President’s Message: February 2024

ACEC Florida President Tom Hayden, PE

To the ACEC Florida Community,

I want to update you on some important issues and initiatives that our Staff and Executive Committee have worked on throughout the year. I would like to thank every member of our Board, especially our Executive Committee, as this year has been filled with challenges that have required a tremendous time commitment on each of their part to resolve. I also want to thank our friends who serve on the Board of the Florida Engineering Society (FES), as they have been working hand in hand with us on several of these critical issues.

Regarding the status of our new ACEC Florida membership database, I’m pleased to report that staff has purchased the new software and has almost completed the data migration from our old system, which will allow ACEC Florida to go “live” with our new database. In mid-February, when the database migration is completed, you will likely begin to receive emails from our Member Services Committee, as we will reach out to active members to give you instructions on setting up your ACEC Florida individual accounts. Ann Schiola and I will lead this effort with the help of our amazing staff up in Tallahassee. Once individuals have set up their personal ACEC Florida account (which will be linked to their member Firm’s master account), they will be able to stay informed about local issues and events in their area, and it will also make it easier for members to sign up for events on our website.  In our correspondence, we will provide a FAQ sheet with step-by-step directions on how to create your ACEC Florida account, as well as how to join our committees. Headquarters staff will be ready and willing to guide members through the set-up process if anyone has any issues.  Our goal for this year is to have every individual active in our various committees set up their online account before the Annual Conference on July 25-27, 2024, at the JW Marriott Miami Turnberry Resort & Spa.

The ACEC Florida| FES Building Committee has also worked very diligently behind the scenes as we evaluate building issues and contractor quotes related to the repairs. I’m happy to report that based on extensive discussions, the building committee has voted unanimously in favor of recommending to the boards that we keep our Headquarters Building.  At our next committee meeting, we will discuss the final task that we have been assigned, which is to develop a white paper for both Society’s Board of Directors, outlining the cost/benefit analysis of both options (keeping the building vs. selling the building), and how we developed our recommendation to move forward with the repairs. Once the white paper has been completed, the Building Committee will dissolve, allowing the discussion to shift from the committee to the respective Boards so that each society can make the final decision/motion.

Finally, late last year, both Societies adopted a Code of Conduct policy for our Board Members and our general membership. This new policy prohibits any member (ACEC Florida or FES) from having physical contact with any of our headquarters staff members (i.e., hugging, etc.) over and above a handshake. I want to emphasize that this policy was not adopted in response to an issue that occurred; this is a pre-emptive policy that was adopted in response to issues that other societies throughout the Country have recently experienced involving unwanted physical contact between members and their paid staff. Moving forward, members will be required to “check the box” agreeing to abide by ACEC Florida’s Code of Conduct during the checkout process when signing up for ACEC Florida events or conferences. We appreciate that everyone is taking this issue as seriously as they are, as we have had numerous discussions with ACEC National about our new policy, and National has assured us that we are proceeding correctly.

As always, I want to thank each and every firm for choosing to be a member of ACEC Florida.  When legislative issues arise, you can guarantee that ACEC Florida is committed to being the voice of our industry. When contractual issues arise with our clients, you can be confident that ACEC Florida is here to discuss the issue and develop a response if applicable. Finally, when a member firm decides to chase a new market sector, you can rest assured that one of our various technical committees is here to help your staff get connected with the specific issues facing the sector. Our mission is to serve you.


Tom Hayden, P.E.
Vice President / Senior Geotechnical Engineer
Environmental and Geotechnical Specialists (EGS) |

Published On: February 15th, 2024

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