Orange County Branch Newsletter
Life Member Forum
ASCE - Los Angeles Section - Life Member Forum
The Los Angeles Section’s Life Member Forum (LMF) was conceived in 1990 and became a standing committee in 1992. Robert Bein, P.E., Past President of the L A Section and ASCE National and Keith McKean, P.E. (deceased), were instrumental in forming the original Life Member Committee. The stated mission was: "Enable more Life Members to become active in Section activities". The goal: "Improve L.A. Section service to its members and to the public by increasing the use of Life Members' vast knowledge of ASCE functions and their extensive experience".
The Life Member Forum was founded on the notion that a Life Member is probably no longer tied to the policies of their former organization and can take an independent view of what is best for the future of our communities, the nation and the world. He or she receives the rewards of voluntary service, knowing they have made a contribution to the betterment of our communities. The Life Member accomplishes this by applying their life experiences to benefit our communities.
The LMF has a number of active programs and various committees that meet regularly. Committees such as Disaster Preparedness works with the L A Section and the State Office of Emergency Services in setting up training sessions and developing a pool of volunteers, that will assist public entities after earthquakes, wild fires, flooding and other natural disasters. The Mentorship committee has worked with several local universities in setting up mentoring programs. Providing assistance and recommendations to local agencies and community groups, the Infrastructure Advisory committee helps with various infrastructure problems. Habitat for Humanity and Engineers without Borders committees, have worked with the Younger Member Forum and Corazon in providing review and recommendations on several projects. The Public Image committee works on improving the image of civil engineers. LMF’s Political Involvement committee, encourages members to get involved in various community commissions, public hearings, and organizations that could benefit from an engineering perspective.
Field trips to new and interesting projects involving civil engineering are scheduled throughout the year. Visits were made to see the improvements and expansion of the Los Angeles Airport (LAX) and the enlargement of Prado Dam. An upcoming trip is planned for viewing the recent upgrading of the reactors at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station.
The LMF meetings are planned to be enjoyable to its members and allows input from all. Presentations by outsiders on various topics related to civil engineering are given throughout the year. We also schedule social affairs with spouses towards the end of each year and we encourage all new Life Members to join one of our committees or explore starting a new committee.
The "Big Event" each year is the "Brunch" honoring the new life members. This event is usually held on the first Saturday in March, following "Engineers Week" in February.
This year it was held on March 5, 2011 where this years' "Keynote Speaker" was Andrew Hermann, P.E., National ASCE President-Elect. Mr. Hermann gave an overview of ASCE’s Strategic Initiatives, focusing on the poor condition of the nation’s infrastructure and the poor grades given to the nation’s infrastructure by ASCE. He discussed how ASCE can help, from a local and national level, in improving the deficiencies. We have encouraged ASCE Student Chapter members to attend this event to hear about the experiences of the new life members. This year we were very pleased that a number of local universities were represented. The “Brunch” this year, as it has in past years, was well-attended and successfully accomplished its goals.
The following are active members of the Orange County Branch Life Member Forum who regularly participate in committees and events:
Joe Buley, P.E., Ted McConville, P.E., Garvin Pederson, P.E., Walt Preston, P.E., David Talcott, P.E., and P. Singh Sawhney, P.E.