Dan Melamed, CCC running for Director - Region 2
To view Candidate's bio, click here.
|1. In order to possibly promote increased attendance, would you be supportive of a more affordable Annual Meeting registration fee scheme for the members?|
|I believe that the meeting registration fee is currently at a competitive level with those of other professional societies. In order to increase attendance, I would propose that the discounted registration fee currently reserved for students also apply to those members who would not normally be able to attend: employees in their first year, the recently unemployed, partially employed, etc. I would also continue our recent activities where we have invite members of the armed forces to attend free of charge.|
|2. How would you propose membership be increased in North America and internationally?|
|Membership has been increasing over the past two years, in my opinion this is a reflection that the association is a strong organization that provides the expertise and services to its community of professionals. I would propose that we continue our good work connecting with our professional communities. In addition, we should also continue to explore the possibilities for the association to establish (and re-establish) connections to other professional societies and a greater variety of industries in the United States, and throughout the world.|
|3. What do you see as the two most significant challenges facing your position and how would you address these two challenges|
|I would summarize the two greatest challenges to Region 2 are as follows:|
My proposed solution to both of these problems would be Enhance communication and activities between the sections of region 2:
- Region 2 is geographically scattered: Throughout the region there is a great deal of expertise in a wide varieties of industries; however, the individuals with this expertise are geographically dispersed. This often means that the region cannot fully make use of its expertise to better learn how to solve its problems.
- The sections of Region 2 do not work together as a team. Although there has been great improvement (thanks largely to the efforts of John Livengood, the current Director of Region 2) there is still much that needs to be done to foster growth between the active sections of the region. The various sections of the region have been communicating with one another. However, this has not yet resulted in the sections working together to work together as a community. I would like to see the sections form a community where they can learn from one another and exchange their lessons learned and experiences to benefit all of the members of the region.
I would continue the monthly conference calls between the sections and travel to all of the sections to better understand their individual issues, the local community of expertise, the specific needs and interests for each section. I would also work to insure that the accomplishments and needs are communicated to the other regions as well as to AACE International headquarters. This would include using teleconference technology as well as recording a section’s seminars to allow sections to view meetings over longer distances, replayed at a later meeting or posted to a section’s website. Over the past few years we have managed to hold a number of joint meetings between the Baltimore and National Capital Sections. Other sections of region will be encouraged to hold joint meetings as their time and schedules allow. This would allow for better communication between sections (within the region and the association worldwide). The enhanced communication and networking should facilitate opportunities for the skilled individuals from one section to become available to help with the challenges of other sections for this region. The conclusion to this effort should be a local conference where the professional concerns for those projects, activities and industries, specific to region 2 can be discussed in a broad open forum and possible solutions and new ideas discussed.
|4. What are your thoughts on the AACE International membership category of “Emeritus”?|
|I believe that the membership category of Emeritus is well served by a combination of the awards to the highly esteemed senior members of the AACE international (e.g., Honorary Life Member and AACE International Fellow).
|5. What do you see is working right with the association today; in general or specifically?|
|I would summarize the strengths of the association as follows:|
- We have expertise. Over the years AACE International, through its members, has built a strong body of knowledge in a wide variety of areas that apply to a wide variety of industries. This is supported by a culture that maintains the highest intellectual and professional standards. I believe we have an excellent set of technical literature: technical papers, recommended practices, professional practice guides, etc.
- We are constantly learning and improving. The world is dynamic and constantly changing, therefore the association understands that we must adapt to these changes in order to maintain our expertise. I believe the AACE International provides both a robust forum for the review and update of our technical literature as well as the means to introduce new ideas. We also have worked hard to provide a means to approach varied technical problems that allow for an intellectual flexibility that can be both practical and rigorous.
- We are engaged with our members at every level for their entire career. The AACE International has strong national, regional, and sectional governance that provides resources and means for allowing the individual member to grow professionally throughout their career. This includes providing the educational resources for maintaining and expanding their professional skills (including a wide range of professional certifications) in addition to providing a professional network for members.
|6. What do you see as needing improvement with the association today; in general or specifically?|
|I believe that the association should reach out to and engage with any and all industries where the areas of Total Cost Management apply. I believe that the association should expand and strengthen our existing expertise and skills to a wider set of industries. Many industries, such as pharmaceutical manufacturing, semiconductor fabrication and computer software development are not strongly represented in the association or not represented at all. Although it is certain that the association already may have some connection or had significant historical connection with these industries there is certainly room for improvement.|
|7. For the areas where you see the association needs improvement, how should they be addressed?|
|I would start working with the members of the association to identify a key industry, followed by forming a focus group of members who have connections with the targeted industry through work experience or related professional activities. The focus group would start a dialogue with associated professional societies and recruit representatives from the targeted industry. This would be followed by a meeting where the focus group (along with industry representatives) would identify the areas of mutual interest and recommend a set of priority activities for the coming year. These activities could include creating or updating existing best practices or an open invitation for papers pertinent to the targeted industry for review and publication at the annual meeting. The focus group would continue to provide a periodic evaluation on how well the targeted industry is working with the association.|
|8. What value to the association does the Approved Education Provider (AEP) program provide?|
|As in the case of the professional certification, the AEP program should be an indicator for the individuals or institutions that can provide classes in those areas that should be presenting material at a level that are required for the membership of the association.|
|9. How would you propose the value of the AEP program to AACE members be increased?|
|I would believe that the AEP providers should connect more effectively with their local sections. I believe that the members of the local sections who take courses from AEP should provide their comments (and criticisms) of their experience. This should strengthen the connection with the AEP and the association membership and provide a good means to encourage AEP members that provide effective instruction to our members and allow for potential improvements. This combination of active participation AEP providers with local sections, combined with active comments and reviews should create a situation that would encourage more worthwhile educational organizations to participate in the AEP program.|
|10. What are your thoughts relative to the association expanding internationally, including into China?|
|I believe that the association increasing its international connections is an important part of our development in our growth as an organization. This should result in greater possibilities for our members to work in the increasing international marketplace, including China. A good demonstration of the strength of a broad international perspective can be seen in a recent article, “The Basics of Construction Acceleration,” by James G. Zack Jr. in the January 2012 issue of Cost Engineering that reviewed how Constructive Acceleration is managed by a wide variety of countries. Articles of this quality provide a better understanding of important topic come, at least in part, from the international perspective of the association. Lastly, broadening the association’s member countries will better equip members of the association to do business abroad.|
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