SAME Sacramento Post President's Message

Colonel Bill LeadyDear Members and Friends of the Sacramento Post, Society of American Military Engineers:

As we all leave 2020 in the rear view mirror and hope for better things to come in 2021, I’m struck by how relevant the phrase SAME’s Executive Director Joe Schroedel uses would become to the Sacramento Post's handling of the COVID-19 pandemic: “Deeds not words!”

I would like to thank the volunteer members who serve on the SAME Sacramento Post’s Board of Directors, and the various chairs of our Post’s committees. These folks worked tirelessly to reimagine an engaging 2020 program for members essentialy on the fly each month, a daunting undertaking that nevertheless was a huge success. While the board was unable to meet in person, the monthly board meetings were held online, and everyone stepped up to become engaged in all aspects of the Post’s activities.

2020 Programs in Review

Shortly after the Post supported the USACE Sacramento District’s Business Opportunities Open House in February, the pandemic forced cancellation of the March event scheduled at Travis AFB. But we retooled quickly, transitioning to online ‘virtual’ general meetings with the first meeting being with the local Small Business Administration (SBA) hosting a forum on the CARES Act and Paycheck Protection Program in mid-April. From there, the Post would go on to host four additional virtual online general meetings during the year, with topics ranging from air quality issues from the fires in the fall to learning about levee repairs for the Army Corps’ ongoing flood control program for the Central Valley.

$35,000 in scholarships awarded in 2020!

The Post did not forget its mission for education support either – while the annual dinner recognizing scholarship winners had to be cancelled, the program was mailed out to all of the scholarship winners along with scholarships totaling $35,500 in value. Also, the Scholarship Committee organized a Scholarship Ceremony virtual address including speeches from three military leaders!

The Post recognized very quickly that the ability to raise money for scholarships would be extra challenging this year, but some key events allowed the Post to still raise over $32,000 in funds this year to provide for scholarships in 2021. Not bad work considering it was done during a worldwide pandemic!

Our two largest events in 2020!

The two events that were most instrumental in the fundraising efforts were the annual Sustaining Members Forum (SMF), held in August, and our Golf Tournament hosted in October. The SMF presented 11 dynamic and different government programs to over 140 virtual attendees, some participating from as far away as Florida. We followed that up with our other big and successful fundraiser: the Post’s annual Golf Tournament, which moved from the summer to the fall, and changed venues to Whitney Oaks after having spent the previous few years at Catta Verdera Country Club. While it was a ‘socially distanced’, with unique challenges for golfers and organizers alike, the event was a great success, with nearly 100 golfers participating in what was the first in-person gathering of any sort for the Post since early February, an eight-month gap.

Post Members are recognized for their sevice to the Society

Putting on events and programs of this scale got the Sacramento Post noticed; I am proud to say that we had not one or two, but six individuals recognized for their service to the Post by winning SAME Regional Vice President medals in 2020. Way to go, Coreen Cecil, Jill Miller, Jordan Ollanik, Jackie Hader, Kelli Lo, and Suzy Grix! Last, but certainly not least, the Post received national kudos when our very own Steven Herrera was selected as an inductee into the Academy of Fellows (AOF) for SAME! The AOF recognizes individuals for their service to the Society and the A/E/C profession. This prestigious group of senior leaders within SAME will hold their induction ceremony in 2021; Steven was only one of two individuals from California selected for this honor! Congratulations Steven, for this well-deserved recognition of your service to SAME.

I would be remiss if I didn’t say that doing all of these things in the Sacramento Post requires dedication and time from our volunteers. If you are interested in helping out or being more involved in one of the most dynamic and engaging SAME Posts in the country, please reach out to me and let me know. The Post can always use more help!

May everyone have a peaceful, safe, and healthy holiday season – and may the return to normalcy come sooner than everyone has dared to dream. Here’s to a successful 2021!

Thank you for your support of the Sacramento Post.

Phil Welker, P.E., PMP
GeoEngineers, Inc.
President, SAME Sacramento Post

The Society of American Military Engineers: formed “in the interest of National Defense… bringing together all phases of U.S. engineering, [in both the] civil sector and military, for the advancement of knowledge…and the rapid mobilization of engineering capabilities.” - Charter of the Society of American Military Engineers, founded in 1920.