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					                      :: M ARK YOUR C ALENDAR
                      FOR THE OCTOBER ROUND                                                            Oc t o b er 2 00 9 Ed i t i o n
                      T ABLE SERIES… THE
                      ROUNDTABLE SERIES STARTS
                      THIS MONTH IN RICHMOND!
                      CHECK OUT THE CALENDAR
                      FOR OTHER DATES, TIMES, AND
                      LOCATIONS ...P.7

                :: V IRGINIA ENGINEERS
                C ONFERENCE A SUCCESS...
                SAY ABOUT THE 2009 VIRGINIA
                ENGINEERS CONFERENCE ... P.3

                 :: Virginia Emerging
                 Leaders Institute Kicks
                 Off… LEARN HOW THE FIRST
                 WENT THIS PAST MONTH ...P .5

The Voice is ACEC Virginia’s monthly publication, helping to keep our stakeholders informed
on organizational news, events, politics, and industry influences.

Join us at Colonial Downs on October 25, 2009 for an exciting fun-filled
Day at the Races! The VEPAC has two private luxury sky suites with
balconies to watch and enjoy the races. Your ticket includes admission,
beverages, race program, tip sheet, parking AND entry into amazing
contests, prizes, and surprises. With registration you are automatically entered into our Silent Auction
where you get to bid on cool stuff like a sulky ride around the track, a stable tour, a chance to call a
race and much more. Tickets are only $35 each and this event is open to everyone in your firm! Bring
your friends and co-workers to this thrilling experience. This is an exciting new event that gives you
great networking opportunities in an informal setting. Register today @

Want an exclusive drink named after your firm? A race named after your firm? Sponsorship
opportunities are still available! Help us grow the VEPAC, become a sponsor @

                                      ACEC Virginia introduces a new series
                                      exclusive to our members. Each roundtable                      Schedule
                                      will be facilitated on important issues                 Richmond October 15, 2009
                                      impacting our industry today. Topics range              Roanoke November 4, 2009
                                      from Marketing and Business, Contract                   Norfolk December 1, 2009
                                      Liability, and Healthcare. Additional
                                      Roundtables will be set up in 2010.

After the roundtable we will hold our popular Cocktail Mixers.
Invite co-workers, colleagues and potential members to the mixer immediately following the roundtable
to network. Don’t miss experts in the field discuss the critical key issues of interest to the industry!
Register now @!
The President’s Corner
“Support the PAC that Supports You”

Most of us get involved in politics every couple of years when we go
to the polls to vote for the candidate we feel will best represent us in
local, state, or federal government. Some of us take the time to
write our legislative representatives on issues we feel strongly
about. Even fewer take the time to actually visit our representatives.
One way we can all get further involved is through contributions to
our political action committee: the Virginia Engineers PAC (VEPAC).
Funds for the PAC go to help elect those candidates to office whose
interests are best aligned with ours as engineering firm leaders           President, Mike W. Matthews, PE
and employees. The idea of contributing to a PAC is probably as
distasteful to me as it is to most of you. Unfortunately, it’s what drives politics these days and
it’s what drives legislators who are in a position to vote favorably on our issues. The VEPAC
is a joint venture between ACEC Virginia and the Virginia Society of Professional Engineers
Our goal this year is to distribute $40,000+ to over 70 legislators on the key committees of
General Laws and Courts of Justice as well as the leaders of the House and Senate. These
funds are raised through individual and corporate contributions, a silent auction held at the
annual meeting and two annual fund-raisers: the VEPAC golf tournament and this year’s
“Day at the Races” event to be held at Colonial Downs. We have an issue we’re fighting this
year on the legality of Limitation of Liability that many of our member firms believe we enjoy
through contractual language. This LoL language is in jeopardy of being unenforceable
under the law. Our PAC is a major component this year to get legislation passed to see that
our member firms are allowed to limit their liability by contract. This is just one example of
how ACEC Virginia works in the legislative arena for our industry. However, we can’t do it at
all without contributions from our member firms and their employees.
On another note, this year’s Virginia Engineers Conference (VEC) was a great success with
increased attendance of over 40% from last year! The two things attendees commented on
the most were the great speakers and the opportunity to network with other members and
industry experts. The VEC committee is already starting to work on making next year’s
conference even better. If you haven’t attended in the past, please mark your calendar for
next September. We also need committee members to help plan next year’s event. If you’d
like to help out, please give Nancy Israel a call.

