December 2019

NACE Update from President Tim Hens

I hope this newsletter update finds you all with a post-turkey eating tryptophan smile on your face. My family was able to gather at my daughter’s house in Buffalo and enjoy a solid Bills victory over America’s Team. The game moved up dinner which allowed for generous portions of seconds to be consumed post game and pre-pie. It was strange to see everyone in their Buffalo Bills red, white & blue rather than the usual smart-looking dress clothes, but we had a great day!  

I very recently returned from San Francisco where I visited with the great hosts from the County Engineers Association of California (CEAC). There were outstanding events all week long, but I do have to report an assassination attempt on NACE President-Elect McGolpin (Santa Barbara County, CA), and CEAC President-Elect Tippett (Trinity County, CA) and me. While golfing at the CEAC outing at the beautiful Presidio Golf Course on December 3rd, a golf ball from another foursome in the tournament was blasted through the President-Elects’ golf cart and in between their heads. I was parked directly next to them and heard Rick yell, “Duck”, and then I heard a loud thump. Everything happened so quickly that we weren’t really sure what happened. The errant shot apparently came from distinguished CLODS member Peter Rei, former Public Works Directors from Tuolumne County. Peter spent quite a while looking for his ball with no luck. After several holes it became very apparent where Peter’s shot from the grassy knoll had wound up. While retrieving his boxed lunch from the rear of his cart, Scott found a yellow golf ball in the basket. We instantly knew this was the missile that Peter had launched in our general direction as each foursome in the tournament had been assigned a special yellow ball. The yellow ball was intended to be hit by a player on each hole and then passed to the next with the intention of actually finishing all 18 holes still retaining the yellow ball. Peter had lost his team’s yellow ball when it flew through the President-Elects’ cart and hit the placard holder above their heads and dropped into the basket in the rear of the cart! This, of course, was the source of many laughs.  

The CEAC crew really knows how to put on a show. This year was the 50th CLODS barbeque and, in usual fashion, the food was amazing. The presentation is especially epic—they even break out a porcelain bowl for the chili! The traditions that this group passes on are unique in the country and are quite comical. From the Buffalo Bull Award, the ugly painting that is presented to the most recent retiree, the 10-pound ornamental hard hat, to the Buddy Award; this group knows how to keep things in perspective. All the fun aside, I did attend several policy meetings with CEAC and they can obviously be very professional as well. In addition to the conference, NACE Staff and I met with California’s Planning Committee for NACE 2021 which will be held in Palm Springs, CA.  Plans are already well in motion to put on a fantastic event.

Speaking of fantastic, the registration for NACE 2020 is open and active. We had record breaking registration with over 75 attendees registered on the very first day. The Annual Conference in Baldwin County, AL (Orange Beach) is going to be off the charts! I encourage you to register as soon as possible because the prime hotel rooms will go fast.    

By the time many of you get the NACE News we will be getting really close to Christmas. It’s plenty white enough around here to remember it’s time to put up the tree and decorate. I hope that everyone has a safe and very merry Christmas and that everyone is blessed with a bountiful New Year! See you in 2020!

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