October 2019 – Region 9 Reports

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ASCE Region 9 Sustainability Committee
& Envision Update

By Mark R. Norton, P.E., LEED AP, ENV SP
Chair, ASCE Region 9 Sustainability Committee


As chair of the upcoming 2019 International Conference on Sustainable Infrastructure, I am so excited to announce it is almost here! An exciting line of dynamic speakers and program elements has been prepared. Our ambitious sponsorship and funding goals with the help of ASCE Foundation staff are almost met. The venue at the world-famous Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles is in preparation. A dedicate team of volunteers have been briefed and are ready for one of the most exciting events that will hit in the fall of 2019 for ASCE Region 9.

For those who have not yet seen the multiple announcements, you still have time to register for the International Conference on Sustainable Infrastructure (ICSI) scheduled for November 7-9, 2019 at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in downtown Los Angeles. Our planning team has been working hard since early 2017 on creating a program that will be of value for any practitioner of sustainable infrastructure. The event will be open to designers, architects, engineers, managers, contractors, suppliers, policy makers and the laymen. We are supporting students, younger engineers and public agency staff particularly with reduced registration rates. The conference will represent the voice of over 100 presenters who will gather to showcase for the latest developments and advancements in design, construction, technology, policy and education related to sustainable and resilient infrastructure. Conference topics will cover a broad array of contemporary issues for professionals including: Society and Urbanization, Finance and Management, Practice and Policy. Crosscutting themes will include: Resiliency and Disaster Recovery, Disruptive Technologies and Practices, Education, Workforce Development, Outreach, and Diversity, and Climate Change and Extreme Events.

The conference will also have lots of fun events including technical tours of “green” infrastructure sites in the LA area, a heat island tour, a Data Catalog of LEED and Envision awarded project sites, a mural artist who will creating a canvas to reflect the conference topics and theme, a special offsite event called “Girls to Green” presenting several female sustainable infrastructure leaders who will be speaking to over 100 underprivileged girls about the exciting careers available to them, and a special YMF Networking event. These fun activities are supplemented by a vast roster of exciting speakers including keynote conference speaker Dr. Jared Diamond, UCLA Professor, and Pulitzer Prize author of Guns, Germs and Steel, the internationally recognized book Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed and the recent publication entitled Upheaval: How Nations Cope with Crisis and Change and Ms. Debra Roberts of the International Panel on Climate Change who will share positive action tracks in climate adaptation and resilience for cities.

Another exciting feature of this conference is the Leadership Summit planned for the day before the conference on November 6th at the Los Angeles City Club for a special list of industry leaders in sustainable infrastructure who will identify, prioritize and better understand the key gaps and barriers for the planning, designing, building, maintenance and operation of sustainable and resilient infrastructure of the future; cultivate and unlock the full potential of untapped partnerships and funding investments designed to reduce the impacts of extreme weather events, create sustainable and resilient infrastructure, and effect social change; and understand and identify practical plans of action and resourcing for how these strategies can be implemented from the immediate short-term to many decades from now when we start seeing the full effects of our actions, or lack thereof. The results of this summit will be shared on the first day of the 2019 ICSI conference to get the ball rolling well.

To really encourage sponsorship support, the organizers of the conference has established a unique conference feature called “Let’s Connect.. in LA”. This outreach forum will connect engineers, technical experts, policy makers, academia, developers, infrastructure investors, governments, asset managers, philanthropy, social impact investors, and the insurance industry. By bringing all minds to one room, Let’s Connect aims to promote discussion about specific business and partnership opportunities among owners (public/private), suppliers, consultants, designers, contractors, constructors, small businesses, and other interested parties. Being held as a transformational event during ICSI 2019, registered participants who sign up for Let’s Connect will have scheduled opportunities to meet with selected various categories of stakeholders, including but not limited to key infrastructure owners and agencies from water, power, sanitation/waste/recycling, transportation, P3 infrastructure investors and others, for short roundtable conversations about current and future key programs and upcoming key contracts and partnering opportunities

The conference would not be complete without a major segment devoted to the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure (ISI) established by ASCE, APWA and ACEC and who recently released the EnvisionR Version 3. The new ISI CEO, Anthony Kane, will be also be on hand as a conference presenter and will be holding a special meeting and presentation with all Envision Sustainability Professionals who attend the conference. Anthony will be sharing more details about the latest version of Envision, v3 which incorporates emerging industry trends and continues to push the leading edge of sustainable practices. Envision V3 highlights include 1) reorganization/revision of credits, 2) expanded scope credits to account for lifecycle economic evaluation, equity and social justice, and sustainable community planning, 3) new construction-focused credits such as Improve Construction Safety, Minimize Construction Impacts, Reduce Construction Waste, Reduce Construction Energy Use, Reduce Construction Water Use, 4) an improved manual format, and 5) new Verification process pathway. Also new is ISI’s credential maintenance program for the ENV SP designation. In fact, attending the conference technical sessions can be applied as continuing education credits for the ENV SP credential.

As the ASCE Region 9 Sustainability Committee Chair, I continue to be impressed by the passion and excitement of so many volunteers not just of this upcoming conference but also the many ASCE Section and Branch Sustainability Committees across the State of California who are working to promoting and supporting sustainability in their profession and society. If you would like to be involved and want to learn more about sustainability committee events in your area, feel free to contact me, Mark Norton, Chair, ASCE Region 9 Sustainability Committee, at mnorton@sawpa.org.


