Plenary Sessions & Keynote Speakers

Subject to change


Sunday, April 2

Opening Plenary Session

Moving Beyond Yesterday to Advance Tomorrow

Imagine for a minute that the world of construction is only beginning to formalize its processes. How would it look different from what we are accustomed to today? Over the past decade, technology has advanced at an exponential rate, yet in reality, we have only seen a fraction of what's been predicted. Despite the advances, we are still building facilities using antiquated practices. Join Ralph Kreider, director of digital facilities for MBP to answer the following questions... Why are we slow to see technological advances in the construction industry? While other industries are getting more productive and seeing a decline in product costs, construction productivity continues to decline and costs continue to soar. What is holding us back? How can we progress in seeing the efficiencies promised by new technologies? Each of us can make a difference, not by doing more, but by doing it differently. Change may be uncomfortable. What discomfort are we willing to bear today, so that we can advance tomorrow?

Monday, April 3

Breakfast Plenary Session

The CMAA Fellows Present: Show Me the Money - Funding America's Infrastructure Improvements

For years, ASCE's annual report card of the condition of American Infrastructure has given dreadful marks to the state of highways, bridges, power transmission, ports, airports, etc. Both Congress and the new Administration recognize the need for a massive infrastructure improvement program (over $3.6 trillion), however, making such an investment won't be easy with growing Federal debt and competing budget priorities, and most states and municipalities are already over extended. What are we to do as a nation? Blake Peck, PE, CCM, FCMAA leads a panel in this timely discussion. Panel members include:

                                                    Dr. Shawn D. Wilson
                                                    Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development

                                                    Andrew Ancone
                                                    Managing Director
                                                    Macquarie Capital

                                                    Bob Fraga, FCMAA
                                                    Vice President


Lunch Keynote

Economic Trends in the Industry and Future Impacts on Policy

Contractors are both optimistic and apprehensive as the Trump administration gets to work. The industry has started the year with plentiful orders. There is the possibility of large increases in infrastructure projects, a rebound in manufacturing construction, and a lessening of burdensome regulations. But there are also worries about materials and labor availability and cost, along with the impacts of possible fiscal and monetary policy shifts on demand for construction and cost of funds. Ken Simonson, chief economist for the Associated General Contractors of America, will assess the crosscutting trends in the industry and the impact that possible policy developments may have.

Tuesday, April 4

Breakfast Keynote

Values-Based Leadership and the Future of Work

Expectations from leaders are rapidly changing as work shifts to the human side. Unfortunately, most companies are not evolving with these changes and are still using antiquated leadership mind-sets and practices. Chief Executive Officer of Capitalism 2.0, and Chairman of the Board for George Mason University's Center for the Advancement of Well Being, Mark Fernandes will share his unique perspective on leadership as a choice, not a title or position. Participants will learn the impact that leaders can have when they live, work, and lead in alignment with their values, purpose, strengths and passions to, in turn, inspire those around them to do the same. generations?


Closing Plenary Session

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – Update on the Mississippi River Ship Channel & Other Regional Projects

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps), a federal agency under the United States Department of Defense and a major Army command, is made up of more than 37,000 civilian and military personnel. This makes it one of the world’s largest public engineering, design, and construction management agencies. The New Orleans District encompasses 2,800 miles of navigable waterways – including 5 of the top 15 ports in the nation, 1,300 miles of levees and floodwalls, 11 navigation locks, 6 major flood control structures, and other projects designed to create and protect coastal wetlands. Colonel Michael Clancy, New Orleans District 63rd Commander and District Engineer will share details of the District’s continuing work on navigation, flood control, and environmental projects in the southeast region of the country and the District’s effort to reduce risk for South Louisiana by executing comprehensive and integrated flood control, ecosystem restoration, and hurricane and storm damage risk reduction projects.