President’s Address

Welcome to the fall 2017 issue of the ASCE Wisconsin Section newsletter! I would first like to thank you for the opportunity and privilege to serve as your President of the Wisconsin Section. Secondly, I would like to thank Peter Nilles for the fantastic job during his tenure as President this past year. I definitely have some big shoes to fill! Luckily for us, Peter still has (at least) another year on the Section Board of Directors. Thirdly, and lastly, I would like to express how grateful I am for the current people sitting on the Section Board of Directors. This group is full of great ideas and I can’t wait to see where that takes the Wisconsin Section into the future.

If you were not able to attend the Annual Meeting held in La Crosse back in September, I had alluded to the Section possibly hiring an association management firm to help with administrative tasks. Since then, I am excited to announce the Section has entered into a contract with Impact Virtual Services, located out of Madison. Jill Miller will serve as the Section’s primary Virtual Executive Administrator. The past few weeks have been a flurry of e-mails and phone calls to help get Jill up to speed on the Section activities. So far, Impact has been helping the Section with newsletter and Section Board meeting agenda preparation, monitoring of social media presence and accounts, and assisting the conference planning committees to serve as a form of continuity and consistency between the Branches as they rotate hosting these conferences. With Impact taking some of this burden off the Section’s shoulders, we are also hoping to further advance ASCE within the Wisconsin Section and increase the value of benefits already derived from having an ASCE membership. This won’t happen overnight, but it is one of the Section’s primary goals at this time.

Similar to other newsletter messages in the past, the Section is always looking to increase member involvement. This can be as simple as renewing your membership, attending local events sponsored by the Section or Branch, or becoming actively involved at the Section or Branch level.

Having volunteered for many years already at both the Section and Branch levels, I can see how much difference just one person can make with the right ambition and leadership. I am also a firm believer that you get as much out of a professional organization as you put into it. ASCE has provided me with ample networking and leadership opportunities that have helped shape my career in meaningful ways. I can’t imagine where I would be without those opportunities.

Finally, I would like to borrow a portion of Bill Meyer’s President’s Message
from October 2010:

“You may know from past editions of the Newsletter that I like to share my opinions, solicited or not. I don’t insist that you agree with me. I actually much prefer active disagreement to apathy. I prefer almost anything to apathy, the greatest destroyer of professions and souls in the world.”

Similar to Bill, if you know me at all, I typically have an opinion on most matters and I would really like to hear yours! E-mail to let us know what events, functions, or ideas that you would like to see implemented, changed, removed, etc. Again, you only get as much out of your ASCE membership as you put into it. So please help us make the ASCE Wisconsin Section better for everyone!

Justin R. Bilskemper, P.E., M.ASCE

*November 2017 President’s Message

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American Society of Civil Engineers: Wisconsin Section