December 15, 2015 SAVE Cascadia Chapter Holiday Party

Date:  December 15, 2015
Location:  Duke’s Chowder House, 757 Southcenter Mall, Tukwila, WA
Blane Long (Board President) HDR
Steven W. Thompson (Board V.P.) The Boeing Company
Teresa Platin (Board Secretary) HDR
John Langer (Board Treasurer) John Langer Consulting
Michael Schneider (Board Member) Commonwealth Development
Thomasa Hume WSDOT
Paul Fuchs The Boeing Company
Samih Shilbayeh WSDOT
Randy Earlywine SPU
Stacy Earlywine Guest (with Randy Earlywine)
Anna Bremmer Bremmer Consulting, LLC
Ann Jamison HNTB
William Hickey Jacobs
Mike Doleac CH2M
Wanda Langer Guest (with John Langer)
Bradley Platin Guest (with Teresa Platin)

Although Cascadia Chapter Blane Long made formal welcoming remarks, there was no official Chapter Meeting or Presentation. The December Meeting was the complimentary holiday celebration for the Chapter.

October 14, 2015 Chapter Meeting

Date:  October 14, 2015
Location:  Seattle Best Western Executive Inn, 200 Taylor Ave N, Seattle, WA
Steven W. Thompson (Board V.P.) The Boeing Company
John Langer John Langer Consulting
Steven Paget Sazan Group
Joel Davis Meng Analysis
Bill Hickey Jacobs
Randy Earlywine Seattle Public Utilities
Paul Fuchs The Boeing Company
Anna Bremmer Bremmer Consulting, LLC
Samih Shilbayeh WSDOT
Mike Katani KSA (?)

Chapter Meeting (approximately 7:00 pm start)


See list of attendees above.

Treasurer’s Report

Treasurer John Langer was unable to attend the Chapter Meeting, but provided a status on available funds. We currently have $6,200 in the bank.


Holiday Party Planning

  • Consider venue on South end of Seattle.
  • Consider non-hotel/restaurant facilities.
  • Budget is flexible.
  • Date should probably be earlier in December.
  • Send out notice to Chapter Membership when date chosen.

Board Elections Timeline

  • Nomination committee typically formed in Feb/March.
  • Elections in April.
  • Results announced in May.
  • Terms begin in June.

Tracking of Action Items from Board and Chapter Meetings

Group discussed keeping better track of action items identified at meetings and improving follow through. It was noted, that we’ve done this at times, but not consistently. Anna indicated that she’d created a template for tracking when she was Secretary, and Steven Thompson asked if Anno would send it to him for use by the Chapter.

Discussion of Health of the Value Profession

  • Observation that quality of applications for CVS and CVS recertification have been very poor, particularly those from US. Out of approximately 20 applications in 2015, only one CVS certification was awarded.
  • Observation that quality of MOD 1 materials submitted for approval has been poor.Program DiscussionProgram: Is it Time for Value Engineering of Value Engineering  Discussion lead by the following Board Members:
    • Steven W. Thompson (SAVE Cascadia Chapter Vice President; Boeing Enterprise Value Engineering Program Leader)
    • John Langer, AVS (SAVE Cascadia Chapter Treasurer; John Langer Consulting)
    • Steven Paget, CVS® (SAVE Cascadia Chapter Board member; Sazan Group)

    These notes only capture part of the program discussion. There was no PPT presentation.

    • Improving Education and Mentoring
    • Engaging college students in the value profession – need for exposure to VM.
    • Discussion of why technologies like Six Sigma, Lean, etc. are thriving, but VM is not.
    • Observation that there is a tendency for VM practitioners to hold their approaches close to the chest and not share their methods; counterintuitively, we will all be more successful if we share methods and promote approaches.
    • Need to find ways to evolve the VM to appeal to the millennial generation.
    • What is Working for WSDOT and SPU Making their VM Programs Work and Remain Viable?
    • WSDOT – strong internal promotion of the program; tracking performance.
    • Do we understand the value proposition well enough to sell it?
    • SPU – some within SPU see the value/benefit in cost savings/ others see the value in intangible benefits to the projects and team.
    • Communicating results of studies.
    • Involvement of stakeholders.

