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President's Message

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  • June 21, 2021 3:10 PM | Anonymous

    Matthew Barnard, S.E. 
    SEAOSC President

    The past 12 months have flown by! It is hard for me to believe that this is the last message that I will send to you as the SEAOSC President. It truly has been a privilege to serve this Association. I am proud of all that we have accomplished together even during a year like no other. To our Members, Sponsors, and partners, thank you for your support and all the amazing work that truly has a made a difference. 

    A few weeks ago, we celebrated our Safer Cities Awards and the EiSE Awards. Look for us on LinkedIn and join us in continuing to celebrate the awardees. On June 24th, the celebration continues when we will celebrate individuals that have made a difference for our Association and our industry including announcing our Engineer of the Year and our Nominee to the SEAOC Fellows. The event is free and includes time to reconnect with your fellow SEAOSC Members (https://seaosc.org/event-3920037). Additional details about the June 24th event have been included at the end of this message.

    Even with all that is being accomplished, there is so much more we can do together. When you receive your membership renewal, please make sure that you renew. This Association exists because of you and your continued membership is critical for us to provide the infrastructure to support this Community and advance structural engineering in Southern California.  If you have any questions regarding your membership level or how to register, do not hesitate to contact myself or the SEAOSC Office (seaosc@seaosc.org).

    Special thanks to Optimum Seismic for their sustaining support of the Association during this year.

    Management Services

    Our May newsletter included an overview of the different Board Initiatives from the past year including the initiative to identify our expectations and needs going forward for the management of the Association.

    An ad-hoc Committee of the Board was formed in 2020 and ultimately captured our expectation for these services in an RFP. Four management companies responded to the RFP. In their respective responses and during the subsequent interviews, each company provided their understanding of our expectations and their vision of how to provide the right services to support the Association and its members.

    After extensive discussion, the Board made the decision to make a change in our management. We have chosen to engage Stratiscope as our management company starting July 1st. Many of you already are familiar with Stratiscope because of the strategic outreach support provided to the Association by John Bwarie. We are excited by the value that the Stratiscope team will bring to both our Members and to those who sponsor this Association. We expect great things in the future. We ask for your patience and understanding as we undergo this transition in management.

    Dianne and the team at Co-Pilots have been a great partner for SEAOSC for the entirety of my time as both a Board Member and now an Officer of the Association. We are extremely grateful for the years of their support and value their contributions to better SEAOSC. Dianne and Co-Pilots, on behalf of our Association, thank you for all that you have done to support our Members and this Association. We would not be where we are today without your support.

    Please look for additional information about the transition to come in future communications from the Association. The seaosc@seaosc.org email address will remain available to you. The SEAOSC website will remain live. You can always contact me directly via an email to mbarnard@degenkolb.com.

    2020/2021 In Review Continued

    Last month, we started reviewing the progress our Board made in moving forward critical initiatives to improve the Association. The following is a quick summary on our progress on the other half of the 2020/2021 Initiatives identified by the Board last summer:

           NCSEA/SEAOC: The value of a SEAOSC membership goes beyond SEAOSC itself. When you join the Association, you also become a member of SEAOC and NCSEA. Each has a different focus. Each provides different value. Last summer, the Board acknowledged that SEAOSC can do better in our engagement of both SEAOC and SEAOSC. Mainly small steps so far have been taken including increased collaboration with the leadership of both SEAOC and the other California Member Organizations. One big step was taken by SEAOC when Ken O’Dell was appointed to fill the role of SEAOC’s Delegate to NCSEA. Our own Michelle Kam-Biron continues to serve as SEAOSC’s Alternate Delegate. The Association is now poised to identify and then bring back opportunities for SEASOC members to better realize the value of the SEAOC and NCSEA memberships.  

           Past President’s Advisory Council: Our Past-Presidents are valued leaders both inside SEAOSC and in our local industry. We need to keep these individuals engaged with the Association. To achieve this, our Past-Presidents proposed an Advisory Council for the current President made-up of these Past-Presidents. This year, Ken O’Dell our current Past-President, convened the Council and held several virtual get-togethers. We discussed the ongoing challenges because of Covid as well as visions for the future of the Association. Thank you to every Past-President of your contributions to this Association. Thank you for investing in our Members and myself this year through the Advisory Council. I look forward to joining you on the Advisory Council and supporting Kelsey in 2021/2022.

           Financial Contingency: Over a year ago, we were all faced with the big unknown of responding to Covid. The Association had transitioned to a virtual program. No one knew when life would go back to normal. As part of our Associations response to the changing circumstances, SEAOSC developed a set of metrics. These metrics were primarily financially focused and continue to be monitored today. Plans were developed so that when any of the metrics exceeded defined thresholds, planned responses could be implemented. When our metrics were exceeded, your Association successfully implemented these responses while continuing to service our members. Even with changes in our Membership and a reduction in Sponsorship, our Association was able to maintain our financial health. We operated on a balanced budget. Our Reserves grew.  

           Sponsor / Member Value Enhancement and Engagement: During the second half of 2020, a team of our Members focused on what is the value SEAOSC provides our Members and those who sponsor our Association. From this effort, a new sponsorship program was developed. This program embraced that our Association is sponsored by the Members with their continued membership as well as Sponsors that sustain the Association and support our events and sponsoring firms that support our Members participation in the Association. Big thank you to Optimum Seismic especially for embracing this new program and supporting the Association as a sustaining sponsor. We look forward to further implementing this program in 2021/2022.

