Greetings and welcome to the ASCE Orange County Branch! I am happy and honored to be serving as President this year and am excited to share my personal goals with you. But first, I would like to share a little about myself and our Branch leadership.
I was born and raised in Georgia but have lived in southern California since I was 16. Since completing my undergraduate degree at UCLA in 2003, I have practiced geotechnical engineering at NMG Geotechnical, Inc. and then Diaz Yourman & Associates, where I have worked for the past 12 years and am currently a Principal Engineer. I have been active in ASCE since my days as Treasurer of UCLA’s ASCE Student Chapter, but my involvement increased significantly in 2013, when I founded the ASCE Orange County Branch’s Geo-Institute Chapter. I served as chair of the chapter until 2017, at which time I was elected to the ASCE Orange County Branch’s Executive Board as Secretary and subsequently as President-Elect in 2019. In addition to my involvement with our Geo-Institute and Executive Board, I also hold a position as Director-at-Large for the ASCE Metropolitan Los Angeles Branch Air Transportation Technical Group and have served as a mentor for several years in the ASCE Orange County Branch’s Mentorship Program.
About Our ASCE Orange County Branch Leaders
I am joined on the Executive Board this year by four individuals who are each impressive in their own right and are also balanced and inspiring as a group: Past President Ravi Shah of Mark Thomas, President-Elect Remi Candaele of Huitt-Zollars, Treasurer Jennifer Marks of Psomas, and Secretary Taki Chrysovergis of SPC Engineering. We are joined on the Board by the chairs of our six technical institute chapters (the Construction Institute, the Environmental & Water Resources Institute, the aforementioned Geo-Institute, the Structural Engineering Institute, the Transportation and Development Institute, and the Utility Engineering & Surveying Institute) and our Younger Member Forum President, Melissa Hilsabeck of LPA. Our Board is supported by more than 15 active, impactful, and award-winning committees whose efforts I invite you to peruse under the Committees & Groups heading at the top of this page.
Goals for 2020-2021 Fiscal Year
My previous involvement with the ASCE Orange County Branch’s Geo-Institute and Mentorship Program stemmed from my passions for teaching and technical development. My goal for the 2020-2021 fiscal year is to expand the reach of those personal interests through professional development, community service, and public outreach to better serve not only our engineering community, but also our community at large.
Building on the success of my predecessor, Ravi Shah, and his efforts to energize our newer institute chapters and further develop those that are well established, our Professional Development Committee is developing continuing education events on topics that will focus on the following:
- Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permit, which will be coordinated with our Environmental & Water Resources Institute.
- Complete Streets, which will be coordinated with our Transportation and Development Institute.
- A continuing education series on project management training that will be hosted jointly with our new colleagues at the Project Management Institute of Orange County (PMI-OC).
We are also excited about new prospects that our Community Service Committee (CSC) has been exploring in light of the limitations that the COVID-19 pandemic has imposed on charitable activities that typically require in-person involvement (e.g., Corazon House, Ronald McDonald House, and the Illumination Foundation). The pandemic and concurrent social unrest have highlighted how important it is to remember that our primary responsibility as civil engineers is to protect the public’s health and safety. Because service starts with education, we are taking the opportunity while in lock-down to organize a virtual presentation on diversity, inclusion, equity, and equality in engineering practice and planning. This presentation will be given by local and national leaders on these topics with the immediate goal of providing unique insight and perspective that our members can carry into their personal lives and their professional endeavors. In the long term, our goal will be to continue organizing such events in support of finding solutions to systemic challenges that adversely affect our society.
Lastly, we will begin coordinating with local public agencies and event organizers to arrange public outreach opportunities where our ASCE Orange County Branch leaders and members can interact with the people we serve to help educate them on the roles that civil engineers play in developing their communities. Because personal interaction is such a vital aspect of public outreach, our goal for this year will be to establish a framework and plan for such outreach events that future ASCE Orange County Branch leaders can build upon going forward.
To ASCE Orange County Branch’s Continued Success…
Over the course of my involvement with the ASCE Orange County Branch, I have found that we have something truly special here. We continually thrive because of the outstanding efforts, involvement, and ideas of our volunteers, and our success garners national attention. ASCE Orange County Branch leaders regularly serve as speakers for webinars hosted by the Society’s Leader Training Committee; our Branch has authored several best practices that are used as models by other branches, sections, and regions across the county; and our student chapters, Younger Member Form, and website have been nationally recognized with awards for excellence. Our leaders also consistently advance to higher positions of ASCE leadership at the section and regional levels.
None of this happens, however, without the support of the members we serve. If you have ideas for content and/or are looking to get involved with ASCE Orange County Branch, please reach out to me or another one of our leaders. Opportunities abound in all areas of interest and for all levels of commitment.
I thank you for the opportunity to serve as your president and look forward to creating a successful year with you.
Clint Isa, PE
ASCE Orange County Branch President