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July 2017 E-Newsletter
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July 6, 2017

Table of Contents

Incoming Chairman's Message

Advocacy in Action

Membership Renewal - The Value of Belonging

Leadership Institute Class of 2018

Engineering Excellence Awards Call for Entries

DFD Collaborative Conference

Civil 3D Workshop

Transportation Quarterly Meeting

2017-18 Board of Directors Announced

Member News

Strand Associates Steps Up


Upcoming Events

Transportation Quarterly Meeting

Tuesday, August 1



Civil 3D User Group Workshop

October 18-19

Wisconsin Dells


DFD Collaborative Conference

November 7



For more information, visit our calendar.

Committee Meetings

Public Relations Committee

Tuesday, July 11

Mead & Hunt, Middleton


Government Affairs Committee

Wednesday, July 12



Board of Directors

Thursday, July 20



Leadership Institute Review Task Force

Wednesday, July 19



State Facilities Committee

Thursday, July 20



For more information, visit our calendar.

Board of Directors
Randy Van Natta, PE
Becher-Hoppe Associates

Jan Zander, PE
Ayres Associates

Dave Way, PE
Mead & Hunt

ACEC National Director
Kim Lobdell, PE
KL Engineering

Dave Brose, PE


John Kissinger, PE

Bill Holder, PE
American Engineering Testing

Past Chairman
Les Fafard, PE
Short Elliott Hendrickson

ACEC WI President/Executive Director
Chris Klein

Incoming Chairman's Message

Thank you, Les Fafard, for your leadership as Chairman this past year. I’m grateful for the smooth hand-off, and I’m really glad I didn’t have to endure the Tesla Coil like Gil did a couple years ago!


I’m excited to serve as Chairman of the Board as we launch into the year ahead. It’s an honor indeed to serve on behalf of 83 member firms with some 3,600 employees. I pledge my best to lead ACEC WI in alignment with our Mission: Creating a healthy environment for engineering firms to advance the prosperity and welfare of Wisconsin. 


In the coming year, I expect to see continued advancement in our advocacy efforts.  Building strong legislative relationships allows us to provide input on the front end of legislation rather than just reacting. We will continue to build strong partnerships with transportation stakeholders, business stakeholders, government reform advocates, trades and university leaders. These partnerships strengthen our effectiveness and are a key part of our advocacy effort.


I’m looking forward to working with our ACEC WI staff; Chris, Kelly, Andrew and Renee. They’re thriving in the new office location on West Washington and they’re eager to provide membership support as needed. They also do an outstanding job coordinating conferences and events throughout the year.  You’ll be hearing more soon about our new ACEC WI website which will provide a smoother user experience.


Thank you, Gil Hantzsch, Past Chairman, who’s transitioning off the Board after serving several years.  Thanks Gil for your steady guidance and leadership, and sage perspectives. Carrie Bristoll-Groll has resigned from the Board to focus more time on an exciting new business venture. Thank you, Carrie, for your time and energy over the last two years.  Carrie and Gil have both contributed significantly to the strength of our organization, and even though they aren’t on the Board we know they will continue to be advocates of ACEC WI.


Welcome to new Board members Bill Holder and Dave Brose. Bill was recently elected to take over for Gil, and Dave Brose accepted a Board appointment to take over for Carrie. I’m looking forward to working together in the next couple years.


Finally, thank you to all the committed volunteers who invest time, energy and money making ACEC WI the healthy organization that it is. Pulling together we are much stronger in building a healthy environment for engineering firms in Wisconsin.



Randy Van Natta, PE

Chairman of the Board 

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Advocacy in Action

The new fiscal year for Wisconsin began on July 1st but without a new state budget. State agencies will continue to be funded at the current levels as political pressure builds to pass a new two-year budget. 


Disagreement on Transportation funding continues to be the impediment to reaching a final budget deal. While negotiations have been occurring behind closed doors, all sides have from time to time floated ideas publicly. The dialogue between the Governor, the Senate Majority Leader and the Assembly Speaker continue even though the rhetoric gets heated at times.


Governor Walker sent a letter yesterday to Majority Leader Fitzgerald and Speaker Vos. In the letter Walker suggests reducing Transportation bonding by $200 million by using an improved Transportation fund balance. He also proposes contingency bonding for the Southeast Freeway Mega-Projects Program. This bonding would be linked to additional federal funding for mega projects. As of this writing, there has been no legislative reaction.