           Response Plan: The current SEAOSC response plan provides the framework for an organized response by the Association if there is an earthquake that impacts us. When, what, and how to communicate to our Membership is defined. Potential adjustments to the operations of the Association are defined. In the Summer of 2020, the SEAOSC Board identified that we needed to expand our plan to not just be earthquake focused. There is an opportunity to broaden the plan’s reach and include other disasters that could impact our Members. If you are interested in furthering our response plan, we need your help. Please contact the SEAOSC Office (seaosc@seaosc.org) to get involved.

           External Partners: There are many organizations and associations in the industry. We complement each other given our different interests. To realize the benefit of our complementary interests, we need to be talking with each other and embracing opportunities to collaborate. A great example of our successful collaboration has been with CALBO and ICC; our Building Safety Month events have been valuable to all. During the Summer of 2020, the Board embraced engaging other complementary organizations and associations such as AAa/e, ACE Mentoring, ACEC/CASE, AIA, AGC, ASCE/SEI, CMAA, EERI, SCDF, etc. During the past year, some initial conversations occurred mainly with ASCE/SEI and EERI. These conversations need to continue and then result in active collaboration in whatever way is best for all.

           Operations 2.0: One of the challenges for any association is keeping the governing documents of the association current. It is time for SEAOSC to update some of our policies and even our by-laws. While we had hoped to be able to complete this update by now, we are positioned to do so in the coming year. If you are interested in supporting this effort, let us know by messaging the SEAOSC Office at seaosc@seaosc.org.

           SEAOSC Foundation: The Foundation is a separate entity from the Association. It is run by its own Board of Directors. The Association proudly supports the Foundation through not only direct financial donations but also through the donation of our Management Company’s services. In the Summer of 2020, the SEAOSC Board identified improved collaboration with the Foundation as an opportunity to enhance the value of the Foundation and provide improved opportunities for our members to benefit from our collaboration with the Foundation. We have work to do to fully realize the benefit from this collaboration. Interested in being part of the conversation and furthering the value of the Association and Foundation collaboration? Contact the SEAOSC Office at seaosc@seaosc.org.

    Let’s Celebrate Making a Difference

    On June 24th, we will be honoring your fellow SEAOSC Members with our 2021 People Awards including our nominees for the SEAOC College of Fellows, Honorary Member, Public Service Award, Engineer of the Year, and Young Engineer of the Year. We will also be introducing the new Diversity & Inclusivity Award. What each of you do on behalf of our fellow SEAOSC Members is important. Together, let us celebrate those who have gone beyond the call of duty. Register now for this free event by visiting seaosc.org and going to the events page.

    June 24th will not just be our 2021 People Awards. We are also proud to premiere the short film “The Future” that shares the stories of three emerging talents in the Structural Engineering Community. Sponsored by our Diversity & Inclusivity Committee, this short film engages and inspires. Do not miss this special event.

    Lastly, June 24th will be our Annual Business Meeting. I will proudly hand over the leadership of your Association to the remarkable Kelsey. I cannot say enough wonderful things about all that Kelsey has been doing on our collective behalf. She has set us this Association for an exciting 2021/2022 as we emerge from Covid and again are able to engage with each other in-person. Thank you, Kelsey. Thank you to the team of Committee Chairs and Committee Members that are doing the hard work as volunteers in advancing our Association and our industry. Thank you to the Board; your engagement and commitment to the betterment of this Association is unparalleled. Thank you to our Ex Comm; I cannot adequately express my appreciation for your investment in each of our Members and our Association through all that you do each day on behalf of SEAOSC.
  • May 20, 2021 5:05 PM | Anonymous

    Matthew Barnard, S.E. 
    SEAOSC President

    This year has been an amazing year because of you. Thank you for allowing me this opportunity to serve as the President of this Association and represent you and our shared interests in Safer Cities through structural engineering.

    Are you ready for our June 2nd Safer Cities and EiSE Awards Program (June 2nd, free event, 5 pm networking, 6 pm program start, register here) and our June 24th People Awards and Business Meeting (June 24th, free event, 5 pm networking, 6 pm program start, register here)? Let us get together to reflect on the past year and celebrate all that has been accomplished by you. Details about both June 2nd and June 24th events have been included at the end of this message.

    Even with an entirely virtual program year, you, the SEAOSC Community have rallied around each other and our Association. Together, we have accomplished so much. It is impressive and we need to celebrate. To give you a sense of all that has been accomplished, see the following for the start of our “2020/2021 In Review”. We have provided a brief update on approximately half of the ongoing Initiatives within the Association. We will highlight the second half of the Initiatives in the June Newsletter.

    Even with all that is being accomplished, there is so much more we can do together. When you receive your membership renewal, please make sure that you renew. This Association exists because of you and your continued membership is critical for us to provide the infrastructure to support this Community and advance structural engineering in Southern California.  If you have any questions regarding your membership level or how to register, do not hesitate to contact me or the SEAOSC Office (seaosc@seaosc.org).

    Special thanks to Optimum Seismic for their sustaining support of the Association during this year.

    2020/2021 In Review

    Our Committees are wrapping up their activities for this year. Papers are being completed and abstracts and presentations are starting to be worked on as we look towards the SEAOC Convention now only a few months away (https://2021.seaoc.org/). The Board and our Committee Chairs are also hard at work defining their goals and the related funding for next year. If you have an idea about what we need to accomplish next year, share it now! Want to get involved in what is next, the time to do it now! Email seaosc@seaosc.org and we can get you connected with fellow members who share your passion.

    Our website update is almost ready. The various improvements are being championed by Communications and implemented by Co-Pilots and team. This is happening at the same time our transition to a “company” LinkedIn account has been fully implemented. Through the assistance of the Hoyt Group, we are enjoying the more frequent and improved communications from the Association through our Social Media. Join the conversation and follow SEAOSC on LinkedIn!

