ACEC-SC held its annual planning retreat at the Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina on March 4-5, 2016. Attendees started the day with the ACEC-SC Regional Membership Meeting followed by a Board meeting. After a short break and lunch the annual planning retreat began, led by Vice Chair Rick Fauteux, HDR, Inc.
In his opening remarks Fauteux noted ACEC-SC currently has 83 member firms, but as Chair he intends to grow and diversify ACEC-SC. “ACEC-SC needs to be proactive in educating prospective members and the benefits of membership, Fauteux said. In order to be prepared to “sell” ACEC-SC to other engineering firms, attendees were urged to come up with an ACEC-SC “elevator speech.”
In an effort to help attendees come up with this elevator speech, Fauteux went over the ins and outs of what an elevator speech is. To help give attendees information for their elevator speeches, ACEC-SC Deputy Executive Director Adam B. Jones went over who and what ACEC-SC is.
Jones went over who ACEC is compared to ACEC-SC. Jones went over the mission and objective of ACEC-SC, and then briefly went over what ACEC and ACEC-SC does for its members, who their members are, and what disciplines ACEC-SC members practice.
Fauteux urged attendees to use what they had learned to write an elevator speech. He said the fundamentals are to tell the prospective member about how ACEC-SC is, what we offer, and what the benefits are to joining. Attendees then brainstormed things to use in their elevator speeches as well as opportunities to give them.
Next attendees worked on ways to grow and diversify ACEC-SC, with the goal of getting more firms involved in ACEC-SC. The group looked at how to approach new firms, how to engage our existing firms, and identified any areas where new committees might be needed.
Attendees were able to network with one another while enjoying a nice meal and harbor tour with the back drop of the Charleston skyline aboard the Spirit of Charleston.
The second day began with a brief overview of what we had done the day before. Attendees then broke in to groups were they were tasked with establishing goals, action plans, and measurable mild stones in their respective committees. The following committees were established to join already existing ACEC-SC committees: Business Resources Education (BRE) Committee, Advocacy/PAC Committee, and Building & Infrastructure Committee. ACEC-SC will continue with the existing committees of Transportation, IT/Finance, and Environmental. Each of these committees formulated goals, action items, and measurable milestones.
The planning portion of the retreat ended at 11:30 Saturday. Those who wanted to play golf enjoyed a nice 18 holes at Patriot’s Point Golf Club, while others enjoyed the resort. We reconvened at 6:00 to enjoy dinner and the sunset at the Fish House.
Member Firms that participated at the Planning Retreat were: AECOM, Davis & Floyd, Design South Professionals, Inc., Kimley Horn, M & S Engineering, Mead & Hunt, Michael Baker, Parrish & Partners, Rowe Professional Services, S&ME, STV Inc., Terracon, Thomas & Hutton, TranSytems Corp. and Vaughn & Melton.