ASFE - Newslog - November 3, 2021

November 3, 2021

Vol. 50  No. 40


Fall Conference Recordings Available

Those that attended GBA’s 2021 Fall Conference agreed that the presentations were industry-leading. Each was educational, entertaining, and inspiring. Now you can watch, listen to, and learn from these speakers too, on your own schedule.

These videos are available for all GBA members on-demand at your convenience.

Watch the conference recordings – HERE

GBA Launches Emerging Leaders Class 5!

GBA is launching its fifth class of the Emerging Leaders program in 2022. The class will include up to 20 GBA member-firm geoprofessionals from across the United States and Canada. The class will meet regularly for approximately 2 years with the intent to expose participants to GBA and its host of benefits, including business-education resources associated with leadership, risk management, and business performance optimization. 

GBA has had four previous Emerging Leaders classes in the past, and each has contributed greatly to the organization. This is a great opportunity for an Emerging Leader in your firm to meet, interact, and engage with other professionals to better your firm, themselves, and our profession.


Call for Abstracts – Spring 2022 Conference

GBA invites dynamic and engaging speakers to submit an abstract for our Conference.  Share your valuable information with industry leaders to help improve geoprofessional businesses and elevate our profession.

Abstract submittal ends on November 3, 2021


Toddies with Tom: November 12, 2021

You are cordially invited to join GBA’s President Tom Blackburn for a casual afternoon of information and social networking with friends and colleagues from across GBA. Tom will introduce you to friends as we wind down the week and toast the weekend with a seasonal beverage. Please join us for a fun and informative hour.

Date: November 12, 2021
Time: 5:00 PM EST



Our most popular article from our last issue of GBA NEWSlog was about the Town Hall meeting recording that explored Executive Order 14042 and other vaccination mandates and understand their impacts on member firms.


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Future GBA Events: Mark Your Calendars Now!

GBA Events Calendar


Kleinfelder Announces San Diego Office Relocation


The Kleinfelder Group, Inc., a leading engineering, design, construction management, construction materials inspection and testing, and environmental professional services firm, announced today that it has relocated its San Diego area office to 770 First Avenue, Suite 400, San Diego, California 92101.  Kleinfelder’s new office location, also known as “The Paladion,” was selected due to several factors – convenience for staff, proximity to clients, and local amenities.

“Kleinfelder has had a strong presence in San Diego since 1999, and the area is a proud part of our company’s culture,” shared Kleinfelder President and CEO Louis Armstrong.  “Through the decision to remain downtown, we confirmed our commitment to our San Diego area staff and our clients, and we are eager to continue Kleinfelder’s growth in all phases of our business.”


ECS Announces Expansion of Construction Materials Testing Department

ECS Limited

ECS Mid-Atlantic, LLC excitedly announces the expansion of its construction materials testing department with the recent hire of Senior Project Manager John Schemmel, PhD, PE in the Baltimore, MD office.

With a passion for teaching and training, John spent a good portion of his career teaching Civil Engineering at colleges and universities around the country. Along the way he has consulted with AASHTO and state DOT’s as well as ASTM on development and updating of materials testing standards.

John started, developed and sold the company Engineering Training and Education Consultants (eTEC). eTEC was a pioneer in creating computer-based training for construction materials testing technicians.

In his new role, John will oversee project managers and technicians while also providing senior level review and preparation of material testing reports. “After spending over 30 years as an academic and researcher, I am very excited to have an opportunity to work in the private sector,” says John.


First Triathlon Experience: Conquering the Triathlon Fear

BSK Associates

This past September 26th, 2021, I had my first triathlon experience in Malibu, CA. The race included 0.5 miles of open water swimming in the Ocean, 17 miles of cycling, and 4 miles of running. The idea of entering a triathlon has always been on my bucket list. However, I am not a strong swimmer and had never swum in open water. As with many of my excursions, this experience was the result of a challenge from my brother.

Once I decided to enter, I knew I had to focus my training on my weakest element. My goal is to overcome my fear of swimming and build my endurance for the other portions of the race. In order to accomplish swimming a half-mile distance in open water, I needed to focus on proper technique. I was lucky to connect with several experienced swimmers at the gym, and they all gave me valuable pointers and feedback. Even though I was only able to swim a couple of laps at the time, the swimmers I met during my daily training encouraged and energized me to push through and persist. In addition, YouTube also provided me with valuable tips from professional triathletes and swimming enthusiasts. Within three months, I was able to complete thirty laps at the gym without stopping!