    Our Legislative Action Committee has gone live! Big thanks to Jeff Ellis, Daniel Zepeda, and Luke Lombardi for taking the lead with this Committee. This committee is a quick response team that will allow us to maintain consistent messaging on policy and improve our interaction with our partners in our shared efforts to create Safer Cities through structural engineering. Key partners for us include the SEAOC Policy Committee and our local Legislative Offices who are increasingly engaging with SEAOSC through our Safer City events. On May 4th, approximately a dozen CA Legislative Offices joined for this quarter’s Policy Breakfast. We focused on AB 1329; Bill Text - AB-1329 Building codes: earthquakes: functional recovery standard. (ca.gov). This bill will provide the path for functional recovery to become a critical part of the California Building Code. SEAOC is a proud sponsor of this bill (SEAOC Talk February 2021 - SEAOC).

    Our Board has made immense progress in moving forward critical initiatives to improve the Association. Here is a quick summary of approximately half of the 2020/2021Initiatives identified by the Board last summer and the progress that has been made:

    • Diversity & Inclusivity: SEAOSC looked in the mirror last year and embraced that we needed to be better. With the leadership of Lorena Arce, the Diversity & Inclusivity Committee was born and has been challenging this Association to do the hard work needed to develop a more diverse and inclusive structural engineering industry and Association. Congratulations to our Diversity & Inclusivity Committee for all that you have accomplished. I am looking forward to the premiere of the short film “The Future” on June 24.
    • WiSE into the Future: Last summer, the WiSE Committee embarked on a strategic planning effort to define what is next for the Committee. Through that effort, the Committee is positioned for the future with a clearer vision for the purpose, expectations, and needs of WiSE. In this spirit, WiSE is envisioned as a partner with Diversity & Inclusivity and as a standalone Committee focused on providing the support and safe space for women in structural engineering. It is a Committee open to all but with this specific focus and benefit to the Membership. One of this year’s great successes was the Leadership Symposium curated by WiSE. Fantastic job WiSE!
    • Communications & Website: As described above, our website and our social media accounts needed help. Major steps to improve our website are currently underway. Additionally, the Board engaged the Hoyt Group to assist in our social medial presence. There is a lot of additional work still needed including updating our brand and graphic standards and improving the quantity and quality of our communications. We need individuals who are passionate about promoting the accomplishments of our fellow Members. Willing to be part of the team? Join the Communications Committee. Email seaosc@seaosc.org and ask for Maria. We will get you involved.
    • Media: Last summer, the Board focused on developing both key messaging for the Association related to protecting our communities from the earthquake hazard. In August, a large group of members went through a training program to prepare us to be able to deliver that messaging whether on camera, over the radio, or to a reporter. We are preparing to refresh this messaging and continue building our team who are prepared for engaging with the media. Interested? Email seaosc@seaosc.org, ask for Maria, and we will get you involved.
    • Student Chapters: Our students are the future of the Association. For the first time, the four student chapters within SEAOSC (Cal Poly SLO, UCLA, CSUF, and Cal Poly Pomona) are actively collaborating with each other and with the SEAOSC leadership. The leadership of each chapter is meeting on a frequent basis with both myself and Michael Falcone. The Chapters are now having joint events. We are looking forward to expanding upon this success in 2021/2022. Thank you, Michael, for all that you have done to make this happen. Interested in expanding our team of Student Chapters or becoming engaged with one of the Chapters, we need you. Contact seaosc@seaosc.org and ask for Michael.
    • Events 2.1: The Board embraced that it was time to reinvent our events to reflect that we are a regional organization and to realize the full potential of our Signature Events. An evolution of our events was starting to happen and then we had to embrace that the year was going to be something different than we ever predicted. We went 100% virtual and re-invented almost everything. No dinner meetings. No member appreciation event. No holiday dinner. No awards banquet. Instead of just folding shop, the entire Association adapted. The Leadership Symposium curated by WiSE was a big success and reached people far beyond our normal reach. Our Education Committee has delivered great webinar content. Our virtual Award Program for the 2020 Safer Cities and EiSE Awards last Sept was a huge success. The student scholarship night and career fair engaged students from the entire region and the presentation of the Student Scholarships was one of the highlights of the year. As things re-open, the time is now for us to revisit our events for the years going forward. Do you have thoughts on how to adjust our events going forward, contact seaosc@seaosc.org and ask for Patti.
    • Support Services: Over the past couple of years, the Board has worked to better understand the scope of management services being provided by Co-Pilots. The adjustment in title of Dianne from Executive Director to Association Manager reflected our alignment of what services had been contracted and successfully provided by Co-Pilots. This year, the Board explored what we expect from our management services. We will share details about how we envision these services being provided as part of my June President’s Message.


    Next month, I will share updates about our Initiatives related to NCSEA/SEAOC Engagement, Past President’s Advisory Council, Financial Contingency, Sponsor / Member Value Enhancement and Engagement, Response Plan, External Partners, Operations 2.0, and the SEAOSC Foundation.


    Let’s Celebrate You

    We have two great celebrations scheduled for June. Both are free to attend. Both will have a mixture of live and taped content so we can keep the programs focused and on schedule.

    Join us on June 2nd to our partners and friends who are making our cities safer when we announce our 2021 Safer Cities Awards. An announcement celebrating the 2021 honorees will be released in the coming days. After we celebrate our Safer Cities Awards, join us as we celebrate your Excellence in Structural Engineering (EiSE) with the 2021 EiSE Awards. Be inspired. Be awed. Be proud of your fellow SEAOSC Members for their excellence in structural engineering. Register now for this free event by visiting seaosc.org and going to the events page.

