Orange County Branch Newsletter

May 2022

ASCE OC Branch

Annual Awards Night 2022

By Clint Isa, PE | ASCE OC Branch Past-President

Familiar faces came together in familiar spaces as ASCE Orange County Branch returned to the City National Grove in Anaheim on Tuesday, April 12, 2022, to celebrate our annual Awards Night. Over 200 people, including local civil engineers, elected officials, family, and friends, joined us to recognize the 20 projects and 17 people selected by the Branch’s Awards and Nominations Committee for engineering excellence and contributions to our community. The theme for this year’s Awards Night was Legos, the building blocks that have inspired many careers in STEM (including mine). Legos also served as inspiration for one of this year’s raffle prizes (tickets to Legoland) and the evening came to a fun close with chairs literally being turned over to find Lego pieces that would send one person from each table home with one of the two Lego sets below.

As with years past, this year’s Awards Night showcased the talent, ambition, and execution that continually makes Orange County a recognized leader in the civil engineering community.

In addition to the award-winning projects and people listed above, I also had the privilege of presenting this year’s President’s Award to Chuck Karunathilake (Design Engineer II at Mark Thomas). Chuck has been critical to the continued success of our Branch and I am lucky to have had the opportunity to recognize him for his contributions to our local ASCE community, which have included positions as Past-President of the Cal State Long Beach student chapter and ASCE Orange County Branch’s Younger Member Forum (YMF), and co-chair of the Social Committee that helps plan our marquee events each year (including Awards Night).

Chuck is joined on this year’s Social Committee by his co-chair, Jazzy Principe, and a group of dedicated individuals (Janelle Gonzalez, Victor Aguirre, Esmeralda Briseno, Ashlyn Alexander, Jason Fix, Tom Broz, Nestor Godinez, and Remi Candaele) that are each outstanding in their own right and move mountains together. Planning Awards Night, particularly after the COVID-induced hiatus, is truly a herculean task and our Social Committee will forever have my gratitude for making this year’s event such a memorable experience. Special thanks are also in order for our event sponsors (Ninyo & Moore, Diaz Yourman & Associates, LPA, GMU Geotechnical, FountainHead, TransTech, VCA Engineers, Rancho Mission Viejo, TetraTech, SPC Engineering, and Ware Malcomb); our annual sponsors; our Awards and Nominations Committee; and our Community Service Committee, which helped organize a clothing drive through Clothes The Deal, an organization that helps low-income men, women, at-risk youth, and U.S. Veterans in need of professional business attire.

Each year, Awards Night is a consistent reminder of how ASCE excels at bringing people together. Planning usually starts several months in advance and the process is one that forges strong relationships for those involved. The event itself creates a unique buzz of excitement that is, in no small part, related to reconnecting with old friends, meeting new ones, and celebrating their accomplishments. For me, personally, this year’s event enabled me to share with my wife and daughter the fruits of my work-from-home labor, which is something they don’t often have an opportunity to see. So, if you have ever wondered whether you should get involved with ASCE, I can think of no better example than Awards Night as a reason to take the plunge because the lesson, as always, is that you will get more out of ASCE than you put in.

About the Author:

Clint Isaac Isa, P.E., is a Principal Engineer at Diaz Yourman & Associates in Santa Ana, CA. He has been involved with ASCE since his time as a student at UCLA and recently completed his term as ASCE OC Branch President. Clint founded the ASCE Orange County Branch Geo-Institute in 2013 and served as its president through 2017, and has also held a board position as Director-at-Large for ASCE Metropolitan Los Angeles Branch Air Transport Technical Group since 2014. If you want to get involved with ASCE and join us for our next Branch appreciation event, you can contact Clint via email at or via LinkedIn.


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