Education Sessions


More education sessions will be added as they are confirmed - please check back for updates to the schedule!


Monday, October 17

9:45 am-10:15 am - Solutions Center Presentations in the Exhibit Hall:

Achieving Greater Business Outcomes through Digitalization and Collaborative Workflows

Jason Barber and Eric Kuszewski, Autodesk

The AEC industry is facing an ever-evolving set of challenges from technology disruptions to shortages in the labor market.  In this session, learn about how these trends are shaping the built environment, the impact on productivity, and best practices for developing an execution strategy when planning for collaborative workflows.  We will highlight real world implementation stories from the infrastructure and buildings industries where they have achieved their business goals by digitalizing their workflows. 


How AI + Big Data Will Transform the AEC Industry

Hank Tran, BST Global

Artificial intelligence and big data are the emerging technologies reshaping every industry. This session examines the unique opportunity to leverage these technologies in the AEC industry and foster the data-driven consultancy of the future, built on project intelligence™ and powered by predictive analytics. 


10:30 am-11:30 pm 

Thriving in an Inflationary Environment

William Siegel and Kevin McMahon, McMahon Siegel Group

The current inflationary period is expected to stick around for a while, and is magnified in engineering markets by both labor constraints and strong demand.  How companies react to these conditions is critical, and companies that take more assertive actions during inflationary times have been proven to produce significantly higher shareholder returns.  Discuss the actions your firm should take to thrive in the current inflationary environment.  


Navigating a Hybrid Work Environment

Keith London and Alicia Suzuki, Kennedy Jenks Consultants

Hear how committing to a hybrid work environment, redesigning offices as “Collaboration Centers”, and supporting staff in their homes with the tools necessary for them to work, has demonstrated adaption and flexibility for employee's and client's benefit.  Learn how even with national expansion efforts working virtually is better than before the pandemic.    Explore how diligently designing a reasonably consistent culture across the organization as opposed to relying on the local manager to set the culture will lead to a successful hybrid environment.     


The Evolution of Firm Ownership Models and the Influx of Private Equity into the AE Industry

Jon Escobar and Brendon Cussio, Morrissey Goodale

Understand the growing role of private equity in the AE industry, and the implications for firm leaders with respect to ownership, succession planning, and financing growth. Review the various other ownership and capital models available to engineering firm leaders and the pros and cons of each as it pertains to mergers and acquisitions, recruitment and retainment of talent, leadership and ownership transition, and client delivery.


Why is Legal Advice about Contracts like Twinkies and Cockroaches?

Hosted by CASE

Karen Erger, Lockton Companies; Eric Singer, Ice Miller LLP

Some things are reliably likely to endure forever - Twinkies, cockroaches, and classic rock.  Another thing that never seems to change is advice about design professionals’ professional services agreements. While bad contracts don’t cause claims, they can make claims much worse and harder to resolve. Learn the must-haves, red flags, and deal killers, along with case stories and bad examples that illustrate the importance of a carefully considered contract.


1:25 pm-1:55 pm - Solutions Center Presentations in the Exhibit Hall:

Insurance Foundations for Firms Considering Design-Build, APD

Roger C. Guilian and Lee Ann Wheeler, Greyling Insurance Brokerage & Risk Consulting

Overview of the foundational insurance products every firm should have in place and understand before diving headfirst into the world of design-build and alternative project delivery. 101-Level discussion of the insurance fundamentals implicated by Tier-1 design-build participation.


Optimize Health Using Wearable Technology

Lindsay Simone, ACEC Life/Health Trust

There have been significant advances in wearable technology that are empowering individuals to monitor and analyze key health indicators, like activity, sleep, and stress. In this session, we’ll discuss the latest trends in wearable technology and how these devices can help individuals to maintain or improve their health.


2:00 pm-3:00 pm

Upskilling the Workforce and Upscaling the Business for Digital Transformation of the AEC Industry

Reza Akhavian, San Diego State University; Keith London, Kennedy Jenks Consultants

The five-year, $1.2 Trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) (aka the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill) that was signed into law on November 15, 2021, puts a major emphasis on education, training, and workforce development to rebuild the U.S. physical and technological infrastructure. As digital transformation is disrupting the U.S. AEC industry, the need for such investments in upskilling future workers is unprecedented. Technologies central to the digital transformation of the AEC industry are introduced and the need for training and education of the workforce in these areas are explored. Learn how the business implications of adopting advanced technologies for pursuing and winning competitive pursuits and promoting companies' services may create a competitive advantage for your firm.


