Vol. XXXVIII, Number 47 - December 20, 2017
Latest News

BREAKING NEWS: Congress Passes Sweeping Tax Overhaul; ACEC Delivers for Member Firms

In the first comprehensive tax reform measure passed by Congress in more than 30 years, ACEC was successful in ensuring that engineering firms of all business structures will have access to lower rates or tax deductions.

The bill, passed today, is on its way to the President's desk.

The legislation lowers the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent and creates a 20 percent tax deduction for passthrough firms, including S corporations, partnerships, and LLCs.

In the original House and Senate bills, engineering passthroughs were limited in their access to the tax deduction. After extensive advocacy by ACEC staff and members, including nearly 6,000 member emails, letters and phone calls to Congressional offices, Congressional leaders agreed to include language in the final version to provide engineering firms with full use of the deduction.

Both The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal highlighted engineering firms as winners in the tax bill. Passthroughs in certain other industries, including accountants, doctors, lawyers, and financiers, did not receive full access to the 20 percent tax deduction.

"An exceptional achievement," said David Gockel, president/CEO of Langan Engineering & Environmental Services, Inc., headquartered in New Jersey.

ACEC Chairman Sergio "Satch" Pecori, who heads Hanson Professional Services Inc. in Illinois, told his employees "This is why we are active in ACEC."

In addition to lower tax rates, the legislation preserves ESOPs and other retirement savings mechanisms, as well as private activity bonds and renewable energy incentives.

"As a combination of ESOP and individual owners, we at HNTB thank you!" emailed Harvey Hammond, chairman of HNTB, headquartered in Missouri.

ACEC President/CEO Dave Raymond pointed out that "this is complex legislation, and ACEC went all out to protect our members' interests." He singled out Government Affairs VP Steve Hall and chief tax lobbyist Katharine Mottley for their "key contributions."

Click here to read a summary of H.R. 1.

Click here to read ACEC President/CEO Dave Raymond’s letter to House and Senate members in support of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (H.R. 1).


ACEC/PAC Tops $1 Million as Arkansas, Metro DC, Ohio, Vermont Meet Goal

With less than two weeks remaining in 2017, 29 Member Organizations have already achieved their 2017 PAC fundraising goals, and another 15 are closing in.

In the past week, ACEC/Arkansas, ACEC/Metro Washington, ACEC/Ohio and ACEC/Vermont hit their targets, pushing ACEC/PAC’s current YTD national total to $1,020,000.

“I can’t overemphasize the importance of ACEC/PAC to our federal advocacy efforts," said ACEC President/CEO Dave Raymond.

To see how close your state is to its fundraising goal, visit ACEC/PAC website and click on the state-by-state progress map. Friday December 29, 2017 is the deadline for forwarding all ACEC/PAC contributions to the ACEC office in Washington, DC, and for entries in the ACEC/PAC “Last Chance” raffle.

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


ACEC/Massachusetts Leaders Discuss Issues with Senator Ed Markey

Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) (standing in center in dark suit) met with ACEC/Massachusetts leaders in Boston on December 15. Pictured (front row, left to right): Dawn Connelly, Green International Affiliates; Matt Card, Alfred Benesh; ACEC/MA President-Elect Mike Walsh, CDM Smith; ACEC/MA President Mike Scipione, Weston & Sampson; Filomena Maybury, WSP; and ACEC/MA Past-President Mark Bartlett, Stantec; (middle row, left to right) ACEC/MA Vice President Jen Howe, SMMA; Allison Hopkins, Tetra Tech; Robin Greenleaf, Architectural Engineers, Inc; Joanne Linowes, Linowes Executive Development Institute; Natalia Savatic, ACEC/MA; ACEC/MA Executive Director Abbie Goodman; (back row, left to right) Gerry Preble, Beals & Thomas;, Elizabeth Tyminski, ACEC/MA; Scott Miller, Haley and Ward; David Vivilecchia, VHB; ACEC National Senior Vice Chair Joel Goodmonson, Architectural Engineers, Inc.; Charlie Russo, SGH; Dan Tenney, Weston & Sampson; and Nick Ferzacca, Architectural Engineers, Inc.

Nominations Open For 2018 QBS Awards Program

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. Click here to access the nomination 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 which will be honored in a state event.


Experts Address Sexual Harassment in the Workplace, 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.