August 2020

NACE Update from President Scott McGolpin

Without any state travel on the NACE schedule so far this summer, we have been finding other ways to stay busy and focused on our association’s mission.  A high priority item this year is to enhance communications between our Corporate Members and our county road official members.  Last month I joined Staci Morgan, NACE’s Conference and Membership Director, and Corporate Member Services Chair Mark Servi for a virtual meet and greet with some of our corporate members and exhibitors.  The goal of this meeting was to relay how important corporate members are to all of us at NACE and to roll out new NACE benefits for 2021 that provide access to NACE throughout the year. We also listened to our exhibitors about how they can provide educational content to our engineers via webinars. This would be mutually beneficial for both our County Engineers and our Corporate Members.  NACE Connect will be a combination of educational webinars and quarterly virtual zooms where our Corporate Members can talk about new products and services. With conferences being canceled all over the country our corporate members have missed many opportunities to interact with association membership like ours.  NACE Connect will be our way of spending time with these tremendous supporters of NACE until we get to Palm Springs in 2021 and beyond.  There was also a great suggestion for NACE to provide professional development hours for those in attendance. Staci will be working on these initiatives over the next couple of months so please stay tuned.

I have been active in NACE for many years now but one of the mysteries for me had always been the language that we use when we are talking about corporate partners/affiliates/sponsors/exhibitors etc.  I know in California we use similar terms, but they mean very different things when compared to local, regional, and national associations.  I suspect that may be the case for others as well and to clarify any potential confusion that may exist, below are the definitions NACE uses in this area:

Affiliates: This is what California (and some state affiliates) call their corporate members. NACE refers to affiliates as the state associations for our county engineers.

Voting Members: These are our great county engineers.

Corporate Partners/Members: Companies, associations, service providers who join NACE as a Bronze, Gold, Diamond, or Platinum members.

Sponsors: Companies who pay to sponsor the annual conference only.

Associate members: Individuals and some companies who want to attend the annual conference at the member rate and receive NACE News. They do not get any Corporate Member Benefits.

Exhibitors: Companies who purchase an exhibit or equipment space for the annual conference.

Vendors: This term is not used by NACE - vendors are the people we pay to provide services- like our decorator, caterer, or graphic designer for the annual conference.

Over the past month, I had the opportunity to attend two virtual meetings representing NACE.  The first was the State of Indiana’s Association of County Highway Engineers and Supervisors (IACHES).  NACE Executive Director Kevan Stone and I provided a joint presentation covering NACE’s focus areas over the next year and a federal legislative update.  We conveyed that it is a very busy time for NACE in DC.  With the House version of the federal transportation bill on the street now to the Administration’s recent efforts to streamline the federal process – it is very exciting to see NACE’s influence in the proposed legislation language used by both branches of government.  As we look to grow our membership across the country, we are grateful to the leadership in Indiana for inviting NACE to participate.  We look forward to attending in person in the future.

The National Local Technical Assistance Program Association (NLTAPA) invited NACE to participate in their virtual Partners session as part of their annual conference.  Many of us rely on the work these folks do to provide the necessary resources and training for our teams throughout the year through the Local Technical Assistance Program (LTAP).  This partnership provides the professional development that our NACE members depend on to deliver outstanding Public Works Services within their respective jurisdictions. On behalf of all of us, I relayed our thanks to them for their ongoing support, education and training of our membership.

I have had the opportunity to learn much in my tenure on both the NACE Executive Committee and the Board of Directors.  The ability to network with my peers allows me to gain a better understanding of the unique challenges our members face with federal agencies in their respective states.  When I raise the topic of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to our members, many stories detail a challenging landscape to navigate.  All of us have individual stories of our interactions with FEMA and other federal agencies and many fall into very similar categories: review/reimbursement delays, challenges with federal staff possessing locally applicable technical knowledge, little or limited flexibility in the federal process and frequent changes to existing regulations or statute.  With this in mind I, asked Alabama to join California this year to draft an issue paper about the challenges we encounter with agencies such as FEMA.  In July, a small group from these states met to draft out the focus areas and issues we are experiencing.  Once a final draft is available, we will engage the NACE Legislative and Emergency Preparedness Committees for input and their thoughts to move forward.  Long term goals will be to work in DC to make these agencies more adept to local concerns while interacting with our members in a more efficient manner.  A more immediate goal is to have a briefing paper available in early 2021 to initiate conversations with FEMA, the White House and Congress to achieve mutually beneficial agency reform as it pertains to local government interaction.

As you can see, while our in-person interaction is limited by the current pandemic, NACE is hard at work continuing our mission to provide value and results for our members.  I want to thank our Committee Leadership and Members as they continue their efforts on behalf of NACE during these challenging times.  I look forward to sharing our progress as the year progresses and am excited for what NACE’s future will bring. I hope you, your families and colleagues remain safe and healthy.  Thank you for your public service and commitment to NACE!


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NACE Update from President McGolpin- July 2020

NACE Update from Kevan Stone- June 2020

NACE Update from President Tim Hens - February 2020

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