Orange County Branch Newsletter
Younger Member Forum
YMF - WRYMC Las Vegas 2018
By Cameron Lancaster, E.I.T.
What is WRYMC?
The Western Regional Younger Member Council (WRYMC) is the portion of the annual Multi-Region Leadership Conference (MRLC) for younger members and Younger Member Groups within ASCE's Western Region (Regions 8 and 9).
My Experience at WRYMC:
Engagement session with students
The first workshop that we took part in was a joint session with the Student Chapter members that attended WRYMC. This is a fantastic opportunity to develop a mentoring relationship with many of the students, which is one of the main goals that all YMF chapters seek to achieve. Collaboration through the icebreaking and workshop activities was a rewarding experience, and I was proud to see how eager the students were to participate in them. It was a great start to the conference that allowed the YMF members to network and immediately have an impact on the engineering students.
As a new member to ASCE YMF, and one new to the Orange County YMF Board, I was looking forward to the session that included our Region’s leaders discussing the plans for the region as well as recapping the past year. My first impression of Region 9 was one of a tremendously large family. It was extremely uplifting to see the amount of bonds that have been made over several annual WRYMCs. I realized that once you attend one of these amazing conferences, you end up coming back for several of them. I also felt that there was a balanced relationship between the Region’s leaders and the YMF chapters, one in which the Region’s leaders took the time to truly hear any concerns we members had. It was a very relaxed atmosphere and it was another perfect opportunity to network and get to know fellow YMF members as well as the more senior engineers of the Region 9.
Region 8 & 9 Business Meeting
The Regional Business Meeting is a formal and very structured meeting in which many of the impactful decisions for the upcoming year are made by the YMF Chapters of Region 8 and 9. This was a time for amendments to WRYMC bylaws to be proposed and approved or disapproved. Each chapter has an equal voice, and any person that has an opinion on the important topics discussed is given a chance to speak.
Another important part of this business meeting is the choice of location for WRYMC for 2020! The choice was made by all the YMF chapters to have the San Francisco and San Jose YMF chapters host WRYMC 2020 in San Francisco! I personally cannot wait for this and after meeting many of the YMF members from these two chapters, I know it will be just as fun and rewarding as the one in Las Vegas.
The Art of Taking Risks by Mike Murphy, MPower & Body Language and Emotional Intelligence by Dr. Jack Brown
I thoroughly enjoyed the workshops that were given by guest speakers at this conference. They were both given on soft skills that aim in making us all more well-rounded engineers. This is a goal of each WRMYC, to not only provide the technical guidance that we all seek to have but to give the YMF and engineering students an opportunity to grow in other avenues of their character as well. The consensus from fellow engineers that I spoke to after each workshop was that they were left with many valuable tools to bring back to implement in their daily lives.
Many of the YMF members who attend WRYMC will attest that the Technical Tours are one of the main highlights of the conference. This year the technical tours included trips to the Hoover Dam, Project NEON (the HOV Bridge “Turtle Mountain”), Las Vegas’s High Roller Observation Wheel, L3PS Low Lake Level Pumping Station near Lake Mead, Cirque de Soleil (The Beatles LOVE), and Clark County Water Reclamation District. The technical tours offer the opportunity for engineers from the Las Vegas area and those who are not to gain valuable exposure to several engineering marvels near the conference location. They were a fantastic change of pace to the conference proceedings. I personally attended the L3PS Low Lake Level Pumping Station technical tour and was astounded by the engineering and project management expertise that had to be utilized to build the pumping station. From what I could tell the rest of the technical tours were exciting as well, and not one person I spoke to was left disappointed by them.
Pre – Conference social event at Proof Bar
This was the first event that I attended at WRYMC, and I arrived at the event alone to meet up with my chapter. However, I was immediately made part of the WRYMC family and was greeted by everyone that I saw there from other YMF chapters. It was easy to see why YMF members enjoy the opportunities that WRYMC offers them. A pre-conference networking event was perfect opportunity for friends that were made at previous WRYMCs to reconnect and bond before the weekend’s main events.
Dinner with Branch & YMF
The second night of each WRYMC is dedicated to the Section or Chapter Dinner. This was a great time for the Orange County chapter to get to know each other better and reflect on the successful year that we just had. We ate at a restaurant named Luna Rossa next to the conference hotel and the Italian food was incredible. It was a night full of great conversation and as a new member to the OC chapter I felt like I had been a part of the group for several years now. The OC chapter bond is strong and the chapter is headed in an amazing direction for 2018.
Each year a banquet is held on the last night of WRYMC where awards for both Region 8 and 9 are presented. Six awards are given out over the course of the night, and the Orange County YMF chapter was proud to attain two of them. This was an incredible night for our YMF chapter where Isamar Escobar received the award for Outstanding Younger Member in Community Activities and the Orange County Mentorship Program (represented by Melissa Hilsabeck and Michael Pierce) won the award for the Outstanding Younger Member Group Project. I was personally incredibly inspired and proud to see the success and influence our Orange County Chapter has at WRYMC.
The 2019 YMF WRYMC conference will be in Hawaii and I am looking forward to seeing the friends and connections I made again next year. I hope that any Younger Member reading this article will take my experience as a first-time attendee as one that I will remember for as a long as I live. The inspiring and motivated engineers that I met from all over Region 8 and 9 make me feel incredibly honored to be a part of ASCE. I hope that we will have an even greater representation from the Orange County chapter next year! If you have a Younger Member working for your firm, please encourage them to get involved in our amazing chapter and to attend this conference next year.