Orange County Branch Newsletter

March 2015

President's Message

Life Members are the Life Blood of ASCE

By Gary Gilbert, PE, GE

I am happy to announce that Greg Henk, PE, a life member, will be joining the Orange County (OC) Branch as Secretary.  I am not sure if the OC Branch has had a life member as a board member in the past.  We are excited about the new opportunities Greg will create with engaging more of our members.  He has already started a community service program at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park and is leading a group of civil engineers in running the Ragnar SoCal Relay Race in April.  We look forward to Greg bringing a new perspective to the board.
On March 7th we will be welcoming new life members to the OC Branch at the annual LA Section Life Member Brunch in Monterey Park.  Please take the time to read the article in this newsletter about the achievements of the class of 2015 life members.  There are several familiar faces this year.  Their biographies will be added to our recently updated webpage for the OC life members  We are slowly updating our website to document the achievements of our life members inducted in the past 10 years.  As you will notice from the life member biographies, each member condenses a lifetime into one paragraph.  We are looking for members to start interviewing our current life members to add more information about each person.
There are many lessons learned by our life members that we would like to share with the younger members and students.  As life and experienced members are retiring, young engineers are rapidly tackling leadership positions in local agencies and companies.  However, there is a loss of knowledge about why infrastructure was constructed a certain way in the past and the constraints that Civil Engineers had before computers became common place.  The OC Branch would like to create more opportunities for the life members and recently retired Civil Engineers to share their wealth of knowledge with younger engineers and students.
Over the past 15 years since I have been involved with ASCE, I have seen the OC Branch build upon the successes of past branch leaders.  In order for our branch to keep growing, we would like to have more interaction between members who were previously involved with OC Branch so we can transfer more lessons learned from past events. 
The OC YMF has stepped up to this challenge of increasing interaction with life and experienced members by creating a Speaker Series where leaders in the Civil Engineering industry share their experiences throughout their careers and provide insight into how challenges were overcome and how they took advantage of opportunities as they arose.  Past speakers have included Robert Bein and Jacqueline Patterson.  If you are interested in learning more about last year’s speaker series, the event was summarized in the June 2014 newsletter  This spring please consider participating in the 2015 OC YMF member program no matter what your age is.  There is no age restriction at OC YMF events and younger members are excited to see experienced members show an interest by attending events they have worked so hard to create.
In addition, the OC Branch and OC YMF have partnered on a successful Mentoring Program that achieves the goal of increasing interaction between life, experienced, and younger members.  We look forward to growing the program next year.  We hope that this will increase life, experienced, and younger members partnering together in our K-12 Outreach, community service, and history & heritage committees. 
We hope these new programs will be the beginning of new events that will bring more value to our members and increase participation.  We could always use some volunteers to help us accomplish our goals.  If you are interested, please contact [email protected].

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