Professional Development Update

We are happy to report on our two recent back-to-back events which were both very successful and well attended.

The Professional Development session held on October 31 featured Michael Vallan, Assistant Attorney General with the Louisiana Department of Justice. Mr. Vallan provided an update to the Louisiana Public Bid Law and as usual, the information was very informative and beneficial. Questions from Chapter members from the area’s A/E, contracting, and public owners communities helped to make this a very well-rounded discussion from various perspectives. We look forward to Mr. Vallan’s next update on this topic in 2015. If you missed this excellent presentation, you can see for yourself the excellent information presented by visiting the CMAA Gulf Coast Chapter website.

Next was our Fall Social, held on November 13 at the Publiq House. This was a joint event among the CMAA, ASCE, APWA and SAME. The turnout was fantastic, with nearly 50 of us enjoying the gathering and drink specials as well as getting to know each other and learning about our common interest in the construction industry. Some stayed for the Brass-A-Holics performance that evening, free tickets for which were also included for our group. All in all, it was a successful event and one that we look forward to making a tradition at least annually.

Our final event for 2014 will be held next week on Thursday, December 11. It will be a panel discussion focusing on ethics in the construction management arena. With panelists representing the contractor, owner, CM and legal/auditing aspect of ethics, this is sure to be a lively discussion, and a fantastic way to get your ethics hour before the end of the year. Send your questions for the panel to [email protected] for consideration for the discussion. Register for this event today here. Get your seat be sure to get your seat before it sells out!

Also, please bring your donation for the Chapter’s food drive to next Thursday's session. The non-perishable food items will be donated to the food bank for distribution to those in need.

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Regional Infrastructure Conference Wrap-Up

Did you attend the CMAA Gulf Coast Chapter’s 3rd Annual Regional Infrastructure Conference last Friday? The Sheraton New Orleans was a perfect venue for this outstanding event, with a stellar line-up of speakers, awards presentation and plenty of networking opportunities!

Attendees from a dozen owner organizations and nearly 50 A/E /CM firms, and construction contractor/service companies came together to focus on the latest news on the project delivery industry in the Gulf Coast region. Representatives from the region’s states of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama enjoyed a day of learning and planning, as several of the featured speakers provided details on upcoming capital projects in their organizations. Keynote speaker Congressman Bill Cassidy enthusiastically provided updates on the latest infrastructure funding news from our nation’s capital.

The Gulf Coast Chapter proudly awarded four scholarships to area college students, with the top award going to Darby Elizabeth Hartenstein, a Civil and Environmental Engineering student at UNO. Scholarships were also awarded to Dallas Rolnick (Civil Engineering, UNO), Richard Tremaine (Construction Management, ULM) and Austin Damiens (Industrial Engineering, LSU). We congratulate these future project managers on their accomplishments so far and wish them luck in their careers ahead of them!

In addition to scholarships, the CMAA Gulf Coast Chapter bestowed its Project Achievement Awards on three outstanding projects and program phases, recognizing where professional construction and program management has made a significant contribution to success. The winners were chosen from the many submissions and included the following:

Buildings, New Construction Project with Constructed Value Less Than $25 Million
Saraland Elementary School Program, Saraland, Alabama
CM: Volkert, Inc.
Owner: Saraland City Schools

Program Management/Program Phase – Infrastructure
Submerged Roads/Paths to Progress Program, Orleans and Jefferson Parishes, Louisiana
Owner: Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development

Infrastructure Project with Constructed Value Less than $25 Million
Al Jab’a Nuba Main Transmission Pipeline Project, West Bank, Palestine
CM: Trigon Associates LLC
Owner: United States Agency for International Development

The Saraland Elementary School Program was submitted by the Chapter for consideration of the National CMAA Project Achievement Awards this fall. This project will also be presented at our upcoming Professional Development Session in July. Congratulations to the winners on these outstanding achievements in project delivery!

We want thank everyone that came out for the conference and thank all the support we receive to continue to host events like these throughout the year. Your input is greatly valued and we would like you to take a few minutes to give us feedback by completed our survey. CMAA Gulf Coast Chapter uses every answer and comment submitted to better improve all of our future events. Thanks again for your support!


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This Year's Regional Infrastructure Conference Next Week!

Looking forward to this year's Regional Infrastructure Conference next week (on June 13), we are excited about the agenda planned for this event. The Gulf Coast Chapter has built on the success of the first two years of the conference, expanded the presentation offerings, and has also added to the event the awards luncheon for the Chapter, during which scholarships and project achievement awards will be announced. Speakers for the conference include top representatives from public and private industry across the Gulf Coast region, as well as the CMAA National President and CEO, whose perspectives on the project delivery industry are always current and insightful. Congressman Cassidy's keynote address at the awards luncheon will also be a highlight of the event not to be missed.

We thank you for your support to the Gulf Coast Chapter over the last four years as we have continued to grow and look forward to your continued input with respect to the Regional Infrastructure Conference. It is with your input and feedback that we are able to grow the conference each year.

To find out more information, schedule, or to register for the conference please visit the Events Page on the CMAA Gulf Coast Website or click here.

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February PD Session Wrap-Up

Our 2014 Professional Development series continued last Friday (Feb 14) with a session on the General Conditions of construction contract documents.  Bill Lacher, CCM, LEED AP, Southeast Regional Manager for Vanir CM, provided a very helpful overview of common clauses found in the General Conditions, perspectives on how the General Conditions are enforced and/or disputed, and practical application of the provisions. Bill shared best practices and key factors through sample situations that a Construction Manager will be confronted with as part of the delivery of construction projects—and serving as a mechanism for Construction Momentum in helping the project to continue forward progress.

Be sure to check out the presentation and the specifics of this informative talk on the Gulf Coast Chapter website (under our “Events” page) or through this link here.

Please help us out by taking take a quick survey (2 minutes) on last week’s session.  It will give us the feedback we need to improve our events programming efforts. You can access the survey here. Survey ends March 7th and is completely anonymous. Your feedback is greatly appreciated.

Be sure to register today for the next Professional Development Session on March 28 at the Sewerage & Water Board of New Orleans. The topic will be the Southeast Louisiana (SELA) Drainage Program and will include a tour of the facilities under construction along Claiborne Avenue.  You won’t want to miss it!


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January PD Session Wrap-Up

Last Friday (January 24), we kicked off our 2014 Professional Development series with a session focusing on a key component of construction management—time management.  Leo Sumner II, Principal and founding member of The Tiburon Group (tTG), presented an extremely informative presentation entitled, “Improved Project Control Through Scheduling”.  The program took the topic of project control to the next level, and provided valuable insights on industry practices (or lack of) from real-world experiences.  Leo provided tips on what to look for when reviewing schedules, detailed how schedules can be manipulated to hide delays, and other nuggets of information for anyone working with schedules that can be applied to single projects as well as programs of multiple projects.

As you can see from the photos, the lunchtime event was well attended despite the freezing weather last Friday.

As promised, we have posted the presentation to the Gulf Coast Chapter website—you’ll find it on our “Events” page (under Previous Events) or via link: Jan 2014 Presentation

We hope you find this information helpful and for those of you who attended, invite you to take a quick survey (2 minutes) on last week’s session.  You can access the survey here: Jan 2014 PD Session Survey. Survey ends February 13th and is completely anonymous. Your feedback is greatly appreciated.

We look forward to seeing you at the next Professional Development Session on February 14 focusing on the practical application of the General Conditions of construction contract documents.

If you would like to see more pictures from the session, visit the meeting gallery page.

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