Climate Change in Colorado: How Colorado and CDOT Are Leading The Nation With Approaches To Climate Resilient Infrastructure

Patricia Gary, Donovan Hatem; Heather Paddock and Elizabeth Kemp, Colorado Department of Transportation; Nancy Rigassio, AXA XL; Nicole Boothman-Shepard, AECOM; Kelly Maiorana, Muller Engineering

In this interactive panel, discuss how Colorado is leading the nation with its resiliency program for transportation assets; specifically you scenic highways face risks such as catastrophic flood events, high winds, avalanches, rock fall, landslides, and wild fires. The state's topography of steep mountains with rivers adjacent to highways amplifies the infrastructure's exposure to natural hazards. Panelists will present case studies of how Colorado is incorporating resilient design approaches and planning for acute threats to ensure a safe transportation system and minimal disruption to the traveling public.  The panel will conclude with a discussion of wild fire risk, and how insurers are using cat modeling software to model hazard, vulnerability, exposure and loss from climate change events.


Client Selection and Liability for Engineering in an ERA of Emerging Technology and Delivery Models

Hosted by CASE

Paula Dixon, Holmes-Murphy; Kevin Artl, ACEC Illinois; John Clarke, Peralte-Clark LLC; Michaela Kendall, Design Professional AXA XL

This panel will offer a variety of user perspectives with regard to emerging technologies, such as 3D modeling, and delivery models such as design-build and progressive design-build.


Succession: Planning to be Perpetually Private

Joe Skorczewski, Chartwell Financial Advisory; Kelli Snider, Thinc Strategy

Generational trends combined with external market pressures are creating an environment of M&A activity that is nearly unprecedented in this industry.  What about those firm’s whose mission and culture are predicated upon being privately-held?  Join us to hear from two executives on their viewpoints on remaining private and steps taken to preserve their status.


3:10 pm-3:40 pm - Solutions Center Presentations in the Exhibit Hall:

The New Landscape of Tax Incentives and How It Benefits Your Business

Barry Devine, Tri-Merit Specialty Tax

Congress is setting new standards and creating a new landscape for specialty tax programs.
Join us to hear how recent legislation impacts the AEC industry and what it means for firm partners and owners. Topics include:
• Inflation Reduction Act (179D and 45L)
• R&D Tax Credit
• CHIPS and Science Act 


How to Deliver Projects On-Time & On-Budget That Actually Make Money  

Andy Yeomans, aec360 by HSO

Your firm has delivered projects for years, but are you leveraging industry best practices to optimize project margins? Your firm’s success is based on the ability to deliver on-time and on-budget, all while turning a profit. Join us to learn how to enhance project delivery practices while protecting project margins.


3:45 pm-4:45 pm

QBS Workshop: Driving Savings, Innovations & Efficiency

Paul S. Chinowsky, University of Colorado; Michael Sullivan, ACEC Georgia; Matt Reiffer, ACEC National


Success and Succession: Ensuring Future Leadership

Raymond Kogan, Kogan & Company

There is no more important aspect of future planning than succession planning.  Attendees will analyze considerations in identifying and developing future leaders, take home three leadership planning tools, and discuss concrete methods for achieving necessary leadership continuity in their firms.


It's Getting Hot in Here:  Can Engineers Account for the Change – The Critical Infrastructure Reliability-Resilience Nexus in a Climate Change Context

Tara McGowan, Colorado Springs Utilities; Taylor Winchell,  Denver Water; Logan Callihan, US Bureau of Reclamation; Gerry Murray, POWER Engineers; and Moderator Andrew Bochman, Idaho National Laboratory

In the energy and water sectors, two seemingly interchangeable terms:  reliability and resilience, do in fact designate different sets of utility performance evaluation criteria. Both measures are being pushed beyond their historical limits by mounting physical climate forces that include extreme temperature and precipitation events, droughts, melting permafrost, and storms of increasing frequency and ferocity exacerbated by accelerating sea level rise. The panelists will attempt to frame these challenges in ways that facilitate their clearer articulation to all manner of stakeholders and will provide examples of proven approaches for improved performance in their own organizations and others.


