Report on the NSPE 2005 Summer Meeting
Chicago, Illinois
Saturday, July 9, 2005 through Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Aloha all on the Western and Pacific Region Members.  This is my last report as one of your representatives on the board of directors.  I have thoroughly enjoyed working with all of you and serving you on the board. 

Here is a brief report of my experiences at the 2005 Summer Meeting at the Renaissance Chicago Hotel, Chicago, Illinois.  Since I accepted an appointment as Deputy Director of our County Department of Water Supply, I decided to limit my attendance at this meeting.  I just started work on Friday July 1, got the 4th of July holiday, worked another 3 days, and left for Chicago at 11:00 pm on Thursday night.  Kahului, San Francisco, St Louis and finally arriving in Chicago on Friday afternoon.

As in past reports, I'll discuss events in the first time slot although it was discussed throughout the weekend in multiple venues.

7:30 am - 8:30 am - Order of the Engineer Breakfast & Ceremony

The registration information identified this event on Sunday morning in conflict with the ecumenical service, so I assumed I would miss it.  I found out on Friday night of the correction, wasn't able to coordinate breakfast, so just attended the ceremony.  There were 8 new inductees into the order, with a total of about 20 at the ceremony.  I encourage you to participate in the ceremony if the opportunity presents itself, and continue supporting the program.

9:00 am - 12:00 noon - SSEC Meeting, AMS Presentation

The State Society Executive Council met all day, with the morning presentation dedicated to the new Association Management System.  Angel Baltimore is the NSPE staff spearheading this effort with the Vectra contractor.  The system has a lot of potential, a whole lot of bells & whistles, and can be a great asset to active state societies.  The basic access to membership data is free, with a $2,400 license to fully utilize the system.  Several states are purchasing the license, and purchase options are being considered.  The system is on-line live now!!  State Executives need to contact Angel for a password.  Individual members are able to access their own data on July 15 to update their information, but this access also requires a password.

A personal comment on SSEC, please get involved.  Back a few years when I was state secretary I voluntarily joined SSEC.  The nuts and bolts of society operation is here, and the states will benefit by your involvement.  If you are a strictly volunteer society, you will avoid trying to reinvent what others have done.  I can't say enough about CA's Marti Kramer, a very active SSEC member.  What could I have done without Marti's guidance and support??  Thanks Marti!!!

1:30 pm - 2:30 pm - State Leader Exchange with SSEC

About 65 leaders and SSEC members over filled the room.  The exchange was scheduled for 3 hours, but I went to listen to the SSEC focus on the Future Directions Task Force discussions after sitting in about an hour.  Here are a couple comments from the exchange:

a) The question was asked,* what will help leaders as you step into office?  Generally, get together with your SSEC and establish what is the best way to communicate (phone, fax, email)?  Communicate - tell your SSEC when you're out of town.  SSECs can establish timelines and deadlines for NSPE responses, ie new officer information is due now, BOD meeting comments, and officer visit requests, to name just a few.  The bottom line - establish a good relationship with your SSEC; it's a partnership!!

b) Political Action Committees (PACs) were briefly discussed.  NSPE has a 501c6 designation which allows PACs.  NSPE recognizes that distribution of PAC funds is best hand-delivered by a constituent, so look for these opportunities with your legislative chair.

RVP Ken Rigsbee (TX) did a great job facilitating this idea exchange, providing a less structured open discussion.  RVP Gene O'Brien (NJ) facilitated the first idea exchange in San Diego, but few felt it was too structured, although all felt the information provided was invaluable.

2:30 pm - 4:00 pm - SSEC Meeting, FDTF discussion

SSEC's representatives on the Future Directions Task Force were Kelley Norris (NY) and Mary Detloff (MN).  FDTF Chair David Waugh highly praised both for their outstanding contributions, and all TF members including WPR's Karen Doherty (ID) and Sam Grossman (CA). All members took their responsibility seriously.

