I was recently appointed by the Professional Engineers of Oregon Board President as a Member of the Board of Directors representing Oregon professional engineers in private practice. I am proud to fulfill this roll and serve with Engineering Professionals Committed to a Code of Conduct, Ethics, Professionalism, a Standard of Technical Excellence and Public Safety.
At that same Professional Engineers of Oregon (PEO) conference (at the beautiful, coastally iconic Salishan Resort) I bumped into my long time colleague Senator Arnie Roblan – our key note speaker. From his address I noted that Arnie shares my fascination with mathematical theory and the appreciation of the perspective of the engineer’s mind in approaching problem solving at the societal level. Senator Roblan has blazed a non-partisan problem solving approach at our state legislative level with his Coastal Caucus – an effective use of the Venn Diagram concept that enables coastal legislators to identify their common ground and leverage each other’s strengths to implement meaningful legislation to improve the business and living conditions of the Oregon Coast. I want to be on that Caucus. My 23 years of coastal Oregon experience have equipped me with the skills, perspective and understanding of the needs and opportunities of our coastal communities required for contributions to this model of legislative collaboration.
I also enjoyed comparing notes with Tom Roberts, the president of the National Society of Professional Engineers. We discovered our common grounds of the value of industry and manufacturing in the U.S.A. and an affinity for the lessons of Steven Covey in planning the work and working the plan. Tom and I are also both Precinct Committee Persons – though he serves the Republican party of Kansas and I the Democratic party of Oregon – with a common understanding and experience that it is of upmost importance that we all engage in our democracy, look beyond party rhetoric to the real issues and opportunities facing us and put our heads together for Win Win solutions.
This was all icing on the cake for the fabulous crew of our Oregon Professional Engineers in residence for the event. These are the people designing our infrastructure for communication, transportation, dwelling, conducting commerce, water and electricity supply, waste management, forestry, agriculture, education and emergency response. I couldn’t help but look around and ask “Is there Anything this group could not accomplish?”. I think not. We just have to bust out that Venn Diagram and pull in the same direction.