Education Sessions


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


Sunday, April 26


4:00 pm-5:00 pm

Grow Your Way Through the Next Recession

Kevin McMahon and Bill Siegel, McMahon Siegel Group

Is a recession coming?  Learn how to position your firm to take advantage of today's markets while at the same time preparing to survive uncertain economic cycles. Position yourself to monitor your markets, strategically grow when others aren't, and power through tough times."


From Firm-Centric to Client-Centric: The Evolving Role of A/E/C Marketing

Ida Cheinman, Substance151 Benefit LLC

All marketing communications must help answer a single question: Why should I choose your firm? Finding the right balance between a strong, differentiating message and the firm’s ability to craft useful and contextually relevant client experience is what will separate the winners from the rest in the decade ahead.


Bottom-Up Leadership - Breaking the Old-School Model of Engineering to Create a Relevant and Future-Focused Firm

June Jewell, AEC Business Solutions

Today’s young engineers don’t want to work for a traditional firm that requires them to work their way up the ladder in order to be heard. Young staff have great ideas, yet most firms don’t leverage the talents of their staff or give them a voice in how to be more effective and competitive. This session will reveal a breakthrough formula that will transform your culture, attract young talent, reduce turnover and provide necessary overhauls to the established way of running your business.


Bring Clarity to Your Key Performance Indicators: Understanding Your Firm Metrics and Why They Matter

Megan Miller, Deltek

Identify the top key performance indicators that will help you better manage your business. You’ll also get a sneak peek at this year’s Deltek Clarity results and how you can leverage these benchmarks to drive your business forward.


Monday, April 27


9:30 am-10:30 am

The Ownership/Compensation Balancing Act

Tim Cleary, Chartwell Financial Advisors

Balancing compensation with the capitalization and cashflow needs of an organization is a critical factor in achieving a firm’s long-term objectives. Sustainability of ownership models has also become an important focal point for many firms as they consider the next stage in the life cycle of their businesses. Explore how AE companies are thinking about these topics and learn the latest ideas around ownership models.


The Blue (Coastal) Economy is Red Hot: The Roles for Engineers


Confidential Reporting on Structural Safety in the United States

Glenn Bell and Andy Herman, CROSS-US

Confidential Reporting on Structural Safety (CROSS), first established in 2005, is a system where reports of structural failures, near misses, and similar safety concerns may be entered into a confidential web portal, where they are analyzed by an expert panel and lessons learned are communicated to the profession.  Learn more about CROSS, its establishment in the US, and review some of the cases processed by CROSS-US to date.


Federal Market Opportunities: Federal Use of MATOCs for Procuring Engineering Services: Know the Impacts!

USACE CO, USACE COTR managing a MATOC, Industry A/E PM/Principal currently on a MATOC

In recent years, federal agencies have sought to engage A/E firms through the use of Multiple Award Task Order Contracts (MATOC), adopting construction services procedures to provide a variety of professional services. Competing for task orders (TOs) under the current procurement process for MATOCs can be exceedingly time-consuming and costly for both the firms competing for them as well as the COs, COTRs and other staff on the agency side who are required to make the appropriate selection.

Rather than spend more overhead pursuing task work they feel they’ve already won, many A/E firms believe tasks should be assigned based on the qualifications already available through the selection process of the MATOC and distributed in a balanced and rotational manner and negotiated accordingly with the selected firms. This session will explore unique exceptions to this process that may allow for serving the agency’s needs without unduly burdening the industry and agency stakeholders with unnecessary and costly pursuit efforts.


11:15 am-12:15 pm

Non-Engineers Adaptation to Future Engineering - How the Government, Science and Financial Sectors are Converging to Drive Infrastructure Design to Meet Sustainability and Resilience Objectives

Army Corps, IBM, JP Morgan Chase, FM Global, Moody’s

The recent acquisition of Four Two Seven by Moody’s and the announcement of BlackRock in its annual letter have sent a message to owners, operators and developers of public and private sector infrastructure that they will come under new levels of scrutiny to meet rising expectations of sustainability.  To better anticipate changing client needs in water, energy and transportation infrastructure design, attendees will explore the basic developments and challenges ahead for the sustainability framework of data-driven financial assessment.


Become Your Elected Official's Trusted Advisor

Moderator: Katharine Mottley, ACEC

Whether you participate in Hill visits every year or are a first-time annual convention and fly-in attendee, every ACEC member will learn new ideas and become a confident advocate during this session. Hear from a panel of former congressional staff and ACEC’s government advocacy team as they walk you through the types of messages that resonate with Members of Congress. Learn how to be an engineering resource, build a relationship – in Washington and at home – with your elected representatives and their staff, and become one of their trusted advisors.