As you can imagine the FDTF "plan" (not to be confused with "report"), was the talk of the meeting.  Keep in mind the reorganization and redirection requires constitutional and bylaw changes.  With the plan acceptance by the BOD at this meeting, a constitution change will be sent to the membership to allow the BOD to make constitutional changes.  Please keep an eye out for the ballot distribution in the ET.  The intent is to get membership response prior to the BOD meeting on September 30 to confirm the change.  Once the BOD is afforded the power to change the constitution, the board will eliminate the current constitution and bylaws, and adopt a new bylaw for the new NSPE.  Cliff and Forrest will act on the new bylaws.  The TF report is on the website, but briefly:

a) NSPE is a Professional Engineer society.  Our membership is Professional Engineers, and Engineering Interns (EIs and EITs).  We are no longer everything to everybody.  The Academy TF is looking at a bigger picture group, and CA's Cliff Ishii sits on that TF.

b) Government Relations will be focused at the state level; DC lobbying will be limited.  Similarly, the overall NSPE focus is on the state society since this is where the membership relates.  NSPE staff is available to help the smaller states, but this needs to be worked out.  INFACT, all of this needs to be worked out through a new Implementation Task Force lead by VA's Brad Aldrich.  Brad was a member of the FDTF which is now sunset-ed, and is the new VP Regions sitting on the Executive Committee.  When I questioned the FDTF report, he could have been offended, and probably was, but he professionally responded and we had great discussions.  In addition to the Implementation TF, a Metrics TF led by FL's Kevin Cooley will evaluate progress and success, and a Communications TF will keep us all appraised. I have the greatest respect and confidence in Brad and Kevin.

c) Practice Divisions are now looked at as Interest Groups.  We will no longer have 5 practice divisions, then again, other discussions indicate we are not eliminating practice divisions, just looking at them differently?  PDs have contributed much to the success and viability of NSPE, and this discussion will continue.  The concept is PDs fall under NSPE within the NSPE budget.  PEI chair Clyde Nagata (HI) presented a motion to provide 3 PD seats on the House of Delegates.  This is in addition to the 2 PD seats on the BOD, allowing representation of all 5 PDs in the leadership.  This motion passed.

The state of Washington submitted a resolution to the board to provide 5 PD seats on the BOD.  Let me assure you we worked diligently to bring this matter before the board, moving the resolution, and removing it from the table (someone tabled this motion during the discussions).  The resolution was defeated, but as discussed at the WPR meeting, the compromise of seats on the HOD as proposed by Clyde received the support of the board.  All that being said, the proposed bylaws was supported, and will require board action after the membership vote on the constitution changes.

d) Governance Model:  The PD discussion above is governance.  To elaborate further on governance, the proposal is for a House of Delegates (HOD) with state representatives to meet once a year in July, with a Board of Directors (BOD) meeting 4 times a year.  These 2 bodies are briefly described as follows:

BOD (16 members, presently 26) consisting of the President, President-Elect, Past-President, Secretary, Treasurer, SSEC President, and 10 directors (one RVP from each region (6), 2 PD VPs, 1 Young Engineers Activity Council, and 1 At-large.)  The first meeting of this new board will occur in Fall 2006, following the Summer 2006 HOD meeting in Boston.  On the region side, we need to determine who will represent the region on the BOD at the November meeting in Montana.  To provide a staggered representation, initially one-half of the directors will have a one year, and one-half two-year terms.  WPR is proposed to have an initial 2-year term.  Although the regions will nominate their reps, the HOD must confirm.

