By Chris Kamp, S.E., FSEAOC, 2016-2017 SEAOC President
As all of us in California recover from a wet winter, I am sure that while we appreciate the blessing of more water, we will also celebrate that spring is here.
As president of SEAOC I have the opportunity to visit each of our regional board meetings and monthly member events. Thus far I have had the pleasure of attending the board meetings for SEAOCC, SEAONC, and SEAOSC, with a visit to my home team, SEAOSD in the near future. These visits are something that I look forward to. Besides the normal administration and financial reports that all organizations need to address in order to exist, each meeting then gets into the items that directly concern the membership and interaction with the local communities. Items such as committee reports, individual projects that each MO are working on, and communications with the membership and the local public are the interesting and exciting things to become aware of during the board meetings.
A few of the things that each region is working on are:
- At SEAOCC, some of the recent accomplishments include a rework of their website and administrative processes to be more member-centric. This is a great member benefit. Two seminars were recently held to provide current knowledge related to the use of the 2016 CBC and for the design and detailing for concrete structures. A public outreach event was held with SEAOCC volunteers interacting with local children in a fun and educational format which provided an introduction to structural engineering. SEAOCC provided an in-depth summary of their membership events and public advocacy events in last month’s SEAOC Talk.
- SEAONC has several irons in the fire. It was notable that there was worldwide participation at the board meeting with one director on Skype from New Zealand and another director calling in from an airplane during a trip to Washington D.C. SEAONC’s Spring Seminar occurred in March and consisted of two evenings of presentations by notable speakers related to the use of the 2016 CBC. The SEAONC board is investigating the possibility to use video streaming to concurrently connect a member meeting in the South Bay area with the member meeting in San Francisco. They are working with a local municipality regarding updates to two local policies related to tall buildings and peer review. Their public outreach committee has a few different events planned which provide a hands on interaction with the public for community improvement.
- During my visit to the SEAOSC board meeting this month, it was very encouraging to see the wide range of items that are being developed to engage the members and educate the public. The “Strengthening Our Cities Summit” has become a staple in the region to provide interaction of the engineering and jurisdictional communities. During the dinner meeting specific recognition was given to the authors of two SEAOSC design guides that were developed to provide assistance for the retrofit design of existing non-ductile concrete and soft story, weak, or open-front buildings in response to mandatory ordinances by the City of Los Angeles. SEAOSC has provided an in-depth summary of their year in this newsletter.
- SEAOSD has promoted advocacy by developing several of the monthly meetings to be in conjunction with other related organizations, such as ASCE, ACI, EERI, and CMACN. A University Mentoring Program is being established to introduce students to the actual environment and work of an engineering design firm. I am sure that I will learn much more during my upcoming visit to the SEAOSD board.
In summary, we should keep in mind that SEAOC is truly an association in place to assist and support our regional member associations. It is recognized that our regional associations are the first and most direct contact to our members and local jurisdictions. While seeing firsthand the time, dedication, and passion that is put forth by the leaders and members in each of our regions, I have been impressed. To realize that this is done on a volunteer basis for little personal gain and more for the improvement of our profession and the safety of our communities is something to take with great pride.
This message is really a big thank you to each of our regional member associations and keep up the good work.