Orange County Branch Newsletter
Younger Member Forum
Western Region Younger Member Council Conference
By Daniela Malott
The 2013 Western Region Younger Member Council (WRYMC) Conference was held in Phoenix Arizona. Younger Members from all of the west coast began arriving on Thursday to the Renaissance hotel in downtown Phoenix on Thursday January 30th. The early arrivers got to meet each other that night at the hotel lobby’s restaurant while others were checking-in at the hotel. The excitement of being at the conference and meeting old friends could be felt immediately after arriving at the hotel.
On Friday January the 31st, conference registration began at 7:15 in the morning. OC Younger Member forum attendees were all exited to start off the day and to absorb as much as possible from all of the presentations. After registration and breakfast everyone got together for the welcome speech. We were all encouraged to network and meet as many people as possible in a professional manner, as well as to get the contact information from everyone we got the chance to meet. Later on, the ASCE overview presentation “Where is your Region and who are your governors” gave each member an overview of the essence of ASCE as a national organization. The “Introductions and group report roundtables” was a great activity. We all shared ideas about how to improve and work on the different ASCE programs. The board members got to enrich themselves with different concepts on how to keep each group growing. Afterwards, the “Body Language and its Power” presentation was presented by Renate Mousseux. All of the attendees got to learn different nonverbal communication cues that will help everyone to be a better professional and a leader.
During lunch the presentation “What is a Leader?” got everyone in the mood to continue working hard and growing their careers to work towards being the future Civil Engineering leaders. Later on that day the Region Breakout Sessions – Introduction and Icebreakers activity gave the Younger Members the opportunity to get together with their region governor and with the student chapter attendees. For OC, only students from California State University Long Beach were present, we all got to meet each other and work on strategies to help the students.
OC YMF past president Ravi organized a dinner at Cibo Pizzeria. This Italian food restaurant was a great place to network with the different LA Section YMFs as well as to enjoy some food in a beautiful setting. After the dinner, we all continued our night at the Rose and Crown pub in downtown. There were so many members from the conference that we fill the bar and had a great time mingling and playing Jenga.
Saturday February 1st was a great day as well. After a great Friday everyone was excited to continue learning and enjoying the conference. The day began with a networking breakfast. Immediately afterwards the Leadership Networking Successes presentation began. Blaine Leonard gave great ideas on how to value mentoring and help others professionally. The Committee on Younger Members (CYM) presentation by Serge Haddad gave members the chance to get details on how the CYM works, and what their roles are within the ASCE organization. This year’s business meeting was no different that other’s. All of the board members had a big debate on which place would be better for the 2016 WRYMC. Salt lake City, Utah and Anchorage, Alaska were the two places that wanted to host the event. In the end Anchorage was chosen by the majority. After lunch Robert Stevens, the ASCE 2014 president elect gave a great speech on his career, goals, and achievements. In the afternoon different tours took place. Each attendee was able to choose its preference. The options were: Tempe Town Lake Walking Tour (Pedestrian Bridge and New Dam), Sky Train Technical Tour, DPR Construction Net Zero Energy Building, and Downtown Phoenix Building Tour (CityScape).
The conference ended with the Banquet and awards dinner. We all got to enjoy a great Mexican dinner while networking and continuing to build on all of the new friendships. We all dance and enjoy ourselves at the Phoenix Zoo. It was the perfect ending to another amazing Conference that as always is a great experience. OC YMF looks forward to the 2015 WRYMC conference in Seattle, Washington.