    On June 24th, we will be honoring your fellow SEAOSC Members with our 2021 People Awards including our nominees for the SEAOC College of Fellows, Honorary Member, Public Service Award, Engineer of the Year, and Young Engineer of the Year. We will also be celebrating our first Diversity & Inclusivity Award. What each of you do on behalf of our fellow SEAOSC Members is important. Together, let us celebrate those who have gone beyond the call of duty. Register now for this free event by visiting seaosc.org and going to the events page.

    June 24th will not just be our 2021 People Awards. We are also proud to premiere the short film “The Future” that shares the stories of three emerging talents in the Structural Engineering Community. Sponsored by our Diversity & Inclusivity Committee, this short film engages and inspires. Do not miss this special event.

    Lastly, June 24th will be our Annual Business Meeting. I will proudly hand over the leadership of your Association to the remarkable Kelsey. I cannot say enough wonderful things about all that Kelsey has been doing on our collective behalf. She has set us this Association for an exciting 2021/2022 as we emerge from Covid and again are able to engage with each other in person. Thank you, Kelsey. Thank you to the team of Committee Chairs and Committee Members that are doing the hard work as volunteers in advancing our Association and our industry. Thank you to the Board; your engagement and commitment to the betterment of this Association are unparalleled. Thank you to our Ex Comm; I cannot adequately express my appreciation for your investment in each of our Members and our Association through all that you do each day on behalf of SEAOSC.

  • April 21, 2021 12:41 PM | Anonymous

    Matthew Barnard, S.E. 
    SEAOSC President

    We are looking to celebrate! You have made 2020/2021 into a very successful year for the Association. Together, we are surviving Covid and together we have delivered a complete program year with versions of most of our treasured events and activities.

    Because of you, these events have been engaging and well attended. The Leadership Symposium curated by WiSE is a great example of how our members delivered something valuable to us all. If you missed the actual event, a replay series with highlights from the Symposium is going on right now! Check it out. Through the great support of CSI, the cost of attending the replay series is minimal.

    Because of you, our Committees continue to advance the practice of structural engineering in Southern California. Important work is happening within Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and WiSE. Communications and Education have been doing fantastic work providing content and sharing the value of SEAOSC membership. Follow the new SEAOSC LinkedIn account if you are not already doing so! Steel, Concrete, Wood, Existing Buildings, Seismology and Hazards, and Codes & Standards are actively collaborating and advancing structural engineering. Look for SEAOSC Members to again leverage our Committee efforts to provide insightful content at the 2021 SEAOC Convention. Join our Committees now if you also want to advance structural engineering in Southern California. The limit of how much we can do is defined by how much we all are willing to jump in and move forward these critical efforts.

    Because of you, we are positioned to expand our outreach to Policy Makers with valuable insights regarding current legislation and with insights on how to make our Cities Safer. Our next Policy Breakfast will be happening in early May. A summary highlighting the big take-aways from the Breakfast will be shared shortly after the Breakfast. Also, join us for the joint SEAOSC/CALBO/ICC event in late May where we will talk about issues of shared interest. Do you want to join in with your fellow Members and add to the conversation, message us at seaosc@seaosc.org and we will get you engaged with our newly created Legislative Action Committee.

    As much as you have contributed to our Community this past year, we are needing your help to celebrate our fellow SEAOSC members and our friends who have made such a difference this year. We have several key awards events coming up in June.

    • Excellence in Structural Engineering (EiSE) Awards: Join us on June 2nd for a celebration of the 2021 winners of the SEAOSC EiSE. Be inspired by what our friends have done to enhance our communities. The awards jury is deliberating at this very moment. They have some tough decisions to make.
    • Safer Cities Awards: We treasure our partners especially the organizations, jurisdictions, and public officials who take the tough stands and fight for improved safety of our cities through structural and seismic engineering. Nominations for potential awards are needed! Submit your nomination by visiting seaosc.wufoo.com/forms/seaosc-safer-cities-award-nomination-form/. The deadline to submit nominations for this year’s SEAOSC Safer Cities Awards is Friday, April 30th, at 3 pm. Join us on June 2nd to celebrate these important partners.
    • People Awards: Join us on June 24th for a celebration of the individuals who are making a difference in our Association. Do you have a suggestion for an addition to the SEAOC College of Fellows? Or for an individual to be celebrated as an Honorary Member? Has a Member done some amazing research that can be honored with an S.B. Barnes Research Award? Is there a public official who needs to be honored as our 2021 Public Service Awardee? Do you have a suggestion for our Engineer of the Year or our Young Engineer of the Year Award? For more information about the individual awards and our past recipients, visit www.seaosc.org/Awards-Honors-&-Designations. If you have a nomination that you would like our Nomination Committee to consider, send an email to seaosc@seaosc.org with the name of the nominee and a short paragraph about why that person needs to be recognized. We need those nominations by May 5th at 5 pm.

    SEAOSC is your Association. Because of you, we are relevant. Because of you, we are engaged and making a difference. Because of you, we have a Community that we are proud to be part of. Let’s take a moment and celebrate SEAOSC and celebrate each other. Thank you for being part of SEAOSC and I look forward to seeing you at our celebrations on June 2nd and June 24th.

  • March 22, 2021 10:36 AM | Anonymous

    Matthew Barnard, S.E. 
    SEAOSC President

    As our communities emerge from the year of shutdowns from the Pandemic, I am cautiously optimistic that the SEAOSC community will be able to enjoy each other’s company once again sooner rather than later. Many of us miss those in-person moments that are a key benefit of being part of the SEAOSC community. This year has been very difficult in so many ways for so many of us. Yet, the resilience of our communities, our members, and this Association is simply amazing.

