Home President's Corner President’s Address – September 2014 – Steve Wilkerson

President’s Address – September 2014 – Steve Wilkerson

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Dear fellow Houston/Gulf Coast Chapter members: I hope you all had a chance to take a break this summer and get away for a holiday or two. Business has been booming in Houston and we as a profession, are very hardworking and deserving of a break. After reviewing the results of our impromptu survey, the number one reason that SEAoT members do not attend meetings regularly is due to conflicts, other commitments, or just being too busy. That being said, I hope you find the time to attend the next monthly meeting on September 18.

There’s little I enjoy more than analyzing data, so I plan to discuss the survey results a bit more below. But first, I have a few things I need to mention. In the last newsletter I reminded everyone that the state SEAoT convention is to be hosted in Houston in 2015. The key to a successful convention is lots of planning, so the board needs to appoint a planning committee soon to make some key decisions. I would like to hear feedback from members about this and am also open to volunteers for the planning committee.

Also, I’d like to say farewell to Charles Ma, our former newsletter editor who has accepted a position at KPFF in San Francisco. And, I’d like to welcome Jennifer Ju, our new newsletter editor to the board. Jennifer is an engineer with Cardno Haynes Whaley, and we are very glad she has taken over this vital role.

The main focus of the survey was to get information about attendance at monthly SEAoT meetings. First we asked you to make a short statement about why you may not attend regularly, and second we asked you to weigh-in on several suggestions about what might make you attend more often. The responses to the first part are in Table 1 below:

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As I mentioned earlier, most people are rather busy and can’t attend because of other commitments. I was pleased to see that neither cost, location, nor lack of relevance was an issue with most members.

For the second part (see Table 2 below), the most popular suggestion for meetings was to offer a forum for discussion of structural engineering issues. This is something new, but certainly something that we could accommodate. The next most popular suggestion was to offer opportunities for networking with clients or contractors.

We have been bringing contractors to meetings regularly this year as sponsors, which I think is great for fostering relationships. We would like to explore ideas for interacting with our clients as well.

One possibility is to try to arrange a joint meeting with the Houston Chapter of AIA. This has already been suggested to the local chapter president Janis Brackett, and once we decide on a format for the joint meeting, it will probably take place. Other suggested options garnered some attention, and will be considered in the future.

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Finally, I’d like to congratulate Everett Baker for being the lucky recipient of a Best Buy Gift Card in the drawing for participants in the survey. I’ll give the prize to Everett at this month’s meeting. Thanks to all those who participated in the survey – it’s valuable to me to get this kind of feedback, even though only from a cross-section of members. The results validate many of the policies that we’ve been using to run the organization all these years.

Thanks,

-Steve