GEO-COPS Roundtable

Join fellow surveyors and geoprofessionals in an open discussion led by Greg Helmer and Steve Bein of Psomas, on current geomatic technologies, including EAM and lidar, current mapping an documentation trends, standards and guidelines, and tools, advancements and new technologies in surveying, including remote sensing, construction monitoring and SOE. Attendees will be given an opportunity for Q&A in this open forum discussion.  OPEN TO ALL ATTENDEES


CASE-CAMEE Roundtable

In this audience driven roundtable attendees are encouraged to identify, share, brainstorm and troubleshoot many of today’s trending topics, in their respective industries, including employee recruitment and innovative compensation ideas, maintaining company culture in the remote work environment, cyber security, risk management and more.  OPEN TO ALL ATTENDEES.


Tuesday, October 18

9:45 am-10:15 am - Solutions Center Presentations in the Exhibit Hall:

Why Agile Project Management is the Future of AEC

Lucas Hayden, Unanet

The AEC industry is full of opportunity. And capturing that growth and profitability demands strong project management skills. While it can be difficult for AEC firms to adapt their methods of project management, resources management and scheduling to the ever-changing needs of clients with agile project management, this is all about to change. Agile project management allows for more flexibility in both the planning process and in how projects are executed. Join Unanet’s Lucas Hayden, Director of AEC Strategy as he discusses why agile project management practices have become the future for AEC and steps you can take today to increase your Agile IQ.


Does your 401(k) plan meet the challenges of 2022 and beyond?

Lydia Zabrycki, ACEC Retirement Trust

Description: Learn how the ACEC Retirement Trust plan, exclusively for ACEC members and affiliate members, mitigates your risk providing fiduciary insulation, formidable cybersecurity, lower fees, institutional-scale investments, and a recruitment/retention advantage.


10:30 am-11:30 am

The Mid-Size Firm Succeeds

Rod Hoffman, S&H Consulting Inc.; Paul Chinowsky, Resilient Analytics, Inc.

Contrary to many beliefs, the mid-size firm has not just survived during this time, but has thrived through multiple economic booms and busts. In this session, a 25-year retrospective is provided to illustrate the successful strategies, the barriers to success, and the leading firms over the last 25-years as well as the emerging firms over the recent decade.  This retrospective will provide indicators of where the industry is moving and what firms should consider as we move into a post-pandemic era.


Avoiding Reputation Harm

Nancy Rigassio, AXA XL; Leanne Panduren, Rowe Professional Services; Nicole Mangino, Oswald Companies

Protecting your firm's reputation against cyber, social media, and public claims threats requires good practices and resources.  This panel will share claims examples and pro-active practice management to avoid the pitfalls.


The Dovetailing of Leadership; Succession and Ownership Transition

David Cohen, Matheson Advisors; Kathryn Sprankle, Sprankle Leadership

Designing an A/E practice that can live beyond the founders and current leadership means simultaneously overlaying strong business and financial disciplines, offering creative and rewarding work opportunities, developing future leadership and developing sustainable ownership processes. Understand firm valuation and the need for firm leaders to establish a framework for developing future leaders - and executing a successful exit strategy that captures the wealth they built in their firms. Learn how to converge leadership development goals and structural ownership transition methods.


Airports Transform Communities into Development Districts

Joshua Brooks, Sasaki; Ken Schwartz, VHB; Ken Cope, Denver Department of Aviation

Using Denver International Airport as a Case Study this session will explore the larger economic development impacts of airports on their regions and the types of planning, policies, and programs that are established to create strong connections between airport operations and urban development


1:55 pm-2:25 pm - Solutions Center Presentations in the Exhibit Hall:

How to Win Top Talent in a Competitive Market 

Dylan Mather and Catherine Rich, LVI Associates

The LVI Associates team will be presenting exclusive survey results for hiring trends, statistics, and current candidate motivators in a post-COVID environment. Sudden changes, subtle erosion, and continuous growth, learn how to turn a threat into an opportunity. This presentation will also go into detail about how to attract and retain diverse talent.


Overview of A/E M&A Trends

Jon Escobar, Morrissey Goodale

This session will discuss A/E Industry M&A and provide an update on deal activity in the U.S., current trends, deal pricing, and outlook for the rest of the year.

2:30 pm-3:30 pm

Design Practice Challenges at a time of Uncertain Construction Pricing

Nahom Gebre,Victor Insurance

Limited product inventory and ongoing supply change disruptions only compound the issue of swelling demand, increased construction costs and longer lead times for obtaining materials.  With additional uncertainty due to inflationary pressures, clients often change construction procurement strategies in the middle of a project.  We will discuss both the contractual and practice risks design firms face and how to successfully manage through the issues.


