CMAA Focus19 is a high-level conference based on the subjects and challenges faced by those leading teams and firms. Earn up to 10 PDHs participating in education sessions focusing on communication skills, decision-making, and problem-solving.
Sunday, March 31
|1:00 - 3:00 pm||
CCM Champions: Mentoring the Next Generation
Who are CCM Champions? CCM Champions are vital in connecting CMITs with mentors who will provide the guidance and support needed to ensure CMITs are on track to obtain their CCM credential. CMCI’s CCM Champions program is entering its fifth year and needs your help to continue promoting the Certified Construction Manager (CCM) credential. This session will cover processes and experiences of CCM Champions as they work with mentees. What sort of career development questions do CMITs ask? How do you support CMITs in getting additional training? How do you help CMITs get RIC experience? The session will address each of these topics through success stories direct from CCM Champions.
Bill Johal, CCM, Executive Director, Kitchell
Don Young, PE, CCM, Executive Vice President, MBP
Chad White, CCM, Aviation Principal, Jacobs
Cynthia Moore, CCM, Managing Consultant, HKA
JD Harrison, CCM, Regional Director & Program Manager, CH2M
CM Career Roundtable: What’s Your Value Proposition?
Have you ever wanted to sit down with other experienced professionals to share career-related topics? Now’s your chance. Each attendee will visit three special interest tables to participate in facilitated discussions focusing on maximizing value. Whether you work directly on assignments or oversee teams, this session will help you consider the contributing factors to success from a business perspective. Was the value received worth the cost? How do others view your efforts as an individual and comparatively? Every construction manager should understand the CM business model and job compensation methodology so you know what rate got you hired, keeps your job, and helps you advance? Whether your preference is to own a firm or maximize your current position, you will see how to choose a path that maximizes your value.
Lisa Sachs, CCM, FCMAA, Managing Principal, Cumming Corporation
Invisible Leadership Skills: Small Techniques that Make a Huge Impact!
The leaders we admire make leadership seem so natural. The skills that propel these leaders forward are specific, but can be acquired. While Construction Managers are most focused on managing tasks, timeline, and budget, they should also look to improve their leadership function. This workshop explores ways to create a leader-reputation that is distinctive from others. Attendees will learn techniques they can weave into their daily routine to enhance effectiveness. From structuring information appropriately and making an impression that lasts, to leading meetings with impact and encouraging teams to deliver their best, the long-term impact is a change in viewpoint of the CM role.
Joanne Linowes, Founding Principal, Linowes Executive Development Institute, LLC (LXDi)
|3:30 - 5:00 pm||
Opening Plenary Session
Known as the “technology translator,” Crystal Washington takes complex social media, app, and web topics and makes them easy to understand and accessible for everyday people. Leaders today need to successfully access these tools to build, energize and engage successful teams, and strengthen relationships. Crystal will share her knowledge and provide real takeaways on how to use technology to network, build teams, and strengthen connections without losing that personal touch.
Monday, April 1
|7:00 - 9:00 am||
Ken Schmidt is a wanted man. His role in transforming Harley-Davidson Motor Company—one of the most celebrated corporate success stories in history—led business leaders all over the world to seek his guidance. After all, how many companies can get their customers to tattoo their logo on their arms? In this lively session, Ken will share his full-throttle approach and insights on the road to creating a passionately loyal corporate culture and developing leaders who inspire and motivate.
|9:30 - 10:30 am||
Partnering: A Key Tool for Improving Project Delivery
Partnering is a team building process whereby the participants commit to mutual goals and pledge to interact with trust, respect, and open communication. In that way, partnering creates a positive atmosphere which allows participants to draw on the knowledge and experience of all. During this session, a claims consultant and a CM will discuss the basics of partnering and provide examples of its successful use. Attendees will participate in a mock partnering exercise during which they will work together to set project goals and write a mission statement and charter for a fictitious project. They will learn how partnering saves time and money, improves quality, reduces claims, and breaks down the inherent barriers erected by contracts and the us-versus-them nature of project relationships.
Rocco Vespe, PE, FCMAA, Principal, HKA - Global
Brian Van Lenten, PE, Managing Consultant, HKA-Global
Industry Partner Session: CII
Dr. Steve Mulva of the Construction Industry Institute (CII) will discuss initiatives to enhance the business effectiveness and sustainability of the capital facility life cycle through CII research, related activities, and industry alliances. Dr. Mulva will discuss what’s next and what will be the focus for CII, as well as on how CII will continue to create the knowledge necessary to position the industry for success going forward.
