2022 Agenda

Click dates below to see schedule.
6:30pm – 7:30pm

Welcome Reception

7:30am – 8:30am

Networking Breakfast | Sponsor tabletops open

8:30am – 8:45am

Welcome Remarks

8:45am – 10:15am

Opening Keynote: Secret Sauce to High Performing Project Teams

This session will explain how to use intention and strategy to build high-performing project teams at your organization. Our keynoter draws on his company’s foundation of principles, values, tools and exercises to consistently create a high-performing team environment through its continuous improvement process that offers tangible benefits to its teams. By showing examples of what has worked in the past, this discussion will provide the tools you need to create a collaborative environment and replicate it with consistency. Get a rundown of actionable practices that you can put in place tomorrow.

Keynote & Moderator

Robert Penney, National Director of Continuous Improvement, Skanska USA

Panel: Building Harmony Not Homogeny

To build successful teams, leaders need the right tools to facilitate team cohesion. Keynoter Robert Penney from Skanska joins panelists from other companies to continue the discussion of the path forward. The first step toward high-performing teams is thoughtful hiring and promoting the right individuals at all levels with an eye towards personality, skill set and diversity. You don’t need a team that is homogenous—you need a team that is harmonious. After forming a team, inspire leaders to lead with a growth mindset that involves development, strength, focus and safe improvement opportunities. Leaders also should be aware of their own strengths, improvement areas and be open to feedback from the team. Once the right people are in place, team building doesn’t happen by accident. This panel will explore how to naturally strengthen your team—both internal team members and outside stakeholders.


Kristen Heggie, Project Manager, DPR Construction
Nicole Brown, Associate Vice President, Water, AECOM
Additional panelist to be announced

10:15am – 10:45am

Networking Break | Sponsor tabletops open

10:45am – 12:30pm

Keynote: Finding Opportunities in the Carbon-Cutting Economy

It is no secret that the future of energy is net-zero carbon emissions. Congress is now creating a national renewable energy standard that aims to reduce carbon emissions, and requiring utilities to generate a specific portion of power with renewable energy sources. This in turn creates a trillion dollar infrastructure improvements resulting in a vast economic opportunity for the young engineers and their companies as well as entrepreneurs to adopt new and innovative approaches about how we think about power generation and conservation. This panel/seminar will take a close look at this important career path and highlighting the important work renewable energy engineers do to ensure that the world moves away from its dependence on fossil fuels to cleaner and more sustainable forms of energy.

Keynote & Moderator

Nooshin Behroyan, CEO, Paxon Energy & Infrastructure Services

Panel: Innovative Approaches to our Sustainable Future

Our panelists will broaden Nooshin Behroyan’s keynote on cutting carbon emissions to include a discussion on embodied carbon in buildings and more. Panelists will also discuss how other sustainability efforts are impacting the industry.

Blake Jackson, Sustainability Design Leader, Stantec
Susan Heinking, Vice President of High Performance and Sustainable Construction, Pepper Construction Co.
Additional panelist to be announced

12:30pm – 1:45pm

Networking Luncheon | Sponsor tabletops open

1:45pm – 2:45pm

Workshops will be interactive sessions with smaller groups, focused on building skills and advancing expertise in topic areas.

Workshop 1: Take Your Coding to the Next Level - Evolving Your Developer Tech Tools

As anyone who has been interested in coding knows that the path to learning software development can be tricky. There are many resources out there but not a clear start or learning path. However, designers are more interested than ever in creating and controlling their own tools for real world projects. Coding provides new capabilities and flexibility in addition to your typical productivity software stack so it is worth learning. This session will show you what is possible with open source (free!) tools like Python, Git, Dynamo, JavaScript and more. Learn how to get started using them, what kind of developer tools you need and where to go for help.
Tadeh Hakopian, Design Technology Manager, HMC

Workshop 2: Negotiating Contracts To Address Recent Challenges

Getting beyond the impacts from the past couple years may feel impossible at times. A host of challenges are incurred daily on construction projects, ranging from project delivery and suspensions, material price escalation to safety of workers, vaccine mandates, and more. What can you do? All of these issues have also changed the legal landscape, and companies need to be equipped to deal with these changes not only on their projects, but in their contract review, drafting and negotiation. This presentation will provide tools to address problems you may face and will highlight the most important contract provisions and terms about which companies should be aware. Hear real life examples and learn about the latest legal changes and updates.
Jeanne Harrison, Attorney, Smith, Currie & Hancock LLP

Workshop 3: Strategies for Success for Women, Minorities, and LGBTQ+ in AEC Careers

Entering the workforce as a first-generation Latinx college student can be daunting. Senior year students repeatedly hear the same advice: find a mentor and be open minded, adaptable, and visible. Although this is solid advice, it is challenging to realize as a new hire. In this session, we will discuss how Business Resource Groups (BRGs) help bridge the gap and act as accelerators of change of diversity and inclusion as well as business change. Two of the presenters have joined the industry within the last year and will share firsthand stories of transitioning from college to work during the pandemic. Accelerate onboarding and sense of belonging to a new organization. An experienced Latinx manager and BRG leader will share the programmatic of setting up and running a BRG and its benefits of college to work transition.
Isabel Siordia, Construction engineer, Bechtel Equipment Operations
Sara Barrientos, Quality Systems Manager, Bechtel Corp.
Valentin Martinez, Project Controls Engineer, Bechtel Corp.

