President Update

December 2022 | Chris champion, p.e.


I grew up in the 1970’s and 1980’s, during the time of large console televisions that took up a lot of floor space in the living area. It was an era of 4 channels (if you were lucky) and you served as the remote control when your parents told you to change the channel (by hand!). During the Christmas Season, “Must See TV” was The Charlie Brown Christmas special with the whole family gathered around the large console. My favorite scene is when Charlie Brown asks if anyone knows what Christmas all is about. His buddy Linus takes the stage, asks for the spotlight, and starts a monologue: “And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flocks by night. And, lo, the angel of Lord came upon them…” The nostalgia puts a lump in my throat as I type this update. As a man of faith, I encourage you to read Luke chapter 2 from God’s Word to get the full answer to Charlie Brown’s question. I also encourage you, if just for a little while, to forget about paving projects and snowplows, gas taxes and BIL, employees and commissioners and find peace through the Prince of Peace during this Holiday Season. 


The hospitality of NACE members keeps pouring in! My travels have recently taken me to California and Ohio, two great NACE affiliates. Special thanks to Matt Machado, Scott McGolpin, and Merrin Gerety in California. And to Brian Rhodes, Stephen McCall, Jeff Linkous, and Dean Ringle in Ohio. These NACE members and affiliate employees go above and beyond to include the NACE President and Executive Director in their conference agendas along with making us feel welcome. 

The NACE Executive Committee and Board of Directors met last month in Omaha, Nebraska for our annual Fall Board meeting. The budget for 2023 was approved and staff changes were announced. With the long-planned retirement of Connie Radoulovitch and a change in Staci Morgan’s role, which will now consist solely of conference management, NACE has hired an association management firm to manage many back-office functions, namely out corporate recruitment functions and financial management. Additionally, NACE has brought on a new communications professional to further expand the associations reach both inside and outside Washington, D.C. 


Another item from the Fall Board Meeting was approving updated Committee Guidelines. Over time, committee recruitment has evolved into a post-conference/Summer endeavor. The guidelines have been changed to a January-March timeline for committee recruitment with the final approval of committee rosters the responsibility of the President-Elect. This change will allow Technical Sub-Committee and Administrative Committee Chairs to meet with their committee during the April Conference and allow more time during the NACE year to complete their work as assigned by the President, specifically arranging of speakers for the next annual conference. Look for a committee interest survey from NACE staff in January and we ask everyone to fill it out and return it to the staff. Your State Director will be responsible for following up with each state affiliate NACE member to ensure everyone has had an opportunity to participate. If you are presently serving on a committee, please fill out the survey to indicate your interest in continuing to serve. Thanks to all Chairs and committee members who lend their expertise to the important work of NACE. 


I’ve reported over the last several months about NACE leaderships desire to form a partnership with the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) to help address the concerns of our membership in working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Last month, Southeast Region Vice President Josh Harvill led a delegation including Legislative Committee Co-Chair Luke McGinty from Elmore County, AL and FACERS President George Gadiel from Lake County, FL to attend the IAEM Annual Conference in Savannah, GA. The delegation was able to meet with IAEM leadership for a productive exchange of ideas. Harvill reported to the NACE Executive Committee that, through this meeting, IAEM and NACE goals are aligned as it relates to FEMA. Another item discussed during the meeting was NACE involvement with the NACo Justice and Public Safety Committee. IAEM already has a presence on the committee and the delegation feels NACE can partner with IAEM to affect positive change within FEMA through strengthened interaction and participation in the NACo committee system. The meeting was left with an invitation to meet again during the NACo Legislative Conference in February and an invitation to IAEM to attend NACE 2023 in April. Please join me in thanking this delegation for their willingness to represent NACE in this important matter to our membership. 


As we approach the end of the calendar year, we look to be in the short rows heading to NACE 2023. There is still much work to be done and I assure you the Association of County Engineers of Alabama is working hard to make your visit to Orange Beach memorable. Hopefully, you can enjoy some time off this Holiday Season and to quote a fat, white-bearded man in a red suit, “Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!”  



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