Dr. Stephen P. Mulva, Executive Director, Construction Industry Institute
Lessons Learned from Generations of Women Construction & Program Managers
How do we encourage more women to consider program, project, and construction management as a viable profession? Attend this session to find out! Participants will hear from several women in these fields who will provide insights into specific topics, such as how they got where they are, what they have learned, and what is needed for future field development. Discussions will focus on the specific experiences that led these women to enter engineering or construction management, and lessons learned from all phases of project management, focusing on system implementation. The presenters will provide an overview of challenges and successes faced in their careers, touching on the important qualities of any leader, male or female.
Cassandra Marshall, Program Administrator, DeKalb County Department of Watershed Management
Lauren Zuravnsky, PE, Chief of Design & Construction, Hampton Roads Sanitation District
Theresa Byrne, Esq, Deputy Director Contract Administration, Massachusetts Bay Transportaiton Authority
Cindi Costello, Northeast Contracts and Document Manager, AECOM
Mary Jane Hartney, Esq, Sr. Program Manager, AECOM
Welcome Onboard! Now What?
It takes time and money to find key employees. But an improved economy means employees will move on quickly if they don’t find a good fit. This means you must have a strategy to integrate them into your company. Voluntary turnover affects your bottom line and company morale, but a good on-boarding process will retain your new hires. This presentation will give attendees the keys to successful on-boarding, which starts the minute the offer is accepted. The first 90-days is critical in the employee’s successful transition to a new organization, which means on-boarding should encompass the entire team and continue through the new hire’s first six months. Specific examples of effective on-boarding techniques from well-known construction companies will be provided.
Alan Kerschen, Director of Human Resources, Kimmel & Associates
|11:00 am - 12:00 pm||
Challenging the Invisible Traditions of Building Information Modeling
How much longer should your organization follow the preconceived notions of contractually required modeling traditions? The answer is, not much longer. Transitioning from federated to "live" modeling is the new wave of owner involved project delivery. Through interactive conversations, this session will provide the basis for team owned results, as well as innovative prefabrication that not only saves time and money, but also establishes early accuracy for confirmed quality assurance. Participants will discover how to sufficiently define BIM expectations through team engagement, clearly manage owner expectations through deliverable definition, effectively utilize cloud-based technology for true "live" collaboration, and manage results through team accountability.
Ed Thompson, Project Director, Cherry City Electric
A Case for an Inclusive Culture, and Why It Matters
Research shows that organizations with inclusive cultures are two times as likely to meet or exceed financial targets, three times as likely to be high performing, six times more likely to be innovative, and eight times more likely to achieve better business results. It’s clear that industries from tech to transportation, to financial and AEC are recognizing that workforce diversity and inclusion are fundamental to growth and long-term sustainability. In this session, the moral and business imperatives of diversity and inclusion will be highlighted. Discussion around the results of a diversity and inclusion survey will allow attendees to take away best practices related to recruiting, engagement, community involvement, and supplier diversity.
Mike Carragher, CEO, VHB
Keri Kocur, Chief People Office, VHB
Industry Partner Session: ABA Forum on Construction Law
Leadership of the American Bar Association’s Forum on Construction Law presents a view of today’s legal environment focused on the risks and opportunities for construction managers. The discussion will consider practical ways that a CM can guide projects to completion whether the project is well planned and executed or whether it becomes a “troubled project.”
Thomas Rosenberg, Esq, Shareholder, Roetzel
Wendy Venoit, Esq., Partner, Hinckley Allen
Kristine Kubes, Esq., Principal, Kubes Law Office, PLLC
What Makes a Successful Leader?
In today's booming marketplace, AEC firms are busy! Team members are stretched thin, meaning that too often leaders are juggling the involved nature of running jobs, as well as trying to lead. Today's AEC leaders find themselves having little to no time to focus on strategic planning, mentoring, professional development, recruiting, and team building. As a result, they are letting business happen to them, instead of making business happen for them. If this sounds like you, attend this session to define what being the best leader should look like. The characteristics of great leaders will be defined, the difference between managers and leaders will be explored, and the aspects of an effective leader's role will be discussed.
Cyndi Gundy, President, CG Consulting
|2:00 - 3:00 pm||
Building Moral Muscle for the Individual and the Organization
Are you developing moral muscle? Would you like to learn how? Preparing to face ethical situations in practice requires an understanding of how to use moral intelligence both as an individual and as an organization. While the decision to practice by a code of ethics may be personal, organizations can create a culture of ethical practice for the organization, helping employees develop consistent values. This session will present a case study of how one organization embraced its values and implemented programs to build a culture of ethics through training, practice, and outreach. Attendees will see how to develop their own moral intelligence, and how those values tie to ethical practice as a Construction Manager.
