CMA Named South Florida Top Workplaces 2020 Honoree

CMA Named South Florida Top Workplaces 2020 Honoree

CMA has been named a South Florida Top Workplaces 2020 Honoree by the Sun Sentinel. CMA was recognized at the Top Workplaces Awards event held virtually on September 17 and ranked 15 out of 47 in the Small Employer Group. CMA was also featured in the September 20 edition of the Sun Sentinel in the annual Top Workplaces special section. Being named a Top Workplace is a big deal and only 90 companies made this year’s list that is based solely on employee feedback gathered through a third-party survey administered by employee engagement technology partner Energage, LLC. The anonymous survey uniquely measures 15 drivers of engaged cultures that are critical to the success of any organization: including alignment, execution, and connection, just to name a few. Thank you to all of our employees who completed this survey!

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SunSentinel Mention

September 11, 2020

Peter Moore, P.E., F.ASCE, ENV SP, LEED AP

President, Chen Moore and Associates

Last week: Recently the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) partnered on a new economic report that quantifies water infrastructure investment and what happens when the nation fails to invest. The report “The Economic Benefits of Investing in Water Infrastructure: How a Failure to Act Would Affect the U.S. Economy Recovery” shows that closing the water investment gap brings enormous economic benefits and public health protections. As federal lawmakers consider how best to alleviate economic hardships caused by COVID-19 and protect public health, it is critical they understand the role water plays in keeping communities safe and healthy and our economy flowing.

Looking ahead: We all understand the immediate need for Congress and the administration to provide fiscal relief to state and local governments hammered by the COVID-19 pandemic, but there are also longer-term stressors on our nation’s infrastructure system that need to be addressed, specifically the relationship between the federal government and local governments. The ACEC Research Institute and partners have produced a series of recommendations to better align federal policies, funding options and regulations with local priorities within urban areas. The Community Serving Infrastructure: A Playbook for a New Infrastructure Partnership offers recommendations. Our local officials should read the Playbook this week.

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Cris Betancourt, RLA, AICP Accepted to ULI Leadership Institute Program

Congratulations to CMA’s Director of Landscape Architecture and Planning, Cris Betancourt, RLA, AICP on his acceptance to the Urban Land Institute’s Southeast Florida/Caribbean Leadership Institute Program. The Leadership Institute is an immersive and engaging leadership program that educates emerging leaders and prepares them with the tools to solve South Florida’s most critical real estate and land use issues. The program, which includes 8 full-day programs from January 2021 to August 2021, is a leadership development program that cultivates leadership and life-strategy skills by teaching emerging leaders in the real estate and land use industries how the Southeast Florida/Caribbean region gets built.

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SunSentinel Mention

September 4, 2020

Peter Moore, P.E., F.ASCE, ENV SP, LEED AP

President, Chen Moore and Associates

Last week: When is the best time to roll out a new tax? The simple answer to that is never. When is the best time to start planning for sea-level rise? The answer to that is yesterday. The City of Fort Lauderdale began meetings this past week on changes to their stormwater utility fee program that will increase rates for residents and businesses. These dedicated funding sources are critical to provide continuity with these programs and will allow the city to apply for grants requiring matching funds or bond the fees to accelerate progress. These are necessary for our future.

Looking ahead: Sept. 30 is a very important day in Washington D.C. for highways, airports and transit. Both the Payroll Support Program and the current surface transportation bill expire without congressional action. The Payroll Support Program has been keeping 100,000 airline workers and contractors employed while the airline industry is trying to recover. If the surface transportation bill deadline passes, the current law expires which will deplete the Highway Trust Fund. This will have a cascading effect, furloughing federal DOT employees and impacting a wide variety of state projects that get federal reimbursement. We need these reauthorizations to stave off disaster.

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FRPA Annual Conference

CMA staff members Vice President Jose L. Acosta, P.E., F.ASCE, Senior Engineer Robert Best, P.E. and Senior Landscape Architect Jason Sutton, RLA staffed our booth at the Florida Recreation and Park Association (FRPA) Annual Conference and Exhibit Show while practicing social distancing. The event was held August 31 to September 3 in Orlando and drew 150 delegates. FRPA is a non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion, preservation, and advocacy of the Parks, Recreation, and Leisure Services profession. www.frpa.org

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SunSentinel Mention

August 28, 2020

Peter Moore, P.E., F.ASCE, ENV SP, LEED AP

President, Chen Moore and Associates

Last week: I previously wrote about this as a concern, and this past week it happened. State Rep. Mike La Rosa, a Republican who faces term limits this year, was named last Friday by Gov. DeSantis to serve on the Florida Public Service Commission. The selection of La Rosa was over two other politicians and engineer Donald Polmann, who was seeking to be re-elected and was previously the only engineer on the commission. The five-member Public Service Commission regulates utilities and is expected to grapple with a series of high-profile issues in the coming years, including complex base-rate cases for electric utilities.

