Educational Sessions & Forums

Sunday, April 17


Sales and Marketing Forum

Click Here to View the Sales and Marketing Forum Agenda

Emerging Leaders Forum: The Art of Practice Building
Rod Hoffman, S&H Consulting, Inc.; Geordie Aitken, Aitken Leadership Group
Explore fresh ideas and approaches to form, grow and sustain your A/E practice.
1:45pm-3:45pm CEO Roundtables

Join leading executives from firms nationwide for an interactive discussion of best practices, business management concerns, and other issues of interest to you and your peers.


Small Firm (1-50 employees)


Medium Firm (51-200 employees)


Large Firm (201-500 employees)


Very Large Firm (501+ employees)

Monday, April 18


Opening General Session

"Political Outlook & the 2016 Elections" with Dana Perino, Former White House Press Secretary and Co-Host/Political Commentator for Fox News' daily hit show "The Five"

"State Infrastructure Funding - Insights from Former DOT Secretaries"

  • Barry Schoch, Former PennDOT Secretary, McCormick Taylor
  • Paula Hammond, Former Washington State DOT Secretary, WSP|Parsons Brinckerhoff
  • Ananth Prasad, Former Florida DOT Secretary, HNTB
10am-7pm Legal Counsel Forum I
  The Legal Counsel Forum was established to meet the needs of in-house and outside legal counsel who advise ACEC member firms.  The Forum hosts discussions on a wide range of current legal issues important to member firms.  Participants in the Forum are attorneys representing ACEC member firms
10:45am-12noon Concurrent Sessions
How to Manage Change in Your Firm
Chuck Roberts, Performance Management Group, Inc.

Increase organizational speed, adaptability, and resilience through effective change management and provide your firm with a distinct competitive advantage.    

Uninsurability:  What It Is, Why It Matters, and How to Explain It to Your Clients
Karen Erger, Lockton; Ted Levin, Morris, Polich & Purdy LLP; Albert Rabasca, XL Catlin
Engineers strive to negotiate reasonable, insurable contract terms, only to have the client say, “I don’t care if it’s insurable. Agree to our terms, or we’ll give the project to someone else.” Negotiate better insurability terms in your professional services agreements, review common contract terms that impair coverage under a professional liability policy, and make a stronger case for the mutual benefits that insurability provides for all parties.
The Secret to Achieving Client Satisfaction: What Smart Firms Do Better
Dilip Choudhuri, Walter P Moore; Ryan Suydam, Client Feedback Tool

Explore how client loyalty initiatives increase revenue growth, improve client satisfaction, and drive down costs. Learn how to listen to clients, close the gap between expectations and delivery, and track client satisfaction. 

Ownership Transition, Expansion, & Succession
Nick Belitz, Morrissey Goodale

Understand how to balance the needs of sellers and buyers to successfully transition and expand internal ownership. Get the tools you need to have your next generation trail blazers ready to take the reins.

Going "Glocal": Authentically Melding a Global Brand with Local Resources
John Mathew, BST Global
Explore critical considerations before entering a foreign market and learn how to strategically leverage your resources.
Federal Markets Session: DOD Priorities and Funding
Stacey Shepard, Jacobs; Scott Wick, USACE; Joe Gott, NAVFAC; USAF

Keynote Luncheon

"Leadership and Influence" with Daniel Pink, World-renowned business thought leader and author of three New York Times bestsellers

2pm-3:15pm Concurrent Sessions
Cloud-Based Document Solutions
Ted Buscaglia, ARC Document Solutions

How mobile technology can improve day-to-day operations on the jobsite. Join us for an interactive session using video, large screen interactive whiteboards, iPads, Microsoft Surfaces, and cloud-based solutions to simulate on-the-job use. 

Managing the Risk in Digital Communications
Gregg Bundschuh and Jeff Connelly, Greyling
How do multiple and evolving communications channels affect your client communications? Is texting part of the project record? Is a client request for indemnity arising from a computer virus insurable? Examine new risk exposures of digital communications— from BIM to social media to texting— and practical ways to reduce your liability.
Make Your Best Clients Happy - and Keep Them That Way
Ryan Suydam, Client Feedback Tool; Lee Jordan, GATE, Inc.; Gil Hantzsch, MSA Professional Services; Bob Heil, KLH Engineers
Want increased loyalty, higher fees, and more successful projects? Learn strategies that engage clients with their project managers, identify and manage client expectations, and improve client outcomes and loyalty. 
Federal Markets Session: USACE (Civilian) and Others -  Priorities and Funding
J. Joseph Tyler, Dawson and Associates; Eric Halpin, USACE; David Palumbo, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation
NAECE Session: Increasing the Value of Membership,
Part I
Mark Levin, B.A.I., Inc.
Learn how to create a value message that resonates with members and prospects. Explore how to employ both traditional and new technology-driven media to identify and approach new member prospects.  
3:45pm-5pm Concurrent Sessions
How to Measure the Costs and Results of IT Investment
Jim Walsh and Patrick Sheridan, WSP|Parsons Brinckerhoff; Chuck Kemp and Jim Haynes; POWER Engineers

