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At the end of April, Florida had a strong delegation attend the ACEC National Conference.  There were over 1600 engineers from around the country in attendance.  Our primary objective was to walk the halls of Congress and educate our elected leaders on our legislative agenda.  The two primary elements of this agenda included supporting a comprehensive transportation bill and tax reform.  Although things are still quite hectic in Washington, with the backing of our Million Dollar ACEC/PAC, the legislators were receptive to our requests.  Currently there is an ACEC Action Alert in support of addressing the financial stability of the Highway Trust Fund in any tax reform proposal. Please get engaged and contact your state legislators today!
The conference concluded with the Engineering Excellence Awards, which was hosted by Kevin Nealon of Saturday Night Live fame.  Many Florida projects were selected for awards including a Grand Award to FICE Member Firm, BCC, out of Miami for their Palmetto Section 5 Design-Build project!  Congrats to all the Florida winners!!
Our May Board of Directors' meeting was one of the most engaging in recent memory as the Board discussed its plans for redefining the role of the Director position and the current structure of the Board.  This lively discussion was led by Vice-President, Rick Baldocchi, PE who headed up the Task Team.  The Task Team looked at various state boards' structure and looked introspectively at our own board's configuration to see if there were opportunities for improvement in the way we serve our members and to be more inclusive of other engineering disciplines and engineering firms in the Great State of Florida.  More to come as the Task Team has referred the item to the By-Laws Committee.
Following our Board of Directors' meeting, the FICE Transportation Committee kicked off its Annual Transportation Conference. We had over 400 engineers in attendance including 50 from FDOT and other public transportation agencies. The topics were interesting, the speakers were informative and the audience was very engaged.  The prestigious Ben Watts Partnership Award was presented to FDOT Office of Construction Director, David Sadler, PE. The award honors individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to the development of the effective partnership that now exists between FDOT and the consultant community.  The 2017 FICE/FDOT Outstanding Project Awards (OPA) were announced during the conference, but with so many great projects highlighted, we will have the full write-up of the OPA Awards in the July Journal issue. Or check out the OPA presentations online. Congratulations to all of the winners!  The DBE Utilization Award was presented by DBE Subcommittee Chair, Nina Sickler, PE to Greenman-Pederson, Inc. for their outstanding support of the DBE program. The Conference wrapped up with an outstanding FDOT District Secretaries/FICE Senior Members Panel.  Kudos to Andy Lauzier, PE who chaired the conference with much support from Transportation FDOT/FICE Liaison Committee Chair, Doug Geiger, PE and Past Transportation Committee Chair, Ryan Forrestel, PE.  I would also like to extend my appreciation to Chad Faison, Stefanie Dedmon and Cherie Pinsky, who worked tirelessly to ensure the success of the conference.  Great job staff!!
Upon completion of the Transportation Conference on Thursday afternoon, incoming FICE President, Peter Moore, PE, kicked off the 2017-2018 FICE Board of Directors' Orientation.  Peter reviewed the Board's structure as well as the By-laws with the new board members. Peter also laid out his agenda for his upcoming term as FICE President and FICE Committee chairs reviewed their goals for the upcoming year as well.
Last, but certainly not least, please don't forget to register for the 2017 FES/FICE 101st Annual Conference held at The Breakers in Palm Beach on August 2-5. Sponsorship and Exhibitor opportunities are still available. This year we have introduced the FICE Business track to our educational offerings. This track will include many topics of interest to our business leaders.  Look for the topics to be included in future correspondence from FES/FICE. This is our biggest event of the year and you don't want to be left out!