In the letter to legislators Governor Walker reiterated his desire to pass a Transportation budget that does not include a gas tax or vehicle fee increase. This comes on the heels of speculation days earlier that a new fee on heavy trucks over 59,000 pounds could lead to a Transportation deal. When news of the fee on heavy trucks was made public five GOP Senators publicly opposed it seemingly killing it in the Senate. Groups including WMC and The Motor Carriers Association also strongly opposed the fee increase.


Additional ideas will likely be introduced and debated in the days ahead as the legislature reacts to the latest position of the Governor.


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Membership Renewal - The Value of Belonging

With the approach of the new fiscal year, ACEC WI has sent out the new year’s dues statements for membership renewal. Each firm’s accounts payable should have received this information.


Members like you are the reason ACEC Wisconsin is strong and continues to gain momentum. Together, we continued our tradition of excellence in 2016-17. Our goal is to help members succeed and thrive in 2017-18 and beyond! Look at our Value of Belonging flyer to see the benefits of continued ACEC WI membership.


ACEC WI has also released its 2017-18 sponsorship form offering the ability to promote your firm. You'll be able to save money with our discounts and highlight your firm at our events to engineers and state agencies.


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The deadline to submit applications for the Leadership Class of 2018 is July 12. Don't miss out!


This leadership experience is tailored to launch professionals on a development track for successful project management and principal positions. While the series was designed for individuals with six to 12 years of experience, it is also a tremendous opportunity for current leaders to benefit from top-notch programming focused on the design profession. ACEC WI Leadership Institute Class of 2018 is open to all individuals in the design profession. Approximately 40 PDH credits are available through program completion.

This is an opportunity to invest in the future of your firm and to recognize, reward and retain your top talent. Download the program brochure for program and curriculum details. The application is also available for download.


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Engineering Excellence Awards Call for Entries

The 2018 Call for Entries is now available! The awards exist to honor the projects that improve lives, push the boundaries of innovation and exemplify the engineering industry's incredible impact across the state. Projects of all types and sizes are eligible to enter and win. For more information about this year's competition and for entry materials, look at our website.


For inspiration, check out the 2017 Engineering Excellence Award winners. The deadline for this year's entries is October 3 so start working on your entry today!


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DFD Collaborative Conference

Don't forget to save the date for our November 7 DFD Collaborative Conference. Featuring an agenda crafted with AIA and DFD, this event is the best way to collaborate on DFD practices and network with state agencies. Get in on the ground floor and sponsor this event; you'll showcase your firm as a major player in vertical infrastructure design.


Registration will open in August.


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Civil 3D Workshop

This popular workshop brings together Civil 3D professionals, Autodesk and WisDOT for a packed day of learning and networking. This year's event will be held in the Wisconsin Dells on October 18-19. Attendees will earn PDHs and benefit from classes taught by expert users. Sponsorships are already available so reserve your spot today before registration opens.


Look for additional information, including registration and agenda materials, in August.


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Transportation Quarterly Meeting

Register today for our August 1 Transportation Quarterly Meeting. This members-only event brings attendees together with WisDOT staff to discuss changes in the department and looks ahead to new initiatives. Attendees also receive an in-depth look at legislative issues affecting the industry as well as learning what ACEC WI is doing about these items.


The registration deadline is July 27 so act soon to secure your spot.


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2017-18 Board of Directors Announced

On July 1, the 2017-18 Board of Directors candidates officially took office:

  • Chairman Randy Van Natta, PE; Becher-Hoppe
  • Chairman-Elect Jan Zander, PE; Ayres Associates
  • Secretary-Treasurer David Way, PE; Mead & Hunt
  • National Director Kim Lobdell, PE; KL Engineering
  • Director Dave Brose, PE; EMCS
  • Director Bill Holder, PE; American Engineering Testing
  • Director John Kissinger, PE; GRAEF
  • Past Chairman Les Fafard, PE; Short Elliott Hendrickson

Elected Director Carrie Bristoll-Groll resigned from the board following the 2017-18 election. In accordance with the bylaws, the Board of Directors appointed Dave Brose to fill the vacancy. Thank you, Carrie, for your service and leadership on the Board of Directors. We welcome new Directors Bill Holder and Dave Brose to the Board of Directors.


