A Welcome Message From The New ACEC Hawaii President Derek K. Mukai, P.E., CCM

Aloha everyone! July 1st marked the beginning of the new year for ACEC Hawaii and my term as President. Let’s keep our fingers crossed and channel our positive energy to get us to herd immunity so we can all see each other in person this year. The global pandemic has brought about new challenges to our daily lives, but as true engineers, we adapt and overcome and turn bad situations into positive ones. Progress is being made in the fight against COVID-19, and with the modifications to tier levels, and the Governor’s recent declaration to remove all restrictions if case counts continue to drop before hitting the 70% vaccine milestone, it is just a matter of time before we are back to some sense of normalcy.

This past year, under the leadership of Garret Masuda, ACEC Hawaii continued its work on building value for our members. The legislative committee worked tirelessly submitting testimonies and meeting with key legislators to defend our industry and business interests. New committees were also created to connect with our future leaders and address specific challenges in the wastewater field. Virtual General Membership Meetings were held with record attendance, and our Annual Meeting and Engineering Excellence Awards showcased a variety of innovative and complex design projects. Finally, if you have not visited our newly designed website, please go to www.acechawaii.org to view this year’s EEA engineering projects and download our last two GMM presentations. Mahalo Garret for leading this organization to great heights during this pandemic. I have some huge slippahs to fill!

On the National front, ACEC continues to meet with congressional leaders and support key legislation which provides funding for surface transportation networks, airports, drinking water and wastewater systems, ports, harbors, waterways, the electrical grid, broadband deployment, public housing, and other infrastructure programs. The ACEC team is also deeply committed to resolving the PPP/FAR credit clause issue and has launched a communication advocacy campaign to address this issue. For more information on ACEC advocacy efforts as well as recordings on the PPP/FAR loan forgiveness program and other educational seminars, please visit www.acec.org.

As we look ahead there are still a few uncertainties in our everyday lives, but with the support of the Board of Directors, committee chairs and members, and staff, ACEC Hawaii will continue its work to protect the business interests of our member firms, hosting member events with distinguished speakers, conducting professional
development programs and sessions, and providing special networking opportunities. However, the health and safety of our members are our top priority, so any planned gatherings will be virtual until COVID requirements are loosened for safe gatherings.

Lastly, one of my main priorities this year is to work closely with committee liaisons and chairs and to have them regularly engage with committee members and Owner agencies. We encourage you to get involve and participate in our committees. Many of these committees meet with Owners to address issues and challenges which directly impact the engineering community. In the coming weeks, a Committee Interest Form will be sent to member firms. If you are interested in participating in one of the committees, please complete the form and email it to dmukai@cpe-hawaii.com. Feel free to contact me or anyone on the Board if you have any questions, suggestions
or requests.