Gradually, I began to believe that I could complete the triathlon. This race was an opportunity to face my lifelong fear of water, and for the first time, I felt confident that I could overcome it!

“I am thrilled we are adding talented environmental managers, archaeologists, planners, ecologists, biologists, engineers, and historians who specialize in transportation projects to our team of employee-owners,” says Jon Carlson, CEO of Braun Intertec. “The service offerings of Edwards-Pitman Environmental are strategically aligned with our company’s vision as we expand our technical capabilities and geographic footprint. We are eager to support their continued trajectory of growth and client excellence.”


Geolabs Highlights Honolulu Project

Geolabs, Inc.

Geolabs continues to help developer clients, like Castle and Cooke, carve out new residential communities, like Koa Ridge in Central Oahu


Dave Mulholland Named VHB Chief Technology Officer


VHB is pleased to name Senior Vice President Dave Mulholland, PE, as the company’s inaugural Chief Technology Officer, helping to lead and drive data-informed and technology-enabled initiatives across the company’s markets, services, and regions. This new position reflects an emphasis on proactive and innovative use of data and technology and reinforces VHB’s commitment to delivering future-focused solutions for our clients.

“The promotion of Dave to CTO represents a pivotal new role VHB created to reflect how a data-informed and technology-enabled approach is at the center of all we do,” said Mike Carragher, President & CEO. “This is an exciting progression for VHB and will allow us to better serve our clients as we leverage technology and innovation to build more sustainable, equitable, and resilient communities.”


Top 5 Takeaways from American Clean Power’s Offshore Windpower Conference and Exhibition 2021

Wayne Cobleigh, Vice President – Client Services, GZA

Being one of the 1,050 in-person ACP Offshore Windpower 2021 conference attendees this October, showed how much has changed since we were last in person two years ago. ACP complied with the City of Boston’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols and the conference was well attended. Here are some of the takeaways regarding the U.S. 2021 market status and the 2030 outlook of the emerging and growing U.S. offshore wind energy industry. 


Olsson Foundation Donates to 10 Nonprofit Groups in 2021


Ten nonprofit organizations received a donation from the Olsson Foundation in 2021. The Olsson Foundation is committed to supporting groups that are dedicated to education, the environment, and the community.

“We believe it’s important to give back to the communities we serve and supporting nonprofit organizations is one way we can do this,” said John Olsson, executive vice president of consulting services at Olsson. “The foundation’s support continues to increase every year, and it’s exciting to see us take our community impact to a deeper level.”


Atlas’ CEO L. Joe Boyer Joins Nearly 2,000 CEOs in Unprecedented Commitment to Advance Diversity and Inclusion

Atlas Technical Consultants, Inc.

Atlas Technical Consultants, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATCX) (“Atlas” or the “Company”), a leading infrastructure and environmental solutions provider, announced today that CEO L. Joe Boyer has joined the growing coalition pledging to advance diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Boyer is now one of nearly 2,000 CEOs that have come together for CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™, in the commitment to advance diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

Leading a company in the infrastructure and environmental space, I recognized the disparity in diversity in our industry. I’m signing the pledge to do my part in reshaping our future, and committing to help others build a workforce that celebrates our diverse backgrounds and talents,” Boyer said. “We are stepping up and making a conscious effort to create a diverse and inclusive workforce that not only facilitates a strong community and culture but also drives innovation and creativity.”



Bridge Too Faux – FIU Bridge Collapse

Unique, complex design, not so unique project issues, and conflict avoidance = tragedy. In his presentation at the GBA Fall Conference on lessons learned from the FIU bridge collapse, Terracon’s Arron Mann referenced an article on the incident entitled “A Bridge to Faux.” 


Creative Solutions – Award Winning Project


Dowl’s Jason “Jay” Thom, P.E. won the Project Excellence Award, which was highlighted in his presentation at our Fall Conference.


Challenging Our Future


Thanks once again to Michael P. McMeekin, P.E., ENV-SP, Executive Director, Engineering Change Lab-USA for his presentation Engineering Challenges of the 21st Century: Overview of Engineering Change Lab-USA. Check out the latest from ELC’s Ideas Institute.


And Your Name Is?


Fall Conference keynote speaker, memory expert Chester Santos (, emphasized the importance of remembering names in our business relationships. He referenced an Inc. article on Nike losing their relationship with NBA star Steph Curry to illustrate the point.  




