Vol. XXXIX, Number 6 - February 7, 2018
Latest News

ACEC Endorses Bill to Prevent Government Competition, Promote Private Sector Contracting

The Council expressed support this week for the Freedom from Government Competition Act, which requires federal agencies to procure commercially available services from private sources rather than perform them in-house, including professional services offered by A/E firms.

Introduced by Congressman John Duncan (R-TN), the bill makes exceptions for national defense, homeland security, and other inherently governmental functions, or where there is no private source capable of providing the goods or service.

“This legislation recognizes that public agencies can and should rely on the skills and expertise that private sector firms provide,” wrote ACEC President Dave Raymond in a letter of support. “They can use local firms to meet tight project deadlines and identify innovative ways to get projects done in an efficient and cost-effective manner.”

Click here to view a copy of the letter.


Republican Pundits to Debate Trump Agenda at ACEC Convention in Washington DC, April 15-17

Republican Political Strategist Steve Schmidt and FOX News Commentator Tucker Carlson will face off on the Trump Administration, the current political climate, and the implications for the 2018 elections at the ACEC Convention in Washington, D.C., April 15-17.

Schmidt, who managed Senator John McCain's (R-AZ) presidential campaign in 2008, is a fervent Trump critic, while Carlson, who hosts the Tucker Carlson Live on FOX News, has been one of his most vocal supporters.

The Convention will again feature a panel of prominent lawmakers discussing the infrastructure agenda and issues of importance to the engineering industry. The panel will be moderated by POLITICO and Axios Co-Founder Mike Allen.

Other notable Convention speakers include: U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, U.S. Department of Energy Under Secretary Paul Dabbar, Georgia DOT Commissioner Russell McMurry, Illinois Tollway Chair Robert Schillerstrom, Washington D.C. Union Station Redevelopment Corp. President/CEO Beverly Swaim-Staley, Black & Veatch Chair/CEO Steve Edwards, POWER Engineers Chair Jack Hand, and Kiewit Engineering President Dan Lumma.

The Convention will also feature Capitol Hill visits, the Engineering Excellence Awards Gala hosted by actor/comedian Kevin Nealon, congressional issues briefings, CEO roundtables, and business education sessions.

For more information and to register, click here.


ACEC Urges Congress to Extend Key Tax Provisions

ACEC and its business allies have sent a letter to Congress urging reenactment of several tax provisions that expired at the end of 2016, including the Section 179D energy-efficient commercial buildings tax deduction and the production tax credit for biodiesel and geothermal.

The letter asks Congress to seamlessly extend the provisions for 2017 retroactively, and for 2018.

At press time, there were discussions to add the tax extenders to legislation to fund the federal government that is under consideration this week. ACEC will continue to advocate for these provisions.

To read the letter, click here.

Take Part in ACEC’s Professional Liability Insurance Survey of Member Firms

The 2018 ACEC Professional Liability Insurance Survey of Member Firms for Fiscal Year 2017 will be conducted from February 12, through March 10.

This annual survey collects information on Member Firms’ professional liability insurance, their claims experience, and the impact of the threat of litigation.

An email with a link to the survey will be sent to the primary contacts of the Member Firms. On Monday, February 12, the link will also be available on the ACEC homepage.

Member Firms that respond to the survey will receive a free copy of the complete results upon request. The survey results will also be available for sale through the ACEC Bookstore. A summary of the results will be published in the July/August 2018 issue of Engineering Inc.

All ACEC Member Firms are encouraged to take part in this survey. Click here if your firm wishes to participate, and provide a preferred email address to which the survey link should be sent.


Nominate Outstanding Engineering Students for 2018 ACEC Scholarships; Deadline March 1

Under the auspices of ACEC’s College of Fellows, the ACEC Research and Management Foundation (ACEC/RMF) will award seven general scholarships and one specialty scholarship to top engineering students in 2018.

The general scholarships are:

  • ACEC Scholar of the Year Scholarship
  • The Rina Lee Scholarship
  • College of Fellows Scholarship
  • a/e ProNet Scholarship
  • Professional Liability Agents Network (PLAN) Scholarship
  • Life/Health Trust (LHT) Scholarship
  • Small Firm Council Scholarship

The specialty scholarship is the Council of American Structural Engineers (CASE) Scholarship.

The deadline for applications is March 1, 2018.

Scholarship winners will be selected by the ACEC Fellows Committee. All scholarship applicants must submit applications through their respective state Member Organizations. Click here for eligibility and submission guidelines. For additional information, contact ACEC's Director of Awards Programs Daisy Nappier.


Are You Ready for the Next Government Shutdown?

The Federal Government is back to work, but the next budget deadline is February 8. Are you prepared if a shutdown occurs?

Learn what your firm needs to do to weather a shutdown in ACEC’s exclusive on-demand online class How to Prepare Successfully for a Federal Shutdown: Key Actions to Take Now.

Rebecca Kehoe of CohnReznick will walk you through the steps you need to take regarding staffing, subcontracting, communications, cash flow and accounting, as well as the information necessary for discussion with your federal contracting officers.

For more information and to download the class, click here.


How Will Tax Reform Affect Your Firm’s Value, February 21

For firm owners contemplating ownership transition, an emerging question is how will changes to the U.S. tax code affect business valuations.

In the February 21 online class Tax Reform and the Effect on Your Company’s Value, Matt Fultz of Matheson Financial Advisors will delve into various aspects of business valuation and how changes to the U.S. tax code are influencing the inputs and outcomes of engineering company valuations.

