ASCE Texas Section President

Craig B. Thompson PE
President 2016-2017

The Times They Are A Changin'

In the Nobel Prize winning words of Bob Dylan “the times they are a-changin’.” When he wrote that song I am sure he was thinking more about Civil Rights than a professional society for civil engineers but the anthem’s message is clear. The first verse has us recognize that things are moving and growing fast and that we all “better start swimmin’ or you’ll sink like stone.


I first noticed this when Past President Curtis Beitel handed me the book Race for Relevance. An eye-opening read for all involved in leading associations. Then, during our Strategic Planning efforts, Past President Audra Morse led us down a path to ask tougher questions during this process than we have before. She had us step outside the box when asking the simplest of questions – What is our vision and what is our mission? To be part of that process makes you appreciate leaders like Curtis and Audra!


With the NEW Strategic Plan (big thanks to Vikas K. Verma PE for all his work on it as well) in hand we have decided that this would be the perfect opportunity delve into the Bylaws and Rules of Operation and other guiding documents to identify areas where we can make sure we are swimmin’.


Part of this change is something very exciting.The Board of Direction has unanimously agreed to offer Lindsay O’Leary PE the Executive Director’s position. Lindsay comes to us from the consulting world and as member and passionate volunteer from the Austin Branch. Lindsay will be starting the first part of November but already she is familiarizing herself with the Section and staff. I am sure she will be making her rounds to the Branches so please make her feel welcome and let her know how we can better serve you, the members.


With Lindsay’s arrival we say a huge thank you to Cres Guzman PE who is stepping down after 6 years at the helm.  Cres has been such an amazing advocate of the Texas Section and a guiding light for the past 6 years. He led the charge to partnering with agencies and other associations. He led us through the changes of Texas Section meeting formats and helped develop two very promising events – CECON and the Student Symposium. The potential that these events have is amazing and our expectations are even higher. So, as you can see Lindsay, like myself, has big shoes to fill but with an exciting slate of officers, and amazing Section staff and a rejuvenated sense of purpose we will be in the swim.


I mentioned in the beginning of this blog that Bob Dylan probably wasn’t thinking about a technical society for civil engineers. That may be true, but his last verse ends - ”Your old road is rapidly agin’, please get out of the new one if you can’t lend your hand… for the times they are a changin’.” Intentionally or not, he addressed both a part of our professional field and the challenge for a professional association as it faces the future. Won’t you join us?

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