Coy Veach, PE, CCM, Vice President, Freese and Nichols
Stephanie Buckingham, Organizational Development Specialist, Freese and Nichols
Gina Smith, Organizational Development Manager, Freese and Nichols
Industry Partner Session: CFMA
Did you know that the construction industry is the most at risk industry for suicide deaths and has a suicide rate that is four times more than the national average? In order to help protect our most precious resource – our people – this session will identify how integrating mental health and suicide prevention by creating a caring culture can improve safety, health, and community - and make a company an employer of choice!
Steve Wiltshire , Director of Safety, Associated Builders and Contractors
Optimizing Performance Through High-Functioning Peak Team Collaboration
Building a peak team is crucial to any CM’s success. Everyone knows that bringing together the owner, architect, and general contractor to make sure a project is completed on-time, on-budget and up to the standards set by the owner is necessary. But how does the CM develop trust among all parties? Effective communication and synergistic collaboration is critical. Attendees will see how effective collaboration can dramatically impact field performance, and then learn how best to go about building a team using these strategies. Through an exploration of the essential ingredients of team building, participants will walk away with the skills to leverage the strengths of individuals so the team operates at peak performance.
Tim Tokarczyk, Principal, FMI Corporation
Constructing a Strong Career: Advice from Females in the Field
What better way for female field employees to develop the leadership skills needed to assume greater responsibility on the project site, in their project team, and in the profession, then from women who have paved the way. The presenters bring over 60 years combined construction industry experience, and have all progressed from interns to integral leadership positions. Attendees will leave with a clear understanding of the communication tools necessary for females to successfully work in the construction industry, including how to give and receive feedback, constructive criticism, and accolades. Each attendee will have the ability to establish new relationships with women in similar positions, providing opportunities to expand their networks.
Keiva Rodriques, Project Manager, Hill International
Bridget Day, PE, Senior Project Manager, Hill International
Megan Syrnick, PE, Project Manager / Resident Engineer, Hill International
|3:30 - 4:30 pm||
(Almost) Everything You Need to Know for a Polished AEC Presentation
Presenting ideas effectively is an essential part of design and construction. Nearly every day, CMs are asked to present something either formal or informal, planned or spontaneous, to a team or community, public hearing, shortlist interview, networking event, or conference. To be well-received, every presentation requires five elements. In this lively session, attendees will learn how to organize subject matter, then enhance it with delivery techniques to make presentations stand out. While it’s tempting to think content is king, it’s not everything. Substance is a given, but to get results, remarks and delivery must be engaging, interesting, memorable, clear, targeted, and appropriate in length and format. Easy-to-apply skills will become second nature to attendees, so that even without warning, they can deliver a seemingly polished and prepared presentation.
Joanne Linowes, Founding Principal, Linowes Executive Development Institute, LLC (LXDi)
Innovation and Leading Into the Future
AEC technology will be capable of autonomous job sites by the year 2025. The challenge? The AEC industry has been doing work the same way forever. Learn to rearrange the way you work with help from those leading the industry’s digital transformation. Panel members will share their experiences and explore examples of the digital transformation’s effect across the industry. From how data is collected, analyzed, shared, and used to improve safety and performance, to using data for accurate cost and resource planning, the leader of the future will need to add digital product management and predictive modeling to their CM tool belt. This course will help you identify the roadblocks preventing technology adoption and provide the means to overcome them.
Joel Timmins, Director, Markon Solutions
Marc Gravallese, Senior Director, Markon Solutions
Hussein Cholkamy, Co-Founder/COO, Eyrus
Aligning Tools and Technology for Project Success
You wouldn’t expect a construction crew to show up to a job without the proper tools. Does the same hold true on professional service agreements for Project and Construction Management? This session explores root causes of project failure and presents clear evidence for resourcing project teams, not only with the best talent, but also the best tools and technology. Panelists will reveal empirical evidence and share case studies demonstrating why use of the best tools is an investment in a project’s success, as well as dispelling myths that proven technologies are too costly. Attendees will gain an overview of the best technologies being used to manage budget, schedule, information requests, submittals, and photo documentation.
Vincent Testa, CCM, Project Manager, Jacobs
Marty Turner, CCM, Principle Program Controls Manager, Jacobs
Alyssa Scatchell, Project Engineer - LEED Coordinator, Jacobs
Adam Keyzers, Project Director, Jacobs
Industry Partner Session: SAME
Since the 1990s, the focus on project partnering between government owners and private contractors has diminished. This has contributed to an increase in disputes and lack of understanding and common goals. SAME has spearheaded an Industry-Government Advisory Group to address partnering as a means to improve communications and project delivery for the Department of Defense. This session will highlight the group's progress and findings.
