Educational Sessions

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

8:30 am-2:00 pm

Sales and Marketing Forum

Steve Walker, S.R. Walker Associates; Greg Goodwin, Goodwin Marketing Group; Kyle Camp, Dodge, Data & Analytics; Megan Miller, Deltek

Join industry professionals and share ideas, promote best practices and demystify market forecasts.

Cick Here for the Agenda

2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

CEO Roundtables: Join CEOs and other A/E executives for an interactive discussion of best practices, business management concerns and other industry issues.

Small Firm (1-50 employees) - Moderated by Small Firm Council

Medium Firm (51-200 employees)

Large Firm (201-500 employees)

Very Large Firm (501+ employees) - Moderated by DPC

2:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Emerging Leaders Forum Opening Workshop

Embodied Leadership: An Inter-Generational Leadership Workshop

Geordie Aitken, Aitken Leadership Group

Leadership requires us to be present— and have presence. To optimize our 'presence' we must know what works and what doesn't when it comes to leading and influencing others. Examine current research and practical techniques for improving your leadership presence and results. 


Thursday, October 15, 2015

8:00 am - 10:00 am                    

Opening General Session

"Leadership Lessons from the White House" - Doris Kearns Goodwin, Pulitzer Prize-Winning Author and Presidential Historian

CEO Panel on " Change and Innovation in the A/E Industry"

Stephen Hickox, Chairman/CEO, CDM Smith

Eric Keen, Engineering President & Vice Chair, HDR

Tom Scarangello, Chairman/CEO, Thornton Thomasetti

Key trends in the marketplace and how firms are adapting.

9:00 am - 5:00 pm                      

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.

10:45 am - 12:00 pm           

Big Picture Trends Shaping the Future of Engineering Firms

Cara Bobchek and Ray Kogan, Kogan & Co.

The major forces shaping the business climate for engineers and how to become better equipped to anticipate trends, analyze future prospects, and take maximum advantage of market directions.


Don’t Let Unconscious Bias Derail Your Firm’s Effectiveness

Lauren Stiller Rikleen, Rikleen Institute for Strategic Leadership

Data tells us our unconscious biases may hinder employees from achieving full potential, contribute to significant staff attrition, and result in missed client opportunities. Explore tools and strategies to help recognize and minimize the impacts of unconscious bias.


How to Reduce Your Risk on Alternative Delivery Projects

Beth Larkin and Mary H. Conway, HNTB; George E. Wolf, Shook Hardy & Bacon;  David Hatem, Donovan Hatem

As owners turn more to alternative delivery methods, firm business considerations must evolve to address new and different risks. Learn to mitigate risks with contract language, and manage risks that can’t be contractually addressed.


CIO Track Session - Efficient and Effective Mobile Solutions Roundtable 

Jim Walsh, WBG Group; Steven Anderson, VHB; John Marinello, Syska Hennessy Group, Inc. 

How mobile solutions, including new mobile apps, can improve your firm’s operations.


(SESSION MOVED) - CFO Financial Track Session - Understanding Your Firm's Indirect Cost Rate and How to Navigate the FAR and AASHTO Audit Guide

Dan Purvine, A/E Clarity; Diana DeWitt, Gross, Mendelsohn & Associates, PA

Review the components of the indirect cost rate, factors affecting the rate and risk areas, and systems and controls required to support rate development. Examine current events and risk areas in the oversight, interpretation, and application of the FAR and related guidance such as the AASHTO Audit Guide.

12:00 pm - 1:30 pm                 

Keynote Luncheon and Distinguished Award of Merit Presentation: "New Age of Exploration" - 2015 ACEC Distinguished Award of Merit Recipient, Robert Ballard (Award of Merit Presentation will precede Dr. Ballard's talk)

1:45 pm - 3:00 pm

Leading Organizational Change to Improve Financial Performance

June Jewell, AEC Business Solutions

Review best practices for executing organizational change that successfully deliver the financial and other critical results firm leaders expect; how to measure impacts to the bottom line; and actions to hold staff and outside consultants accountable.


Dead in the Water: A Case Study of Claims Facing Civil Engineers

Dan Buelow, Bob Stanton and Tom Harkins, Willis A&E

An in-depth look at common claim issues that affect A/E firms, potential exposures and how they can be avoided.


CIO Track Session - Tech Tools: Delivering on the Promise of BIM

Michael O'Toole, WSP; Allen Preger, Newforma

The true promise of BIM is more people contributing more ideas and information, earlier in the process, to produce better designs, eliminate construction waste and reduce operating costs across the built asset’s lifecycle. However, this kind of truly collaborative BIM also creates a virtual explosion of digital project information that can wreak havoc on your all-important quality control processes. This presentation will discuss how to minimize the effects of BIM on quality control and the responsibility of each stakeholder to implement repeatable BIM execution plan procedures. Further, it will highlight real-world examples from WSP on how to leverage adjunct project information management systems, best practices and emerging Cloud and Mobile technologies, to maximize your considerable investments in BIM.