During this 60-minute session, participants will get an overview of business valuation, learn which elements have changed under the new tax code, and gain insights into how those changes have the potential to influence the value of their firm.

For more information and to register, click here.



Keep Your Firm Thriving with ACEC's Business of Design Consulting> Course, March 14-17

ACEC’s Business of Design Consulting course in Chicago, March 14-17, provides a proven playbook for building leadership and managing your firm.

The 3½-day program delivers strategies for a wide array of critical, need-to-know business topics to maximize your firm's performance in today's churning business environment, including change management, strategic planning, finance, leadership, ownership transition, contracts and risk management, and marketing.

The experienced faculty of industry practitioners includes Rod Hoffman of S&H Consulting; Brett Stewart of XL Catlin Design Professional; Colvin Matheson of Matheson Financial Advisors; and David Stone of blüStone Marketing.

The course carries 22.5 professional development hours (PDHs)

For more information and to register, click here.


2018 QBS Awards Program Accepting Nominations

ACEC and NSPE are seeking nominations for the 2018 QBS Awards Program, which honors public entities, private organizations, and/or individuals for exemplary use of the QBS selection process at the federal, state, and local levels.

The deadline for nominations is February 21, 2018. The nomination form is available on the ACEC website in the QBS Awards Program section of the QBS Resource Center. Click here to access the form.

ACEC and NSPE will select up to three QBS Award winners. In addition, the QBS Awards program will designate up to four Merit Award winners, each of whom will be honored in a state event coordinated by the ACEC Member Organization and the NSPE/Professional Engineers in Private Practice (PEPP) State Chapter.



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

Total U.S. architectural and engineering employment continues to power ahead to record heights.

ACEC Job Board

ACEC Online Classes


8—Less Talk, More Action: 5+ Strategic Ways to Master Project Coordination, by David Ericksen, Severson & Werson. Identify and establish the appropriate content, sequence, and criteria for project coordination and then apply them across five distinct arenas of coordination: owner/designer; designer/"other" professionals; prime/sub; designer/contractor-design-builder; and designer/public official.

13—Strategy Execution Secrets: Avoid Risks and Succeed, by Douglas Reed, president, FosterGrowth. Join industry insider Doug Reed to learn the step-by-step solution to secure achievable strategies, anticipate barriers, and provide targeted execution support.

14—Communicating Technical Information to Decision Makers, by JD Solomon, principal, CH2M. Learn hands-on approaches and techniques that will make you more effective in getting decision makers to move from discussion to action.

15—The Do's and Don’ts of Contracting for Professional Services, by Dan Buelow, managing director, Willis A&E; Robert Stanton, Willis; and Tom Harkins, Willis. This workshop addresses what should be the role of the contract in the project delivery process, and where attention must be placed in order to make sure that both parties are getting the maximum benefit from bargain.

21—Tax Reform and the Effect on Your Company’s Value, by Matt Fultz, Matheson Financial Advisors. Join Matt Fultz to delve into various aspects of business valuation and how changes to the U.S. tax code are influencing the inputs and outcomes of engineering company valuations.

22—Communicate with Presence, by Debbie Hildenbrandt, Beyond Words Consulting. Participants will walk away with relevant tools and tips for communicating with confidence and clarity they can apply immediately—whether speaking to a small group, over the phone or doing a large group presentation.

27—Impact of Automated & Connected Vehicles on Transportation, Site/Land, and Parking Design, by Valerie Sathe Brugeman, senior project manager, Transportation Systems Analysis Group and Industry, Labor, & Economics Group, Center for Automotive Research. The presentation will address how automated vehicles will change roadway and traffic design and cause significant shifts in parking demand and design.


1—The New Website Rules, by Karl Feldman, partner, Hinge Branding and Marketing for Professional Services. Your website is a primary growth engine that can drive more traffic and clients that count to your firm. In this program, Karl Feldman will share the key pieces every engineering firm website should include to drive more business to your firm.

7—Intelligent Infrastructure, Interactive Buildings, & Smart Cities: The Role of Engineering in the Age of Conscious Cities, by Paul Doherty, president/CEO, the digit group, inc,. Examine how leading A/E firms are increasingly using technology as the basis of physical world design while capitalizing on the management of the Smart Cities digital world.

8—Critical Success Factors for Seller-Doers and Rainmakers: Advice from Top Rainmakers in Professional Services, by Jim Rogers, co-founder, The Seller-Doer Academy for Civil Engineers. Learn the steps and strategies used by dozens of A/E executives on their journeys from technical specialist to seller-doer to rainmaker.

14—The 3 Most Important Agendas for Leaders, by Mark Goodale, principal, Morrissey Goodale LLC. Leaders of consulting engineering firms have only so much attention to go around. To help you focus on what matters most, zero in on three specific agendas—Sustainability, Serviceability, and Survivability.

28—Coming Up Short: The Top 10 Reasons Why Companies Fall Short of Achieving Strategic Goals, by Gerry Salontai, Salontai Consulting Group. Explore each phase of the strategic process, beginning with the selection of who should participate through implementation of the plan.


17—Equipment Leasing Considerations and Strategies, by Nick Baxter, assistant vice president, First American Equipment Finance. This session will detail the benefits of leasing, identify the accounting and tax considerations, outline the typical lease process, and consider which terms and conditions will affect the logistics and economics of the lease.