Let me start by saying thanks. I am continually amazed at the dedication of our members who are serving our diverse family of stakeholders so exceptionally well. Wherever I travel, SAME members find creative ways to bring our mission to life for the benefit of our profession and our nation.
To paraphrase Lt. Gen. Robert VanAntwerp, P.E., F.SAME, USA (Ret.), former SAME National President and U.S. Army Chief of Engineers, and current member of the SAME Foundation Board, an organization is truly successful when members’ perspectives on involvement graduate past “we have to” and through “we want to” and ultimately achieve “we get to.” I’m proud to report I see a lot of “get to” SAME members and the numbers are growing every day. We are “going big” in so many ways!
I see positive trends as a result of our dedicated service and the genuine value SAME provides. Agencies recognize our efforts and leading-edge programs, and they are reaching out for help. The Environmental Protection Agency asked SAME Posts to host the Symposium on Design & Construction Issues at Hazardous Waste Sites, which are now held annually in Philadelphia and Denver. The Department of State asked SAME to put on its international business opportunity event, which we did in October. The Department of Veterans Affairs has asked to schedule its local and regional market research efforts in conjunction with Post events around the nation. That will begin in 2018.
SAME’s Federal Small Business Conference for the A/E/C Industry, coming to Pittsburgh, Nov. 15-17, continues to transform into a “one stop shop” for companies of all sizes in the A/E/C industry. Attendance has grown the past four years, and we are tracking for another record-setting event in 2017. This premiere market research opportunity for government and industry will again provide graduate-level program offerings and a robust Exhibit Hall.
I see positive trends as a result of our dedicated service and the genuine value SAME provides. Agencies recognize our efforts and leading-edge programs, and they are reaching out for help.
Interestingly, the conference in its current form initiated several years ago when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers came to SAME to help support and expand the event into what it is today. How did we grow the conference and improve its value? By bringing more people, agencies, and companies together—in short, by emphasizing collaboration.
As we close 2017, we are well on our way to achieving our 2020 vision of being recognized as the “multi-disciplined integrator of military, public, private, and academic national infrastructure-related capabilities to produce viable solutions for America’s national security.” We are making progress because of the dedication of our “get to” members.
We have important work to do as we make our Run to 2020 and our Centennial. But we will succeed because of our dedicated volunteers, our sense of teamwork, and our intrinsic desire as engineering professionals to make a difference.
[Article first published in the November-December 2017 issue of The Military Engineer.]