As part of the IEC, what has been the biggest challenge to date?
Our Association’s leaders and staff have been putting in an incredible amount of work
to assure our Association is on solid footing. Although we have faced challenges
that have stretched us in difficult and unexpected ways, we have been afforded an
incredible opportunity. We now have the ability to take stock of who we are as an
Association and what we want to become. We have a chance to redefine our legacy.
This year, we will recommit to our fundamental cause of improving people’s lives
through infrastructure development. And most importantly, we will recommit to
each other. After all, no one else understands how much that support of one another
I want to take a moment to thank and recognize our Association’s staff who have
continued to work diligently to serve our members during these times of challenge.
Their hard work and commitment to this Association has not gone unnoticed, and I
sincerely appreciate all that they do.
As President, what are some of your most immediate priorities?
There are a number of goals I have set and steps to be taken to advance the
Association. One of our immediate goals is to provide our Committees and
Communities of Practice (CoPs) with the opportunity to determine the course for
the year, while establishing a communication and accountability framework. As such,
Committee Chairs and CoP Leaders have been tasked with creating strategic plans
that outline their fiscal year goals.
Additionally, a priority of the IEC is the development of a strategy for recruiting a
new Chief Executive Officer. In the interim, we are working with senior management
at Headquarters to provide on-going support to our staff.
What do you believe is the role of IRWA’s International President?
I believe that it is not any one individual (not even the President), but rather the
entire membership that drives our Association forward. Our Association is large and
diverse and often faces conflicting needs and priorities. To me, the President’s role is
to listen to the membership, Association leaders and staff in order to comprehensively
after a year or more without seeing
each other and not missing a beat.
It means a place of understanding,
where we don’t have to try to
explain our jobs to blank stares; we
inherently get each other. It means
that we challenge and push each
other in new and different directions
for the sake of what is best for the
Association, our profession and the
What do you find most
rewarding about volunteering
your time to IRWA?
I’m so inspired by our members and
their passion for the work that we
do. Our Association is made up of
incredible people who do incredible
things. We connect people and
improve lives in newer, safer, more
reliable ways through transportation,
energy and water infrastructure
projects. We are passionate about the
work we do because we know that it
Tell us how you became
involved in IRWA leadership.
What led to your decision to
join the IEC?
I ran from the floor for International
Secretary at the Annual Education
Conference in San Diego in 2015.
I ran for two reasons: 1) I firmly
believe that our Association deserves
a choice in who we elect to serve
on the International Executive
Committee by having more than
one candidate run for the position,
and 2) I believe young and mid-career professionals deserve to have
representation on the International
Executive Committee (IEC).
Historically, members of the IEC
had been elected after serving
at the Chapter and then at the
Region leadership levels. While this
experience is certainly valuable, it
is not the only path to leadership.
By having a leadership team with
diverse backgrounds and experience,
we are able to represent our
membership in a more complete and