(SESSION MOVED) - CFO Financial Track Session - Mergers & Acquisitions: Challenges and Opportunities

Gregg Spagnolo, AECOM; Richard Selim, Cardno; Eric Flicker, Pennoni; Bruce McNeilly, WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff

Find out what the industry is telling us about the M&A market, where it is headed, and the challenges and opportunities in integrating company values.


NAECE Session - Strategic Alliances: Conservation and Engineering

Jeff North and Steve Long, The Nature Conservancy in Massachusetts; Steve Petron, CH2M HILL; Abbie Goodman, ACEC/MA

The Nature Conservancy-CH2M collaboration as a model for creating effective infrastructure, including lessons learned and joint learning exchanges on project management and public policy. Explore the Conservancy-ACEC/MA initiative for enhancing safety, reducing costs, and mitigating environmental impacts on infrastructure projects.  

3:30 pm - 4:45 pm

Local and State Funding Solutions for Transportation Projects

Tina Quigley, Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada

Transportation infrastructure is a key driver to economic growth and diversification. With dwindling federal funding and growing demands for projects, the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTC) worked with elected leaders and private businesses to enact a fuel revenue indexing initiative for local transportation funding for a three-year period. Learn more about non-traditional options for funding state and local transportation projects.


Non-Negotiable Contracts: What’s Plan B?

Karen Erger and Bob Fogle, Lockton Companies; Eric Singer, Ice Miller; Jennie Muscarella, Kenny, Shelton, Liptak, Nowak LLP

Create a “Plan B” when confronted with unreasonable, one-sided, or uninsurable contract terms using supplemental agreements, addenda, and other techniques to strategically tailor scope of services to control project risks including for DB and P3 projects. 


CIO Roundtable: CEO-CIO Strategic Collaboration

Kenneth Smith and Tony Rivera, T. Bake Smith; Lisa Brothers & Andres Repetto, Nitsch Engineering; Steve Ross, Thornton Tomasetti, Moderator

How successful CEO-CIO collaborations foster sharper business strategies and enhanced firm growth.


CFO Roundtable: Challenges and Opportunities

Chris Staloch, Chartwell; Bob Gabel, Haley Aldridge; Chris Nelson, McKim and Creed; Martin Mullins, Simpson Gumpertz & Heger; Eric Hartmann, CDM Smith

Leading A/E firm CFOs share perspectives as they review opportunities and challenges facing today’s industry.


NAECE Session - Leadership Success Using Emotional Intelligence 

Kate Kaynak, The Jennings Group

Gain “emotional intelligence” in order to be more effective at leading change, managing client relations, team-building, conflict resolution, and employee retention.  

Friday, October 16, 2015

7:45 am-9:00 am

ACEC/PAC Sweepstakes Drawing

CEO Panel on "People & Practices that Build Success"

Mike Carragher, President, VHB

Larry Smith, President/CEO, Haley & Aldrich

Lisa Brothers, President/CEO, Nitsch Engineering

Business case for enlightened firm practices such as building a strong firm culture, effective organizational structures, fostering talent, diversity, leadership development and social responsibility.

8:00 am - 12:00 pm

Legal Counsel Forum II

9:15 am - 10:30 am

Drones: Opportunities and Challenges for Engineering Firms

Robert Hopson, Lockton Companies; Christian Stallings, McKim and Creed and panel of experts

Review current liability issues for design professionals operating drones, including developments rules from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and strategies for managing the drone risks. 


Lessons for Successful Collaboration when Architect is Lead

Craig Mutter, Machado-Silvetti ; Jeremy Oberc, EYP Architecture & Engineering ; William Harris, Perkins + Will; Moderator: John D. Plante, Langan; Jim Gast, AECOM

How to be selected for a high-performing architect's team and what architects expect from their engineering consultant during the project pursuit phase. 


Managing Uncertainty and Expectations in Building Design and Construction

Clark S. Davis, Cameron MacAllister Group; Stephen A. Jones, Dodge Data & Analytics

Examine unanticipated risk factors affecting design and construction and best practices for addressing these factors and improving performance.


Building Resilient Infrastruture for Future Cities

Terry D. Bennett Autodesk Inc.; Donna M. Huey, Sr., Atkins Global; Marty Janowitz, Stantec

Examine the practices and technologies that will make our cities and infrastructure systems less static and more adaptable.


CFO Financial Track Session - Exit Strategies in a Growing Economy

Nick Belitz, Morrissey Goodale; Joe Skorczewski, Chartwell Financial

Smart exit strategies, including employee ownership, ESOPs, private equity, merger of equals, and firm sales. 

11:15 am - 12:30 pm

Street Smart: The Transportation Revolution No One Saw Coming

Sam Schwartz, Sam Schwartz Engineering

How changing infrastructure needs and alternative transportation projects requires new business development strategies, technical staffing, and professional development.


