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|August 12, 2020 ||
Vol. 49 No. 60
Early Registration Discounts Available
Join your associates and fellow industry professionals from across North America and beyond for GBA’s virtually delivered, interactive education experience.
Educate your entire team with access to the exceptional line-up of distinguished speakers, who will provide valuable take-aways benefiting your firm and each staff member.
Register Today and join us for 4 half-days of collaboration and networking through participation in committee meetings, business round table up to 7.5 PDH credits. Member fees are $195 before September 8th.
- A panel of seasoned GBA leaders will share personal views on leadership behaviors, business strategies, and proven tactics critical to improving corporate performance beyond crisis.
- GBA’s signature Business Round Table Sessions will focus on specific topics relevant to today’s business environment. Individuals will share experiences and discuss best practices.
More Information: HERE
GBA would like to extend an invitation to you, your significant other and your friends to experience a unique virtual wine tasting event in the comfort of your own home with JJ Williams (wine maker) with Kiona Vineyards and Winery and wine expert Ray Zemke with West Mountain Wine Retreat.
Our wine hosts will share their expertise on the art of wine making, Oregon famous Red Mountain region, and the specific wines you will experience as three bottles of Kiona Wines will be shipped directly to your home.
More Information and Registration Details: HERE
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GBA Emerging Leaders Class
GBA is legendary for engaging with amazing speakers at each of our conferences and in this series we reconnect with past keynotes that have become old friends of GBA to see where life has taken them and learn from their journey, they are American heroes, best-selling authors, business leaders, executive coaches, all experts in their fields and brilliantly engaging.
Episode #3 - Michael Allosso
(Keynote Fall 2016 & Spring 2017)
Direct link to episode #3 with Michael Allosso: HERE
- How we continue to have our best day during these times?
- Great leaders have reinvented themselves using technology they initially resisted because they felt it was impersonal.
- You must now become a TV Star!
- What can we do to make this time an opportunity?
- The Silver Lining in all of this is…
Episode #4 – Eric Saperston
(Keynote Spring 2019)
Direct link to episode #4 with Eric Saperston: HERE
- How do we apply your message to “Live in Wonder” now?
- This is a time for focus and gratitude.
- How has your past experiences applied to your recent experience in today’s times?
- The power we all have inside ourselves.
- If you could tell your 21 year old self three things you learned in this life , what would the three things be?
- The Silver Lining in all of this is…
This series is being edited and produced by GBA’s Emerging Leaders Class under the leadership of Tiffany Vorhies (SME), Donald Blackburn (Blackburn Consulting), Shawn Leyva (Crawford & Associates), and Ryan White (PBS Engineering and Environmental).
Access podcast series: Encore Performances, Reconnecting with GBA Friends: HERE
GBA is committed to promoting the value of geoprofessionals and we want to see it through your eyes. For our 2020 Photo Contest, we’d like to know: “How do you depict the day in the life of a Geoprofessional?” Is it field activities? Is it meeting with colleagues and clients? Is it performing testing in the laboratory? How is safety incorporated into your work? How are you positively impacting the world? Capture those vibrant moments and express what being a geoprofessional means to you!
Contest begins July 1, 2020 and ends August 31, 2020. Winners will be featured during our 2020 Fall conference. Additionally, awards and recognition for category winners including gift cards and plaques for overall winners.
Contest Rules: HERE
Maximize your company’s brand recognition, increase your visibility, and reinforce your reputation as an industry leader. GBA Fall Conference sponsorship will help you achieve your goals by providing premium visibility to geoprofessional leaders from across North America.
2020 Fall Conference Sponsorship Opportunities
Our most popular article from our last issue of GBA NEWSlog.