    Take a moment and celebrate all that good things that happened the past year. We have gotten together to talk, learn, celebrate, and collaborate in news ways. We embraced the call to action to improve the diversity, equity, and inclusivity of our Association and our industry. Our technical Committees are advancing the science and practice of structural engineering. I could go on and on about all of the good that has happened during these challenging times because of you and our SEAOSC community. Next time you are collaborating with another SEAOSC member, share your appreciation of each other and the great things that we are doing together.

    Congratulations to our WiSE Committee for curating a fantastic 2021 Leadership Symposium. The discussions were inspiring. Even with the virtual setting, you could feel the energy in the room. If you missed out on the actual event, SEAOSC is proud to be able to share highlights from the event through the Symposium Re-Play Series. Our first re-play is April 1 at noon. Visit the SEAOSC Event Calendar and register today! Special thank you to CSI for your continued support of the Leadership Symposium.

    The Leadership Symposium was a highlight to our 2020/2021 Program Year. And even better, it is only one of many activities and initiatives ongoing in the Association. We have a busy few months ahead for the Association. Our committees are rapidly moving forward various technical developments that are in part inspiring 2021 Convention papers. Our Education Committee will be hosting multiple webinars. Our Awards season is coming quickly with the Excellence in Structural Engineering Awards, Safer Cities Awards, and the People Awards only a few months away. Have you submitted your nominations for the Safer Cities Awards? If not, visit our website and click on the banner ad to submit a nomination.

    While our website remains a key communication method for the Association, we are actively sharing news about the Association through emails and social media. Have you noticed the improved social media presence for the Association? Through the guidance of our Communication Committee, the Hoyt Group has joined the SEAOSC family and is now assisting the Association with our social media presence. Our LinkedIn account has converted from an individual person account to a business account; make sure that you are following the new SEAOSC account!

    The Association is committed to continued enhancement of communications.  Our website is next. Thank you to our Communications Committee who have been actively preparing a website update. Look for that update to be coming before the end of this Program Year. Do you have thoughts about what improvements are needed? Join our Communications Committee. We need your help in moving forward these key efforts that benefit the Association and enhance the value of our memberships.

    One of the key efforts of the Association continues to be our Strategic Outreach. To enhance our current efforts, SEAOSC has convened a new Legislative Action Committee. This Committee will collaborate closely with John Bwarie as John works to promote you, our Association, and Structural Engineering through engagement of policy makers, legislative offices, and the public. To provide some framework for our legislative outreach, the SEAOSC Board adopted the following set of guiding principles:

    1. Protect the uniqueness and relevance of the California Structural Engineers license
    2. Strengthening local jurisdictions and their ability to enhance their local building codes.
    3. Support seismic and other resilience ordinances that are applied broadly with local flexibility for implementation.

    Do you have ideas on how our Association can promote these principles and embed them within our future efforts to better our communities? Join in making a difference. Reach out to us via an email to seaosc@seaosc.org and we can connect you with our outreach activities plus other opportunities within our Association.

    Through the generous support of Sustaining Sponsors like Optimum Seismic and title sponsors of big events like CSI for the Leadership Symposium and through your membership, SEAOSC provides you the support to make a difference whether through our outreach or by advancing structural engineering technically. Join in the effort and take advantage of these opportunities to make a difference.

  • February 22, 2021 1:30 PM | Anonymous

    Matthew Barnard, S.E. 
    SEAOSC President

    Join us this week for the Empowerment by Design Leadership Symposium. This two half-day event sponsored by CSI and curated by our own Women In Structural Engineering is going to be a highlight of our year. The line-up of speakers and content is fantastic and touches on resilient management, diversity, mentorship, and more. This is an event that will benefit all whether you are just starting your career, a practicing engineer, a friend of the industry, etc. Through the generous support of CSI, we are able to keep the cost of attendance very reasonable. Register now! Do not miss this signature event. Do not wait until our next one; it will be two years before we offer the next edition of this Symposium. Sign-up by visiting the SEAOSC website.

    The Leadership Symposium will be held virtually like all our events since March a year ago. It is exciting though that the Association is starting to contemplate what it means to incorporate in-person events back into our Program Year. We have several big celebrations coming up in June. We will celebrate the 2021 Safer Cities Awards and the Excellence in Structural Engineering Awards to start the month and then we will conclude the month and the 2020/2021 Program Year with our 2021 People Awards. While we are preparing to hold these celebrations virtually, we are exploring whether there is a viable means to provide both in-person and virtual experience for everyone.

    If you are interested in helping us shape how and when the Association re-incorporates in-person events, get involved. Contact seaosc@seaosc.org to share your thoughts or to find out about specific opportunities where you can help shape both the remainder of this year and the 2021/2022 Program Year. The Board and the Chairs of our Committees are not only working diligently to complete this year but are starting to identify our goals and plans for next year. We will be developing Committee Charges as well as the Association Budget in the coming months. If we should be doing something that we are not, let us know and then be part of the team that will make it happen.

    There is something that is happening right now that will greatly enhance our collective experience as Members of SEAOSC. SEAOSC has engaged the Hoyt Organization to enhance our communications through social media including LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. One of the first steps will be converting our LinkedIn to the right account type and then start having a more regular and active presence in the social media space. Do you follow SEAOSC? If not, find us and follow us. Like and comment on our posts. SEAOSC is regularly posting updates about what is going on with the Association. The improvements to our social media presence are part of a larger effort to update our communications. Expect to see improvements to our website. We are also exploring opportunities to improve our graphics including through consistent branding. Big thank you to the Maria Mohammed and the Communications Committee for your efforts.

  • January 26, 2021 9:05 AM | Anonymous

    Matthew Barnard, S.E. 
    SEAOSC President

    Happy New Year! Welcome to 2021.

