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April 7, 2020

Message from ACEC CEO Linda Bauer Darr about the Annual Convention and Legislative Summit

To the ACEC Community:

The coronavirus has already impacted the way we work and run our businesses and there is no question that its effects will be felt long after the virus burns itself out over the coming weeks. At ACEC National, we have been hearing from our members, state executives, and volunteer leaders about how the virus has sown uncertainty among our members who are rightly consumed with the task of keeping their businesses running in an economy that has essentially been halted.

It is our job to be your voice in Washington and beyond, but we can’t be effective unless we first listen to your needs. This new reality, and our members’ focus on weathering the storm, weighs heavily in our assessment of how ACEC will move forward with its Annual Convention and Legislative Summit. 

As many of you know, our bylaws require us to meet once a year to fulfill certain governance requirements. The Board of Directors and Executive Committee must meet. There must be a transfer of officers.  We believe these requirements can be achieved virtually through an online meeting that is designed to fulfill our obligations with minimal impact on your time. 

Beyond those requirements, we are looking at ways to refocus the event to provide as much useful information as possible to reflect the demands of a COVID-19 economy.

The marquee event during our spring meeting has always been our legislative program. That too must be reevaluated. In-person meetings at Capitol Hill offices will be replaced by a robust virtual advocacy program which will make use of every tool available to ensure our messages reach the lawmakers who will likely still be working on recovery legislation.

The Engineering Excellence Awards Gala, which rounds out our normal convention programming, will be moved to a later date in the fall. We are exploring how moving and reshaping this event could attract more attention from policymakers and newsmakers in Washington, DC, which would only reinforce our advocacy efforts.

Lastly, beyond the Annual Convention, we must recognize that the world has changed.  The effects of the coronavirus will extend well into the year and beyond.  We hope that we will be able to gather again for our Fall Conference in San Diego, and we are exploring how we might refocus that event to offer programming featuring lessons learned from the crisis.  We could all benefit from the fellowship of community and the joy that comes from the connection which, now more than ever, will be a satisfying and powerful feature of our gatherings.

Above all, it is our primary responsibility to support our members during this time of uncertainty.  Please reach out at let us know if there is anything we can do to support your businesses.


Linda Bauer Darr
President and CEO

All comments to blog posts will be moderated by ACEC staff.

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April 7, 2020



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