Orange County Branch Newsletter
Welcome the OC Branch’s Newest Board Member
By Josue Vaglienty, P.E.
“So, is it Jose?”
“No – Josue.”
“Is it JO?”
“Nope – ‘Ho-Sway’ (phonetically spelling it). It’s Spanish for Joshua.”
“Ok – I get it – that’s easy!”
This is how I typically introduce myself to most people on a daily basis. I have learned over the years that there’s no better icebreaker to kick off an introduction. And with that I would like to introduce myself as the 2014-15 Treasurer for ASCE OC Branch.
Although I was born in Mexico City, I call Orange County home. As a kid, I watched the Blue Angels soar through the sky at the annual Air Show at El Toro MCAS (now The OC Great Park); I went to Disneyland (when it was only a fraction of its current size); and my friends and I rode our BMX bikes through a massive construction site when Interstate 5 was being widened through Santa Ana. Orange County and its infrastructure has evolved tremendously over the past couple of decades – with the help of civil engineers who have played an enormous part in achieving the standard of life we all benefit from.
After a recent planning retreat to San Luis Obispo for ASCE-OC Branch, I realized just how my ASCE roots have gone full-circle. After serving on the ASCE Student Chapter board, I graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo (“SLO”) in 2003. I recall the competitive, yet festive, atmosphere at Pacific Southwest Conference (PSWC) competitions with our ASCE Student Chapter. It was a huge ASCE family that took pride in the work that went into designing and building concrete canoes, steel bridges, and even concrete bowling balls! We also knew how to balance things out with fun at Thursday night Farmers Markets, ski/hiking trips, and those mouth-watering Tri-Tip BBQs. To this day, I still keep in touch with several of my Cal Poly Mustang friends and colleagues who were actively involved in ASCE.
When it was finally time to earn a paycheck, I took a break from ASCE, and focused on developing my professional career. It was just be a matter of time before it became evident that being involved in ASCE would be an integral part in enhancing my professional growth. It took a few years to realize what this “YMF” group was all about – I didn’t even realize it was part of ASCE until I attended my first meeting. I got roped into a Community Service Committee that very same day from our ASCE Younger Member Forum (YMF) President at the time.
I was fortunate enough to work for RBF Consulting, which encouraged active membership in professional societies, especially ASCE. The “B” in RBF, Mr. Bob Bein, was the 2001 National ASCE President. Several other experienced engineers had also held leadership positions in ASCE, so they encouraged younger engineers to also dive into ASCE at whatever level of commitment they were comfortable with. I got the support from my immediate supervisors to continue my involvement in ASCE-YMF and eventually became ASCE-YMF President. Attending local ASCE YMF meetings, events, and Western Region Younger Member Council (WRYMC) Conferences were all great opportunities to exchange ideas with Younger Members from Orange County as well as YMFers from the Western US. It was at these events, that I established friendships and bonds with the other YMFers that are still very much present today – and I hope to maintain those relationships well into the future.
But it was time to step into a broader ASCE spectrum. I began attending ASCE Branch board meetings and events. The same camaraderie found ASCE-YMF is there, and there is more mentorship (not only as a mentee but as a mentor) to appreciate and from which learn. When the opportunity arose to serve as an officer for ASCE OC Branch, I didn’t leap out right away. I did my research and discussed the pros and cons of taking on such a role with other current and former Branch leaders. They all agreed that it’s a time commitment and a labor of love. More importantly, they emphasized the significance of the relationships that are built and maintained in being part of this organization. Having witnessed it first-hand, I understand that it truly is these relationships that have kept ASCE Orange County strong and will continue to do so for years to come.
I look forward to serving as your ASCE OC Treasurer this coming year and I thank you for the opportunity.