reliable predictors of future conditions. As such, converting climate-change theory into implementable practices is the most-pressing challenge design professionals and planners now face. Lisa C. Dickson, P.G. provides guidance on how to assess and prioritize the risk in order to make informed decisions about resiliency and investment.

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BD + C Technology Report focuses on the future that's happening right now
Building Design + Construction
The Technology Report 2014: Top Tech Tools and Trends for AEC Professionals is a five-part Building Design+Construction report that explores how building teams throughout the world are using advanced robotics, 3D printers, drones, data-driven design, and breakthroughs in building-information modeling (BIM) to gain efficiencies and create better buildings. The five reports are:
  •    Robots, Drones, and Printed Buildings: The Promise of Automated Construction;
  •    The Big Data Revolution: How Data-Driven Design Is Transforming Project Planning;
  •    5 Tech Trends Transforming BIM/VDC;
  •    Crowdsourced Placemaking: How People Will Help Shape Architecture; and
  •    DOE, Autodesk Team To Overhaul the EnergyPlus Simulation Program.

    The reports make for excellent, informative reading and could easily provide talking points for discussions with client representatives and colleagues in the world of building design and construction.

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    Date Event Location
    April 10-12 Spring Conference - The Fairmont Orchid The Big Island of Hawaii, HI
    Oct. 23-35 GBA Fall Conference The Westin San Francisco Market Street;
    San Francisco, CA

      For a complete list of upcoming events, click here.

    Help GBA grow
    GBA needs your help! You know the value of being a member. Here is your chance to share the value and help GBA grow its membership ranks. Do you know a firm we should be talking to about membership? If so, please contact Executive Vice President John Bachner at If you can help us with a personal introduction, that is even better, but if not, we'd still love to get your recommendations.
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    Our HR director is so robotic
    The Herman Trend Alert
    Imagine that you've been transported to a sci-fi movie. You wake up dazed, bewildered. "Where am I?" You look around. It's an office. But then you see something that seems quite out of your ordinary. It's a strange-looking thing that you assume — correctly — is a robot. But what's it doing? Well, you come to learn later, its name is Arya and it's a virtual recruiter. Using search patterns taught to it by a human recruiter, Arya scans the Web, selecting candidates and independently arranging interviews, all while keeping the employer in compliance with Equal Employment Opportunity laws.
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    Make Your Own Field Representative's Reference Guide
    The Field Representative's Reference Guide: Developed by GBA's CoMET Committee, this do-it-yourself field representative's guide makes it easy for firms to prepare a marvelous reference guide and instructional tool for their field representatives.
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    YOU'VE JUST GOT TO BE KIDDING: Ashes to ashes
    Let's have a few moments of remembrance for Eric Lawson, who died January 10 at the age of 72. A cigarette smoker from age 14, Mr. Lawson appeared in print ads for Marlboro from 1978 to 1981. The cause of death was respiratory failure caused by chronic obstruction pulmonary disease. Mr. Lawson was one of several actors to pitch Marlboros. Others include David Millar, who died of emphysema in 1987, and David McLean, who died of lung cancer in 1995.
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    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)


    Phone: 301/565-2733

    Executive Vice President
    John P. Bachner
    Ext. 223 /

    Operations Director
    Sarah P. Lanning
    Ext. 231 /

    Program Director
    Barbara A. Nappy
    Ext. 222 /
    Program Manager
    Sara Menase
    Ext. 232 /

    Associate Program Manager
    Melody A. Patrick
    Ext. 225 /

    Membership Manager
    Susan A. Ford
    Ext. 227 /

    Phillip D. Pettway
    Ext. 233 /


    John P. Bachner, NewsLog Editor-in-Chief, 301.565.2733 ext. 223   
    Contact ASFE/The Geoprofessional Business Association

    View media kit

    Caitlin Harrison, Content Editor, 469.420.2657   
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