KSPE Annual Conference Takeaways

Posted on Wednesday, June 15th, 2016 by
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KSPE Annual Conference

Last week, I attended the KSPE Annual Conference in Olathe, Kansas. There were a number of insightful takeaways. Some focused on careers, while others were related to our state government.

I served as a moderator for the Young Engineers Round Table with Larry Blankenship, PE, City of Overland Park; Steve Cottrell, PE, PS, City of Garden City; and Gary Janzen, PE, City of Wichita. Although the discussion touched on a number of topics, the primary theme or largest takeaway was the value of communication, as it can be an important differentiator. Some of the tips they gave included:

  • Use the phone. A five minute call can often replace an hour of exchanged emails.
  • Assume anything sent electronically could end up in the paper. This is a great lens through which to view your writing. Also, know your message could be forwarded to someone you didn’t expect or hadn’t intended to receive it.
  • Make your emails succinct. Be respectful of the recipient’s time.
  • Communicate mistakes and offer solutions. Errors occur, but how you handle them will speak volumes about your abilities as a leader and team member.
  • Good communication leads to strong relationships. Strong relationships lead to success.

In addition to career tips, we also heard from Senator Julia Lynn and Representative Melissa Rooker. These were my primary takeaways from the presentations:

  • Funding loss is a concern for our industry and quality of life issues.
  • Efficiency is good, but cutting too deep hurts an agency’s effectiveness and ability to serve. This ultimately costs more in the long-term.
  • We are not running the state’s finances the way we would responsibly run our household’s budgets.
  • We need to actively participate in the upcoming elections.
    • Get informed.
    • Support candidates you agree with on the issues that you care about. Don’t just blindly vote down party lines.
    • Mail in your ballot and get your co-workers, friends, and family to vote. Learn more her: Advance Voting
    • We have a chance to make positive change and should exercise our right to do just that.
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