    These are exciting times for your Association. Between our upcoming Career Fair and Student Night, the Empowerment by Design Leadership Symposium on Feb.  24th and 25th, the work by our Committees, upcoming webinars, upcoming improvements to our website and social media platforms, and so much more, your Association is busy! Get involved; together we can make an even bigger difference for each other and our Community.

    Career Fair and Student Night, Feb. 3rd

    20 years ago, almost to the day, I started my career as a structural engineer. It feels like it was yesterday. It may be cliché, but time really flies. Do you remember when you were looking for your first job? The challenge of finding the right position with the right firm? I definitely remember the anxiety but also the excitement of starting the next chapter in my life.

    On Feb. 3rd, you can help our next generation of passionate talented structural engineers as they seek the next chapter in their lives. Students are looking to be part of our community; join myself and your fellow Members in welcoming the students and sharing opportunities for full-time and intern positions during our 2021 Career Fair. Sponsorships are immediately available for a virtual table at the career fair. Sign up now! Attend the career fair, click here to register, and then join us in celebrating the remarkable new talent attending our Southern California universities during the Scholarship Awards. Thank you to the Young Members Committee for their hard work in pulling together the program for the Awards. Thank you to the Foundation for providing the scholarships.

    Empowerment by Design Leadership Symposium Sponsored by CSI

    Curated by the Women in Structural Engineering, the 2021 Leadership Symposium titled “Empowerment by Design” is open for registration now. The line-up of speakers and content is fantastic and touches on resilient management, diversity, mentorship, and more. This is an event that will benefit all whether you are just starting your career, a practicing engineer, a friend of the industry, etc. Through the generous support of CSI, we are able to keep the cost of attendance very reasonable. Get this two half-day event on your calendar now. To learn more, click here.

    Other Highlights

    1.      Holiday Newsletter: Did you receive your hardcopy of the 2020 Holiday Newsletter? If not, make sure that your contact information on your SEAOSC member profile is current. Note that we typically sent the hardcopies to the home addresses on-file. Do you want to keep receiving a hardcopy newsletter once or twice a year? Let us know your feedback on the newsletter by contacting the Office at seaosc@seaosc.org.

    2.      DEI: The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee is meeting weekly. Big thanks to all involved including Lorena Arce as Chair; you are making a difference that benefits all. For the Members, look for a short film titled “The Future” to be released. We have agreed to support the filmmaker in this effort to highlight emerging young professionals in our industry. Interested in joining the effort, contact Lorena at larce@lindapter.com.

    3.      Nominations: Nominations for the 2021/2022 SEAOSC Board are being accepted now. The slate of nominees will be released mid-March. If you are interested in serving on the Board or would like to recommend a potential candidate, now is the time. Please contact Mehran Pourzanjani at mehran@saifulbouquet.com. Mehran has graciously accepted our request to serve as the chair of the 2021 Nominations Committee.

    4.      Policy and Legislative Platform: In January, the SEAOSC Board adopted a Policy and Legislative Platform. In the coming months, we will release the details of that platform. If you are interested in Policy and Legislation, we have an opportunity for you. Our Safer Cities Initiative will be engaging in outreach with various legislative partners to discuss our Platform. We are currently scheduling events with multiple legislative offices. If you would like to get involved, contact me at mbarnard@degenkolb.com.

    5.      ATC: SEAOSC appointed Michael Cochran to the Board of ATC for a second three-year term. We are looking forward to enhanced collaboration between ATC and SEAOSC.

    6.      Committee Needs: Committees are pushing to advance their efforts for 2020/2021. There are immediate opportunities to assist our Committees no matter your interest and experience. Join us. If you have an interest in a committee or just would like more information, do not hesitate to contact me at mbarnard@degenkolb.com.

    7.      Response Plan: SEAOSC is working on updating our Response Plan. While currently focused on the earthquakes, we also intend to broaden the plan to include the lessons learned from the pandemic. Look for future updates about the Response Plan in this newsletter.

    8.      SE Reference Needed: SEAOSC has been asked to interview a potential SE candidate and serve as one of their references for the SE exam. If you are interested in assisting with this effort, please contact myself at mbarnard@degenkolb.com.

    9.      SEAOSC/EERI/SEI Collaboration: SEAOSC has been contacted by our friends at EERI and SEI. We are talking about how the three organizations can better collaborate with each other and provide an enhanced value to our respective members and to the industry.

    There is a lot happening in your Association. We need you. Maximize your membership and get involved however you can. We can do great things together.

  • November 16, 2020 3:46 PM | Anonymous

    Matthew Barnard, S.E. 
    SEAOSC President

    Thanksgiving is right around the corner! It is hard to believe that it is already that time of year. But in many ways, the timing could not be better. After a challenging 2020, it is good to take a moment and think about all that we are thankful for. Personally, I am thankful to be part of a community filled with passion and talent - our members that inspire us all.

    We are making a difference together and that is worth being thankful for.

    I wish I had the space here to highlight everything amazing that is going on within this Association. For today though, we will touch on two areas where together we are making significant progress: our Policy Initiative and our Student Chapters.

    Policy Initiative and the Safer Cities Policy Breakfast Oct. 20th

    Our Policy Initiative is founded on identifying what our communities need and what we as SEAOSC can do to be part of the solution to the challenges faced. A key element of our approach has been an annual policy breakfast series. On Oct. 20th, SEAOSC hosted our 2020 (virtual) Policy Breakfast with representatives from legislative offices throughout the State. We explored two questions during the breakfast:

    1. What issues has the pandemic revealed that need to be addressed about the built environment?
    2. What worked well during the pandemic that can be applied to future disasters?

    The answers were insightful. We need to be able to quickly adapt the use of our buildings both inside and out. We need adequate and affordable housing. Technology infrastructure must be robust and able to handle shocks. Our communities can come together and tackle challenges.

