Vol. XXXIX, Number 21 - May 30, 2018
Latest News

The New York Times Highlights ACEC Advocacy Role for Section 179D

ACEC’s advocacy for the Section 179D energy-efficient commercial buildings tax deduction was highlighted in a recent The New York Times article.

Section 179D provides a tax deduction to building owners for certain costs incurred to increase energy efficiency in new and remodeled buildings. When the owner is a public entity (which are tax-exempt), the law allows the deduction to be allocated to the primary designer.

The law does not specify, however, whether a public owner should receive anything in exchange for transferring the deduction, and some entities have begun requiring that designers provide a rebate in exchange. In a statement to the House Way and Means Committee, ACEC argued that these "rebates"—particularly if they are required by the owner after the contract is signed—create financial and ethical problems for engineering firms.

ACEC is working with Congress on this issue, as well as to extend Section 179D, which expired at the end of 2017.


House Committee Boosts 2019 Funding for Transportation Programs

The House Appropriations Committee approved legislation last week that funds highway programs at $50.3 billion, which is $4.25 billion above FAST Act levels. Transit programs receive $13.6 billion, including $2.6 billion for capital investment grants.

BUILD (formerly TIGER) multimodal grants are funded at $750 million, with $250 million designated for projects in rural areas, $250 million for urbanized areas with a population over 200,000, and $250 million for ports. Rail programs receive more than $3 billion.

For aviation, the bill preserves Airport Improvement Program funding from the Airport & Airways Trust Fund at $3.35 billion and adds $500 million in competitive airport grant funding from the General Fund. FAA Facilities & Equipment programs receive $3.25 billion.

The bill also provides $3.3 billion for the Community Development Block Grant program, the same as the 2018 level and 10 percent above 2017.

To view a summary of the bill, click here.

The House is expected to vote on the bill this summer. The Senate Appropriations Committee is scheduled to release their version of the bill next week.


New Hampshire Emerging Leaders Drive PAC Effort

Attending ACEC/New Hampshire's ACEC/PAC Raffle in May were (left to right) Wally Shedd of Terracon, Erin Williams of Louis Berger, and Brent Williams of GM2 Associates, a member of the Emerging Leaders Committee that organized the event.

Led by an energized Emerging Leaders Committee, ACEC/New Hampshire looks likely for the first time to reach its annual ACEC/PAC fundraising goal. After the first five months of 2018, ACEC/NH is already at 65 percent of its target.

At the beginning of the year, M.O. leadership tasked the Emerging Leaders Committee with developing a plan to help the state meet its PAC goal. In May, the committee held a raffle, featuring Red Sox tickets, a craft beer basket, and Vermont maple syrup, that more than doubled the amount raised so far this year.

"We feel very confident about not only meeting our PAC goal this year but meeting it early and sustaining that effort for years to come," said ACEC/NH Executive Director Alex Koutroubas. "The emerging leaders have really taken responsibility for this program by personally following up with their peers and firm colleagues—and their results have been impressive.”

For more information about ACEC/PAC and ACEC’s political programs, visit the ACEC/PAC website or contact ACEC Executive Director of Political Affairs Greg Knopp.


Recognize An ACEC Member Who Has Made A Difference; 2018 Community Service Awards Nominations Close Soon

The ACEC Fellows Committee is soliciting nominations for the 2018 ACEC Community Service Awards, which recognize Member Firm leaders who have made a significant impact on the quality of life in their communities.

The deadline for nominations is June 15.

Member Organizations nominate award candidates, who must have at least five years of experience as a principal or manager in an ACEC Member Firm.

Click here to access the Community Service Awards program criteria and nomination form. For more information, contact Daisy Nappier or call 202-347-7474.


How to Grow Profits through Employee Retention, June 7

Turnover is a major profitability killer in engineering firms.

In the June 7 online class Growing Profits Through Employee Retention, Morrissey Goodale's John Kreiss will show you how to improve employee retention.

Kreiss will demonstrate how to:

  • Create a culture where team members use their autonomy responsibly.
  • Develop an environment where staff members make every effort to understand each other and build trust.
  • Build a culture of growth that provides opportunities and rewards for those who want to work hard toward achieving your firm’s vision.
  • Design a compensation plan that pays staff members above average with incentives to motivate them to perform.
For more information and to register, click here.



