Education Sessions


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


Thursday, October 28

10:00 am-11:00 am - Solutions Center Presentations in the Exhibit Hall: 

Even with the Best Defenses In Place, Things can Still Go Wrong and Employees Still Make Mistakes

Lee Ann Wheeler, ACEC Business Insurance Trust

Organizations can never be 100% secure, and if the worst happens, you want to make sure your organization is prepared to recover. Cyber insurance plays a critical role in providing the financial resources to recover and resume operations after a cyber-attack. In this session you will learn the 3 cyber-attacks that account for 90% of claims.


22 Wellness Trends for 2022

Lindsay Simone, ACEC Life/Health Trust

Wellness isn't just a buzz work anymore, it's a "trend" that is here to stay. Learn how you can incorporate these 22 Wellness trends into your worksite wellness programs to reward your employees, keep them healthy and, ultimately, retain talent.


11:00 am-12:00 pm 


Navigating the Intersection of the FAR Credits Clause and COVID Relief Programs

Diana Strassmaier, Aldrich CPAs & Advisors, LLP; T. Wayne Owens, Stambaugh Ness; Scott Sutton, Somerset CPAs and Advisors

Discuss theoretical and practical implications of the COVID relief legislation and analyze the FHWA guidance along with ACEC's FAQs. Help attendees further understand how to comply with the rules while minimizing the impact to their bottom line.  


Strategies for Effectively Defending and Resolving Claims Through Alternative Dispute Resolution

Gwen P. Weisberg, Donovan Hatem LLP

Learn the various elements of a successful negotiation, including how to prepare for and develop a strategy for negotiation. Gain a better understanding of the framework and purpose of mediation should the need arise, and how to ensure a successful mediation. Understand the pros and cons of litigation and each method of dispute resolution. Attendees will be able to apply lessons learned to circumvent or mitigate claims that do arise.


Technology Transformations for a Century-Old Design Firm

David Butts, Christian Birch, Luis Casado, and Carolina Cubides, Gannett Fleming

Join this interactive panel discussion on how to build a business culture that is receptive to changes in technology and workflows, modify and improve the traditional design roles and responsibilities in the workplace, and address the changes in deliverables to clients for mutual benefit. 


Emerging A&E Risks and Market Realities

Dan Buelow, Willis A&E

In September 2021 Willis A&E completed a survey of Claims Managers from 12 A&E Professional Liability carriers.  Dan Buelow, Managing Director of Willis A&E, will review the aggregated results from this survey and discuss some of the key findings on emerging risks and claim trends in the design profession – along with some interesting insights into what design firms will need to address when it comes to managing professional liability risks now - and in the future.


1:45 pm-2:30 pm - Solutions Center Presentations in the Exhibit Hall: 

How to Mitigate 401(k) Plan Hazards

Lydia Zabrycki, ACEC Retirement Trust

Many engineering firms aren't aware of 401(k) plan risks. Lawsuits are up 400%. Cyber attacks are up. You may face significant fiduciary liability. Learn how the ACEC Retirement Trust plan, exclusively for ACEC members and affiliate members, mitigates your risk providing fiduciary insulation, formidable cybersecurity, low fees, institutional-scale investments, and a recruitment/retention advantage.


Simplifying Multi-State Business Compliance and Licensing for AEC Firms

Kevin Minor, Kyle Bratton & Michael Smith, Harbor Compliance

Architecture, engineering, and construction firms face complex regulatory challenges. Navigating state-specific licensing requirements for firms and individuals, managing qualifiers, and clearing legal entity hurdles is essential to running and growing a successful firm. We’ll review how the challenges resulting from new business opportunities have accelerated the need for a robust solution to simplify multi-state compliance.


2:30 pm-3:30 pm

Built to Last - How Some A&E Firms Thrive and Others Fade

Rod Hoffman, S&H Consulting, Gerry Salontai, Hull & Associates; Colvin Matheson, Matheson Financial Advisors

Discuss provocative findings from the updated data of an ENR 500 study that shows industry & firm trends.   Learn the characteristics of High Performing Firms and find out who is on the extinction and endangered list.


Everyone Hates Your Bonus Program – Here’s How to Fix It!

Ryan Jolley, Jones & DeMille Engineering; Chandra Storrusten, Visible Value

Benchmark your firm’s bonus program against industry leaders and learn what you can do immediately to improve your ROI results. Understand specific actions you can take to improve your firm’s bonus program to drive immediate improvements in firm performance. Learn how to really put your bonus dollars to work!


The Economics of E&O

Kriton Pantelidis, Risk Strategies; Darren S. Black, J.D., Risk Strategies

Professional liability costs (premium, deductible, lost productivity, etc.) are among the largest expenditures for engineering firms.  How do you minimize premiums and create a competitive advantage by expanding risks that can be transferred to insurers? Join this session and understand how these methods are practically applied through real world examples.


