Mark Woodson couldn’t stop the tears.
Continually dabbing at his eyes, he watched each of his four children take the ASCE 2015 Convention stage Tuesday to introduce their father with words of love and support for him during his installation ceremony as ASCE’s 2016 President.
“I’m blessed to have such an amazing father who has inspired me every step of the way,” said John Woodson, P.E., M.ASCE, Mark’s son and a third-generation civil engineer.
Certainly the Society members at the ceremony, part of the Annual Business Meeting, left knowing how essential family is to their new president. In addition to his children, Woodson’s mother Ruth, wife Lupe, and eight grandchildren were in attendance to celebrate the start of his presidential year.
“It’s a very important value to me personally,” said Woodson, P.E., L.S., D.WRE, F.ASCE, and CEO of Woodson Engineering in Flagstaff, AZ. “But also within our business, we take great pride in making way for family events.”
The installation of 2016 officers also included Norma Jean Mattei, Ph.D., P.E., M.COPRI, F.SEI, F.ASCE, as the new President-elect. The ceremony marked Bob Stevens’ final act as ASCE president. He passed the presidential pin and gavel to Woodson and now transitions to his role as 2016 past-president.
“What a great group that you have elected into office,” Stevens told the audience. “They have agreed to take on a great responsibility, and I know each of them will do their best to serve and take ASCE to new heights.”
Woodson cited member happiness as a key priority. “I’ve always been about trying to improve true member value. Are the members that we have getting what they want out of ASCE?” he asked. “It’s my hope that if we improve the things we do for our current members, we’ll be attracting other civil engineers to join us and become members.”
ASCE continues to expand its global reach, Smith reported in his State of the Society address, with members in 177 countries and the recently established Global Strategy Council. That diversity has been seen at the Convention itself, with attendees present from 34 countries.
Smith noted the past year’s many high-profile efforts spotlighting the need to upgrade the nation’s infrastructure, with nine new state Report Cards released, the Infrastructure #GameChangers report highlighting some of the most innovative solutions to challenges around the country, and the ongoing push to urge Congress to enact a long-term funding solution for the Highway Trust Fund.
The Industry Leaders Council’s Grand Challenge to drastically reduce infrastructure life-cycle costs over the next 10 years ensures that it will be among ASCE’s key goals for years to come, Smith noted. “The rally is to foster the optimization of infrastructure investments for society to help close the gap in our infrastructure needs,” he said.