HOD (72 members) including BOD as described above (16), State Representatives (53), and the PD Representatives (3).  This returns representation to the states that many felt they lost under the region structure.  The intent is for the HOD to meet for the first time at the Summer 2006 meeting in Boston.  Similar to the BOD, staggered terms require initial 1 or 2-year terms.  The proposal results in the following for our region states:  1-year initial term: AK, AZ, HI, MT, OR; 2-year initial term: CA, GU, ID, NV, UT, and WA.  States need to determine who will represent them in the house.  Please start considering because a year will pass quickly.

e) Leadership: Under the new structure, the HOD will select the NSPE president elect.  Under the existing structure, a nominating committee comprised of region representatives review and identify the candidate for a membership ballot.  Recently our membership of about 46,000 members voted for president elect Robert Miller, III with a supportive 692 votes!!  Bob thanked everyone for their support, but the fact is the general membership doesn't participate.  Under the new structure, the HOD will vote for the new officers with a credentialing committee to verify the candidates qualifications.

Okay, all that being said, and there's a whole lot more, the primary result of the FDTF and the reorganization is becoming "state-centric".  The general membership doesn't care about who represents them on the board, she is only concerned about what NSPE is providing.  If all goes well, the member will not know if the benefit is generated by the state or the staff in Alexandria.  To help implementation, the TF recommended the allocation of $750K to make this happen.  I encourage us to move forward.  The SSEC group is scheduling a retreat on October 2-4, 2005 in Austin, Texas to help define alignments.
6:00 pm - 9:00 pm - Installation Banquet

The evening started with a reception with awards and recognitions.  I apologize that I cannot remember the multitude of awards given.  This was followed by the installation banquet where the 2005-2006 board, including President Kathryn Gray, PE, F.NSPE (IL) were sworn in by Past President Teresa Helmlinger-Ratcliff, PE, PhD, F.NSPE.  President Bobby Price, PE, PhD, F.NSPE also presented the President's Award to FDTF Chair and Past President David Waugh, PE, PhD, F.NSPE, and Nancy Oswald.  I'm really glad that Bobby recognized Nancy.  She is the assistant to the president, and they will all tell you she's invaluable.  Personally, I have grown to depend on Nancy for practically everything.  I would ask her ANYTHING, and she would get the right person on it.  Please call Nancy and congratulate her on a well-deserved recognition.

SUNDAY, July 10, 2005
7:00 am - 7:30 am - Ecumenical Service

About 50 early risers attended an ecumenical service on the hotel terrace.  The message that crosses all religions is God is Love,.. not hate.  To avoid judgment and hate, you need to get to know people.

8:00 am - 10:00 am - Western and Pacific Region "Informal" Meeting

About 20 people attended this informal meeting of our region.  Time is set aside at the Winter (leadership) and Summer (membership) meetings.  I suspect this will happen only during the July meeting moving forward.

a) Both Karen and Sam, or representatives on the FDTF were not able to attend the Chicago meeting.  Brad Aldrich generously came to our meeting to discuss the action plan.  I really appreciate Brad taking time out of his region meeting to discuss.  I also thank NSPE's Stacey Ober for coordinating Brad's participation.

b) We discussed the Washington Resolution to allocate 5 seats on the BOD to the practice divisions.  Since this was an informal meeting, we did not take a formal vote, however, support of this resolution was about 50/50.  Providing seats on the HOD was supported about 60/40.  This was passed at the BOD meeting as the "Clyde Nagata Motion".

c) The budget of the region will determine if we suspend collecting dues for the 2005-2006 administrative year.  The region has a balance of about $12,700, and the consideration is suspending the collection of dues to help states purchase the AMS license.  We all recognize that only CA, who pays about $1,400 dues, is the only one really affected.  We will decide this at the Montana meeting.

d) States and Practice Divisions shared successes and concerns including: successful joint conferences with other engineering associations, Mathcounts programs holding the chapters together, young chapter/state leadership, virtual chapters are growing, reactivation of chapters, PD products identifying professional development opportunities being released in 2 months, but we also shared difficulty in finding officers, continuing decline in membership, financial constraints limiting participation at meetings, and participation by Japan.

