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Into the breach … New leadership for the UCA

It seems somehow fitting personally that the technical theme of this issue of T&UC is shafts. Shafts are often the entry point into our great tunneling and underground excavation projects: the start, the point of ingress, the beginning of ambitious works underground.

This coincides with the beginning of my two-year tenure whereby I have the honor of representing our association, the UCA of SME, as chair. Perhaps there’s a serendipitous analogy there somewhere; “into the breach,” as they say.

It’s my pleasure to welcome Erika Moonin, of Moonin Associates, to the position of vice-chair. I am delighted to have her support in this role over the next two years and wish her the very best as she embarks on her sixyear journey as a UCA Officer.

I also celebrate the accomplishments of Bob Goodfellow, of Aldea Services, as he concludes his term as chair and transitions to pastchair. Bob has done a spectacular job over the last two years under what can only be defined as very challenging circumstances. The association has moved impressively forward and he has left “big shoes to fill.” I’ll count on the inspiration he has given me as a sustaining force.

Mike Roach, of Traylor Brothers, now leaves the officer roll, concluding his term as past-chair. He has also been inspirational to me and has served with great energy and distinction over his six-year span. While the current term concludes, I am sure that we will continue to benefit from Mike’s presence and experience in the UCA.

I welcome also the new members of the executive committee (UCA ExCo), Douglas Gabriel, Moussa Wone and John Huh who began on July 1. And I recognize and thank Pamela Moran and Edward Dowey whose terms ended at that time. Your service to the industry is greatly appreciated.

Our UCA has grown in leaps and bounds over the last decade. Perhaps some of this growth has been readily apparent, perhaps some not. Accordingly, when taking stock of where we are currently, it occurred to the officers that it may be helpful to map the organization in a way that showed, on a single page, a summary of the responsibilities and undertakings with which we are involved. I hope that you will share my conviction that we are active in a lot of ways that are beneficial to our membership and the industry. We also chose to align positions under each of the volunteer officers, such that there is structure but, more importantly, to assign to each of us the clear responsibility of supporting and nurturing the efforts of each of the volunteer initiatives (see UCA executive committee organizational chart on page 49).

It’s my sincere hope that you will also note that there are a number of open opportunities to get involved and participate in UCA, if you are not already and if you have the drive and energy to do so. The UCA staff is working on a volunteer portal for the UCA website, whereby you, the membership, will have the opportunity to see on a current basis what opportunities are available, and with whom to get in contact to get started. We are a volunteer organization and it is a strength of the UCA that our members, from all walks of the industry, get the opportunity to have voice and actions in where we go in the future.

Speaking of the future, a hallmark of any good organization is not just being able to point to where it is but also where it wants to go and how it plans to get there. Serendipitously (again), the UCA ExCo has recently put the finishing touches on the UCA Strategic Plan update, whereby we affirmed a Mission, Vision and vivid description of a future state, and the goals and objectives that will enable us to get there. I invite you to review the details of the strategic plan later in this issue (see page 45). The ExCo welcomes any questions or feedback you may have. We encourage you to volunteer for one of the many opportunities and hope that you would choose to be a part of that collective journey.

I look forward to meeting as many of you in person as possible as things (hopefully) continue to open up and the opportunities for face-to-face interaction increase. The next conference is The Cutting Edge, in Dallas, TX on Nov. 15-17, and we hope that circumstances and lessening restrictions allow you to attend.

Tunnel on!

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