Aug 27, 2013

Monday Congress Recap

Monday Congress Recap

APWA 2013 International Public Works Recap: Monday, August 26th


The second day of APWA’s 2013 International Public Works Congress brought together hundreds of attendees for the  Monday, August 26th Opening General Session, which featured Chicago Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner, Gabe Klein, who was appointed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel in May, 2011. Presenting in the Arie Crown Theater, Klein explained the Chicago plans to rebuild infrastructure as “A Whole New Ball Game: Chicago’s Infrastructure Planning.”
 
Klein cited this time period as a unique time to be in public works, especially in Chicago, where the city has implemented a two-year plan to rebuild infrastructure, called “Chicago Forward.” The planning has involved upgrading projects for the best use of resources, making use of world changes, and making a better quality of life for citizens. Their focus is to bring people back to the urban center of Chicago. 
 
Klein detailed much of the “Chicago Forward” plan as a roadmap of concrete, reusable steps that incorporates support for business and six basic principles, such as Safety First, Serving Chicago, and Fuel our Economy. The DOT has chosen to rebuild a new Chicago, often working from an older infrastructure system -- that in many instances has aged more than 100 years. Areas that are being included are the Wells Street Bridge - part of Chicago’s Bascule Bridges, Wacker Drive, and the North Michigan Avenue project, as well as newer projects such as the Chicago Riverwalk, which is being built to maximize the value of lakefront real estate. Funding has been concentrated through TIFIA to borrow most of the funds needed.
 
After the Monday General Session, educational sessions followed throughout the day, which included topics such as asset management and capital planning for infrastructure, partnering to achieve green infrastructure goals, total resource management. Upstairs in the Exhibit Hall, the Exhibitor Solutions Theater featured presentations on topics such as Operations Management: The Missing Piece of Your Enterprise, How to Implement GPS, Going Green with Hot-in-Place Recycling, and Impact of Unwanted Vegetation on Municipal Infrastructure.
 
At 2:00 p.m, the Public Works Stormwater Summit began with the first day of the two day session, featuring Moderator Paul Hindman, P.E., PWLF, Chair of the APWA Water Resources Committee and Executive Director, Urban Drainage & Flood Control District, Denver, CO.  Speakers included Connie Bosma, Municipal Branch Chief, Water Permits Division, Office Water, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Washington, D.C., who outlined intended outcomes of the draft NPDES regulations covering Municipal Separate Storm Sewers (MS4).  Expert panelists looked ahead to anticipated changes to regulations.
 
Later in the afternoon, the Donald C. Stone Center for Leadership Excellence announced the first graduates of the Public Works Executive and Public Works Manager programs during the Center’s 2013 Awards ceremony. The Public Works Leadership Fellow (PWLF) designation awards were presented to 56 senior executive public works professionals.
 
At the DCS Center Awards ceremony, the Public Works Executive and Public Works Manager designations were awarded for the first time, representing an important milestone in the development of the APWA credentialing program. “The DCS candidates who have completed these rigorous programs have developed their skills to effectively lead and implement change to move their organizations forward,” said APWA Executive Director Peter B. King. “The Public Works Manager (PWM) program is for mid-level and emerging leaders who focus on all functions within public works, and how the functions work together as a system,” he added, “And the Public Works Executive (PWE) program addresses the strategic aspects of public works.”
 
The Monday Awards Ceremony and Reception started at 5 p.m. in the Arie Crown Theater.  The Annual Awards Program recognized the outstanding individuals, groups and chapters representing the best in public works. The exciting evening began with APWA President Ed Gottko, who opened the ceremony that celebrated the accomplishments of all the honorees.
 
 The awards included the Top Ten Public Works Leaders of the Year awards, which recognized the excellence and dedication of outstanding career service achievements of individual public works professionals and officials. Other awards included the Young Leader Award, followed by the graduation awards of the APWA Emerging Leaders Academy, the Sustainability Practices Awards, the Professional Managers of the Year Awards, the Charles Walter Nichols Award for Environmental Excellence, the Harry S. Swearingen Award for Outstanding Chapter Achievement and Excellence in Chapter Service, and other exceptional performance awards, as well as the APWA Public Works Projects of the Year.
 
The day closed out at 8 p.m. with the Young Professionals Networking Reception at Buddy Guy’s Legends, where the APWA members under age 35 got together to meet and socialize with other young public works professionals.
 
To view some of the photo highlights of the APWA Congress, visit the Flickr link at http://www.flickr.com/photos/100479421@N08/.

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