Health & Safety for Civil Engineering Firms

Michelle McIntyre, GFA International

Explore questions such as What hazardous activities are specific to civil engineering firms? What health and safety regulations impact the construction industry? How does the EMR affect civil engineering firms? How is a health and safety plan developed? How does safety save money? Engineering-related violations and practical tips for OSHA compliance will be addressed.


Federal Market Opportunities: CMMC: The Cost of Doing Business Just Went Up, Can You Afford to Sit This Out?

Reginald M. Jones, FoxRothschild

The Department of Defense has introduced CMMC, the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification. By next year, all firms doing business with the DoD will be required to certify their firm’s cybersecurity level when submitting proposals. This will not be an inexpensive endeavor and questions remain. Will other federal agencies follow the DoD’s lead and introduce similar requirements? Can your firm afford to miss out on these opportunities? Hear from the experts on what your firm will need to do to remain competitive.


2:00 pm-3:00 pm

Engineers as Employers: Leveraging Research to Attract Top Talent

Karl Feldman, Hinge

In order for engineering firms to remain competitive, they not only need to attract top talent but make hires that align with their strategic goals and create opportunities to develop new practice areas as well. Using new primary research on engineers as employers, this session will explore trends in geography, markets, firm size and talent type to showcase the importance of strategic recruitment with focus on selection criteria and career priorities. You’ll also have the unique opportunity to participate in a live benchmarking exercise to discover how you compare to other firms competing for the same talent.


The Engineer's Guide to Effective Communication & Documentation

Diane Mika, Berkley Design Professional

Engineers are judged by documentation: proposals, contracts, CDs, reports, email, and more. With real-world examples, this session reveals pitfalls and best practices in communication and documentation throughout a project. You’ll review cautionary words and project templates, examine a proven change-management model, and learn how proactive communication and consistent documentation can help you manage risk and deliver successful projects.


Lessons Learned from 301 Mission and Other Large Urban Projects

Michael De Chiara, Zetlin & De Chiara LLP

The effects of major construction projects on adjoining properties are not sufficiently understood.  When unanticipated problems occur they often result in significant damages, which can equal the entire cost of the new project. The proper analysis of these effects involve advanced geotechnical and structural analysis, often not undertaken in large complex projects. This session will cite several well-known situations which could have been avoided if this new level of pre-construction analysis was undertaken.


Federal Market Opportunities: Beta.Sam: Navigating the Federal Governments' Opportunity Search Engine

GSA has replaced FedBizOps with Beta.Sam and many challenges persist. Among them include the difficulty in following a solicitation because Beta.Sam lists them by a Beta Record Number and not the solicitation number. It lacks push notifications, which can be useful to prospective contractors and its NAICS listings are not complete.  Federal contractors have little choice but to work within its confines. Join experts at navigating this ever-changing system to ensure you’re not missing out on key opportunities. Receive the guidance your firm needs on working with Beta.Sam and the government’s roadmap for how its functionality will improve.


NAECE Educational Session


Tuesday, April 28


10:45 am-11:45 am

50 Ways to Improve Your Engineering Firm

Mark Goodale, Morrissey Goodale LLC

Firm leaders deal with a number of critical challenges, including: 1. Managing the sustainable use of the firm’s resources— particularly the staff. 2. Consistently delivering great value and a terrific experience to clients that appreciate and pay for what the firm provides. 3. Making enough money to pay for today and invest in tomorrow. This session provides a non-stop series of innovative strategies and methodologies that will create new possibilities for your firm.


Ownership Transfer and Succession Management Trends in Today's A/E World

Sabine Hoover & Greg Powell, FMI

Explore specific ownership transfer and succession management (OTMS) trends for engineering firms. Recent research findings will show common themes and distinct differences among company sizes including typical ownership structures for different company size categories, best practices around developing these ownership structures, and how companies identifying and developing their next generation of leaders, and the biggest industry challenges and opportunities around OTMS.


Winning the Contract Tug of War: Balance in Client Drafted Agreements

Eric Singer, Ice Miller LLP; Karen Erger, Lockton, Inc.

Client-drafted professional services agreements seem to get more one-sided with every new project. Engineers have become accustomed to negotiating uninsurable and unreasonable indemnity clauses and elevated standards of care, but recently, some different - and difficult - owner-drafted terms are making their way into contracts. Learn to identify these new and challenging clauses, describe their potential impact, and propose solutions and negotiating tactics for contract problems new and old.


More Diversity = More Profit

Monica Mosure & Kari Mackenbach, ms consultants

Studies show that greater workplace diversity = more innovation = more profit. In fact, companies with more diverse management teams have 19% higher revenue. Learn why diversity in the workplace is critical to your bottom line and business planning and how being an advocate is crucial to making measurable changes within your office and the industry.


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