    The conversation has just started though. Our Board spent our Nov. Board meeting building upon these great insights and have started shaping a Policy and Legislative Platform. We are now planning a follow-up conversation with the legislative offices for late January.

    Are you interested in being part of these conversations? Get involved in our Committees and in our Board. We lean on active members, whether they are involved in a technical committee or in communications, education, or professional practices. For more information about our committees, email the SEAOSC Office at seaosc@seaosc.org and we can connect you with the committee that aligns with your interests.

    SEAOSC Student Chapters

    We are excited about the potential of this next generation. Have you engaged with our Student Chapters? In the SEAOSC region, our chapters at UCLA, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Cal Poly Pomona, and CSU Fullerton are up and running. Through the efforts of Michael Falcone, Dr. Henry Burton, and Garrett Mills, our Association is collaborating with our Student Chapters in ways we have always wanted. A couple highlights of this collaboration are:

    1. Joint events between the Chapters are being discussed by the different Chapter Presidents. Our Chapters are now sharing their newsletters and announcements with the expectation that we will have some joint events like resume reviews and interview preparation. Career Fair season is just around the corner!

    2. Speakers for Chapter meetings are being identified and shared. Multiple SEAOSC members have already been featured speakers. If you would like to be one of those speakers, message the SEAOSC Office at seaosc@seaosc.org with your interest.

    Looking for one of these talented students to join your firm? UCLA will have their career fair around Jan. 14th and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo expects to have their career fair around Feb. 27th. SEAOSC will have our career fair on Feb. 3rd before our Student Scholarship Night. Details about the Feb. 3rd event will be posted shortly.

    Get Involved. Help Us Plan the 2021/2022 Program Year

    Getting involved in the Association is the best way to maximize the great value of being a SEAOSC Member. Everyone benefits by more of us actively contributing. There are plenty of opportunities coming up to get involved.

    Consider joining the Board; we will be convening our nominating committee to identify candidates for the 2021/2022 Board. Interested in being part of this special team of your peers, let me know by emailing mbarnard@degenkolb.com.

    If you have suggestions about how to shape our Association’s activities as we come out of the Pandemic, we want to work with you to convert those suggestions to reality. Reach out to us via an email to the SEAOSC Office at seaosc@seaosc.org to share your thoughts and interest.

  • October 15, 2020 10:19 AM | Anonymous

    Matthew Barnard, S.E. 
    SEAOSC President

    Thank you for your continued support of SEAOSC! We cannot thank enough our Members and sponsors who continue to make this Association and our community special even during the craziness of 2020. There are so many great things happening within the Association: 

    • Fantastic collaboration between the Association and our Student Chapters with SEAOSC members speaking during meetings at Cal Poly SLO and UCLA.

    • We just finished a very successful joint meeting with ICC where there were 200 RSVPs. Great job by our Existing Building Committee!

    • We have a special Policy Breakfast event on Oct. 20th where we will be engaging with our local legislator offices; sponsorship opportunities are available!

    • On Nov. 5th, SEAOSC will be participating in the AIA Leadership Breakfast Leadership series as the featured guest. Look for an announcement with additional details.

    To keep empowering all these great collaborations, we need your help. 

    While we started off the Summer with a rapid renewal of memberships, our pace of renewals has slowed. Please engage your friends, co-workers, and others who need to be part of our community and ask them to join or renew. Need talking points? Reach out to the SEAOSC Office at seaosc@seaosc.org

    Combined with our membership renewal challenge, our traditional program year has been turned upside down. On Oct. 7th, the Board elected to embrace a virtual program year until at least June 2021. We are revising our calendar and will focus on our 2021 Virtual Leadership Symposium (thank you WiSE!), our Career Fair and Scholarship Night plus having a reduced number of virtual events. Keep an eye on our LinkedIn account, website, and your email for breaking news updates on the calendar. With the change in the calendar, a small team of Board members are revising our sponsorship program. The revised sponsorship program will also be published soon on our website. 

    2020 is a tough year for us all. On Sept. 27, I personally lost a friend and mentor. Terry Dooley, PE and founder of ACE Mentoring – LA passed away. The world truly lost one of its heroes. Terry inspired a generation of us to get involved with local high school youth in neighborhoods throughout SoCal and inspire them to join the architecture, construction, and engineering industry. He showed how one person could fundamentally make a difference through a love of design and construction and create a pipeline of new diverse talent who will shape our built environment for years to come; he will be missed. 

    I am proud to share SEAOSC and ACE Mentoring will be collaborating going forward. On Oct 25, SEAOSC through our Diversity & Inclusion Initiative will be giving an introduction to Structural Engineering to the hundreds of ACE Mentoring Students. In 2021, SEAOSC is planning on collaborating with ACE Mentoring with their annual All-Schools Event where the ACE Mentoring Students compete in a pasta and popsicle design-build competition. Do you want to make a difference in our SoCal community that improves the pipeline of diverse talent interested in our industry? Get involved with our Diversity & Inclusion Committee and support our collaboration with ACE Mentoring. Email Laura Basualdo at lbasualdo@degenkolb.com to get involved in the Oct. 25 event or Lorena Arce at larce@lindapter.com to get involved with our Diversity & Inclusion Initiative.

  • September 21, 2020 1:09 PM | Anonymous

    Matthew Barnard, S.E. 
    SEAOSC President

    If you had any doubt about how SEAOSC and our members are making a difference, those doubts must be gone after the wonderful celebration of our fellow SEAOSC members and our Community partners on Sept. 2nd. What an evening! Thank you to all who joined our celebration of our 2020 Safer Cities Awards and our 2020 Excellence in Structural Engineering (EISE) Awards! Congratulations to all our awardees including our Safer Cities Awardees of ICC, Cynthia Zabala of West Hollywood, the City of Beverly Hills. Congratulations to our EiSE Award winners. See the announcement in this newsletter and on our social media accounts for which projects were celebrated.

