Orange County Branch Newsletter

December 2017

ASCE OC Structural Engineering Institute

Local Leaders Conference Held in Chicago

By Aileen Santos-Redman, P.E.

The 2017 ASCE SEI Local Leaders Conference took place in Chicago, IL on October 20 & 21. The event kicked off with a welcome from SEI Local Activities Division Chair Brian Hengle, followed by brief introductions to the SEI Board of Governors, Division Reps, Staff, LAD Executive Committee, Local Chairs, and Graduate Student Chapter Representatives. Friday morning’s working seminar included updates from SEI and LAD, and we heard about the latest efforts from the Chapter Resource Committee from Chad Schrand, the Graduate Student Chapter from Matt Kawczenski, and the Outreach Committee from John Cleary. We then had two breakout sessions, to participate in two of four group discussions: How to Acquire New SEI Members, Why It’s a Good Idea to Join SEI, Successful SEI Chapters, and How to Plan an SEI Event. We ended the morning with a wrap-up discussion before breaking off for lunch.

After lunch, our conference continued with a tour of Chicago architecture by riverboat, and a walking tour of the Riverwalk Expansion Project. The various structures observed from the vantagepoint of the river made for an unforgettable experience that was enjoyed by all, helped by the unseasonably warm weather that Chicago was experiencing that weekend. To wrap up the first day of the conference, dinner was followed by a technical presentation of “The Riverwalk Expansion Project" given by Matt Hellenthal, Project Engineer with Alfred Benesch & Company.

The ASCE Communications and Media Training took place on the second day of the conference, a presentation to hone our skills to become confident and expert communicators in any setting. It was presented by Becky Moylan, ASCE Senior Manager, Public Affairs & Media Relations, who coached us on how to craft and deliver compelling messages, overcome stage fright, and techniques that increase the credibility of the speaker. We concluded the day with a hands-on exercise to practice the techniques that we learned. All in all, valuable lessons to learn!

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