What Talent War?  This Is How To Conquer It And How We Did It!

Brock Storrusten, Withers Ravenal; Blake Godwin, Client Savvy

In today’s climate, it’s not finding the work that is so difficult, it is finding the people to do it….and the right people.    Discuss how using non-traditional thinking will allow you to proactively win the talent war while improving your CX/EX.  Discuss how to measure results of efforts and potential blind spots. Learn how to develop a plan to create win-win-win solutions  and become a preferred partner and destination employer.


Selling on Value Instead of Price

June Jewell, AEC Business Solutions

As your firm pursues new business, your staff must navigate difficult conversations around fees and pricing every day. Pressures from existing and potential new clients to lower fees often force your teams to give away profits and avoid asking for change orders to get the work and “be competitive.” Rather than believe they are adding value to their clients’ projects, many A&E professionals assume they are not any better than their competitors and compete on fees.  With the right approach, understanding and language tools. It is possible to transform your client relationships and business practices away from accepting unprofitable work towards a value-based business partnership. Understand how to communicate your value so that you can have better and fairer clients and higher profits. 


LDC Roundtable

Join a discussion as we explore economic impacts and opportunities for businesses and commerce across Colorado. What makes Colorado competitive and what key industries drive our growth now and in the future? How is The Federal IIJA program leveraging new projects? What business and economic forces are driving the next phase of growth and land use? Come hear what 2023 has in store for the Front Range of Colorado.  Presented by Richard Werner, President & CEO of Upstate Colorado Economic Development.  OPEN TO ALL ATTENDEES.


3:40 pm-4:10 pm - Solutions Center Presentations in the Exhibit Hall:

How to Retain Your Employees After a Merger or Acquisition

Kelli Snider, Thinc Strategy

The opportunity to gain skilled talent is one of the top reasons for a merger or acquisition in today’s market. While a successful deal creates an opportunity to gain talent across the organization quickly, mismanagement of talent through a transaction could be detrimental to the most straightforward deal.


4:15 pm - 5:15 pm

Emerging Risks and Claim Trends in the Design Profession

Dan Buelow and Mark Blankenship, WTW A&E

Discuss emerging A&E claim trends, valuable “lessons learned” and risk management tips every design professional firm should consider in order to mitigate their risks from costly claims and client disputes.


Business Development is Everyone’s Business – CEO Perspectives on Creating a BD Culture

Joy Guinn, Guinn Consulting Engineers, LLC; Brian Sielaff, Tamarack Grove; Karen Purcell, PK Electrical; Tim McCoy, GCW; Brian Valentine, Kimley Horn

As a firm leader, how do you engage your engineers and other team members in building and enhancing client relationships when they have no knowledge, training and in some cases desire to do so? In this panel discussion, you will hear from several CEOs who will share the challenges and triumphs in building the business development cultures in their firms.


People and Financial Strategies for Successful Ownership Transitions

Kate Allen and Scott Hursh, Stambaugh Ness

Financial strategy is more than running a high performing firm, it is developing an economic model and a financial philosophy that sustains succession and transition of ownership.  Funding a transition must align with the demographic realities of future internal buyers. Incentives and other financial tactics can drive engagement to increase the possibilities for successful succession.  This type of planning/execution is as integral to firm success as is profitable projects and client relationships, yet often gets pushed aside for the tyranny of the urgent.  Learn how people and financial strategies combine to give every firm the opportunity to differentiate from their competitors in creating an employer brand that attracts and retains the talent needed for successful succession. 




Wednesday, October 19

8:30 am-9:30 am

Employee Development and the Influence of Gaming

Kevin Brigandi, Abby Walter, and Amy Swaminathan, Terracon

Hear about a successful experiential leadership development program that was influenced by gaming and ultimately accelerated employee engagement and learning transfer. The program focus was to take new and tenured operational employees from doers, to managers, to leaders; a commitment and investment in employee development.


Guidelines for Handling a Cyber Security Breach

Mason Pokladnik, Walter P Moore Technology

As demand for cyber security increases, it's crucial to have security measures and a response plan in place.  Understand recommended practices for responding to a cyber security breach and demonstrate the response process and discuss critical components of cyber security plans using a virtual case study. 


More education sessions will be added as they are confirmed - please check back for updates to the schedule!