    Huge special thank you to Optimum Seismic for their support that made the videos possible and to Patti, Kelsey, Ken, and Co-Pilots for your tireless efforts in pulling this event together.

    With it already being mid-Sept, SEASOC Program Year has already begun. Our Committees have started working on their goals for the year. To realize those goals though, they need help. They need you!

    • Our Diversity & Inclusion Committee is embarking on an ambitious agenda. Join Lorena and team and help us transform our Association and our Industry. This effort is critical to our future.
    • Women in Structural Engineering (WiSE) is preparing for multiple events including our Feb. Summit on personal mastery and other keys to personal and professional success.
    • Do you feel that we can improve our Communications, websites, graphics so we better share all the great work and insights by SEAOSC Members? Join our Communications Committee.
    • Want to maximize the benefit of SEAOSC Membership? Join the Membership Committee.
    • Under 35? Interested in shaping your Association while getting to know your fellow members who are also early in their careers? Join our Young Members Committee for fun times, engagement with our Student Chapters, and much more.
    • Passionate about our Professional Development and our events that build our SEAOSC Committee? Our Education Committee needs you.
    • Our Existing Building Committee (EBC) continues to move forward on numerous initiatives improving how we evaluate and retrofit existing structures. One of our more active Committees, EBC is always looking for passionate members willing to move forward technical concepts.
    • Interested in exploring how ramps should be considered in parking structures or about fire, tsunami, wind, or other hazards impact structural design? Seismology & Hazards need you to help develop these topics.
    • Do you have a passion for Concrete, Steel, or Wood? If so, we have Committees that need your talent and passion. Each Committee is actively moving forward on key initiatives.
    • If preparing for the next big earthquake drives you, our Disaster & Emergency Services Committee needs your help.
    • Sustainability and Resilience is just getting re-energized (pun very much intended). Help us bring a focus on sustainable and resilient practices in Southern California.
    • Codes & Standards is already preparing to review and comment on upcoming code proposals.

    For all these amazing Committees to realize their goals, we need you, your friends, and your co-workers to renew your membership. If you know individuals in our industry who should be members, invite them to join. Let our Association Manager (seaosc@seaosc.org) know their name and email address and we will do the reach out for you.

    This Association is dependent on your support and the support of our friends and partners of this Association. SEAOSC is pleased to announce the release of our 2020 Sponsorship Program. This program has something for everyone including those partners whose support sustains this Association and the firms who support both their employees membership and participation in this Association. If you know someone who should be a sponsor, let our Association Manager (seaosc@seaosc.org) know their name and email address and we will do the reach out for you.

    On behalf of the SEAOSC Board, thank you for your support of the SEAOSC Community. We are excited to see what we will all accomplish in 2020/2021 together.

  • August 17, 2020 11:41 AM | Anonymous

    Matthew Barnard, S.E. 
    SEAOSC President

    2020 is truly shaping up to be a year like no other. While there are unique challenges and uncertainty to this year, I am excited about the opportunity for the SEAOSC Community to come together and to make a difference. I hope you are too.

    Over the summer, our Board made a fantastic commitment to a set of initiatives for 2020/2021. Today I would like to highlight two of those initiatives.

    1. Women in Structural Engineering (WiSE): One of our most active committees is WiSE. While providing a supportive community for many of our members, WiSE has been crucial in bringing the human side of our industry to the Association. We are excited that we will be having our next Personal Mastery Summit on Feb. 24. Huge thank you to the team from WiSE that is inspiring and shaping this event that will benefit of all. Over the summer, WiSE has also been exploring what is next for WiSE. This strategic planning effort is intended to help us make sure that WiSE remains a strong part of the SEAOSC community.
    2. Diversity & Inclusion (D&I): Following our June 26th event, a group of us stayed on the call and started talking about what SEAOSC can do now and in future to enhance our Diversity and Inclusivity. When we look in the mirror, the reality is that we can do better. Where are our black engineers? Why so few females on our technical committees? How do we keep all generations involved including getting the young members actively engaged throughout the organization? How are we supporting our LGBTQ+ members? Our friend Lorena Arce has stepped up to chair the SEAOSC D&I effort. Join the team. Lorena and team have been meeting weekly setting up the framework of the Initiative. Watch our social media feeds and this newsletter for opportunities to get involved and enhance the SEAOSC community.

    Get involved and support WiSE and D&I however you can. Your insights and help are needed.

    With all our program events and meetings being virtual at least until 2021, it has never been easier to get involved. No longer do you need to fight SoCal traffic. No longer do you have to travel long distances. We are simply a click away through our Zoom and GoToMeetings. To help you get SEAOSC on your calendar, visit the SEAOSC events page. We are posting all our events for the Program Year including an increased number of webinars. We also have adjusted our calendar to accommodate the SEAOC Convention being virtual the first week of December and the NCSEA Convention being virtual in November.

    Our next event is a big one. On September 2nd, we will have our 2020 Awards Gala featuring the 2020 Safer Cities Awards and our 2020 Excellence in Structural Engineering Awards. This is a free event and registration is now open. Join us in celebrating some amazing structural and seismic engineering that has greatly improved our communities.  We will even have a virtual Committee showcase before the event through Zoom breakouts where you can find out what is next for 2020 and how you could make a difference that might have you being celebrated next year!

    For the Association to support our community, we need your help. Renew your memberships. Encourage your co-workers and friends to renew or join. If your firm leadership could use a nudge to support your involvement in the Association, please send me a note at mbarnard@degenkolb.com. Our Association is only stronger with all of us together.

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