With respect to Japan, I understand Oregon is no longer offering the licensing exam in Japan due to exam security concerns.  I spoke to NCEES President Martin Pederson and he indicated NCEES is investigating offering the exam.  I'm not sure how this will shake out since licensure is a state function, but I suspect NCEES will be working with one of the states.

e) Captain Tim Johnson, Boston convention chair encouraged attendance to the July 2006 convention and support of the Legacy Project.  Boston's project is the "Homes for our Troops" program assisting our war veterans (  This is a program similar to the Habitat for Humanity program.  Chicago Chair John "Tex" Mick told me legacy support will be available on the membership renewal notice for the first time next year.  This will allow members who do not attend the conventions to support the legacy.  I understand Chicago's legacy resulted in about $35,000 for the Chicago Children's Museum.

MONDAY, JULY 11, 2005
1:30 pm - 5:00 pm - RVPs State and Chapter Activities TF

a)  The TF received reports from subgroups working on; 1) the State and Chapter Leader Handbook revisions providing clearer descriptions of officer duties, and offering proven practices, 2) best practices for successful region meetings and state coordination (Cliff Ishii served on this subgroup), and 3) identifying and recognizing great grassroots activities to help states and chapters share successful programs (I served on this one).  There was discussion that "Great Grassroots Activities" conveyed the wrong idea,* maybe we need to change it to "Okay" ideas, or "Marginal" ideas..  Please submit a program and make the subgroup lead by CO's Diana Dean and NSPE's Heather Anderson work to review a bunch of them.  Here is a link to the form on the NSPE website:

This TF is sunset-ed and will be reorganized under the leadership of VA's Brad Aldrich.  One responsibility is the eventual implementation of the FDTF action plan and metrics evaluation.

TUESDAY, JULY 12, 2005
8:00 am - 5:00 pm - BOD Meeting

a) The board supported the FDTF action plan as previously discussed, and continued support of the Mathcounts program.  A TF reviewing student programs is still evaluating, and will develop a matrix of available programs for states to consider.  National will not dictate what the states participate in.

b) Membership continues to decline, but an evaluation reveals licensed members relatively level, and the decline in the member category.  The committee requests a response from all states on the 6-month free membership program, enterprise membership program, and the graduated dues program.  Please respond with your yes or no decisions if you haven't already.

c) The nominating committee submitted the recommendation of Bernie Berson, PE, F.NSPE as the President-Elect candidate.  I believe a ballot will be sent to the membership via the ET for vote since this will happen prior to the convening of the HOD in Boston.

Finally a few reminders:

1) Encourage your SSEC to attend the San Antonio Retreat to align the state/national deliverables and communications.  Financial assistance of $650/state is proposed.  Participate by large and small states is needed for this to work.

2) Provide your new officer information if you haven't already..

3) Respond to membership your participation in the membership programs; enterprise, 6-month free, and graduated dues.

4) Vote on the Constitutional Amendments when published in the ET.

5) Consider how each state will select your representative on the House of Delegates.  The intent is for this body to meet in Boston in July 2006.  I'm sure financial support will be provided.

6) Attend the WPR Annual Meeting in Helena Montana on November 5, 2005 in conjunction with the Montana Joint Engineers Conference (11/3-4) and support VPs Cliff Ishii and Forrest Braun, and make decisions that affect our region and our society representation, including the budget and who we put forward to represent the region on the Board of Directors.

Well, I hope this helps to communicate a flavor of what happened.  These are my observations and opinions.  Please feel free to disagree.  Congratulations Cliff Ishii (CA) and Forrest Braun (AK) our VPs, and thanks again for allowing me to serve.  It has been a pleasure, and an honor.

aloha and God bless always - eric

Eric H. Yamashige, PE, LS, F.NSPE
VP Western and Pacific Region "HAS BEEN.."
P.O. Box 652
Wailuku, Maui, Hawaii 96793-0652
Email: [email protected]
July 13, 2005