Risk Management Challenges with a Virtual Workforce

Hosted by CASE

Karen Erger and Kevin Holland, Lockton Companies

Discuss maintaining or improving firm culture, enforcing QA/QC procedures, obtaining timely notice of project and client problems and issues while managing the liability and business risks that may be inherent in a virtual work environment.


3:30 pm-4:15 pm - Solutions Center Presentations in the Exhibit Hall:

Staffing Playbook: Attain a Clear Understanding of your Staff and Capacity

Tom Vandervort and Don Archibeque, Planifi

It’s harder than ever for firms to find and hire top talent, yet many firms cannot accurately project staffing needs and resource gaps. Are you sure you have enough capacity to manage the work you're pursuing without burning out staff?  Do you know how soon you need to hire? In this session Don Archibeque, PE who has more than 25 years leading engineering project teams will be discussing practical steps your firm can take to improve. He’ll be joined by Planifi co-founder Tom Vandervort. During this session they will describe simple steps your firm can take to identify and fill your staffing needs.


4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Engineering Ethics: You and the HSW

Kristine A. Kubes, Kubes Law Office, PLLC

Understanding ethical obligations and the relationship with the public is critical to engineers’ success. Learn how to rely on your code of professional ethics as a tool for invigorating your practice, protecting the public’s health, safety, and welfare, and managing risks.


How to Turn the Typical Strategic Plan Into An Executable and “STRATEGIC” Plan.

William Siegel and Kevin McMahon, McMahon Siegel Group

Hear how to clearly communicate solutions, explain the costs, benefits and trade-offs to your team, and establish and measure goals and milestones to drive accountability and alignment to get favorable results!


Risky Business? Building Assessments

Hosted by CASE

Mark Baum, Greyling Insurance Brokerage & Risk Consulting

Many engineering firms perform building assessments on existing buildings as part of their overall offered services.  In light of recent events, some are questioning if it’s worth the risk.  Discuss with peers the best practices and lessons learned that can protect your firm.


Friday, October 29

9:30 am-10:30 am - Solutions Center Presentations in the Exhibit Hall:

5 Ways to Future Proof Your Firm

Ziad Itani, IronOrbit

Companies need to be agile, adaptable and leave plenty of room for maneuvering. Success requires empowering your staff with scalable, secure, and cost-effective technology solutions that align with your company’s strategic goals and growth. Learn five strategies to build a more resilient company while monitoring ROI. 


Overview of AE M&A Trends

Jon Escobar, Morrissey Goodale

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


10:30 am-11:30 am

Our CRM & How We Implemented It

Matt Hirst and Gina Hirst, CRS Engineers; Jennifer Newman, Elevate Marketing Advisors

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is an elusive goal and it can be a difficult tool to maintain. Explore the value of a CRM (Deltek Vantagepoint), customizations for use, and best practices for how to leverage reporting within a CRM to drive business development success.


Climate Change and the Built Environment: Current Thinking for Engineers

Patricia Gary, Donovan Hatem LLP; Nancy M. Rigassio, AXA XL, a division of AXA; and Raine Gardner, MSA Professional Services, Inc.

This session will provide vital industry information and experience, through case studies of new design strategies and project approaches that address climate change uncertainties and challenges.  Practical guidance on new design philosophies for climate-safe infrastructure, including effective contracting practices, and insurance insights for managing the risks of climate change will be addressed.


Building an Effective Collaboration and Conflict Management Leadership Culture

Ted Gerber, Addison Resources Group

How do leaders and teams build a culture to effectively collaborate, manage conflict, and influence others within their organizations?  In this session learn how to recognize, address and position messages effectively to improve your leader’s and organization’s ability to manage conflict, collaborate and have challenging discussions.  Effectively demonstrating these core competencies will drive better business results for your firm. 


Client Service Strategies for Immediate Impact 

Hosted by CAMEE

Marc Warren, Customer Follow Up, Inc.

In this session we’ll discuss service that A/E/C firm clients say differentiates a firm. We will also explore the value in understanding great client service and having processes in place to provide and implement client service best practices for immediate and long-term benefits.


1:45 pm-2:30 pm - Solutions Center Presentations in the Exhibit Hall:

10 AEC Growth Tips for 2021 and Beyond

Oscar Reyna, Unanet

Many AEC professionals are now keenly aware that using data to unlock growth and profitability can be a differentiator in achieving their goals. Companies are changing the way they do business by turning information into insight, using data to win more work, and acting on business intelligence to take growth to the next level. As the saying goes, though, “with growth comes growing pains.” Discover key insights backed by the latest research, and walk away equipped with strategies to stay ahead of the curve.


Addressing Pain Points in Cybersecurity Insurance Renewals,  Michael Brown – Infrastructure Specialist

Michael Brown, Walter P Moore

Cyber attacks and ransom demands are on the rise. This has caused increased claims for cyber insurance companies. To combat this, the insurance companies are being more stringent with their renewals. Let us show you some real world examples of the new requirements insurance companies have been requiring. 