I Just Couldn’t Get Out of Bed Anymore — Hitting the COVID Wall
Past President Passes
President of ASFE 1987-1988 Steven J. Trettel, P.E. (GZA) passed away on August 11, 2020 after a long illness. Steve was a strong Principal at GZA and, for many years. He joined GZA in the 1970s and contributed greatly to its growth in the geotechnical and geoenvironmental areas. He was a capable geotechnical engineer who always focused on client relationships and business development. Final arrangements are pending.
Atlas Technical Consultants, Inc.
Atlas Technical Consultants, Inc a leading provider of professional testing, inspection, engineering, program management and consulting services, announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Alta Vista Solutions, Inc. (“Alta Vista”), a key provider of transportation-related testing and inspection services, headquartered in Oakland, California. Alta Vista has approximately 100 employees, operating out of four offices in California and one office in New York City, bringing a broad array of construction engineering, materials testing, inspection, quality management, asset management and infrastructure services.
L. Joe Boyer, Atlas’ Chief Executive Officer, said, “Alta Vista’s transportation focus, wide range of services and established presence in California and New York will provide an exceptional fit for Atlas. The ability to self-perform more work is a key part of our growth strategy. With our combined expertise and infrastructure focus, we will be able to more thoroughly service customers in two key regions where investment in transportation is an increasing priority for state and local governments. We look forward to welcome Alta Vista’s talented team to our rapidly growing company.”
Urban Engineers is proud to celebrate and recognize its 60th anniversary. The firm opened in August of 1960 with a staff of seven and has grown to a staff of 475 with 15 offices across the country. To celebrate the firm’s culture, people, partners, and projects, Urban has been running an online campaign called #UR60N that highlighted a different aspect of the firm each month building up to the anniversary this August.
“Over the past 60 years, we've worked hard to create an inclusive and flexible work environment for all of our employees,” said Kenneth R. Fulmer, PE, the president and CEO of Urban. “I am proud that we have maintained a ‘family’ atmosphere as our firm grew over the years. Our #UR60N campaign was a great showcase for what we value and what our vision is for the future. This week we celebrate this important landmark, and I thank everyone individually for helping us get here.”
Mr. Bhattacharya has 25 years of experience in geotechnical engineering and construction materials testing in a wide market consisting of transportation, power, energy, commercial and communication projects. He has worked on projects across the nation, metro-Atlanta and abroad. In the metro Atlanta area, he was part of many iconic projects such as Atlanta Airport 5th Runway, Georgia World Congress Center, MARTA-Northline Extension, NW Corridor (I-75 Expansion), City of Atlanta’s Permeable Paver Project and I-285 & SR 400 Reconstruction Project. His expertise is foundation analysis, retaining walls, slope stability analysis, site inspection and foundation testing and soil stabilization.
We are beginning to feel the impacts of climate change. In addition to the wide range of political, social, and economic concerns that climate change is sparking in our communities, we are faced with the invisible threat of extreme heat on our society and the built environment.
With the help of over 70 industry experts, including engineers, architects, and real estate development professionals, the ULI Boston/New England chapter authored a report focused on the consequences of climate change in the Greater Boston area—specifically, extreme heat and its ancillary issues. The purpose of the report is to help local real estate developers, designers, and policymakers to acknowledge the consequences of extreme heat and to seek solutions to make buildings, neighborhoods, parks, and outdoor spaces more adaptable to environmental conditions and comfortable for occupants.
Mississippi Business Journal
Amy Wisdom Ainsworth has been named a senior associate of Terracon. Based in the Ridgeland office, Ainsworth manages client development services for the national firm throughout Mississippi.
Terracon appoints senior associates based on their consistent high performance and commitment to growth, within Terracon and their community.
Ainsworth has over 20 years of marketing and client development experience, and was recognized as one of Mississippi Business Journal’s 50 Leading Business Women in 2012. She and her husband are residents of Fondren in Jackson.
The Southport Early Implementation Project (Southport EIP) is the largest piece of flood improvements to the West Sacramento levee system to date. This West Sacramento Flood Control Agency (WSAFCA) project included about 6 miles of improvements to a 100-year-old levee along the Sacramento River to mitigate seepage and slope stability deficiencies. Blackburn Consulting provided geotechnical engineering, geo-environmental, and materials testing services on this unique project.
