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Message from Beth – Wednesday, December 15, 2016

The holiday season is in full swing and I thought it may be a goodHappy Holidays From Acec Ohio time to share with you the activity that has taken place during my first six months as the Executive Director of ACEC Ohio.

Many introductory meetings with other state trade associations, state agencies, boards of registration, legislative leadership, chapters and member firms have been held in my first six months at ACEC Ohio. I continue to meet people on a weekly basis to introduce myself and discuss the goals of the Council.

Agency meetings to address member issues have been held with the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation (OBWC) and The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT). Member firms met with the BWC Administrator and staff on EM Ratings being used as a reflection of safety practices by clients. The meeting produced good discussion and an action plan by ACEC Ohio with assistance by BWC. In addition, member companies were concerned with the average overhead rate and unit costs for geotechnical firms. A meeting with ODOT was held in November and a follow up meeting is scheduled for January to discuss laboratory and drilling unit costs.

We have been very busy with our advocacy efforts. The Council House Leadership Dinner 08 16hosted legislative leadership dinners with both the Ohio House of Representatives Leadership and the Ohio Senate Leadership to discuss our key legislative issues. These dinners were attended by ACEC Ohio members and allowed us to educate and inform our elected representatives about who we are, what we do and what we believe. While sitting down for dinner, we have a casual, open discussion which has been extremely beneficial to ACEC Ohio as statehouse leaders now seek our opinion on issues impacting the business of engineering consulting.

Goals have almost been achieved for our Political Action Committee. To date, we have met 82% of our National PAC goal and 81% of our State PAC goal. We have seen great success in our members personally presenting National PAC checks to Ohio Congressional Members locally in their districts. In addition, the legislative leadership of the Ohio House and Ohio Senate personally received ACEC Ohio PAC checks from members.

ACEC Ohio is actively participating in various coalitions creating strength in numbers.

As part of the Government Affairs Committee work plan, we are trying to establish a relationship database, which will be a collective repository of member relationships with elected local, state and federal officials. The Ohio Legislative Survey is the form we are using to collect the data.This database will help “call our members to action” when we need to reach out to elected officials on issues that impact our industry. It’s one thing for legislators to hear from the Council’s lobbyist on a controversial issue, but it is much more personal and impactful for them to hear from businesses and constituents in their own “home” district. Member involvement at the local level is key to our advocacy efforts.

ACEC Ohio continues to defend qualifications based selection (QBS) and sent letters to the Ohio Department of Administrative Services, The City of Kettering, the Village of Brewster and the City of Rocky River asking that projects advertised be reviewed to ensure the qualifications based selection process was followed without a price submission. Three of these organizations complied, while the City of Kettering responded as a home rule municipality they did not have to comply with the QBS law.

The Salary and Fringe Benefit Survey was distributed with Cover Of Final Report 2016 Salary And Fringe Benefit Survey43 member firms submitting information and ultimately receiving their complimentary hard copy of the survey for participating. This survey continues to rank high among our members for its benefit as it provides the latest data on the salaries and fringe benefits provided by Ohio engineering companies, information not found from any other source.

Committee Meetings have been in full swing over the past few month with the PAC Trustees, Communications, Government Affairs, State Public Works, Transportation, Environment and Energy Committees meeting regularly. Highlights include: ODNR liaison meeting, ODOT liaison meeting, OEPA presentation, OFCC survey, Communication survey, EEA promotion and draft white paper on transportation funding.

ACEC Ohio has active Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn sites. Follow us, like us and join the conversation on social media. All sites can be accessed from our website, with the twitter feed on the front page.

Our website has become the source of information on anything you as a member need to know. We invite you to look at the newly created committee pages, chapter pages and a full calendar of events.

The first step in a long range (3-5 year) strategic planning effort for ACEC Ohio was started in September identifying three key areas of focus: Governance, Membership and Advocacy. The ACEC Ohio planning committee will take these goals and begin to identify actionable tasks and deadlines to create a long range strategic plan ready for adoption by the board this spring.

Event Planning is underway on five events. The ACEC Ohio PAC Trustees are planning to host a PAC kick-off event this winter. This will be a fun, social event that will benefit both the ACEC Ohio PAC as well as our National ACEC PAC.

The date has been set for March 9, 2017 for the annual ACEC E Photo Boards In Judging Room 11.17.16Ohio Engineering Excellence Awards Luncheon. This luncheon will recognize the success in engineering innovation on 29 projects from 22 member firms. The program at the luncheon will be very different from previous years and the Communications Committee is actively working to make this event engaging, entertaining and celebratory.

The ODOT/ACEC Partnering Conference will take place on June 14, 2017, the partnering conference planning committee is working hard on the agenda for the day with engaging break-out sessions. This year, a new idea has surfaced and plans are underway to have a social event the evening of the partnering conference instead of the golf outing. The social event will be held at the Columbus Clippers ball park on the evening of June 14.

The ACEC Annual Meeting will be the day after our partnering conference on June 15, 2017 at the Fawcett Center at OSU. With a focus on advocacy, the program continues to be developed, but speakers will include Steve Hall, Government Affairs Vice President from ACEC National as well as a political strategist from Ohio.

I want to thank each of you for your membership to ACEC Ohio, I am truly enjoying my role here and find each day brings something new and interesting to work on. Please feel free to contact me if you have questions.

Warmest thoughts and best wishes for a wonderful holiday and a very happy new year!


Advancing the Business of Engineering