Orange County Branch Newsletter

September 2020

President's Message

Final President's Message and Incoming Board

By Ravi Shah, P.E., QSD/P | 2019-2020 President

“In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” – Albert Einstein.

One of my favorite things about being involved in ASCE is the endless networking opportunities from our local events to national conferences, friendships, and the ability to meet so many colleagues from all around the world. As my term as President comes to an end, I wholeheartedly expected the last 12 months would go by quickly, but I certainly did not expect the challenges beyond attempting to balance professional involvement and a full-time workload while progressing my goals as President and advancing the mission and vision of our organization. As the reality of the pandemic set in, I was certainly proud to see our Branch and YMF adjust so quickly to the new normal.

Our Branch, YMF, and Student Chapters and their leaders have adapted and are continuing to bring value and engagement to our members and those within the community from K-12 students through college students and professionals. Most of our events are now being completely hosted virtually from our monthly luncheons to our recently completed Popsicle Stick Bridge Competition and Pathways Academy Programs. Our Branch and YMF are continuing their annual mentorship program (in its 7th year) and we are even continuing to plan some of our major events such as our Annual History and Heritage Student Scholarship Night in November, which will be hosted virtually for the first time. We will be awarding over $10K in scholarships – our social committee has been working diligently to plan an amazing event that recognizes our student chapters and our rich history in Orange County.

While there are some events we had expected to host in-person and have been postponed to ensure the safety of our members - such as our Annual Golf Tournament, VIP Event, and the ASCE Annual Convention, which was to be held here locally just next month, we are excited about the possibilities of the events we have been able to hold virtually. We hope we will one day soon be able to return to hosting in-person events. In the meantime, our leaders will continue to plan fun events such as OC SEI’s upcoming Oktoberfest Virtual Beer Tasting & Brewery Tour delivered to your door to informative technical events such as OC Geo-Institute's Geo-Instrumentation & Fiber Optic Virtual Presentation. Please consider joining us at our next event!

As I conclude my Presidency, I'm very excited to announce our upcoming FY 2020-2021 Board who will continue to build upon what we’ve been able to accomplish during this difficult time.

  • Clint Isa, President
  • Rémi Candaele, President-Elect
  • Taki Chrysoveris, Secretary
  • Jennifer Marks, Treasurer
  • Ravi Shah, Past-President

Also, we’ve got a phenomenal YMF Board lined up for next year.

  • Melissa Hilsabeck, President
  • Ashlyn Alexander, President-Elect
  • Esmeralda Briseno, Secretary
  • Victor Aguirre, Treasurer
  • Jazzy Quinabo, Past-President

Please take a moment to congratulate them and help support them over the next year! If you’re interested in being involved in one of the many institutes or committees, please reach out to

Additionally, I’d like to take a moment to provide some quick announcements regarding the Multi-Regional Conference (January 2021) and Annual Convention (October 2020). The Western Region MRLC has officially been postponed to July 9-11, 2021 in Orange County, just in time for some wonderful California weather! Please stay tuned for registration information. With the current restrictions on large events, the Annual Convention next month has also gone virtual. If you are interested in attending, they’ve got some great speakers and topics, please register here:

For those of you looking forward to hosting ASCE members from throughout the world, the Annual Convention will be returning to Southern California in October 2022. Mark your calendars and start thinking about some of the great projects and topics we can showcase to those visiting and attending the conference – it’ll be here before we know it.

Finally, I’d like to take one final opportunity to say ‘Thank You’ to all of our members, volunteers, leaders, and sponsors for allowing me to serve as your President and providing much-needed support for our Branch. We’ve accomplished great things over the last year, as challenging as it may have been – we would not have been able to do it without your continued support. I’d also like to thank my employer Mark Thomas and my wife, who have been supportive of my involvement over the last several years. While I have not been able to meet as many of you in person as I normally would have – I look forward to seeing many of you soon and at our next event, thank you again!

Ravi Shah, PE
President, ASCE OC Branch

About the Author

Ravi Shah is a Transportation Project Manager in Orange County, CA with Mark Thomas. He is the current President of ASCE Orange County Branch and a Past President (2012-2013) of the ASCE Orange County Younger Member Forum. He has been actively involved with ASCE as a professional since 2010 and enjoys giving back to the community. In his free time, he enjoys traveling with his wife and enjoying good food and wine. Ravi can be contacted at or on LinkedIn.


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