My feeling about this spring is similar to the sense that a student has regarding graduation day: It never really seems within reach. Graduation is the eventual conclusion of a long-term preparation, but one that never seems "soon." But one day, when you least expect it, the reality smacks you square in the face. After a tremendous effort by many enthusiastic and talented colleagues during the past 18 months, the reality of two major events for our company are hitting me—and you—square in the face now. If you read my comment regularly, you couldn't have missed the fact that we are producing the ExCEL Management Series, which kicks off April 29 in Baltimore, and the Land Development Conference & Expo, which occurs from May 5-7, also in Baltimore. I'm sure many of you have been looking forward to these events, have made mental notes to register, and are shocked that the time to act and to prepare to go finally has arrived!We have exciting things in store for you at both events, and honestly, I can't say for which I'm more excited. With the powerful, personalized business development experience guaranteed at ExCEL and the trend-setting coverage planned at Land Development, I am certain both will be unbeatable educational opportunities.
The ExCEL Management Series is an event "on tour," so if you can't make it to Baltimore, there is still time to plan for Dallas (June 10-11) or San Francisco (Sept. 23-24). Geared for leaders of small- to medium-sized firms, this event aims to develop management skills in three key areas: people, finances, and marketing. Additionally, the interdependence of these three elements of firm management will be explored. Conducted in a roundtable format, the interactive event will bring to life the informative CE News Management Q&A column by David Wahby. Register online at www.ExCELSeries.net or contact me with questions.
An event preview for the Land Development Conference & Expo is provided in this issue beginning on page 28. Containing summaries for the three major sessions, the agenda, a list of exhibitors, a registration form, and more, most of what you need to prepare for your visit is contained here. But more information, including a complete list of scheduled speakers, is available at www.Land Development2004.com.
Two other spring events for CE News that also involved much advanced planning and zeal are our annual Best Civil Engineering Firm To Work For Contest and our annual compensation survey. This year, the contest includes more questions about firm practices and procedures. Additionally, we added an employee survey component, and all firms that enter will receive results of this study. For competition purposes, this data will provide us with first-hand information regarding work experiences at each contestant firm, and it will harness valuable feedback for firms from their employees. Remember, the deadline is May 1!
Additionally, next month's issue includes our annual compensation survey results. Thanks to all of you who participated—we had our best response in the history of this research effort. You can count on data regarding compensation categorized by various measures, including years of work experience, title, and more.
Although I won't hear "Pomp and Circumstance" played at the end of this month when all of these events come to fruition, I will be elated with the same feeling of accomplishment I've experienced as a graduate marching to that long, ceremonious tune. I hope you have something to celebrate this spring as well.Shanon Fauerbach,P.E., can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.