2:30 pm-3:30 pm

Don’t Leave Your Succession Plan to Chance: Developing the Next Generation of Leaders

Hosted by SFC

Meghan Moody, Weston & Sampson

Explore the impact a ground floor training pipeline has on successful succession planning for your firm.  Learn the value of mentoring at each professional stage.  The return on investment of early mentoring and leadership development will lead to your firm’s success.


The Engineering Firm of the Future:  Perspectives from Women Leaders of Engineering Change Lab – USA

Lauren Evans, Pinyon Environmental; Nancy Pridal, Lamp Rynearson; Mike McMeekin, Engineering Change Lab - USA; Amy Squitieri, Mead & Hunt

This session will challenge engineering firm leaders to consider how the values of the workforce of the future might drive the creation of new forms of value to offer clients and allow firms to better address issues of justice, equity, diversity and inclusivity. Become better informed about how clients of engineering firms can respond to societal, economic, environmental, and technological driving forces and create opportunities for generating new value propositions and transforming models of practice/business.


Changing Times: How Future Tech Will Impact our Business

Doug Reed, Meridian Associates

Learn about the forces that promise to disrupt the engineering business as we know it. AI, virtual reality, 3D time simulations, BIM and LiDAR supported GIS integrations, robotics, and big data have exploded the available detail to drive economies of scale, simulate design, construction and resiliency models. Control your destiny by attending this session and leaving with a personal action plan.


3:30 pm-4:15 pm - Solutions Center Presentations in the Exhibit Hall:

More information coming soon!


4:15 pm - 5:15 pm

Cybersecurity Risks, Trends and Best Practices to Stay Ahead of the Threats

Trish McGinty, Empower Retirement

In order to create a secure system, firms must make viable efforts into creating a strong, fortified cyber security posture. Learn strategies to help stay ahead of cybersecurity threats evolving at a relentless pace. Learn relevant and significant measures to proactively secure your organization and assets.


Renewable Energy and the Next Main Street

John Broderick, Kitson & Partners; Amy Wicks, Kimley-Horn; Matthew Silver, Florida Power & Light

Moderator: Erin McLaughlin, ACEC

The largest solar-plus-storage system operating in the U.S. is powering a new town in Florida, Babcock Ranch, that is truly innovative and sustainable. Explore how the growing development progressed, and the challenges and best practices that can inform our industry. Babcock Ranch will ultimately include 19,500 homes and six million square feet of commercial space.


How AI + Big Data Will Transform the AEC Industry

Javier A. Baldor & Hank Tran, BST Global

Artificial intelligence, machine learning and big data are the emerging technologies reshaping just about every industry today.  This session will examine the unique opportunity to leverage these technologies in the AEC industry and foster the data-driven consultancy of the future, which is built on project intelligence™ and powered by predictive analytics.  Javier A. Baldor, BST Global Chief Executive Officer, and Hank Tran, BST Global Director of Knowledge Management, will discuss these emerging technologies and how to get this innovation journey started at your own firm.


Balancing the Health of Employees with the Health of the Business

Darrin Kiefer, TKDA; Dawn Moore, Parkhill; Mina Biggs, Hanson Professional Services, Inc.

Moderated by June Jewell, AEC Business Solutions

The Covid-19 pandemic has created many challenges for employers including creating a safe work environment, developing work-at-home policies and how to bring employees back to the office. When the pandemic hit, it was much easier to develop policies because no one had a choice - everyone had to work at home. Now there are many other considerations including employees with challenging home situations, vaccinated versus unvaccinated employees, and recruiting in a time with so much uncertainty. Join our panel discussion of 3 seasoned HR leaders as they discuss possible solutions and how their firms are addressing these challenging issues.


Saturday, October 30

8:30 am-9:30 am

You Can’t Manage from a Drone – Effectively Managing Remote Employees

Randy Anderson, E3 Professional Trainers, LLC

Managing remote employees has become more common as a result of technological advances, Covid-19, and the competitive challenge of hiring and retaining the best talent who may want to telecommute or refuse to relocate.  Discover 10 tangible ways to manage remotely and help keep team members engaged who aren’t physically present in the main office.


2022 and Beyond: Which A/E Markets will be Hot and which will be Cold?

David Burnstein, PSMJ Resources, Inc.

For the past 18 years, PSMJ has tracked the 54 largest A/E markets on a quarterly basis.  Those A/E firm principals who followed these trends were able to foresee The Great Recession a year before everyone else and plan accordingly.  And they similarly foresaw the ensuing recovery.  PSMJ’s quarterly market trends have been equally prescient during the Covid-induced twists and turns in the economy.  In this presentation, Dave Burstein uses PSMJ’s latest quarterly market data, along with other forward-looking data, to tell you how your markets will fare in 2022 and beyond.


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