This levee reach was the highest risk component to the flood control system surrounding West Sacramento, and the highest priority project to protect its 53,000 residents. The success of this project has opened up the possibility for creative use of locally available soils to significantly reduce the project cost and meet US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) design criteria.
WATCH YouTube Presentation
ECS Group of Companies
The ECS Group of Companies (ECS) is pleased to announce that Jason Adams, MSc, has joined the Natural Resources Group in Florida.
"Jason’s strength is his understanding of the development process and how to provide valuable consultation for our clients who need innovative, flexible and timely options to bridge the gap between regulatory compliance and development," said Cliff Hendrickson, ECS Florida’s Director of Environmental Services.
J Doehring & Co.
I remember this like it was yesterday. In early 2009, I was speaking at a conference of design and technical professionals – my focus on charting a path to business success in the deepening recession. Faces in that audience remain etched in my mind – their look of anxiety, lost confidence, shock, paralysis. No one knew what would come next, how to respond, or what to do. It was (particularly for firms on the front-end of design) a moment of epic uncertainty.
Then, near the end of my remarks, an attendee rose with a comment: “I get what you’re saying here about the need to contact clients, but frankly I just don’t know what to say.” My response then, “well, just say that.” In most cases, I suggested, when you don’t know what to say to clients, then tell them you don’t know what to say. Usually this is exactly what’s needed. We really don’t expect answers to tough questions, at least not in the moment. What we want is for others to show up. To make a connection. To share and empathize – and feel.
Weston & Sampson
Weston & Sampson is pleased to announce that Christine Dabit, PE has joined the firm as a Senior Project Engineer based in Charleston, South Carolina.
Christine has over 10 years of experience in the oil and gas industry in project management, engineering and design, operations, and construction management, having most recently worked for Dominion Energy for several years. She has a strong background in managing projects from conceptual stages to operations hand-off in upstream oil and gas facilities and gatherings systems. At Weston & Sampson, she will use these skills and her strong background in transmission and distribution pipelines and facility design to assist our clients with their gas infrastructure and LNG facility engineering and design needs. Christine can be reached at email@example.com or 704-890-5489.
Well that’s exactly what’s happening. What we’re seeing in our work with firms of all types and sizes is that 2020 is shaping up to be yet another record year in terms of financial performance – top line, bottom line, and balance sheet. It’s being driven by demand – the essential nature of what our industry delivers in terms of immediate urgency and long-term sustainable importance for the nation as a whole and individual communities. And it’s being reinforced by a total transformation of the industry’s cost and production model in the first six months of the year.
The COVID-19 pandemic has plunged the United States into a steep and dramatic recession, ending the longest economic expansion on record. Although the economy began to regain traction in May, a resurgence of COVID-19 infections in late June and July across most of the country has put a recovery in doubt.
In the short-term, all eyes are on the federal government to keep the economy above water. Once federal stimulus efforts end, however, the road to recovery will be slow and long, possibly taking three to five years. In the meantime, firms must do their best to keep the lights on.
The Culture of CARE is an initiative created in partnership between the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) and the AGC of Washington to advance the construction industry as the industry of choice for diverse and talented workers by building inclusive work environments in construction firms nationwide.
Culture of CARE was initially developed and launched at the AGC of Washington in the spring of 2018. AGC of Washington generously granted AGC of America rights to create a national Culture of Care campaign, which launched in the spring of 2020.
My new boss told me to never be afraid to give feedback. The next Monday morning in a meeting, I happily shared my viewpoint on a new policy. Thereafter, I noticed my boss's disposition towards me changed. He stopped talking to me. I was shunned. I even felt the effects of this in my monthly performance appraisal, where he noted, I was not supportive of the organization, and I needed to be a better team player. The picture was quite clear - truthful feedback was not appreciated.
