Last year I ran on a platform of growth and change. I tried to share my story about the numerous times that I had to reinvent myself to progress in my career. Ironically, I believe that the COVID-19 pandemic was one of those life events that also needed to be overcome, but I think that the same pandemic prevented me from connecting to the members that voted in the election.
I’ve learned a great deal in my career, through successful ideas and, even more, through my failures, and I’d like to be able to share these lessons with the larger ASCE community. I’ve been a leader in many non-profit organizations and have served as a CEO in my engineering firm for 14 years. These experiences are invaluable as ASCE reinvents itself after the pandemic as well.
I’m not someone who changes things for the sake of change, but I do change things that I don’t think are going in the right direction. I’m sticking to the same platform I had last year because I think it would be disingenuous for me to change my ideas only one year removed from the campaign. I am a collaborative person who knows that the decisions made by a larger group always have more traction than those made in a bubble.
The experiences above have led me to my vision for ASCE if I were to be elected as a Presidential officer, and it is a simple three-pronged approach – accountability, advocacy and accessibility.
Accountability is a fundamental tenet of the engineering profession as we apply our skills towards the overall public good. Accountability relates to the way in which we execute our designs, but it also relates to how we operate our organizations. ASCE has made great strides to lower overhead costs to make itself sustainable, including the recent gains from pandemic travel restrictions. Now the choice is to go on as the status quo or to continue to reduce overhead to not just maintain but lower the cost of membership to bring more and more people involved in various facets of civil engineering into the membership. I am over 20 years away from being a life member, so I have many years of accountability for the performance of the organization after my potential term as a Presidential officer. I propose to:
- Continue discussions relating to the overall operational costs of the ASCE offices, including how our office spaces function in a virtual work environment and the potential to move personnel outside the costly Northern Virginia market where applicable.
- Focus on continuing to decrease costs, including simplifying the dues structure and corresponding software costs to lower the required price point for membership.
Advocacy is the only way that engineering in general, Civil Engineering specifically, will achieve the prominence that is required to properly execute our duties. It seemed like we had some success after the Report Card but getting Infrastructure Funding (at the time this was drafted) remains elusive. We write manifestos about being master integrators, but we get outpaced in politics by attorneys. Some time ago we made the decision to not be active advocates in politics and convert a portion of the organization to a 501(c)(6). That doesn’t mean that we can’t advocate for ourselves and leverage our relations with organizations with similar interests that actively lobby. We need to stop reporting the news in politics and start influencing it. I propose to:
- Immediately investigate National partnerships to assist in “dividing the load” between organizations for access, advising and advocacy on Capitol Hill.
- Review each of our local state and local government relations to determine which locations ASCE was the dominant advocacy voice and which locations other organizations have taken the lead to more properly allocate our resources.
- Work directly with Region 10 and our international members to determine a pathway for ASCE to continue to be a global voice on behalf of civil engineering.
The future of the engineering profession will be incredibly diverse and to keep different perspectives, it is critical that the profession be accessible to everyone. Where I am from, diversity is second nature but accessibility to certain positions is not. We need to continue to implement policies and go out of our way to recruit a large diversity of future engineers into ASCE to be a true voice of what the public wants. I propose to:
- Put additional funds towards K-12 education and promote Civil Engineering to all youth, with a particular emphasis on youth in diversity programs to continue the message that every inspired child can find themselves a path to becoming part of Civil Engineering and a member in ASCE. This would include making high school (and potentially even middle school clubs) members of the Society to ensure lifelong participation in the organization.
- Continue supporting the Committee on Younger Members and MOSAIC as they seek to have a voice in all the meaningful discussions that are part of the Society.
Don’t be distracted by my three initiatives and think I’ve forgotten about our recent investments. I fully believe in supporting Future World Vision and the Digital Strategy. As the organization begins to realize the benefits of these two programs, support will easily follow, but the next couple of years are critical to allow for these innovations to incubate and flourish into the programs that we believed in when we made those investments.
My journey in my career has climbed many mountains (and fallen off some), and I hope that the membership sees fit to place their trust in me as so many others have.
- Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering, University of Florida, 1997
- Master of Engineering, University of Florida, 2004
Certification and licenses
- Professional Engineer, Florida, 2002
- Envision Sustainability Professional, 2017
- LEED Accredited Professional, 2008
- Various Engineering Certifications including PACP/MACP/LACP, certified stormwater inspector, various computer programs
- Chen and Associates Consulting Engineers (now Chen Moore and Associates), President and CEO. Prior positions include Associate Engineer, Engineering Manager, Vice President and President. All aspects of engineering design, construction administration, marketing, finance and governance, 1999-present
- C3TS (now Stantec), Project Engineer. Performed engineering calculations, drawings and writing of specifications, marketing assistance, 1998-1999
- UESI Governor, 2019-2022
- Region 5 Director, 2017-2020
- Board Strategic Advisory Council, 2018-2020
- Program and Finance Committee, 2018-2019
- Committee on Education, 2017-2018
- Committee on Public Policy, 2013-2016
- Committee on Younger Members, 2004-2008
- Region 5 Governor, 2013-2016; Treasurer, 2014-2016
- Florida Section, All Officer Positions, 2006-2012; President, 2011
- Broward Branch, All Officer Positions, 2003-2007; President, 2006
- Southeast Regional Student Conference Concrete Canoe Competition Judge, 2002-2005; Head Judge, 2006-2020
Other volunteer activities
- FES Broward (NSPE), All Officer Positions; President, 2008; State Director, 2018
- ACEC Florida, Various Board Positions; President, 2017; Currently ACEC PAC Chair and Risk Management Committee Chair
- FES/ACEC-FL Commission on Legislative and Government Affairs, Chair, 2010-present. This position manages the “fly in” for the State of Florida.
- United Way of Broward County – Envision Broward, Founding Member
- Broward County Gator Club – Life Member, President 2012
- Civil Gators (UF Alumni Association for Civil Engineers), President, 2015
- University of Florida Engineering School of Sustainable Infrastructure and Environment – Advisory Board Member, 2012-present
- Florida Atlantic University – Senior Design Class Advisor; Professor, 2004; Foundation Board Member, 2019-present
- Broward Workshop (Organization of Top 100 CEOs in County of 2 Million Residents), Member, 2019-present
- Participant in South Florida Leukemia Lymphoma “Man of the Year” 2010, Men’s Category Runner Up
- Participant in “Men of Style” benefitting twelve South Florida charities, 2018 Winner most ticket sales and most money raised
- Proud participant in various leadership programs with philanthropic projects:
- Leadership Broward – Class XXIII, Life Member; Board Chair, 2017
- Leadership Florida – Class XXXII, Life Member
- Florida Engineering Leadership Institute – Class 2009, Life Member; Program Co-Chair, 2019
- Greater Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce Economic Resilience Committee, Vice Chair, 2020-present
- Weekly Contributor to Sun-Sentinel (South Florida Publication, circulation approximately 225,000) South Florida 100 Opinion Editorial Section, 2015-present
- Annual Issue Champion for FES Journal (membership publication), 2013-present
- Emceed Various Local Events (MATHCOUNTS, etc), State Events (FES/ACEC-FL Annual Meeting Keynote Interview, etc) and Political Events (numerous legislative breakfasts, interviews with State and National Senators, etc.)
- Presented at DBIA Transpower Conference, “Utility Relocations in Advance of Transportation Projects”, 2008
- Made hundreds of presentations to State, local, student organizations and community groups on topics ranging from ASCE subject matter and organization, to ethics, risk management, project management, etc.
- ASCE Fellow, 2013
- ACEC Fellow, 2021
- FES Fellow, 2021
- Edmund Friedman Young Engineer Award for Professional Achievement, 2009
- FES (NSPE Florida), Young Engineer of the Year, 2009
- University of Florida Outstanding Young Alumnus, 2009
- 40 Under 40 South Florida Business Journal, 2009
- ASCE Broward Branch Young Engineer of the Year, 2001, 2006, 2009
- FES (NSPE Florida) Broward Chapter Most Active Chapter Member, 1999
- More than individual awards, I’m proud of the awards that my firm has accomplished under my leadership, including various awards for growth, being a best place to work for our employees and for promotion of women in business.
- Moore, P.M., and Najafi, F.T., “Effect of Integration of Handheld Computers, Global Positioning System Devices, and Geographic Information System on Efficiency of Construction Management Duties,” 2004 Compendium of Papers, 83rd Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board (TRB), National Academies of Science (NAS) (January 11-15), Washington DC, Paper #04-4323