Michael W. Matthews, P.E.
President, ACEC Virginia

                             The 2009 Virginia Engineers Conference was a great
                             success, providing engineers across the state their
                             needed Professional Development Hours, industry
                             knowledge, and networking opportunities galore!
                             According to attendees, the 2009 VEC was
                             stronger, larger, and better than previous
                             The conference increased attendance by
                             over 40% this year. This is an excellent
                             display of loyalty from our members in tough
                             times and proof that we are a vital entity to
                             the engineering industry.
                             Attendees comments included:                    “Insightful, timely presentations
                                                                             on topics of extreme relevance
                             “The venue, the larger crowd, and               to the Virginia civil engineering
                             networking opportunities were great.            community; the VEC remains a
                             Presenters were all subject matter experts.”    valuable component of my
                                                                             yearly training and business
                             “Very good conference, I am glad that there     networking portfolio of
                             is an avenue to meet others while still         events. The diversity of topics,
                             having sessions that are relevant to our        quality of speakers and
                                                                             relativity to practicing engineers
                             work. Also, the cost per earned credit hour
                                                                             in the Commonwealth is
                             is good as compared to others.”                 unparalleled.”
                             “I was amazed with the amount of                                    Tom Fitzgerald
                             information I have obtained from the
                             “It was a good conference and has
                             continued the pattern of the last few years
                             of getting better.”
                             “Larger variety and choice of topics
                             “Variety of topics. Food was excellent!!!”
                                                                           “ASCE Virginia is extremely
                             “I left feeling inspired and rejuvenated.”
                                                                           pleased with our recent role in
The VEC Committee is committed to producing the most comprehensive promoting the Virginia
                                                                           Engineer’s Conference to civil
engineering conference in Virginia. Planning for next year’s event will
                                                                           engineers across the state.
begin soon. If you are interested in being part of the committee that puts Some of the best speakers in
the VEC together, please contact Nancy Israel at or one of the nicer conference
804.673.0868.                                                              centers that I’ve seen. Great job
                                                                           as always by the ACEC and
                                                                           VSPE staff, and I look forward to
                                                                           next year!”
                                                                                   Donald J. Rissmeyer, PE
                                                                                 ASCE/V Board of Directors

Looking Back,
Looking Forward
An interview with Nancy Israel, Executive Director, ACEC Virginia

O       n the sixth anniversary of
        becoming executive
director of ACEC Virginia, Nancy
                                             sure ACEC Virginia was
                                             moving forward as a
                                             strong organization into the next
                                                                                 figure out what works best in
Israel looks back on October 1,              century. It’s been exciting to be
                                                                                 technology; the regional social
2003 with fond memories, a                   part of this change and to be
                                                                                 networking meetings to help
sense of pride over what has                 working with a group of people
                                                                                 members network locally; the
been accomplished, and the                   whose efforts have really made
                                                                                 Emerging Leaders Institute to
realization that engineers aren’t            this organization take off.”
                                                                                 grow leadership, which is in its
necessarily attached to pocket     Nancy sees ACEC Virginia as a                 second class; and the new
protectors.                        unique organization primarily                 roundtable discussions for
“I can think back to when I joined because of the networking and                 exchanging ideas on a range of
ACEC Virginia six years ago, I     partnering that goes on between               subjects.
didn’t know anything about         members.
                                                                                 “It’s good for the entire industry
engineering and engineers          “You don’t see the                            when everyone is doing well. I’ve
except for clichés. You know, the competitiveness that you see in
                                                                                 actually seen more experienced
pocket protector jokes,” Nancy     some organizations. The                       engineers mentor newer
laughed. “What I found was that members are very collaborative
                                                                                 members, sharing their
the people who belong to ACEC and generous in helping each
                                                                                 experiences whether it’s in hiring/
Virginia are the movers and        other. People are willing to help,            retention, which is always an
shakers of the industry, that they to listen, to network with you.
                                                                                 issue, or whether it’s trying new
are committed to making this       Sure, no one gives away trade                 software. Frequently smaller
organization viable, exciting and secrets but members help each
                                                                                 firms, through contact made at
dynamic. They are forward          other strengthen their firms by               ACEC Virginia, get to know each
thinking, very open to new ideas sharing what works and what
                                                                                 other’s strengths and partner to
and interested in trying new       doesn’t. They really want to help             bid on a project. It’s really been
things. It makes me hope that my each other make their businesses
                                                                                 amazing to watch.”
son or daughter would pursue a better. There seems to be a
career in engineering when they feeling that helping others have a
get older.”                        strong business helps make the
Israel had never worked with an              industry strong, It is the old
association of member firms                  saying: “a high tide raises all
before, so she had a lot to learn.           boats.”
“I knew that I was going to learn a          Nancy noted the willingness to
whole new field, and I knew going            share information and work
into this that the members were              together is how some of ACEC
counting on me to help steer the             Virginia’s new programs have
organization through a time of               come about including the IT
change and growth and to make                Forum, an attempt to help firms

The Virginia Emerging Leaders Institute Kicks Off!
                                   The first session of ACEC Virginia’s           “I thought that the sessions
                                   comprehensive Emerging Leaders Institute,      were very well done. I enjoyed it
                                                                                  and the training will be helpful
                                   presented by pre-eminent leaders from
                                                                                  for me as I grow as a leader in
                                   member firms and recognized experts in         this industry.”
                                   related business fields, began in September.   André Coetzee
                                                                                  Joyce Engineering, Inc.
                                   The session has already fueled the interests
                                   of participants to develop an understanding
                                   of best business practices essential to
“The first 2 days were really
great. ACEC Virginia does a        navigating with in the engineering industry.
great deal and I am very excited
to be introduced to it. I look    Orientation provided participants an
forward to completing the         overview of the importance of the institute,
program and serving in some
capacity as my career evolves.”
                                  ACEC and ACEC Virginia. In addition to the
Anthony Bream                     overview, participants experienced hands on training and mentoring from the
TranSystems Corporation           leading executives and principals on strategic planning, building client and
partner relationships, the government’s impact on the industry and the importance of political advocacy.

