September President's Message
Tuesday, September 1, 2020
Posted by: Emily Guglielmo
you don't know where you've come from, you don't know where you're going.”
My path to SEAONC President has been unconventional compared to many who have preceded me.
While born, raised, and educated in California, my professional career began in Colorado and Massachusetts. Upon my return to the Bay Area and increasing participation with SEAONC, I wanted to understand
the origins and history of the Association. To that end, I relied
heavily upon the Hensolt SEAONC Legacy Project
, a paper from the 2004 SEAOC Convention by Jon Kiland and Thomas Atkinson, and rich conversations with my peers.
you know that SEAONC turned 90 years old this year? In appreciation of this noteworthy anniversary, I have outlined a few notable accomplishments since SEAONC’s inception. My
hope was knowing a bit more “where we have come from” would better inform us “where we are going.”
In review of the history of SEAONC, I am humbled and gratefully informed regarding our impact upon the structural engineering profession and society. Our efforts
writing the seismic code and advancing earthquake engineering have been
impactful and lasting. SEAONC was
in the creation of SEAOC, NCSEA, the US Resiliency Council (USRC), and the
Applied Technology Council (ATC).
SEAONC’s SE3 Committee is the largest and most
active group within SEAONC and NCSEA.
In review of our
past, several themes emerge that are relevant today. SEAONC’s resilience through World War II and Great Depression reminds us that Covid-19 and the associated recession are both temporary and recoverable. As
we struggle with the cancellation of the in-person Maui Convention and lack of in-person SEAONC meetings, we must remember we have endured prior cancellations and scaled down events, and these were without the benefit of today’s novel technologies
and virtual communications.
A second relevant issue arising from a glance at
historical photographs is a reminder of the historical lack of diversity in our
profession. While the photos bring welcome imagery to golden years for SEAONC, they also reinforce our continued need for additional gender and ethnic diversity within our profession. Ninety
years from now, I sincerely hope the SEAONC President can compare the photos from our 2019 and 2110 Conventions and be assured that our membership fully reflects the diversity of the communities we serve.
As we celebrate
the 90th Anniversary of SEAONC, we are grateful to our predecessors’
contributions over the past century. The deep respect with which SEAONC is held
throughout the world is directly linked to the many accomplishments of our past
colleagues. My review of our rich history has
resulted in my even deeper resolve to fiercely protect SEAONC’s well-deserved
reputation. While I am humbled by our legacy, our history also should remind us that a great organization is not passively maintained, but rather actively managed and continuously improved.
Let us honor and respect this reputation by continuing to seek innovative ways to advance our profession for the betterment of all.
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