Fall Conference Presenters Mike Hutchinson, CEO GeoEngineers, Inc., and Jahmad Canley, CEO Potential Unleashed Consulting ( emphasized the importance of a culture of belonging in their presentation profiling Diversity, Equity and Inclusion efforts. Their encouragement is echoed in “Beyond Diversity: How Firms Are Cultivating a Sense of Belonging” from the Wharton School of business.


Clear the Smoke

US News

Business response to the complicated landscape of cannabis law is evolving. Rochelle Doyea and Terry Scanlan from the law firm of Cairncross & Hempelmann provided further clarity on the issue at the Fall Conference in their presentation “The Business Effects of Shifting Cannabis Rules and Regulations.” For more on the topic, where Is marijuana legal?


Integrity and Honesty

Harvard Business Review

The Fall Conference recognized Terracon’s Victor “Vic” Donald, P.E., M. ASCE as the recipient of GBA’s and ASCE’s Professional Practice Ethics and Leadership Award for 2021.  Honest conversations are a crucial tool in helping leaders and their organizations successfully act on their ethical ambitions.


Words Matter


Fall Conference attendees were treated to a wonderful presentation on Communicate Strength: Key Words that Undermine Your Effectiveness” by Karen Purves.  A recent piece entitled Choose Your Words Wisely: The Right Words Matter underscores some key points on the topic.


Upcoming TNSAVE Training Opportunities

Tennessee Emergency Management Agency

TNSAVE is conducting post-disaster structural evaluation training. TNSAVE is comprised of professional organizations whose objective is to help the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) develop and maintain a post-disaster building inspector program. Our volunteer organization serves TEMA and the State of Tennessee to train and organize building inspectors for disasters such as earthquakes, tornados, and floods. TNSAVE Members are usually engineers, architects, building inspectors/enforcement, or other construction and design professionals with an interest in serving following a disaster. To be eligible to volunteer to perform building evaluations for TEMA following a disaster, you must have taken our training or an approved alternate within the last 3 years. Here is information about upcoming trainings:

November 19th, 2021

Registration: Click Here

April 15th, 2022

Registration: Click Here

This year the trainings are being offered FREE of charge and are being funded by a grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP).

Regardless of whether you attend one of the classes, you can become a member of TNSAVE by filling out this form.



"You have to have the courage to stand up a do what is right."

- Aaron Mann, General Counsel at Terracon

at GBA's 2021 Fall Conference

"The words silent and listen have the same letters."

- Karen Purves at

GBA's 2021 Fall Conference

"One of the best ways to build brain power cognitive reserve is by learning foreign languages."

- Chester Santos, International Man of Memory

at GBA's 2021 Fall Conference

"Engineering firms of the future must adopt a more entrepreneurial mindset."

- Michael P. McMeekin, P.E., ENV-SP, Executive Director,

Engineering Change Lab-USA at GBA's 2021 Fall Conference


President - Thomas "Tom" W. Blackburn, P.E., G.E., F. ASCE, F.ACEC (Blackburn Consulting / Auburn, CA) 530/887-1494

President-Elect - Leo J. Titus, Jr. P.E., (ECS, Ltd. / Chantilly, VA) 703/471-8400

Secretary/Treasurer - Christopher Matthew "Matt" Moler, P.E. (S&ME, Inc. / Greensboro, NC) 336/553-1245

Director - Martin LaRoche, P. Eng, M.Sc.(Kiewit / Montreal, Canada)

Director - Guy Marcozzi, P.E., LEED AP BD+C, F. ASCE (Duffield Associates, Inc. / Wilmington, DE) 302/239-6634

Director - Steve Wendland, P.G., P.E., R.G., D.GE (GeoEngineers, Inc. / Prairie Village, KS) 913/475-5851

Director - Teresa L. Peterson, P.E., C.M.E., LEED AP O&M ENV SP (Gannett Fleming / Harrisburg, PA) 717/763-7211

Director - Bradley M. Melocik, P.E., P.H. (DOWL / Redmond, WA) 800/478-3695


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Joel G. Carson, Execuive Director, 301-565-2733 (office) | 402-517-1819 (cell)
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Phillip D. Pettway, Controller, 301-565-2733
Barb Nappy, Program Director, 301-565-2733 (office) | 727-457-2272 (cell)

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