Register Today for CASE Seminar on the Business of Structural Engineering, Anaheim, June 7-8!

Sign up today for ACEC's new Business of Structural Engineering seminar in Anaheim, Calif., June 7-8. Only seven slots remain for the two-day program which will highlight best practices and critical operational management methods to keep your firm thriving in today's churning business environment.

Developed by the Council of American Structural Engineers (CASE), the program focuses on lowering your firm's chances of being sued, allowing you to take on riskier, and often more profitable, projects.

Attendees will discover the rules of finance and how they work in the real world, and the ins and outs of managing people, risk and resources, including:

  • Understanding duty to defend and how to protect your firm
  • Avoiding getting burned by electronic communications
  • Driving financial performance through metrics
  • Navigating your way through high-risk projects
  • Transitioning project managers to firm leaders

For more information and to register, click here.



The American Council of Engineering Companies
1015 15th St., NW, 8th Floor, Washington, DC 20005-2605
Phone: 202-347-7474 - Fax: 202-898-0068
www.acec.org - E-mail: acec@acec.org
Alan D. Crockett, Director, Communications
Gerry Donohue, Editor/Designer
Recent Highlights

ACEC Stock Index

The ACEC Index compares the stock performance of ACEC's publicly held Member Firms with the NYSE Composite Index and Total U.S. Construction Spending.

A/E Employment

After a brief dip in March, total U.S. architectural and engineering employment has started climbing again.

ACEC Job Board

ACEC Online Classes


31—Collaborative Conversations Win Clients, by Nancy Bleeke, Sales Pro Insider, Inc. Understand what selling really is and why we all sell; why we need to ditch the pitch and how to use collaborative conversations to secure decisions and commitments; what it really means to be customer-focused and earn the buyer’s time, participant, attention…and business; and how to use a five-minute preparation to increase your probability of having a winning conversation.


5—Meetings that Matter: Strategies to Make Every Meeting Productive, by Bethanne Kronick. This interactive presentation will provide strategies and solutions to improve productivity in meetings and make your team look forward to these times of connection rather than dread them.

6—The True Secrets of AEC High-Growth Firms, by Karl Feldman, partner, Hinge Branding. Do you know why some AEC firms grow faster and are more profitable than others? We’ve done the research and will share our high-growth findings with you.

7—Growing Profits Through Employee Retention, by John Kreiss, principal consultant, Morrissey Goodale. Join John Kreiss as he helps you learn what it takes to turn your firm into the one your best and brightest want to retire from.

12—Taking Your Board to the Next Level, by Gerry Salontai, Salontai Consulting Group, LLC. Examine the current focus of high-performing boards; how to select the best directors to increase performance; what should be on the board agenda; and how the board can drive firm value.

13—Fast Future Rx: A Seven-Step Prescription for Breakthrough, 21st Century Business Success, by John Doehring, president, J. Doehring & Co. Explore new ideas on sustainable organization success for the professional services firm and pick up your prescription for the 21st century.

14—Neuroselling: Engage the Brain to Trigger the Buy, by Bryan Gray, Revenue Path Group. Discover why firms actually lose projects and how you can win more consistently.

20—How to Lead Without Authority (Even When You’re the Boss), by Mel Lester, BizEdge. Mel Lester will explain why authority-based direction is inferior to influence-driven leadership in maximizing employee performance.

21—Identifying and Developing Your Future Business Development Leaders, by Rich Friedman, Friedman & Partners. What should you look for when identifying future business development talent—both from within and during the hiring process?

26—Spearin and the Standard of Care: How Good Does a Design Have to Be?, by Kevin O’Beirne, manager, Standard Construction Documents, Arcadis, and Gerard Cavaluzzi, vice president & general counsel, Kennedy/Jenks Consultants. How good does a given design have to be to be consistent with applicable contractual provisions and applicable case law?

27—Public Outreach and Communications: A True Value-added Service for Your Clients, by Greg Goodwin, president, G2 Marketing, LLC. The presentation focuses on how to reach out to and educate the public, build consensus, and earn buy-in from important stakeholders—all while facilitating the completion of the project.