Matthew Barnard, S.E.
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Special thanks to Optimum Seismic for their sustaining support of the Association during this year.
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 email@example.com email address will remain available to you. The SEAOSC website will remain live. You can always contact me directly via an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 (email@example.com) 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 firstname.lastname@example.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 email@example.com.
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.