As president of the Boston Society of Civil Engineers Section/ASCE, I would like to welcome you to a new year as we kickoff a full calendar of activities aimed at providing technical programs, networking events, and diverse member services. I am honored to serve as this Section’s president and I hope that you take advantage of the professional development opportunities offered throughout the upcoming year.
Being the oldest engineering society in the United States, we have built a great organization and are very fortunate to have substantial resources. Our achievements have been recognized nationally. We received the Outstanding Section and Branch Award for Very Large Sections and Branches from ASCE four of the past five years and were recently named the recipient of the 2015 ASCE Section and Branches Diversity Award.
Very few sections within ASCE offer the breadth of services that our Section provides. With over 3,400 members across the Commonwealth, BSCES has a total of eight technical groups and institute chapters, ten committees, ten student chapters and a Western Massachusetts Branch that BSCES member are welcome to join. BSCES is the only section that publishes an engineering journal and has its own television show. Throughout the year we support a legislative fellow who serves as a staff member to the Massachusetts Legislature’s Joint Committee on Transportation. Each year, BSCES sponsors awards, donations, prizes, scholarships, and grants which exceed $40,000. Beyond our technical program, BSCES members are volunteer participants with Engineers Without Borders, the Middlesex Fells Cleanup, and the Greater Boston Food Bank, among others. We also host a variety outreach activities geared to the K–12 community including tours of Boston bridges, the Future City Competition, Model Bridge Contest, and Online Bridge Contest.
There are many more programs that BSCES offers and I would encourage you to explore the organization and participate in upcoming events and/or join a technical group or institute chapter. This year we are on target to host close to 40 technical group or institute chapter events that will help you take advantage of your membership and help build the engineering community.
I would like to take this opportunity to recognize the efforts of staff at The Engineering Center Education Trust (“TECET”) who work hard to support the Section’s programs and services. We are fortunate to have such support, which helps our Society stand out within ASCE. Earlier this summer, Anthony Puntin – BSCES’ executive director – decided to pursue new opportunities. We are very grateful for his dedication to the organization that he provided during his five-year tenure. He was instrumental to our success.
My focus this year will be on steering BSCES to ensure that we can sustain our great member benefits for years to come. Under a “business as usual” approach, we typically would offset any projected operating deficit in the budget with money from our managed funds. Recent years have been challenging as revenue has not always covered the Society’s expenses at year-end. However, this year to combat this problem we are making a few significant changes. First, we elected to restructure the services offered by TECET by not filling the role of executive director and by streamlining certain services TECET offers BSCES. Richard Keenan will be the Society’s association manager. With these changes, our Section will realize a significant cost savings, which allows us to reduce our projected deficit. Creating a Society business model that is based on a near balanced budget will ensure that our Society will offer great programs for years to come.
Second, the Finance Committee revised the BSCES Sponsorship program. By streamlining the program, we are able to offer more advantages to two new categories of sponsors – Society and Program Sponsors. Through increased solicitation and the revised program, we have increased the revenue obtained through sponsorships. Thus, we have been able to further reduce the annual deficit.
Third, I will continue to work with all facets of the organization to challenge the status quo and create new programs and resources while focused on a sustainable business model. Thus, building on our member’s accomplishments and leadership, particularly BSCES Past-President Ellen White, our Executive Committee members, and our technical group and institute chapter chairs who comprise the BSCES board of Government and are listed on page 2 of this newsletter.
I would like to invite you to attend the 168th BSCES Annual Awards Dinner on November 14th at the UMASS Club in Boston. The keynote speaker is former Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis. The evening will include recognition of BSCES award recipients. Please see our website events page for more information about this and other events.
I would like to thank our 2016-2017 Society and Program Sponsors that are instrumental in financially supporting our organization. You will find a listing of these organizations in this issue’s Recent News and Updates column on 7.I would especially like to recognize and thank Society Sponsor Louis Berger, which is the sponsor of this newsletter, and encourage you the read their page 1 article entitled MaineDOT Route 1 Reconstruction, Ogunquit, ME. The Transportation & Development Institute Boston Chapter is the feature group of this issue and I would also encourage you to learn more about the group by reading the 5 article by T&DI Boston Chapter Chair Bryan Zimolka, PE, Howard Stein Hudson.
I am looking forward to seeing you at future events!
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Supported by the staff of The Engineering Center Education Trust