"We aim above the mark to hit the mark" - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Happy New Year ASCE! I hope that holidays were enjoyed, vacations taken, and resolutions resurrected. In preparation for a family gathering a couple weeks ago, I was dicing a small, red, Roma tomato. Then in an instant, I was no longer cutting, but wincing and rushing to the sink. I’d missed the vegetable and found my finger. We’ve all done it right? After the Band-Aid was on, I simply said to myself, “Well, that’s going to leave a mark!” 

So I got to thinking about marks. It’s a small word, but used so frequently. For example, if you’ve ever raced with a friend, someone probably started it off with “On your mark...”; as long as pirates have been around, we’ve known that “X marks the spot”; Crayola makes colored markers; and we’re engineers that too often have to wait for comments and “mark-ups” on our submitted plans.

Every day and throughout our lives we make choices that mark our path into the future. The start of the new calendar year is the traditional time in which we assess the past, plan in the present, and prepare for the future by setting realistic goals for ourselves. We call them resolutions. Why? Each of us is striving for something, to be something, and most of us have realized that the “something” isn’t going to happen by chance. One of my favorite phrases was coined by Thomas S. Monson. He said, “decisions determine destiny.” In essence, we can either let life leave its marks on us, or we can mark our lives. It’s our choice.

This year, I hope we find a way to mark our paths with a renewed involvement in ASCE. Perhaps you’re looking for a way to network with like-minded professionals. Well then, join a Section or Branch committee in your discipline, attend the upcoming Capital Branch speaker luncheons on January 27 and February 24, or volunteer at the MidPac Engineering Competition at UC Davis in April. Perhaps you’ve let your membership dues slide. Well then, recommit to pay your dues in order to fund the outreach and activities planned for our area. Perhaps you’re looking for a way to give back to a profession that has blessed your life. Well then, donate to the Golze Scholarship Fund or nominate a colleague /client for a 2014 Project Award to be presented at the awards banquet on February 25.

The year of 2015 is upon us and opportunities abound. What are you going to do this year to make your mark?  On your mark…get set…GO!

If you need additional ideas, have questions, comments or thoughts, please contact us at


Kyle Sanford