SAME Sacramento Post President's Message

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

We’ve just turned the corner into the last quarter of 2021, and it seems like we have a lot to look forward to the rest of this year and into 2022. The month of June was a month of “firsts”. We said “goodbye” and “thank you” to our out-going SAME Sacramento Post President, Mr. Phil Welker. Phil was the first Sacramento Post President to successfully lead a Post during a pandemic. Phil did an amazing job under very unusual circumstances, and will continue to be an active member of our Board. We thank him for his leadership and appreciate all of his contributions to keep our Post going forward. Also, in June, our members elected a new Post Board of Directors, and I am excited to work with both new and/or continuing officers, directors and Committee leaders in the coming months. We were inducted as the first Sacramento Post Board “post-COVID”. Our Young Professionals Group also inducted it’s second new Board of Directors in June, and Suzy Grix will serve as the Chair over the coming year, as Jordan Ollanik turns over the reins to Suzy. A big thanks to Suzy and to Jordan for their commitment and for leading the Post’s Young Professionals Group. The final “first” in June - the State ended the restrictions to our lives which have been in place for over a year, and although we have not fully resumed our “normal” activities, it seems as if we are moving in that direction.

As July heated up with record temperatures, and our State’s lake and reservoir levels diminished, we experienced a very challenging summer. I’m thankful to be a part of our A/E/C industry. Many of our members are working on solutions for water storage and distribution to ensure that Californians have options for water use in the future. In addition to the water shortage, there is an apparent labor shortage in our industry as well. I’ve heard from a number of Post members that job requisitions continue to go unfilled, and we are all working harder and longer hours than ever. It’s a good time to be a part of the Post, and it’s an ideal time for us to begin to transition into in-person events so that our members can get back to networking and to recruiting for their unfilled positions. One interesting note is that during the pandemic, our Post has retained and/or gained members, which is directly correlated to the contributions by our tremendous Membership Chair, Coreen Cecil, who with her Committee, implemented a number of new processes to welcome and recruit Post members.

$31,755 in scholarships awarded in 2021!

In May, we virtually celebrated another group of amazing scholarship winning students during our annual scholarship event. Although we had to skip a second scholarship dinner, each student winning a scholarship had an opportunity to be recognized during the two-hour event. This year the Post mailed out checks for scholarships totaling $31,755 in value. Our amazing Scholarship Committee not only planned and coordinated the event, but they also secured Brigadier General Paul Owen, commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers South Pacific Division to present the keynote address during the Ceremony!

2021 Programs to Date

Although the majority of Post members were sequestered during the first six months of this year, our Post continued to offer a variety of virtual presentations to make sure that our members were able to continue to learn and/or network, though virtually, with other Post members. One of the significant benefits during the COVID pandemic over the past 18 months was our ability to expand participation at our events to other Post members on the West Coast. We held our first virtual Post Holidays Celebration and Scholarship Fundraiser/Auction in January, a fun event and a huge success, raising more than $5,700! We scheduled a number of interesting presentations on a wide variety of topics including the Sacramento District’s COVID-19 Response, an update on the USACE Dam Safety Program, the Nimbus Fish Hatchery Fish Ladder project, a water security panel hosted by representatives from San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, East Bay Municipal Utilities District, Department of Water Resources and Valley Water, and a presentation by the Naval Facilities Engineering and Expeditionary Warfare Center on long-term Artificial Intelligence (AI)-enhanced monitoring leak detection and localization technology. We hope that our members enjoyed our programs to date, and we think the remainder of this year will be just as exciting, including two very special Centennial events planned for the end of 2021.

Our two largest events in 2021!

The Post’s two largest events of the year and which are the most instrumental to fundraising efforts for scholarships are the annual Sustaining Members Forum (SMF), held in August, and our Golf Tournament, which was set to occur in October, but was postponed due to a significant rain event. This year’s SMF was the last virtual SMF (and virtual Post) event, and we had another record-breaking attendance because of the virtual platform. This year’s schedule was held over two half days in lieu of a full, one-day event. Participants enjoyed hearing from our Federal and local government speakers. Our other highly-attended event and fundraiser, the Post’s annual Golf Tournament, was held again at Whitney Oaks in Rocklin on November 1. Last year’s “socially distanced” tournament, as well as this year’s tournament, were highly successful even with the COVID-restrictions. Details for these two events and other upcoming events were listed on our Post home page.

A call for Volunteers!

There are a number of volunteers who take the time out of their busy schedules to assist in a variety of roles at our annual events. Many of them are Post members, however, we are fortunate to have connections with individuals who are not a part of our Post but enjoy the experience of volunteering. As we begin the transition back to in-person events, we can use your help today and in the coming months. If you are interested in helping out or being more involved in our Post, please reach out to me and let me know.

Thank you for your support of the Sacramento Post.

Jill Miller, LEED AP
Tepa Companies
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.