As I discussed in my President’s Address at last month’s Annual Conference, I am honored and humbled to be able to serve as your ACEC Florida President for this upcoming year. For those of you who do not know me, my name is Tom Hayden, and I am a Partner / Senior Geotechnical Engineer at Environmental and Geotechnical Specialists, Inc. (EGS) in our Tallahassee office. I specialize in FDOT and FAA geotechnical and geophysical designs throughout the State of Florida and have worked at ACEC Florida Member Firms throughout my engineering career. I have been active on the ACEC Florida Board of Directors and the Transportation Committee for several years, where I had the pleasure of serving as the FDOT District 3 Liaison a couple of years ago.
Speaking on behalf of our Board of Directors, we thank our amazing staff for hosting a fantastic annual conference this year at the JW Marriott Marco Island. The Conference was an outstanding success, and we have already received a great deal of positive feedback from our members. I would also like to thank our Past-President Scott Martin, for his outstanding leadership throughout last year. Between the Surfside Committee and the Engineering Florida Magazine, Scott worked tirelessly for our organization and has been an exceptional leader for our Society.
My vision and goals for this year have two main objectives. The first objective is to work with our staff to upgrade our membership database with the recently purchased software. Our Board recently voted to acquire the new software to expand our Member Firm contacts to include sub-accounts under the Member Firm account. This will allow Member Firm staff to set up their own ACEC-FL sub-account, allowing them to join our various committees more easily and sign up for training courses we offer our members. Some of these upcoming training courses and conferences include FDOTConnect Training, the ACEC Florida | FDOT Project Management Conference, the ACEC Florida Transportation Conference, and the GMEC Conference. In addition, expanding our Member Firm contacts will allow our Regional Directors to communicate effectively with our local Member Firm representatives when local issues that affect our industry arise.
My second objective is to work with the ACEC Florida | FES joint Building Committee to evaluate the upgrade needs of our headquarters building in Tallahassee. This committee was created last year as a joint committee with equal representation of both ACEC Florida and FES members. Both Societies have tasked this committee to develop a cost estimate for the upgrades and renovations needed to continue using these facilities as our headquarters. Once the renovation costs have been estimated, the committee has been tasked to provide a recommendation to both Boards as to whether we recommend keeping the building or selling the building and renting office space for our headquarters staff instead.
I want to assure all our Member Firms that each committee member is taking this recommendation very seriously, as I spoke to several concerned Member Firm voting principals at the conference about this issue. I also wanted to assure our members that this decision will likely not be made during my Presidency, as a financial decision of this magnitude will require extensive discussion among both of our Societies. That said, we are actively working with Architects, Consultants, and Contractors to evaluate our existing building to develop a preliminary budget for the repairs.
We look forward to an exciting year of serving as your Board of Directors! I appreciate your confidence in me, and I promise I will do everything in my power to grow our outstanding Section and to continue the legacy of my predecessors.
Lastly, I would be remiss if I didn’t share the tragic news about our beloved Director of Events, Meridith Glass, who recently faced a devastating loss when her husband, Miles, passed away unexpectedly at 36. In times like these, we must come together as a supportive and caring community. To aid Meredith and her family, which includes their 4-year-old twins, Owen and Rosie, we have set up a GoFundMe account to help alleviate some of the financial burdens they are now facing. I urge you to consider contributing to support Meridith and her family during this difficult time. Your kindness and generosity will not only provide practical assistance but will also remind her that she is surrounded by a team that truly cares. Thank you for your compassion and support.
The American Council of Engineering Companies of Florida is the voice of Florida’s engineering industry, representing more than 350 consulting engineering companies, specializing in all disciplines in seven regions throughout Florida.
American Council of Engineering Companies of Florida 125 S. Gadsden St., #100 Tallahassee, FL 32301