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This past week, FICE Transportation Committee Chairman, Andy Lauzier, Executive Director, Allen Douglas and I travelled to Dallas, TX to meet with five ACEC Member Organizations (Texas, Pennsylvania, New York, Illinois and California) to discuss current common issues affecting our profession and organizations. During the half-day meeting, we discussed legislative, regulatory, membership, infrastructure funding and a host of national issues. As we shared our challenges and successes from each of our states we, not surprisingly, found many of our issues to be very similar. What was different, and I believe to be the most important, was how each state approached the issues. This meeting was very enlightening and helpful for all who attended. I am looking forward to keeping this relationship with our other large state ACEC Member Organizations as we continue to improve how we operate in Florida.

On April 1, I had the pleasure of joining this year's FELI class in Jacksonville. Jacksonville is my favorite session and worth the price of admission for the entire year. FELI co-chairs, Tim Brodeur and Clay Tappan have one of the most dynamic groups of talented engineers with this year's class. Kudos to them, JW Hunter, and Kathy Keiffer who does such an outstanding job with the program. I was impressed by how well this group has united together. As a former FELI graduate, it was great to see how this program has evolved and how the participants are the ones who truly make it a success. Last year we had to turn some prospects away because we had reached our maximum capacity of 40 participants. I am asking, as leaders of our firms, we start looking at our organizations now and choose a candidate to participate in next year's class.

FICE kick started a $50 raffle for a new iPad which will be awarded at this year's Annual Conference, at the Breaker's. As an added incentive, ACEC National stepped up in support of the raffle and offered a Spring Sweepstakes entry for anyone who bought four (4) iPad raffle entries. This is the last week to take advantage of this special opportunity so get your raffle tickets, support your PAC and fill out an entry form.

The 2017 GMEC Conference will be held this week on April 20-21 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Orlando East. This exciting conference features: 9 PDHs Geotechnical and Materials Case studies & Technical Presentations Exhibits by your Suppliers and Service Providers Networking opportunities with your peers from around the state Early registration is closed, but you can still register on-site. Download On-Site Registration Form.

Also, don't forget to attend ACEC's 2017 Annual Convention and Legislative Summit, which will be held April 23-26 at the Marriott Wardman Park in Washington D.C. The 2017 ACEC Convention schedule is jam-packed with sessions that focus on developing opportunities in a wide range of infrastructure markets as new administration policies and Congressional action take shape. Please make sure to participate in the congressional visits on Capitol Hill. This is one of the most effective ways to show our National Legislators we are passionate about our industry!

The 2017 FES Florida MATHCOUNTS State Competition took place on March 24 at the Sawgrass Marriott Resort & Spa in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL. 244 Mathletes competed with assistance from over 60 coaches and 35 volunteers and tons of proud parents, friends and families. Thank you to all of our sponsors, volunteers, students, coaches, and parents that made this event such a great success! Check out all the pictures from the event on FES's Facebook page.

You haven't registered yet?! The 2017 FICE Transportation Conference is filling up fast! This year's Conference is being held at the Hyatt Regency Orlando International Airport on May 10 th -11 th . The program kicks off with an address from FDOT Interim Secretary Rachel Cone on Wednesday afternoon followed by a great two-day program with seven Technical Sessions and three Award Presentations! The Conference wraps up with the always outstanding FDOT District Secretaries/FICE Senior Members Panel. This year is lining up to be one of the best conferences ever. Don't miss out!