How successful CIO-CFO collaboration fosters sharper business strategies and enhanced firm growth.

Legal Aspects of BIM - Best Practices
Sue Yoakum, Donovan Hatem
Whether you’re new to Building Information Modeling (BIM) or have been using it for years, join us to examine past, present, and future legal concerns associated with BIM, “noise” surrounding the use of BIM, and best practices for claim avoidance. 

"Dude, What's My Job?" Managing Millennials at Work
Jeff Hiller, JB Training Solutions
Millennials now outnumber Baby Boomers in the workforce, which means an entirely new set of business challenges and strategic opportunities. Learn how to manage, train, and motivate them.
NAECE Session: Increasing the Value of Membership,
Part II
Mark Levin, B.A.I., Inc.
Get fresh ideas on keeping members actively engaged in ways that make every ACEC interaction positive and satisfying.  Explore ways to improve the overall membership experience.
Federal Markets Session: Civilian Agencies Priorities and Funding
Philios Angelides, Alpha Corporation; Dennis Milsten, Department of Veterans Affairs; Leslie L. Shepherd, FAIA, Chief Architect, Office of the Chief Architect, U.S.. General Services Administration (GSA); Natalie Huber, Chief Engineer, U.S.. General Services Administration (GSA); Rick Sullivan, Director of Mechanical Engineering, U.S.. Department of State, Overseas Building Operations

Tuesday, April 19

College of Fellows Breakfast with guest speaker Nate Wallace, National Mall and Memorial Parks, National Park Service, on the recent repairs to the Washington Monument
(open to College of Fellows and invited guests)

General Session

Congressional Panel: Prospects for Bipartisanship
Moderated by Major Garrett, CBS Chief White House Correspondent
Panel discussion featuring three members of congress:
  • Representative Rodney Davis (R-IL)
  • Representative Sean Maloney (D-NY)
  • Representative Bruce Westerman (R-AR)
Congressional Issues Briefing
GA Staff briefing on priority congressional issues for A/E industry.
9am-10am Roundtables
  • CIO Roundtable: IT Security Challenges
    • Jim Lofft, KCI Technologies, Inc.; Don Roberts, RS&H; Brandon Dunlap, Black and Veatch
  • CFO Roundtable: Breaking the Traditional Business Model
    •  Chris Nelson, McKim & Creed; June Jewell, AEC Business solutions
  • Architects' (ARC) Roundtable: Successful Architect and Engineer Collaboration
    • Jim Gast, AECOM; Bruce Faudree, Hankins & Anderson; David Mason, Mead & Hunt; Jason Chandler, Epstein
10am-1pm Legal Counsel Forum II
10:30am-11:45am Concurrent Sessions
Creating a Healthy Corporate Culture with Bottom-Line Results
Paul Smith, The Flywheel Effect

Learn how to effectively share knowledge firm-wide to build a strong corporate culture for improved employee and client confidence.

Exit Strategies and Ownership Transition
Tim Cleary, Chartwell; Peter Ney, EA Engineering and Technology, Inc.
Examine practical strategies and tactics for firms considering ownership transition.
Leveraging Technology to Balance Infrastructure Risk and Project Capitalization
Terry Bennett, Autodesk
How owners today are increasingly viewing the digital asset of infrastructure as more valuable than its physical real-world counterpart.  
Case Studies in Excellence: Inspiring Partnerships between Architects and Engineers
Bob Hastings, TriMet; Norm Smit, T.Y. Lin International (Tilikum Crossing, Bridge of the People); Charles Grant, GEI Consultants (Provo Temple Underpinning)

First-hand accounts from successful teams of architects and engineers on EEA Award-Winning Projects about the benefits and challenges of close A and E partnering.

New Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank: How to Make it Work for You, Part I
David Dollar, China Center, The Brookings Institute; Anna Ashton, US-China Business Council; S. Samuel Tumiwa, ADB; John Scales, HDR
This new bank plans to invest $10-15 billion annually. Explore potential opportunities provided by this new organization for your firm.

General Session Luncheon

How Big Data Will Transform Your Company
An explosion of information relevant to many aspects of firm operations - from marketing and sales, to project management and workforce requirements - transform the way in which engineering firms will conduct business, achieve efficiencies and increase profitability.
Moderator: John Doehring, Author of "Fast Future"
Bret Tushaus, VP, Deltek
Gary Hall, Chief Technical Officer, Cisco
Capt. Jay Bitting, U.S.. Naval Academy, School of Engineering
Dave Conway, CEO/President, ISqft
1:45pm-3pm Concurrent Sessions
Surviving and Thriving: Mergers and Acquisitions
Chris Staloch, Chartwell and Panel of Experts

Examine ways to minimize disruptions from mergers and acquisitions involving your firm.

Practical IT Exit Strategies for Today's Quick Changing, Tech-Driven Business Environment
John Marinello and Fred Noel, Syska Hennessy Group, Inc.; Jim Lofft, KCI Technologies, Inc.; Jim Walsh, WSP|Parsons Brinckerhoff

When an existing long-term process is no longer meeting the firm’s needs or a short-term commitment fails to live up to expectations, IT professionals need to understand different facets of how to reverse course.

Identifying the Right Metrics for Firm Success
Jared Jamison, Hankins & Anderson
Measure and manage the right things for success with an effective framework and custom metrics.
New Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank: How to Make it Work for You, Part II
Sofia M. Berger, Louis Berger; David Fulton, Multilateral Capital Advisory; Keith Larson, Hogan Lovells; Eric Cook, Buchart Horn

Explore how US firms navigate the risks and challenges of working in Asia and partnering on AIIB projects.    

3:30pm-4:45pm Concurrent Sessions
Aligning Strategy, Structure and Metrics to Drive Performance
Dave Johnson and Tom Kelly, AE CFO Solutions; Bob Gabel, Haley & Aldrich, Inc.

What is “good” financial performance and how do you measure it?  Learn the importance of strategy, structure and metrics alignment to grow your firm.

Mapping the Client's Mind: Building Client Loyalty and Avoiding Surprises 
Mike Phillips, Phillips Architecture

Do your clients hear from you in a useful, meaningful way? Are you tracking the project delivery process that makes clients happy? Learn how to deliver a smooth work process and exceptional client experiences every time. 

Adapting QC to Keep Pace with Industry Trends
G. Steven Ross, Thornton Tomasetti; Derrick Nickerson, Stantec; Michael Quigley, WB Engineers + Consultants; Shannon Kaplan, AKF Group; Moderator:  Allen Preger,  Newforma

How to tackle Big Data/digital collaboration challenges, improve client satisfaction by reducing response times, avoid construction delays by closing the gap between field and office, and modernize legacy QC procedures to achieve ISO certification.

Sustainability: The Advantage of Envision Verification
Denise Nelson, ISI; Kari Hewitt, VHB

Seeking greater competitive advantage, AEC firms are fast adopting Envision to demonstrate sustainable infrastructure expertise to owners.  Speakers will discuss the challenges and benefits of adopting Envision

Wednesday, April 20

8:30am-9:45am Concurrent Sessions
How to Benchmark Firm Success
Wayne Owens, T. Wayne Owens, Inc.

How to use correct accounting procedures in order to achieve accurate benchmarking.

Delivering Business Value to Clients
Mel Lester, BizEdge
The secret to combating commoditization is to deliver greater business value to clients. Learn what this entails, how to sell it to prospective clients, and how to deliver it after the sale. Get a useful template for creating your firm's own distinctive value-focused plan to boost your business development efforts and your bottom line.
10:15am-11:30am Concurrent Sessions
Accommodating Millennials: IT Strategies for "Work Shifting"
John Marinello, Syska Hennessy; Jim Walsh, WSP|Parsons Brinckerhoff

Implementing flexible solutions for greater work-life balance is a challenge. With the advent of technologies allowing remote access, staff can use real work-product data from nearly anywhere. Caution, however, is still key as security and proper remote worker management remain a concern.

Equity Incentive Plans: Aligning Management and Shareholder Expectations
Rocky Fiore, Prairie Capital Advisors, Inc.

Many business owners are reluctant to award real stock or options to their key managers. Learn how synthetic equity can help incentivize key managers to drive value for your firm.