Vol. XXXVIII, Number 46 - December 13, 2017
Latest News

Almost 6,000 ACEC Member Messages Deluge Congress on Tax Reform as Deal Nears

ACEC Member Firms have flooded Congressional offices with letters, emails, and calls in recent weeks, urging lawmakers to improve the treatment of passthrough businesses in the House and Senate tax reform bills.

With Congressional negotiators closing in on a final tax reform text this week, ACEC staff and members continue to reach out to lawmakers. Click here to access the ACEC Action Alert center and an updated sample letter.

The final legislation is expected to follow the general outline of the Senate-passed bill on certain key business issues. The compromise bill may lower the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent, and create a 20 percent tax deduction for passthrough business owners, although these rates could change as negotiations continue. As currently written, the Senate bill allows architect and engineering passthrough owners to claim the deduction for joint filers with incomes below $500,000 and individual filers with incomes below $250,000.

ACEC has circulated widely a fact sheet to educate lawmakers on the need to treat all engineering firms equitably.


Record Year in Making for ACEC/PAC; South Carolina Hits Target, Other States Close on Heels

ACEC/PAC is headed for a strong $1 million-plus finish in 2017, aided both by states such as South Carolina, which this week met its goal for the 13th straight year, and other states that are turning in better than expected results.

“If you look at the kind of legislation before Congress right now, including tax reform, it’s obvious that engineers have a strong vested interest in supporting ACEC’s advocacy efforts,” said PAC Champion Jerry Carter of Vaughn & Melton Consulting Engineers. "And that begins with ACEC/PAC."

Other states that have already reached their 2017 fundraising goals are: Indiana, Wisconsin, Hawaii, Tennessee, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Delaware, Montana, Alabama, Illinois, Georgia, North Dakota, Alaska, Kentucky, Maryland, Florida, New York, Arizona, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Nebraska, Utah and Nevada.

The deadline for forwarding personal contributions to ACEC/PAC is Friday, December 29, 2017.

For more information about ACEC/PAC and ACEC’s political programs (including how close your state is to its fundraising goal), visit the ACEC/PAC website or contact ACEC Executive Director of Political Affairs Greg Knopp or ACEC/PAC Director Katherine Bohny.


ACEC-Backed GSA Administrator Takes Office

Emily Murphy was sworn in this week to lead the General Services Administration (GSA).

ACEC has worked closely with Murphy for many years. She managed construction and design procurement policy for both the House Small Business and Armed Services Committees and was the chief acquisition officer at GSA under President George W. Bush.

ACEC supported Murphy's nomination. Click here to view ACEC's endorsement letter.

“She possesses the highest caliber of professionalism and integrity, and her knowledge of federal procurement policy is unrivaled,” said ACEC President/CEO Dave Raymond. “Her extensive experience and keen understanding of federal policies makes her the ideal candidate for this important position.“


ACEC's Raymond at Meeting of Top U.S. Trade Association CEOs

ACEC President/CEO Dave Raymond (right) and U.S. Chamber of Commerce President/CEO Tom Donohue at a recent Committee of 100 meeting in San Diego, where leaders of the nation's most powerful trade associations discussed issues of common importance, including tax and regulatory reform.

Former ACEC Staff Member Rina Lee Donates Scholarship

Rina Lee, a member of the ACEC staff from 1970 to 2003, has donated $10,000 to sponsor a scholarship in her name. She was ACEC’s director of publication programs.

“To me, ACEC was `The Earthly Paradise’ for 33 years and will be in my heart forever,” said Lee, adding that the scholarship is her way of giving back and thanking the Council.

For more information on ACEC’s scholarship program, click here or email Daisy Nappier.


Prevent Sexual Harassment in Your Firm, Online Class, January 30

News stories about sexual assault and harassment have dominated the media for months now. As a result, many companies, including engineering firms, are evaluating their risks, reviewing their policies prohibiting sexual harassment, and implementing training programs to sensitize employees to the issues, and prevent sexual harassment.

