by Brian Morgan, Esq., Legal Counsel, CDM Smith Inc.
June 30 marks the end of the BSCES fiscal year and my tenure as president. Over the past year, my focus was to steer BSCES to creating a sustainable Society for our members for years to come. By making a few significant changes this year, we broke from the “business as usual” approach of offsetting any projected operating deficit in the budget with earnings from our managed funds. First, we elected to restructure the services offered by The Engineering Center Education Trust (TECET) by not filling the role of executive director and streamlining certain services that TECET offers BSCES. Rich Keenan worked as the Society’s association manager and did a fantastic job. With this change, our Society realized a significant cost savings, which allowed us to reduce our projected deficit. Second, the Finance Committee revised the BSCES sponsorship program. By streamlining the program, we were able to offer more advantages to two new categories of sponsors—Society and Program Sponsors. This past year, we had six Society Sponsors and 21 Program Sponsors. Thus, we were able to increase revenue to support our Society and reduced our operating deficit. Third, I worked with all facets of the organization to create new programs and resources while focused on a sustainable business model. I am hopeful that this trend continues for the next few years as we work to create a Society business model that is based on a near balanced budget and excellent programs that will ensure that BSCES provides great benefits to our members, while building our Society reserves.
In fact, BSCES’ institute chapters, technical groups, committees and board sponsored over fifty (50) events including technical presentations, social/networking activities, Special Fund events, major outreach events, multi-day training courses, student chapter meetings, single day workshops, younger member group-sponsored community service activities, awards dinners, a student dinner, fall and spring professional engineer refresher courses, a Southeastern Massachusetts Committee event, and a government affairs activity throughout the year. Not included in this event total are the numerous student tours of Boston bridges and classroom visits undertaken by members of the BSCES Public Awareness & Outreach Committee. Additionally, BSCES awarded thousands of dollars in scholarships, grants and awards. BSCES participated in Engineers and Land Surveyors Day at the Massachusetts State House and the ASCE Fly-In in Washington DC; hosted several mentoring and caucus events for our ten student chapters; supported the Steel Bridge and Concrete Canoe Competitions at Northeastern University and Wentworth Institute of Technology; and much more.
Our outreach efforts geared to the K–12 community have always been robust and this year was no exception thanks to Public Awareness & Outreach Committee Chair Olivia Richards from Gill Engineering Associates. Olivia and her team organized the Model Bridge Competition (65 schools made and load tested bridges constructed from popsicle sticks), the Future City Competition (30 teams built sustainable cities of the future), and the Ralph Salvucci Online Bridge Competition (80 students participated). They also held a Spring Awards Banquet to celebrate student contest winners and honor BSCES and ASCE Life Members.
For the fifth time in six years, BSCES was honored to receive an Outstanding Section and Branch Award for Very Large Sections from ASCE. Additionally, we were the recipient of the ASCE Section and Branch Diversity and Inclusion Award.
I would like to thank Michael Cunningham from Kleinfelder who has dedicated his time over the last four years to make BSCESNews a success. Mike led the Newsletter Editorial Board, which selected the content and organized this publication. His efforts were essential to helping our Society communicate with its members. However, with Mike stepping down as editorial board chair at the end of the current fiscal year, the position of chair is open. We are looking for volunteers to serve on and lead the Newsletter Editorial Board. If you are interested, please contact Rich Keenan at 617/305-4110 or at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
I also want to thank all of the TECET staff who make all of our work possible. Association Manager Rich Keenan is involved with every aspect of the organization and his institutional knowledge of BSCES is greatly appreciated.
Of course, BSCES is a volunteer-led organization and we are indebted to our member volunteers and the organizations that support them. Our Board of Government, which includes the technical group and institute chapter chairs, steers the direction of the organization. Thank you to everyone who has volunteered and supported our efforts.
Lastly, I would like to thank all of our Society and Program Sponsors, whose financial support helps enable BSCES and its committees, institute chapter and technical groups to host the numerous networking and professional development events that are planned for this year.
The theme of this month’s newsletter is Emergency Preparedness and I urge you learn more about this issue’s featured group, the Coasts, Oceans, Ports and Rivers Institute Boston Chapter, which is chaired by Ryan McCoy of Pare Corporation. This issue of BSCESNews contains a page 6 article that was written by Ryan. We are very appreciative of VHB which is a BSCES Society level sponsor. Please be sure to read VHB’s article written by Kari Hewitt titled “Transforming Communities through Sustainable Infrastructure Design,” which starts on page 1.
It has been an honor to serve as BSCES president for the past year. Much has been accomplished and I am excited about the future of the organization and its leadership. President-Elect Malek Al-Khatib from Louis Berger has been actively involved with the various elements of BSCES and we are fortunate to have him as our incoming president. I look forward to assisting him, the Board of Government, and the organization as we continue to grow and I thank all of you for your support.