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Member News

MxGrp Inc. is welcomed to ACEC WI membership. The firm's key contact is Harry Farchmin; 414-732-1490; 12515 Zinke Drive, Brookfield, WI 53005;


Pearl Engineering Corp. is welcomed to ACEC WI membership. The firm's key contact is Jeff Pearl; 715-424-4009; 110 E. Grand Ave, Ste 210, Wisconsin Rapids, WI 54494;


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Strand Associates Steps Up

Recently, Chris Klein and Andrew Heidtke from ACEC WI were invited to give an update on our political giving to Strand Associates. Over 30 people attended the one-hour discussion on how everyone in a member firm can be involved in some way. Attendees learned about how political giving works and why they needed to be involved. All told, 14 people signed up as new conduit members. This is the type of support that ACEC WI is trying to elicit from all member firms. Thank you to everyone at Strand Associates for your strong commitment to ACEC WI and the engineering industry in Wisconsin.


If you would like ACEC WI to come to your firm to educate and promote political giving that enhances the engineering industry, reach out to Chris to work out the details. If you would like to get individually involved, get started today by signing up for the conduit.


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While our direct giving will quiet down during the budget season, it is critically important to remain involved. We will continue to work with legislators and our grassroots advocacy is ramping up. This is also an excellent time to start building your conduit so you can react when our funding requests come through.


Conduit and WisPAC contributors will receive more frequent updates on the state budget and our advocacy efforts this year from President Chris Klein. If this interests you and currently are not participating in the Conduit and PAC please do so here:


2017 Conduit Contributors
Contributors as of June 29, 2017


Chairman ($1,000 or more)

John Boldt, Clark Dietz Inc.

Dave Brose, EMCS Inc.*

Phil Budde, Strand Associates Inc.

Stephanie Christensen, EMCS Inc.*

Les Fafard, Short Elliott Hendrickson Inc.

Gil Hantzsch, MSA Professional Services Inc.

Jeff Kronser, Strand Associates Inc.

Rose Morgan, EMCS Inc.

Matt Richards, Strand Associates Inc.*

Sadhu Singh Rikhiraj, Singh & Associates Inc.

Raj Sheth, Mead & Hunt Inc.

Scott Stearns, Strand Associates Inc.*

Stan Sugden, Ruekert/Mielke Inc.*

Paul Tarvin, Terracon Consultants*

Randy Van Natta, Becher-Hoppe
Associates Inc.

President ($500 or more)

Rusty Chesmore, Mead & Hunt Inc.

Dennis Cooley, Strand Associates Inc.*

Mike Felker, Strand Associates Inc.

John Kissinger, GRAEF

Chris Klein, ACEC WI

Kim Lobdell, KL Engineering Inc.

Tom Lynch, Strand Associates Inc.*

Amy Squitieri, Mead & Hunt Inc.*
Jill Treadway, JT Engineering Inc.
Ken Ward, Ruekert/Mielke Inc.*
Ken Williams, Ruekert/Mielke Inc.*

Jan Zander, Ayres Associates Inc.

Principal ($250 or more)
Justin Bilskemper, Strand Associates Inc.*
Joe Bunker, Strand Associates Inc.*

Shawn Cannon, Strand Associates Inc.*

Brian Chlopek, JT Engineering
Harry Farchmin, MxGrp Inc.
Chad Halverson, KL Engineering Inc.
Eric Hanson, Strand Associates Inc.*
Scott Hasburgh, Mead & Hunt Inc.*

Brandon Herbert, Strand Associates Inc.*

Chad Kopecky, Strand Associates Inc.*

Tom Ludwig, Foth

Brent Pitcher, GRAEF

David Rice, Strand Associates Inc.*

Zach Simpson, Strand Associates Inc.*

Josh Straka, Strand Associates Inc.*
Dave Way, Mead & Hunt Inc.*


Professional ($100 or more)
Ryan Amtmann, Ruekert/Mielke Inc.*
Mustafa Emir, Clark Dietz Inc.*
Terry Genske, Strand Associates Inc.
Robert Harley, R.A. Smith National Inc.*

Luke Holman, Strand Associates Inc.*

Thomas Stetzer, Strand Associates Inc.*

Sean Sullivan, Ruekert/Mielke Inc.*

Mike WIlliams, Strand Associates Inc.*

Pat Wohlers, Ruekert/Mielke Inc.*

Steve Wurster, Ruekert/Mielke Inc.

* These individuals are participating in the automatic withdrawal program.

2017 WisPAC Contributors
Contributors as of June 29, 2017

Contributors ($100 or more)
Rusty Chesmore, Mead & Hunt Inc.
Jeffrey Kronser, Strand Associates Inc.

Sadhu Singh Rikhiraj, Singh & Associates Inc.

Paula Schultz, Strand Associates Inc.
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