In the January 30, 2018 online class, Sexual Harassment Prevention in the A/E Workplace: Understanding the Law; and Establishing and Improving Policies, Procedures and Effective Training, a panel of experts will identify the elements of an effective policy prohibiting sexual harassment and examine options for training.

The panel includes Beverly Tompkins, general counsel, Simpson Gumpertz Heger; and Joanne Dekker and Kent Holland, ConstructionRisk Counsel.

For more information and to register, click here.


Solve the Mysteries of the FAR; ACEC/NHI Courses, Orlando, Florida, January 15-18

In collaboration with FHWA's National Highway Institute, ACEC will offer Mysteries of the FAR Revealed: Using the AASHTO Audit Guide, in two consecutive courses, in Orlando, Fla., January 15-18, 2018.

Course One is a two-day (January 15-16) program detailing how to apply the Audit Guide in the development and administration of A/E consultant direct and indirect costs and rates.

Course Two, which runs on January 17-18, is an advanced program that focuses on audit requirements and procedures in reviewing compliance with federal regulations and guidance.

For more information on Course One, click here. For Course Two, click here.


Keys to Sustainable, Profitable Business at Small Firm Council Meeting, Austin, Texas, Feb. 1-3

Join small firm leaders from around the country at the 2018 Small Firm Winter Meeting in Austin, Texas, February 1-3.

Mark Goodale, principal/co-founder of Morrissey Goodale, will present Essentials to Achieving a Sustainable, Profitable Business, a 1-1/2 day program on how firms can better market themselves, what key firm positions to fill, how to organize the firm into teams, and when it's time to delegate.

The seminar is designed for firm leadership, including owners, principals, HR professionals, CEOs, and CFOs.

Click here for more information and to register.




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


4—The 4 Drivers to Sales Performance You Need to Know…and Grow, by Nancy Bleeke, Sales Pro Insider, Inc. Discover how to proactively build your sales opportunities rather than just reacting to the market.

9—Taking Stock of the Engineering Industry in 2018—The Economic and Market Trends Shaping the Industry, by Greg Powell, managing director, Investment Banking, FMI Capital Advisors, Inc. This presentation will cover a range of topics to assess how the industry is faring and what key market drivers you should watch for in 2018.

11—Results Are In—Major Causes of Claims & Best Practices to Avoid Them, by Timothy Corbett, founder/president, SmartRisk. Based on comprehensive survey results, examine claims data, higher risk project types, discipline frequency, severity of claims, and the major causes of claims today.

16—Working Effectively on Multidisciplinary Projects as a Civil Engineer, by Todd Hay, regional vice president, Pennoni. Learn how your firm can more effectively cross market, communicate between departments, and draft proposals for multidisciplinary projects.

24—The PM’s Survival Guide to Managing Multiple Projects, by Howard Birnberg, executive director, Association for Project Management. Join Howard Birnberg for close look at skills and tools that will help you better manage multiple projects with greater confidence.

25—Use Your Engineering Talents to Grow Your Business Network and Attract New Opportunities, by Lynne Waymon, CEO, Contacts Count. learn how to stand out from the crowd and promote yourself and your organization, as well as how to be strategic and purposeful with the time and money you devote to building business relationships.

30—Sexual Harassment Prevention in the A/E Workplace: Precautions, Policies and Procedures for 2018, by Beverly Tompkins, general counsel, Simpson Gumpertz Heger; Joanne Dekker, ConstructionRisk Counsel; and moderator Kent Holland, ConstructionRisk Counsel, Join our panel of speakers to learn the HOW, WHAT, WHEN, WHO, and WHY to creating a professional, harassment-sensitive workplace environment through education as well as streamlined and transparent reporting procedures to give staff confidence while reducing your firm’s liability exposure.

31—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.


1—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.

7—Your Marketing Toolbox 2020, by Ida Cheinman, principal/creative director, Substance151, Benefit. The webinar will provide tools and practical takeaways for new approaches to branding and brand management, client engagement, and communicating more effectively across digital and social media channels.