ACEC-SC, under the leadership of Chair, Don Freeman, and the Board of Directors made significant progress this year. Most ACEC-SC programs met or exceeded their expectations.
The largest ACEC-SC annual event is the ACEC-SC/SCDOT Annual Meeting held each fall. This program has been growing for the last several years. The program is a great collaboration with the SC Department of Transportation which attracts hundreds of engineers – consultants and SCDOT employees. This annual meeting is the culmination of quarterly ACEC-SC/SCDOT Partnering Committee meetings. Input for the Partnering Committee meetings comes from the ACEC-SC Transportation Committee meetings which are well attended. This year Melvin Williams is the Transportation Committee chair, and thus serves as the Partnering Committee Co-Chair.
ACEC-SC joins the SC Society of Professional Engineers, the American Society of Civil Engineers of South Carolina and the American Institute of Architecture – South Carolina for an annual Legislative Reception that grows in popularity each year.
The second Future Leaders Program was held this year. This program is offered every other year and it is always popular with our firms and those that participate. Joe Greenburg has lead this program since its inception and did an excellent job.
The Engineering Excellence Award competition is always popular with about 20 percent of our firms. Caleb Pozsik was the EEA chair. His judges did a great job, and the Gala at the Columbia Museum of Art was a hit. Lt. Governor Glenn McConnell received the ACEC-SC Public Service Award this year.
ACEC-SC has given two $3,500 scholarships for many years. Now these scholarships are split; one is given to a rising junior and or senior enrolled in a South Carolina ABET/EAC engineering program and the other is given to an employee of an ACEC-SC member firm who has student loan obligations. Both scholarships are appreciated by the recipients. Randy Patrick is the Scholarship Chair.
National Director Larry Hargrove accepted a membership award from ACEC at the Scottsdale, AZ meeting. Later, he and other ACEC-SC members, including Jerry Carter, received recognition for meeting the ACEC-PAC goal. ACEC-SC has met its ACEC-PAC goals for 10 years. Jerry Carter is our national PAC chair; however, he calls himself “PAC Daddy.”
Concerning national PAC contributions, ACEC-SC firms actually contribute less to the ACEC PAC than this PAC contributes to SC Congressmen and Senators.
The ACEC-SC PAC program is a growing one. The 2013-2014 goal was $30,000. The organization is still reaching for this goal, but ACEC-SC Legislative Chair and state PAC Chair Derek Clyburn has worked hard to get to this goal. In addition to asking each firm to contribute to the PAC when they pay their dues, Derek has held three raffles to raise money. 2014 is an election year, and the ACEC-SC PAC is expected to make contributions to members of the South Carolina House of Representatives and the South Carolina Senate.
Each month, Treasurer Tom Jordan presented financial reports that showed the finances of the organization were in good condition making ACEC-SC strong financially.
When requested by the SC State Board of Registration for Professional Engineers and Surveyors for a contribution to NCEES to sponsor its Southern Zone Meeting in Charleston, ACEC-SC contributed $1,000 for the meeting.
Mike Weeks represented ACEC-SC on the SC State Board of Registration for Professional Engineers and Surveyors Industrial Exemption Committee last summer and fall. This committee met to find a compromise for the extremely broad Industry Exemption legislation sought by the SC Manufacturers Alliance. The committee was influential in crafting an industrial exemption bill that was considerably better than the original.
Members may not have noticed but the ACEC-SC website, www.acecsc.org, was redesigned with a new look and easier mobility.
Joe Greenburg led an outstanding retreat in Greenville this spring. From this meeting, ACEC-SC’s direction and plans were set for the 2014-2015 year.
Legislatively, ACEC-SC worked on a number of bills, but the majority of time was spent working on an acceptable Industry Exemption Bill. ACEC-SC accepted the reality that the state’s manufacturers were going to be successful and pass industry exemption legislation; so, we set about working to get a bill that did not give industry total exemption. ACEC-SC also worked with the SC Civil Justice Coalition on two large tort reform bills. Hearings were held in the Senate on these bills but no action was taken this session.
Overall, the 2013-2014 ACEC-SC year was a resounding success, and plans for the future insure the organization is going to be even bigger and stronger.
I am thankful for my position of Executive Director, and I look forward to serving you in the future.
Joe S. Jones