2:45pm – 3:15pm

Networking Break | Sponsor tabletops open

3:15pm – 4:15pm

Panel: Change Management through Collaboration

Gathering young leaders from various sectors of construction for open discussions about the state of the industry and where it is headed, the Future Leaders AEC Program has probed the future and devised solutions to the collective problems the industry is likely to face. Delegates from the group of 10 young leaders from different companies—including contractors, engineers and fabricators—will lead this breakout session and workshop the industry’s collective challenges. Issues such as mistrust between team members, lack of transparency with owner and stakeholders, resistance to technology and short-term thinking are some of the concerns. The group has found that root of these solvable challenges often traces back to the early stages of projects. In addition to presenting their findings, panelists will engage participants in a dialogue they believe can improve relationships and create better outcomes for companies, clients and project teams.


Melanie Bouthillette, Operational Excellence Manager, Canam Group
Michael Martignetti, VP of Sales, Canam Steel Corporation
Lea Cosenza, Director, The Harman Group
Hali Larsen, Product Manager, Autodesk
Philippe Bourasa, Project Director, Shellex

4:15pm – 4:45pm

Keynote: From Refugee to Construction Industry Leader

Learn to find success by using industry demands as your guide and how to avoid common pitfalls, such as being boxed in by your own minority classification. Sam Mann will share his own experience of childhood in a refugee camp, growing up as an immigrant in Southern California, and finding his way as a construction industry leader. While working in an industry where over emphasis an individual’s classification can be a challenge, Mann will show how the industry can help underrepresented classes succeed by letting the demands of the industry guide career paths. Refocusing eternally and abandoning egos can move young workers and their companies to greater heights.

Sam Mann, Senior Project Manager, RBA Builders Inc.

4:45pm – 5:15pm

Meet the Top 20 Under 40 Class of 2022

5:15pm – 6:30pm

Networking Reception | Sponsor tabletops open

7:30am – 8:30am

Networking Breakfast | Sponsor tabletops open

8:30am – 8:45am

Welcome Remarks, day 2

8:45am – 9:30am


9:30am – 10:30am

Panel: Tech on the Frontlines: How Drones, Digital Twins and Robots Are Changing Jobsites

Ready to leave old school construction methods in the dust? Be inspired by these four tech experts who will present real-world findings about adopting cutting edge technology at jobsites around the U.S., from drones to additive manufacturing, wearable sensors to robotics, 4D planning software to digital twins. What are the impacts on safety, accountability and productivity? And can these technologies help solve bigger picture challenges such as addressing embodied carbon or mitigating the next pandemic?


Michael Giacco, Director of Technology, AI Engineers, Inc.
Esteban Gonzalez, Project Controls Engineer, Bechtel
Ankur Podder, Research Engineer, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Kasey Duffy, Senior Business Analyst, Pepper Construction

10:30am – 11:00am

Networking Break | Sponsor tabletops open

11:00am – 12:00pm

Panel: The Art of Managing People

Rocky Plemons, VP of Construction, Fluor

12:00pm – 1:00pm

Networking Luncheon | Sponsor tabletops open

1:00pm – 2:00pm

Panel: Panel: Gathering the Genius: Facilitation Best Practices for Your Next Meeting

How many meetings have you attended where you didn’t understand the conclusion or what to do next? Have you ever attended a meeting you felt was dominated by a single individual and your voice or opinion was not heard? Have you led a meeting that felt like “pulling teeth” to get participation? Facilitation is a skill that is required in any successful relationship. Whether you realize it is happening or not, every conversation or meeting requires facilitation and is key to accomplishing any task with multiple individuals. The ability to guide as few as two people or as many as several hundred, gathering the genius in the room and guiding that genius to a conclusion is critical in effective and meaningful meetings, relationships and leadership. This discussion will help discover the keys and principles to effective facilitation and how to tackle any conversation or meeting as an effective leader.


Jaren Murphy, Business Development Director, McCarthy Building Cos. Inc.
Michaela Rempkowski, Director of Integrated Design, McCarthy Building Cos. Inc.

2:00pm – 3:45pm

Closing Keynote