ASPE LA took stock of its past, present and future during a holiday function to end 2018.
Chapter President Vivian Enriquez, CPD, an associate with ARUP in Los Angeles, presented five recognition awards to members honoring their participation to their local chapter and the national society.
She also gave 17 service awards to members with 20 years or more with the group, including one member who has logged 54 years with the society.
The awards aim to remind the group of its roots as the founding chapter of ASPE.
“We tend to forget how it all started, and at least know or recognize those who have always been there,” she said. “You have to recognize those people. And that’s the reason why I thought of recognizing them for their number of years of membership and the service that they give, not only to the local chapter, but also to the society itself.”
Enriquez has been an active member of the chapter since joining 32 years ago, serving as technical vice president for several years and now as president.
In addition to building relationships with peers in the industry, chapter membership has also created bridges with government officials, such as those in the local building department, who are key contacts for moving projects forward.
“The core group that has always attended the ASPE chapter has always been so helpful,” she said. “Not just the vendors or the affiliates, but including engineers and city officials we invite to come to our meetings.”
She says topic selection is the main driver of good attendance at meetings.
“Like last year, I created a meeting over at the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, and we had five speakers that we invited,” she said. “That one was well attended. There were more than 100 people that attended that. Depending on, really, the topic and the speaker, you invite a lot of engineers, contractors and vendors to come to a monthly meeting.”
Recently, popular topics have included looking at different means of water treatment, especially for use in healthcare projects.
“We’re looking at how the industry will evolve and be more cohesive to each other. Because, you know, a lot of projects now are either design-assist or design-build. So how do the consulting, the construction and the contractor get along well with other groups?” she said.
Membership in the ASPE LA chapter has hovered right around 200.
“A nonstop goal is to get more members,” Enriquez said. “Get involved, and not just be members. So our big, big talk is actively recruiting a lot of members. In fact, we have a lot of new members before the end of 2018. Now in the beginning of 2019, there’s a lot of members coming in and joining. There’re also a lot of young engineers that had been very interested in being active in a local chapter. This is very nice.”
The chapter is planning two social events paired with technical events in the coming year to attract more young professionals. The plan is organized by a new crop of motivated young members who will spearhead the effort, Enriquez added. – Ed McMenamin reporting