President’s Message: April 2023
To the ACEC Florida Community,
I was fortunate to spend some time at the Geotechnical and Materials Engineers Committee (GMEC) conference last week in Orlando. It was great to catch up with several of my geotechnical partners, those I’ve worked with around the state over my career designing building structures in Florida. It was also good to see like-minded engineers in the same room discussing the challenges facing their profession. GMEC Vice-Chair and ACEC Florida Land Development Committee Chair Greg Stevens noted, “The GMEC conference is an opportunity for geotechnical and materials testing companies to stop being competitors, even if just for a little while, and come together for the betterment of the profession.”
I find great value in events and organizations like this that pull engineers together and empower us to collaborate with our peers for the betterment of our industry.
As most of you know, GMEC is a practice session of ACEC Florida. ACEC represents engineering companies – our firms – and strives to support the business of engineering. Because the firm representatives involved in ACEC Florida often own at least a part of their firm, this organization is filled with leaders. This was embodied by the attendees at GMEC, who represented the leadership of their respective firms. An organization comprised of engineering business leaders makes ACEC Florida uniquely structured to provide leadership not just for our firms but all member firms and the engineering profession.
ACEC Florida has led the engineering profession in a number of ways for decades.
- We regularly defend the Consultants Competitive Negotiations Act in Tallahassee, which requires qualification-based selection (not low bid) for engineering services by state agencies. We are continuing to protect this in the 2023 session.
- Through our committees, we partner with large state agencies such as the Florida Department of Transportation, regional Water Management Districts, and the Florida Building Commission to collaboratively build Florida’s infrastructure.
- Through our political action committees (PACs), we support candidates for state and federal offices supporting issues that matter to engineers, such as infrastructure spending and professional licensure.
- In reaction to the Surfside tragedy, we brought together various building associations to craft guidelines for structural inspections of condos passed into law last year. ACEC Florida continues to work with lawmakers to refine this law in 2023.
- Speaking of legislation, we’re opposing current efforts to increase by a factor of 10 the liability limits for tort claims against state and local governments and the engineers that often act as government agents.
- We don’t just work with lawmakers behind the scenes or thru our PACs. Two weeks ago, ACEC Florida and FES members from around the state met in Tallahassee to collectively and personally tell our legislators which issues impacted engineers and why.
- We are partnering with several other engineering associations to publish Engineering Florida. We believe this new quarterly magazine will be THE voice of the engineering profession, not just to our community but to the public.
- We’re strengthening our ties with the Florida Engineering Society, which represents individual engineers, to ensure the needs of both engineers and the companies they work for remain aligned.
As we continue to get back to pre-pandemic behaviors of attending conferences and networking with our peers, I encourage all of you to think about the challenges we have in common. Think about the issues facing your engineering discipline, your practice, and what changes you would like to see to fix them. Know that if change is going to happen, you are the industry leaders who will make that change. And ACEC Florida is here to support you.
Scott D. Martin, P.E., LEED AP / Principal
Design-Build Market Leader
Walter P Moore
201 East Kennedy Boulevard, Suite 700
Tampa, Florida 33602-5823
813.275.8112 p / 727.642.6212 c
firstname.lastname@example.org / www.walterpmoore.com