2017 Business Forum Project Management Series

Whether you are a new graduate, a mid-level manager, or a senior leader in your firm, there’s something for you in this new project management series, brought to you by the SEAONC Business Forum. In this three-session program, we explore the many ways you can improve your project management skills. From developing a comprehensive approach to managing your project scope, schedule, and budget to fostering productive teams through effective communication, coaching and mentorship – this is a program you won’t want to miss!


Communication Skills for Improving Teamwork and Collaboration

Elizabeth Halton, Cameron McAllister Group

December 7, 2017, 12-1:30pm

Simpson Gumpertz & Heger, 100 Pine Street, Suite 1700, San Francisco

When it comes to project management, nothing is more important than effective communication. As engineers, we tend to shy away from difficult conversations and interactions, and therefore stand to benefit enormously from developing better communication skills.

Almost anything is possible with a leadership team that operates on mutual support and respect. Understanding that chinks in the chain of communication can breed misunderstanding, confusion, and even resentment over time, a team leader needs to anticipate issues before they become problems, address them effectively, and reach resolution among those involved.

In this workshop Liz will explain why communication breaks down and what we can all do to effectively build trust and improve collaboration.

Coaching: The Key to Fostering Productive Teams 

Gina Phelan, Tipping Structural Engineers

January 18, 2018, 12-1:30pm

Simpson Gumpertz & Heger, 100 Pine Street, Suite 1700, San Francisco

The results are in: companies that have built a strong coaching culture show higher levels of employee engagement, employee retention, and revenue growth compared to those that haven’t. But what is coaching? Coaching is the process through which we build someone’s competence to better meet their circumstances and challenges. The outcomes of successful coaching are long-term excellence, the ability to self-correct, and the ongoing practice of being self-generating, which comprises staying open to learning and development, the ability to act from one’s inner resources, and the competence of cultivating relationships that support one’s development. Arriving at these outcomes depend equally on the person being coached (commitment, hard work, and ongoing practice) and on the qualities and skill of the coach (presence, self-awareness, openness, and impressionability).

In this session, participants will learn the difference between teaching, mentoring, and coaching, and how to determine which style of intervention is appropriate in a given situation. Participants will also learn the fundamentals of coaching conversations: new ways of listening, of inquiring, and of discovering new possibilities. Lastly, participants will learn how to assess their own competence as a coach and identify the next steps in their own development.

Speaker Biographies

Elizabeth Halton

Principal Consultant, Cameron McAllister Group

Before joining Cameron MacAllister Group, Liz spent over 20 years with Forell/Elsesser Structural Engineers, as Principal and CFO, and member of the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee.  She is experienced in finance, human resources, operations and firm governance.

She also served as Treasurer on the Board of Directors of PSMA (Professional Services Management Association), a national not-for-profit organization serving the design industry. Liz also served as President on the Board of Directors of AEBL (Association of AE Business Leaders), an unbiased not-for-profit member-supported organization that supports the professions serving the natural and built environments.

Liz has lectured at UC Berkeley on financial management for design practices and on communication at seminars offered by AEBL, Commercial Women in Real Estate (CREW) and the annual conference of A/E Advisors. In addition to her financial expertise, Liz is a Certified Professional Coach with New Ventures West. She works one-on-one with individuals seeking to improve effectiveness in their professional roles.

Gina Tesser Phelan, ACC

Associate, Strategic Development, Tipping Structural Engineers

For almost twenty years, Gina has been studying what makes leaders effective and how teams and organizations thrive. Today, she works to develop conscious, embodied, and self-generative leaders who view the world with expansiveness and generosity and who inspire those around them to work and create for the betterment of all.

Gina serves as an internal consultant, helping to guide Tipping Structural Engineers’ strategic direction in the areas of organizational, leadership, and employee development, as well as branding, marketing, and business development. Her goal is to nurture the firm’s continued growth as a business and as a community, where new and expansive patterns of thinking, generative learning, and higher levels of engagement are cultivated. An Integral Coach® with a focus on leadership development, she brings an internal coaching capacity to TSE. In addition, she studied and trained for fifteen years with some of the world’s leading experts in mindfulness meditation, and leverages the principles and practices of mindfulness to her work in leadership development. Her previous organizational experience includes management and design positions at Cahners Publishing and the McGraw-Hill Companies’ School Division, as well directing and managing the publishing arm of a nonprofit organization.

Gina served a two-year term as co-chair of AIA San Francisco's Committee on the Environment, has been active since 2009 with the Mentoring Pathways group of the Society for Marketing Professionals (SMPS), and is a member of the Bay Area Organizational Development Network (BAODN), the Society for Organizational Learning (SoL), and the International Coaching Federation (ICF). She holds a B.A. in Communications from Fordham University in New York City and a Professional Coaching Certification (PCC) from San Francisco's New Ventures West; she is an Associated Certified Coach (ACC) through the International Coaching Federation. Lastly, she is an Integrative Enneagram Accredited Practitioner and is a trained facilitator in Inner Relationship Focusing, based on the work of psychologist Eugene Gendlin.

The cost to attend the SEAONC Business Forum Project Management Series is $40 per class. 


December 7th, 2017 12:00 PM   through   1:30 PM
100 Pine St Suite 1700
San Francisco, CA 94111
United States

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Phone: 415-974-5147
Business Forum Series
Second Session (Dec 7) $ 40.00
Third Session (Jan 18) $ 40.00