Orange County Branch Newsletter

October 2004

President's Message

Time For A New Beginning

By Sonia Ytuarte Nasser, PE

" ... to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from . .. We shall not cease from exploration and the end of our exploring will be to arrive' where we started and know the place for the first time."

T S Eliot,The Four Quartets

It's time to go. The end of my year as serving as your president is upon us and I am pleased at the changes I have seen in .our branch this year.  Our luncn attendance is up remarkably. We even changed venues without too much hoopla-- from the hip Dave and Busters to the classy Sutton Place Hotel.  I am proud of all of you for being part of this change and participating in Branch activities more fully.

As we look back on this year, I am very grateful to have been allowed to serve as your leader and guide. I have benefited tremendously from the experience because. it allowed me to observe our members working unifed as a team. We have members from all over the globe in our bram:h and as we diligently work to further the goals of civil engineering through our association with the ASCE branch, I am proud to say that we as a team have accomplished many important goals this year. Most important of all was. the establishment of the. Legislative Committee.  Geraldine Lucas, PE and Hamid Bahadori, PE stepped up the the call and voluntered to initiate this committee. I hope all of the membership provides support to them, they are our frontline for legislatIon and political affairs; a key mission of our Branch. We will need to continue to work on our political involvement, being aware of legislation that that affects our profession and doing something about it.

Yazdan Emrani, PE also started up our Infrastructure Committee to keep us aware of the importanee of updating our report card and educating key decision makers on the importance of funding infrastructure.

Also near and dear to my heart, is our educational outreach program. Anne Awad and Durry Atassi,PE launched programs at the middle and high schools in Orange County and were able to jump start our outreach program this year. The Younger Member Forum, lead by Gary Gilbert, PE and others also assisted tremendosly in taking the civil engineering message to the younger generation.

I would like to thank all of you that read this newsletter. If brings great joy to my heart to hear members talking about articles in the newsletter. Every year our new Secretary seems to take the newsletter te a higher level.  First Greg Heiertz, PE, then John Hogan, PE and this year Yazdan Emrani. PE; they all have brought their energy and creativity to the newsletter -- I am really proud of them! We look forward to newsletter articles from our new Seoretary, Darren Adrian, PE in the coming year. We look forward to a new year under the leadership of Greg Heiertz! Also the newsletter could not happen without Jeanne Karcher and company, they are incredible.

I would like to especially thank, all of you that attended the luncheons and dinner programs. We all have 24 hours in a day. For those that took a few hours each month to attend the programs that is a big step In your becoming more active with the Branch. I believe that once you start attending the lunch programs, then you can actually see how large and diverse the branch membership and you can enjoy the fellowship with the members and this personal interaction is what is needed to involve you. Reading a newsletter is fine, but being with us at the lunch meetings is really what it's all about. We are a big family and personal interaction is vital to keeping us active in the Branch.

I would like to thank the two people that have most influenced my involvement in ASCE. My husband, Mohamad (Mike) Nasser, for all of his support for the four years I have served on the Board -- he has been very supportive of my time commitments to ASCE.  And Fred Meier, P.E.. He was my "welcome wagon" when I first started attending lunch meetings and history and heritage oommittee meetings. He always was there to greet me and always asked me to sit with his group and he truly made me feel welcome and accepted within the Orange County Branch.

I hope that I was able to get you interested in issues affecting the civil engineering profession. You have chosen an incredible profession that louches every human being on the face of the earth--do something to become better at it- -participate in ASCE activities!

"Don't say you don't have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and
Albert Einstein." (Anonymous)

And, at the end of our days what will you have contributed to the improvement of the human race with your civil engineering skills? See you at the October lunch meeting!

" P.S. I can't leave without a brief word on Iraq. I know we were all shocked, horrified, and saddened to leam of the most recent foreigner killed in Iraq. The beheading of civil engineer, Eugene Armstrong, on
September 21 , 2004 should remind us to pray for atl civil engineers working in dangerous conditions as they earn a living for their families. Let's pray the situation in Iraq is resolved soon!"

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