Outgoing Region Governor’s Perspective

by Thor Larsen, P.E., M.ASCE
ASCE Region 9 Governor from the Sacramento Section


Region Governors in ASCE serve 3-year terms, and this is the end of my last year. It has been a pleasure to serve the members of Region 9 (California) these past 3 years. Having said that, I would like to reflect on what I accomplished for the Region, and what the Region accomplished, during my term.

I served as the Treasurer for the Region Board of Governors during my entire term, and this was natural for me after having been both a Section and a Branch Treasurer. I was also Chair of the Region 9 California PE Board (BPELSG) Committee and the Audit committee. Craig Copelan takes over as Chair of the BPESLG Committee, and I know he will do a fantastic job!

About our Region 9 Board of Governors; now this is a really great group comprising 6 Region Governors, 4 Section Presidents, and several Committee Chairs, all with impressive knowledge and experience. During my term, the Region Board completed an update to the Report Card for California’s Infrastructure, and hosted annual Legislative Day events at the Capitol Mall in Sacramento. The Region Board also continued holding its annual flagship event, the California Infrastructure Symposium & Region 9 Awards Dinner, each year, partnering with the local Sections including Los Angeles in 2017, San Francisco in 2018, and San Diego in 2019, and will hold the next event in Sacramento in 2020. I think Region 9 maybe leads the nation in Government Relations outreach, only behind Society’s Government Relations efforts!

I want to take a moment here to say thank you to two key persons that serve the Region 9 Board who really stand out and help make the group as effective as it is. Assisting the Region’s legislative outreach and coordinating many efforts for Region 9 is Richard Markuson of Pacific Advocacy Group, the Region Board’s legislative advocate. His legislative liaison work, outreach, and reports and studies have been the backbone of our efforts, and I totally commend him for his work during my tenure. I also want to single out Anne Ettley, the Region 9 Administrator, for her efficiency, and concise work. The Region Board might be quite lost without her efforts. Thanks to both of you!

I have 3 main retrospective thoughts as I leave this position for new pastures:

  1. Upon assuming my role as Region Governor, I looked forward to meeting those at Society Headquarters in Reston, Virginia as well as the other Region Governors. This experience was better than I expected. Throughout the nation, and internationally, I found that ASCE members all have similar goals and desires. Society HQ staff and officers have been incredibly supportive, and all seem united to help the Sections, Branches, Younger Member Forums, and Student Chapters achieve their goals. I particularly enjoyed my conversations with ASCE Executive Director Tom Smith, after he transitioned from legal counsel to his current position. Asked how he was faring at ASCE he told me “it’s the greatest organization I could ever imagine working for”. I truly understand his sentiment.
  2. My second reflection is on the chance to be able to work with and engage with all the Sections in our State, aka our Region. I have enjoyed working with about 12 different Region Governors and 12 different Section Presidents during this period, and in getting to know the many more members in all the various Sections.
  3. Lastly, I was thrilled to always be learning something new at different points during my term. It is all the active members who make ASCE work! The Region Board leadership is necessary however it is the Sections, Branches, YMFs, and Student Chapters who make ASCE work with implementing new ideas, outreach, and member engagement. Thanks to all of you for your hard work!!

In closing, it has been a total pleasure and honor to serve you these past 3 years as your Region Governor, and I look forward to going back and being active with my Sacramento Section for events and committees such as our History and Heritage committee; assisting with the hosting of the 2020 California Infrastructure Symposium, and being a part of the 2022 Centennial for Sacramento Section. If you wish to contact me, please reach out to me at Thor.Larsen@HDRinc.com.


ASCE Region 9 invites nominations for one (1) Region 9 Governor from the Los Angeles Section for a three-year term beginning October 1, 2020. To be considered for this position, you must be a Society member in Good Standing and have an Address of Record within the Region being represented. It is encouraged that nominees also have prior service as a Branch, Section or Technical Group officer, member of a Section or Branch committee, or a member of a Society-level Committee with demonstrated leadership skills.

ASCE Region 9 also invites nominations for one (1) Region 9 Director for a three-year term beginning October 1, 2020. To be considered for this position, you must be a Society member in Good Standing and have an Address of Record within the Region being represented and shall have served as a Geographic Region Governor. Additionally, any person who was inducted as a Society President-elect or Vice President is ineligible for re-election as a Geographic Region Director. These are elected positions under the election procedures and rules of ASCE.

To apply for either one of these positions, submit the following documents by the deadline of December 1, 2019, to 1) Yazdan Emrani, P.E., Region 9 Nominating Committee Chair, at YEmrani@GlendaleCA.gov 2) Patricia Montgomery, Managing Director, Executive and Board Operations, ASCE, at PMontgomery@ASCE.org:

  • A Letter of Intent to apply for this elected office
  • Signed Governor Commitment document (contact Yaz Emrani for form)
  • Biographical Statement, not to exceed 200 words
  • Vision Statement, not to exceed 200 words
  • Any endorsements
  • Color head shot photograph

Nominees will be requested to attend an interview before the Region 9 Board of Governors on January 23, 2020, in San Francisco, CA, at a time and specific location to be set. For questions or application templates, please e-mail Yaz Emrani at yemrani@glendaleca.gov.



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