What is ACEC Hawaii Doing for Its Members and Our Industry?

by Jeffrey K. Kalani, P.E.

These are exciting and busy times for ACEC Hawaii as it continues to deliver value for its members and protect and improve our local engineering industry.

  • ACECH’s various liaison committees continue to work with State and County agencies to keep them informed about the rising costs of running our businesses, including compensation-related recruitment and retention issues. In line with that effort, last year we conducted a billing rate survey and provided the results for agency consideration.  Within the past 6 months, the City and County of Honolulu, the Board of Water Supply, and the State of Hawaii Department of Education recently issued interim policy memoranda that increase the billing rates for the professional services that our members provide.  We view the memoranda issued by these 3 agencies as a huge success and step in the right direction.  In fact, it has inspired us to establish a broader goal of improving and potentially overhauling the system by which all State and County agencies negotiate billing rates and fees for professional services.
  • ACECH’s Legislative Committee worked with members of the State House and Senate throughout this past session to educate them on the adverse potential outcomes of several bills that were proposed. We provided important and influential testimony for these bills, all of which resulted in an outcome that we were satisfied with.
  • Members of ACECH’s Legislative Committee and Board of Directors also held productive meetings with all four of Hawaii’s Congressional Delegation in Washington D.C. this past April to apprise them of legislative matters that potentially impact our member firms and our industry, both nationally and locally.
  • This year a significant addition was made to the professional development and educational opportunities that are made available to our members. It is called the ACEC Hawaii Emerging Leaders Program, which consists of nine individual sessions conducted over an 18-month period.  Each session focuses on a different aspect of leadership and business-related issues and consists of an all-day workshop held every other month at the Manoa Innovation Center.  The bi-monthly program format spread over a year and a half allows participants to absorb what is learned and apply it to their jobs in the time between sessions. In addition, the time between sessions is also needed for reading course materials and small group assignments.  Twenty individuals from twenty different member firms were selected for the inaugural class of our Emerging Leaders Program, which held its first session last month.  We plan on growing this program in the future to benefit more member firms and their staff.

The above examples are just a few of the many ways that ACEC Hawaii is creating value and positive impacts.  I find it simultaneously amazing and not-surprising that ACEC Hawaii does all that it does with volunteer committee chairs and committee members, a volunteer Board of Directors, and a few dedicated part-time staff.  I thank you all, and I ask that you join me in supporting Sean Sugai as our 2018-2019 President effective July 1.