Building Public Support for Water Infrastructure Funding

Abbie Goodman, ACEC MA; Jennifer Pederson, MA Water Works Association; Katherine Weeks, Framingham DPW; and State Representative Carolyn Dykema (D-Holliston), Water Infrastructure Finance Commission 

Two case studies demonstrate how municipalities can effectively use public/private coalitions and outreach to promote community acceptance of water infrastructure development and funding.


Transform Your Organization with Objectivity

Elizabeth Thornton, Babson College

Transform inherent subjectivity into thoughtful objectivity to sharpen critical thinking, make smarter decisions, develop more innovative solutions, and collaborate more effectively with management, staff, and clients.


The Intersection of Engineering and Architecture

Moderator: Judy Hricak, Gannett Fleming; Rich Romig, AECOM; Kristopher Takacs, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill; John Thomsen, Simpson, Gumpertz & Heger; Kim Cochrane, TRO JB

Successful projects rely on effective architect-engineer collaboration; hear first-hand from two successful teams of architects and engineers (on EEA Award-winning projects) about the benefits and challenges of close partnering. 


CIO Track Session - Tech Tools: Building and Engineering Collaboration

Ted Buscaglia, ARC Document Solutions

Demonstrate how the latest technology tools such as iPad apps, BIM services, and touch based large screens in our market are being leveraged to create faster and more effective team coomunication.


CFO Financial Track Session - Engineering Compensation to Recruit, Retain, and Reward the Next Generation

Katy Young, ExactSource; Alex Moss, Praxis Consulting Group

With high millennial turnover, low A/E unemployment and a rapidly growing number of baby boomer retirements, learn how to motivate and retain your top talent in an increasingly competitive hiring marketplace..

12:30 pm - 2:15 pm

Awards Luncheon

2:30 pm - 5 pm

SEI Workshop:  Scenario Planning to Decipher and Prepare for the Future

Kyle Davy, Kyle V. Davy Consulting; Rod Hoffman, S&H Consulting; Geordie Aitken, ALG

Reception to Follow

Strategic success demands commitment to specific actions and investments in the face of significant uncertainty. Learn to manage this paradox by taking part in a rapid scenario planning hands-on exercise, and gain a deeper understanding of your critical role in managing strategic uncertainty. 

3 pm - 4:15 pm

How to Reduce Your Professional Liability Insurance Costs

Timothy Corbett, SmartRisk

Explore today’s risks and liability exposures, the underwriting criteria used by insurance carriers, and the steps you can take to minimize PL costs.        


The Application of Supernetworks to Critical Infrastructure from Transportation to Electric Power 

Anna Nagurney, Isenberg School of Management, University of Amherst

Examine currently separate critical networks including power, transportation, financial systems and how they will be integrated into high performing unified supernetworks.


Architect's Council Roundtable 

Jim Gast, AECOM; Bruce Faudree, Hankins & Anderson; Jason Chandler, Epstein Architecture; Laurie Goscha, Meed & Hunt

Join this panel of experts as they discuss better ways to achieve on-time delivery, team collaboration, greater project efficiency, and profitability.


CIO Track Session - Data Security for A/E Firms

Jim Jacobi, Walter P Moore; Ray Judge, Diligent

Examine the key technological challenges facing CIOs responsible for protecting and maintaining the security of both firm and client data.


CFO Financial Track Session - Capital Market Trends

Will Bloom, Chartwell; Marc Pressler, BMO Harris Bank N.A.; Bruce Daniels, Boston Private Bank; Paul Lipson, Fort Point Capital

Transformational trends facing the A/E sector that are likely to affect prospects for firm growth.


Saturday, October 17, 2015

8:30 am - 9:45 am

Missouri's Peer Review Law - Should Your State Have One? 

Karen Erger, Lockton Companies

Examine the law’s real potential to promote timely identification of design errors, help design professionals learn from past projects, and improve overall quality of design. 


How Firms Can Broaden their Leadership Demographic

Jeanine Wirth, RiversQuest Consulting

Learn how your company may be undervaluing employee potential, how to take steps to identify and broaden prospective firm leadership, increase overall diversity, and improve your bottom-line.

10:00 am - 11:15 am

Strategic Leadership: How the Best Execute Sustainable Growth and Profitability

Gerry Salontai, Salontai Consulting Group, LLC

No matter what the competition or external business climate may be, key strategic leadership practices will increase your firm’s opportunities for success. 


A Look at the Boston Central Artery Project - Before and After (With Optional Guided Project Site Visit to Follow - additional costs apply for bussing - PDHs apply for both session and site visit)

Sabine Quinn and Mike Bertoulin, WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff; Stephanie Pollack, Massachusetts Secretary of Transportation (invited).

The Boston Central Artery Project—which overcame political, engineering and construction obstacles— has, a decade later, led to the city broad-based economic resurgence for the city and region.