The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Galveston District hosted the fall edition of its biannual Stakeholder Partnering Forum (SPF) at its command headquarters, October 6.
This SPF’s theme was “Recasting Project Delivery through Texas, for the Nation.”
USACE Galveston representatives and their non-federal stakeholders provided updates on their collaborative endeavors for the Coastal Texas community.
The forum began with opening statements from Galveston Deputy District Engineer Byron Williams and District Commander Col. Rhett A. Blackmon.
“Today, we’re going to talk about recasting project delivery. That to me, speaks to innovation,” Blackmon said, citing one of USACE Chief of Engineers Lt. Gen. Scott Spellmon’s top priorities, innovating civil works delivery.
Blackmon tied the Chief of Engineers’ tenet with the philosophy of his boss, USACE Southwest Division Commander Col. Kenneth N. Reed.
“Are we ready? Are we relevant? And, are we responsive?” Blackmon said. “Innovation really ties in to all three of those things.”
“We must be ready to meet the challenges of the difficult engineering and environmental conditions that we face. We’ve got to be relevant by providing timely and quality projects for the communities we serve. Lastly, we have to be responsive to the emerging needs of those communities and understanding of the different social, economic, and environmental conditions within those communities. We’re going to have to innovate to be able to do all that,” Blackmon said.
Several Galveston District representatives spoke on their roles, responsibilities, and current projects, including: Heather Moffat, a geographer with the District’s Geospatial Services Branch, who spoke on the merits of using geospatial data to better help the general public understand USACE projects; David Mackintosh, Kenneth Darko, Lisa McCracken-Mairs, and Houston County Flood Control District (HCFDC) Assistant Director of Operations Scott Elmer, who presented on the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Harvey; Coastal Engineering Section Chief Patrick Kerr, who spoke on the evolution of storm surge and rainfall risk; and Kelsey Ciarrocca, a cartographer with the District’s Real Estate Division, who briefed on creating transparent acquisition processes.
Local community and industry leaders also took part in a panel discussion centered USACE’s collaboration with non-federal sponsors. The panel included: Dan Koesema, of the Port of Corpus Christi; Imelda Diaz and Scott Elmer, of HCDFC; and Lori Brownell, from the Port of Houston Authority.
The forum helps the Galveston District identify opportunities to better support stakeholder commitments and emerging interests for Planning Studies, Preconstruction, Engineering and Design, Construction, Operations and Maintenance. It also serves as an opportunity for non-federal sponsors, customers, and agency partners from along the Texas coast to network and exchange ideas on ways the Galveston District can improve value delivery to the nation across its civil works projects and regulatory business lines.
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