President's Message

It's an honor to accept the position as the next ASCE Sacramento Section President. I have been involved in ASCE for many years, starting with the VP and President of the student chapter at the University of Pacific.  I also held positions as Historian, and Programs Chair of YMF for many years.  In 2013, I was the conference chair of the Western Regional Younger Member Conference (WRYMC), which was hosted in Sacramento.  Throughout all the years of my involvement, I have found everything I give to ASCE pays me back 10-fold in my professional career as well as my personal life.  ASCE has given me the opportunity to develop friendships that I know will last a lifetime. 

Over the next year, I would like us to focus our resources on the following three objectives:

Increase ASCE Legislative Presence: We have greatly improved our government relations over the past few years.  In addition to the Legislative Fly-in and Drive-ins, this upcoming year, we have an exciting opportunity to produce the Infrastructure Report Card.  We are the voice of our profession and the government needs to hear what we have to say in order to make informed decisions.  I participated in the Fly-in at the Capitol last year and found that ASCE provided me with all the tools I needed to advocate for Infrastructure Funding. 

Increase cross-pollination between groups: The Sacramento Section is composed of over 2000 members.  There are many groups including: institutes, branches, student chapters, committees, the YMF and the Section. We are involved in so many activities (i.e.: community service, scholarships, government relations, resume workshops, conferences, supporting student competitions, etc.).  I’d like to see each of our groups get to know and support one another.  When events come up, there are times when we need more volunteers.  I challenge each Sacramento Section member to pick at least one event next year to attend. 

Membership: The future of our profession is composed of K-12 and college students.  These students are still trying to discover their path.  ASCE members should support this effort by answering their questions (What is an Engineer and what do they do? What does life look like outside school? Public vs Private? What should I say during an interview? etc.).  All Civil Engineers can offer their own unique perspective.  There are many upcoming opportunities in which we can help guide students and, ultimately, grow the profession. 

In closing, I would like to thank all of our Section, Branch, Institute, Younger Member Forum and Student Chapter officers for all their work. I would also like to congratulate Louay Owaidat for a great year as Section President.  It is worth noting that Louay was instrumental in raising $60,000 for the Golze scholarship, which was given out to Civil Engineering students last year. Special thanks to outgoing Section officers Kyle Sanford and Mike Konieczki, for all their years of leadership and hard work at the Section. I would like to thank Oscar Serrano, who just finished his 3-year commitment as ASCE Region 9 governor.

I look forward to meeting you all and working with you this year. Please let us know what you think at:


Elias Karam