Brig. Gen. Joe Schroedel, PE, United States Army (Ret.), Executive Director, Society of Military Engineers
Tuesday, April 2
|7:30 - 8:45 am||
What are some of the problems facing the CM/PM industry and how are organizations and people positioning themselves for the future? CMAA Quickfire is four presentations in one, highlighting the perspectives, research and approaches being taken to make a positive impact on our industry. Stay until the end for a chance to join the conversation!
|9:00 - 10:00 am||
Industry Partner Session: SMPS
What will professional services marketing look like in 2022? How will marketers, business developers, and company leaders leverage new techniques to keep up with the disruptions that shake the foundations of marketing and business operations? What skills will you need to learn to keep your firm in the forefront? This program will have attendees organize into groups and discuss the marketing and business development approaches of the future, with a spokesperon from each sharing their findings at the end. These groups will create real-time, qualitative research to confirm the quantitative research presented. Attendees will learn to leverage new technologies to elevate their firm’s marketing programs, enhance their skills to stay at the forefront of emerging marketing trends, increase their value to firms, and determine opportunities for self-improvement.
Michael Geary, CEO, SMPS
Scott Butcher, Vice President/CMO, JDB Engineering, Inc.
How to Attract, Recruit, and Retain Great Employees
All employers know that having capable employees at all levels of an organization is critical for sustainable success. But how do you hire and then keep high-level teammates that will promote your organization’s long-term success? In this interactive session, presenters will help audience members understand the critical components of creating a culture that attracts the best talent and then empowers those employees. They will also explain how to create a hiring process that weeds out pretenders to get to the best candidates, and the importance of the annual review in creating a culture of excellence that “A” players demand. Attendees will leave with an understanding of the five functions of management, plus the necessity of holding accountable problem employees.
Steve Anderson, PhD., President / CEO, Integrated Leadership Systems
Chris Halapy, PE, Executive Vice President, Shook Construction
Connecting Data Across the Construction Lifecycle
Equipping construction teams with mobile access to project data and information is no longer “nice to have,” but a critical business component. But research shows that an undeniable gap between initiatives to deploy technology and the actual adoption of those tools among workers exists. The presenter will share a unique perspective on how to successfully implement new software. Learn to be lean and efficient from design all the way to operations, with digital handoffs for higher owner satisfaction. This session will explore spending more time on value-adding tasks, mobile deployment vs. actual adoption of mobile across teams, best practices of complete digital handovers for better facilities management, and top tools and technologies for successful management on complex projects.
Peter Razavi, Customer Advocate, PlanGrid
|10:15 - 11:15 am||
Successful Projects Are Not Managed. They Are Led!
Project success is directly attributable to the way a team collaborates and how it provides leadership. If you want success time and time again, this session will reveal insights into project leadership from the perspective of the Owner, Designer, OPM, and CM. Proven leaders in their fields, this panel brings over 120 years of combined experience. They will show how tools, processes, and procedures allow a project to be “managed,” whereas leadership comes from proactive and timely decision making, open and honest communications, a firm but fair approach, and accountability by all. Attendees will gain the ability to place a project in a better position to be successful, understand the perspectives of project stakeholders, and comprehend project management vs. project leadership.
Michael Lambert, PMCM Project Exec, Jacobs
Roy Pedersen, Program Manager, Jacobs
Kristine Gorman, Sales Principal, Jacobs
Steve Killian, EVP Dir of Construction, Barr and Barr
Patricia Filippone, Executive Director, University of Massachusetts Building Authority
Industry Partner Session: CFMA
Review the key trends and divergent findings from the 2018 Financial Survey data - collected from nearly 1,000 construction companies. The survey is based on fiscal year 2017 results. The session also provides an overview of CFMA's online Construction Financial Benchmarker and its suite of financial reports.
Billy Stockton, Jr., Controller, R.H. White Companies
Steve Freinberg, Manager, Clearview Group
Strategic Decision- Making the 5lever Approach
Want to align your organization to your goals? Learn to use the “Five Levers” approach. In this workshop, two industry executives share how they led their firm to 11 consecutive years of profitable growth, while competitors struggled. Through a case study, participants will experience the challenges of growing a profitable business, maintaining industry leading benefits, and providing customer value, while nurturing a strong reputation. The Five Levers methodology addresses: Profit, Benefits, Labor Rate, Culture, and Brand. Attendees will participate in a poll to determine a strategic baseline for discussion across several scenarios. Attendees will leave able to use the Five Levers methodology to review their own firm’s practices.
Steve Genn, Vice President, Markon
Marc Gravellese, CCM, Senior Director, Markon
|11:30 am - 12:00 pm||
CMAA Focus19 Town Hall
What better way to close out the inaugural CMAA Focus than a town hall session so attendees and speakers can share insights learned as well as tips and tactics to take back to the office. This interactive session will also feature highlights from Sunday’s FutureFocus, a panel of leading executives from CM and Program Management service firms, along with prominent owners of capital construction programs, discussion of the five-year future of the profession.
Please note: schedule is subject to change.