Orange County Branch Newsletter
2015 “End of Summer” Social Mixer in Laguna Beach
By: Isamar Escobar, Gidti Ludesirishoti, Elizabeth Ruedas, Josue Vaglienty, P.E.
The end of summer came a little earlier this year at Las Brisas Restaurant in Laguna Beach - the host venue for our ASCE OC “End of Summer” Social Mixer on September 17th. The intent of the event was three-fold:
- To encourage more participation from our ASCE OC members
- To fundraise for ASCE OC to benefit our community outreach and K-12/Student activities
- To hold a casual evening event and provide an opportunity to socialize
With these goals in mind, the Social Committee brainstormed ideas for a more casual and more festive event that could appeal to more of our members. The fundraising effort came in the form of live and silent auctions. The live auction included the opportunity to spend 60 minutes with an executive from various public/private organizations that work closely with the civil engineering community in OC. The following individuals were our invited VIPs:
- Ryan Chamberlain, Director - Caltrans District 12
- John Chun, Director of Engineering Design – Port of Long Beach
- Paul Cook, General Manager – Irvine Ranch Water District (IRWD)
- Darrell Johnson, CEO - Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA)
- Michael Kraman, CEO – Transportation Corridor Agencies (TCA)
- Natalie Meeks, Public Works Director for City of Anaheim
- Fred Minagar, City Councilmember – City of Laguna Niguel
- Shane Silsby, Director – Orange County Public Works (OCPW)
- Jim Yates, VP of Community Development – Rancho Mission Viejo
The afternoon kicked off with an ice-breaker that included two large beach balls. After Gary Gilbert’s welcome speech, Josue Vaglienty introduced the ice breaker and threw the two beach balls into the crowd. Those who caught a ball were asked to answer one of the questions written on it and to throw it to someone else in the crowd afterwards. These pre-selected questions encouraged networking in a much more casual setting, one of the main objectives that night.
Throughout the event, attendees had access to an open bar, appetizers, and a silent auction that included a wide variety of different sports memorabilia. In preparation for the live auction, attendees were also encouraged to view boards that had been printed with each VIP’s photo and short bio.
The live auction, which took place later that night, was moderated by Gidti Ludesirishoti and Elizabeth Ruedas. The VIP participants were called up onto the stage in alphabetical order by last name. After highlighted some on their answers to pre-selected questions and asking them an additional surprise question, the bidding process for each VIP began. Most of the VIPs threw in additional items to encourage more bidding. Some of the lucky winners won the opportunity to play golf with their VIP, while others ended up with a trip to Disneyland or the ability to join the VIP on a float in an upcoming parade.
2015 ASCE OC “End of Summer” Social Mixer - Live Auction Winners
The event generated a great deal of “buzz” and enthusiasm for ASCE OC as exemplified by the following comments from attendees:
”I thought everyone involved in organizing the event did a great job. The location at the beach was perfect…The auction worked very well and is always a popular and successful fundraiser.... It was a great atmosphere and a fun time!” - Steve Huff, Senior Vice President (Michael Baker International)
”The Summer Social Mixer was a blast! Thank you ASCE for putting together the most fun event of the year, and what a golden opportunity to network with our industry leaders. It was definitely the highlight of the summer!” - Joe El Harake, Vice President - Road & Hwy Division (Parsons)
”I really enjoyed the Summer Social Mixer and it was at a great location. The bid auction time with special guests was a lot of fun. The fun we had out bidding each other and all the combined bids is a good way to raise money for ASCE. Next time committee might want to consider a bigger location since the turnout for the event was exceptional.” - Kumari Bharil (PQM)
CLICK HERE for additional photos from the 2015 ASCE OC “End of Summer” Social Mixer
The ASCE OC Social Committee thanks all of the attendees and is looking forward to hosting a similar event in 2016. Interested in joining the Social Committee?! If so, contact the Social Committee for more information.