Overheard four days ago:
“Leading my organization with all this coronavirus madness is hard enough as we're working our butts off just to keep our doors open. I don't get why I have to also deal with social issues. I mean, I’m a businessman, we're running a business here. Social issues belong in the courts, yeah, maybe on the streets or in universities. But seriously, I shouldn't have to deal with this, I’m an executive not a social activist.”
Now, I know for a fact that this exec is neither mean nor insensitive. Don’t immediately assume that he is hard-hearted or racist. It’s true, though, that he wasn’t trained or prepared to deal with social issues. Like many leaders, he’s frustrated and bewildered – he doesn’t believe it’s his job to deal with social issues.
Historically, companies will do two things when times get tough: They will curtail their training departments and sales departments.
The world was not prepared for the coronavirus, and there is no denying companies are facing hard decisions. Some companies have been required to do reduction in workforce because projects have been delayed.
Although halting training may be fiscally understandable, it’s short-sighted and hurts your program and the construction industry as a whole in the long run. This is the time to really focus on projects that are going and ensure people are working at their maximum capacity.
It is sometimes said that there is a “bright line” that separates the contractor, on the one hand, from the engineer and owner, on the other, with respect to site safety. However, as a recent case demonstrates, there is no such “bright line” and this can make it difficult to dismiss a claim through summary judgement.
New Civil Engineer
Fire guidance for load bearing structural elements on bridges should be ‘accelerated’ after recent Arizona rail bridge collapse.
Stanford study recommends new approach to managing risk of earthquakes triggered by fracking.
Business News Daily
The rise in remote work has made video conferencing systems a necessary tool for many businesses. How does your firm’s system stack up to the available technology? Business News Daily has compiled a list of what they consider to be the best video conference choices for a variety of needs.
Digital Energy Journal
Ikon Science, a global provider of knowledge management solutions designed to optimize subsurface discovery, announced the return of its Geos Between Jobs Program. The program delivers a free e-learning RokDoc Rock Physics training designed to help unemployed geophysics professionals improve their skillsets.
You might not think about your tires very much when you drive, but really, they're the most important piece of equipment on your car. This unique video gives us some insight into why that is.
Marie Tharp was born on July 30, 1920, in the city of Ypsilanti, Michigan. As a young girl, she followed her father, a soil surveyor for the United States Department of Agriculture, into the field. She also loved to read and wanted to study literature at St. John's College in Annapolis, but women were not allowed to join the courses. So she went to Ohio University, where she graduated in 1943.
Words of Wisdom
"Strive for perfection in everything you do. Take the best that exists and make it better. When it does not exist, design it.”
– Sir Henry Royce
President: Kenneth R. "Ken" Johnston, (GZA GeoEnvironmental, Inc. / Norwood, MA), 781/278-3700|
President-Elect: Thomas W. "Tom" Blackburn, P.E., G.E., F.ASCE (Blackburn Consulting / Auburn, CA), 530/887-1494|
Secretary/Treasurer: Leo J. Titus, Jr. P.E., (ECS, Ltd. / Chantilly, VA), 703/471-8400
Chuck A. Gregory, P.E. (Terracon / San Antonio, TX), 210/641-2112
Martin LaRoche, P. Eng, M.Sc. (Kiewit / Montreal, Canada)
Guy Marcozzi, P.E., LEED AP BD+C, F. ASCE (Duffield Associates, Inc. / Wilmington, DE) 302/ 239-6634
Christopher Matthew "Matt" Moler, P.E. (S&ME, Inc. / Greensboro, NC), 336/553-1245
Matthew "Matt" R. Poirier, P.E. (Sanborn Head & Associates, Inc. / Concord, NH) 603/ 229-1900
Steve Wendland, P.G. Steve Wendland, P.E., R.G., D.GE (Kleinfelder, Inc. / Prairie Village, KS ) 913/475-5851
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