Looking ahead: After watching the destruction caused by Hurricane Laura in Louisiana and Texas this past week, we are looking at another two disturbances in the Caribbean in the coming week. When I was a child, my only knowledge of tropical activity was when storms became named and I used the Public Hurricane map and the latitude and longitude information provided to plot them on the refrigerator. In know that all this information causes stress to some – “not another two storms” – but I congratulate the advancements and warnings that lead to increase preparedness.

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CMA Associate Engineer Carlos Tijerino Named ASCE Miami Dade Chapter President

CMA Associate Engineer Carlos Tijerino Named ASCE Miami Dade Chapter President

Congratulations to CMA Associate Engineer Carlos Tijerino who was installed as President of the Miami-Dade Branch of ASCE on August 27. Carlos works in the field civil engineering with a focus on construction managements. His expertise includes project administration, procurement, and construction management of site development projects and structural restoration projects. The Miami-Dade Branch is a subsidiary of the Florida Section, grouped under Region 5 of the American Society of Civil Engineers with over 900 members in the Miami area.

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SunSentinel Mention

August 21, 2020

Peter Moore, P.E., F.ASCE, ENV SP, LEED AP

President, Chen Moore and Associates

Last week: This past week, I heard from a lot of people about the quality of both public and private virtual learning as the beginning of the school year kicked off. While most of the conversations ended with a reference to an alcoholic beverage, there were some definite success stories. My own daughter who never previously attended school struggled with PK3 math lessons, but found a connection over music class and story time. A teacher friend found that he was able to migrate to a completely paperless class. I know it isn’t easy, but let’s dwell on the positive for the children.

Looking ahead: This coming week will see two hurricanes simultaneously hit the gulf coast in Florida. In a typical storm response, there is a great deal of coordination between localities that share common risk. Risk prone areas have huge resources in crews, generators, pumps and everything necessary for recovery, but never quite enough to recover individually from a true disaster. For those events, it requires many localities banding together to give the resources of dozens of localities. If storms start coming in twos, threes or more, we’ll need to rethink preparedness and recovery plans. Let’s hope this is an anomaly.

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CMA Team Participated in the Annual Mercedes-Benz Corporate Run

CMA participated in the TeamFootworks Annual Mercedes-Benz Corporate Run this year.  The virtual event was held from August 19-23 and included a virtual live kick-off and warm-up session on August 19 in Miami. Team members were able to complete their 3.1 mile run or walk from a location of their choice. CMA team members were: Andres R. (wife Kiara), David, Greg, Jennifer C., Joel, Justin, Karen, Rex, Safiya and Teresa. Thank you to the Social Activities Committee for organizing the event and to Stefan for creating our t-shirt design! For more information or to follow on social media, please use #MBCR2020 and follow @thecorporaterun or visit http://www.mercedesbenzcorporaterun.com/

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SunSentinel Mention

August 14, 2020

Peter Moore, P.E., F.ASCE, ENV SP, LEED AP

President, Chen Moore and Associates

Last week: Last week, the nominating council for the Public Service Commission (PSC) sent four names to Gov. DeSantis for appointment of an expiring term. The list included three outgoing state legislators and one engineer. While I understand that the PSC must review a wide range of topics that aren’t all technical, three legislators jumping on the $132,000 per year part-time job is something that appears to be ready for failure. I believe that these positions should have requirements for technical competence. They sign off on all our utility rates, do we want politics in that role?

Looking ahead: The Public Service Commission (PSC) has a history of over 130 years in the State of Florida. Last week, the nominating council sent four names to Governor DeSantis. The Governor now has 30 days from then to nominate the next member. The member that currently holds the seat is the only engineer currently on the PSC. I’m not saying all 12 members should be engineers, but I’d like to think that one of 12 members of the group that regulates energy, water, sewer, gas and, to some extent telecom ought to be. Please keep at least one engineer, governor!

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