ACEC Virginia is very excited and honored to witness the leaders of tomorrow grow and prosper within our

Don’t Be Afraid of the Competition
The Engineering Excellence Competition call for entries deadline was extended!
The first step on the journey to see your name in the headlines is to select one of
your projects that meets the eligibility criteria, tell ACEC Virginia you intend to
enter, and then submit your entry by November 18th. This top design
competition for engineers shows your clients that their projects are important
and showcases your ability to use innovative and creative methods. Take a
chance. You might just take home the Pinnacle Award, but you have to enter
first. For more details go to

Technology Forum
                             The Fall Technology Forum met in September and proved to be valuable and
                             beneficial, allowing members to share their thoughts, ideas, concerns, and
                             recommendations on Building Information Technology (BIM). The open discussion
                             gave participants the opportunity to really dive into what they needed and wanted to
                             know. Bruce Sadler, Austin Brockenbrough & Associates
                             noted, “I know for us, it is very beneficial to hear about how
                             other firms have tried to implement this new
technology. Since this is much more than a software issue, there are many pitfalls, and
the participants were very forthcoming with some of the things that did not work well.”
Keep an eye out for the next Technology Forum in December at Clark Nexsen’s Norfolk
 Member News: Who, What, Where?
CHA Rises to #37 on Zweig White’s "HOT FIRM" List
CHA has been ranked #37 — its highest position to date — in The Zweig Letter's 10th
annual "Hot Firms List."

Draper Aden Associates
Draper Aden Associates is pleased to announce that it has been certified as a Level 2
“Green Business” by Cool Green Biz, an initiative launched by the Roanoke Regional
Chamber of Commerce in partnership with Roanoke Valley Cool Cities Coalition.

       Richard M. “Rick” DiSalvo, PE, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for
       Draper Aden Associates has assumed the position of Chairman of the Virginia
       Section of the American Water Works Association for 2009-2010.

DJG, Inc. announces:
Jonathan Smith, EIT, LEED AP, passed LEED certification exams from the U.S. Green
Building Council.
Peter Bennett, EIT, LEED AP, passed LEED certification exams from the U.S. Green Building
Darren Curtis, LEED AP, passed LEED certification exams from the U.S. Green Building
Robert Boller, PE, passed the professional engineering exam to earn licensure as an
Electrical Engineer.

Hankins and Anderson, Inc. announces:                                                         Boller
Jon Gray, joined the Production Management Department.
Timothy J. Wedin, joined the Production Department.

Hurd & Obenchain, Inc. announces:
Richard Polo, EIT, LEED AP, passed the Certified Energy Manager (CEM) exam.

Stroud, Pence & Associates, Ltd. announces:
William (BJ) Kaufmann, P.E., joined the Virginia Beach office as a Project Engineer.          Polo

Woolpert Names Don Cole as One of Firm’s New 2009 Shareholders
Woolpert recently selected additional employees to join as shareholders of the privately held firm,
raising its total number of shareholders to 153. Woolpert transitioned from a privately held partnership
to a privately held corporation in 2005.

Follow Us On
                                        ACEC Virginia revealed in our Annual Report that we would begin
                                        exploring and engaging in Social Media 2.0. We have joined the
                                        social media website phenomenon Twitter and found it an easy and
                                        fast way to share information. Twitter enables you to hear not just
                                        about our events and news updates, but to catch interesting articles,
                                        blogs and websites pertaining to the engineering field. BUT, we
                                        can’t share with you unless you take the twitter plunge as well!

                                        Sign up now at and follow us at
                                        ACECVirginia. Trust us, you won’t regret it!
   Calendar of Events
October 15, 2009
Roundtable Series
Business Development/Marketing
Richmond, VA
Click Here to Register
October 25, 2009
A Day At The Races
Colonial Downs
November 4, 2009
Roundtable Series
What to Do About Healthcare?
Roanoke, VA
Click Here to Register
November 18, 2009
EEA Competition
EEA deadline to submit entry
December 1, 2009
Roundtable Series
The Impact of the Economy on Claims
and Professional Liability
Norfolk, VA
Click Here to Register
December 16, 2009
Annual Holiday Party
Salisbury Country Club
Midlothian, VA
February 4, 2010
EEA Gala
The Jefferson Hotel
Richmond, VA
March 11-13, 2010
ACEC/VA Spring Meeting
Graylyn Conference Center
Winston-Salem, NC
June 9, 2010
VEPAC Golf Classic
Independence Golf Club
Midlothian, VA
                                            WEBINAR CALENDAR
June 17-19, 2010                      October 1, 2009
Annual Conference                     Don't Let Burnout Destroy Your Staff
Kingsmill Resort & Spa
Williamsburg, VA                      October 6, 2009                     Motivating Employees to Change Bad Habits


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