Meeting Minutes June 8, 2015

SAVE Cascadia Chapter 2014/2015 Board Year: June 8, 2015
Chapter Meeting

Date: June 8, 2015
Location: Crowne Point Room at Hyatt Mission Bay, San Diego, CA
Chapter Meeting Attendees:

Blane Long (Board President) HDR
Steven W. Thompson (Board V.P.) The Boeing Company
Teresa Platin (Board Secretary) HDR
Thomasa W. Hume WSDOT
Paul Fuchs The Boeing Company
Erin Donnelly The Boeing Company
Mike Clare The Boeing Company
Randy Earlywine Seattle Public Utilities
Ann Jamison HNTB
Laurie Dennis RHA

Chapter Meeting (5:15 – 6:00 pm)


See list of attendees above.

Chapter Meetings Overview for New Participants

Steven brought along several new participants from the Boeing Company, so we took a few minutes to provide an overview of meeting logistics (when, where, format, etc.). We discussed the new audio/video capabilities and our goal starting this fall to have remote viewing options for members who can’t attend a meeting in person. We will be testing out the equipment during the September and October meetings and hope to make remote participation a standing option. It was noted that the Michigan Chapter often watches the Chicago Chapter on-line.
The group was reminded of the purpose of our Chapter, to promote the VE profession.

Treasurer’s Report

Treasurer John Langer was unable to attend the SAVE Summit and this short Chapter Meeting in San Diego, and the Board did not receive any financial information ahead of time. Therefore, there was no Treasurer’s Report given this month.

Potential Speakers for the 2015/2016 Program Year beginning in September

The first meeting of the new program year will be held on September 9th. Ideas for upcoming speakers included the following:

  • • Ann Jamison and Rahul Nagalkar – Sound Transit Award for VE Studies
  • • Ann Jamison and Rahul Nagalkar – Results of Sound Transit VE and Conceptual and Preliminary Studies
  • • Laurie Dennis – New Value Engineering Certification Standards
  • • Dr. Jay Mandelbaum (Research Staff Member at IDA in Alexandria, VA; Teresa met him at the SAVE Summit, and he mentioned that he would be in the Seattle area this fall. He offered to speak at one of our meetings. Topic unknown at this point – we’d have to ask).
  • • Boeing Company Representatives (could be members of group in this meeting’s attendee list) – Boeing Tear Down Team

Laurie Dennis expressed interest in being the speaker for the September 9th Cascadia Chapter Meeting, and sharing information about the new VE Certification standards. Teresa will get her information about times and possible locations over the summer.
It was noted that presenters get a free dinner, courtesy of the Chapter, and if possible, the meeting will be held close to the presenter’s home or work location.
The group was encouraged to continue thinking about other places to hold our Chapter Meetings and presentations. Rooms that are offered free of cost are preferred. In that case, members purchase dinner and drinks from the establishment.
The group was also encouraged to think about joint-meeting opportunities with other related organizations.

Miscellaneous Questions

Blane opened the floor to general questions, and there were two:
1) Are there dues for the Chapter Membership? The answer is “no”. When someone pays their membership dues to SAVE International, they automatically become a Chapter Member in their corresponding chapter. Chapters receive some money from SAVE International for each Chapter member that they have.
2) Do Field Trips and Tours have to be for VE Projects? The answer is “no”. They have to be of interest to our membership and be of a technical nature. For example, the Howard Hansen Dam Tour and the WSDOT Ferry tour didn’t occur because they were VE projects.


Meeting Minutes and Presentation – May 13, 2015

SAVE Cascadia Chapter 2014/2015 Board Year: May 13, 2015
Chapter Meeting

Date: May 13, 2015
Location: Benny’s Pizza Café, 4219 NE St. Johns Rd, Vancouver, WA 98661
Chapter Meeting Attendees:

Don Owings (Board Member-at-Large) HDR
Teresa Platin (Board Secretary) HDR
Daniel Teran McKay Sposito
Lori Buffington HDR
Thomasa W. Hume WSDOT
Samih Shibayeh WSDOT
Dennis Van Kirk VK Tech Services

Chapter Meeting (6:00 – 8:00 pm)


See list of attendees above. Secretary Teresa Platin presided over the meeting. We welcomed two new participants to the Chapter Meeting (Daniel Teran and Dennis Van Kirk).

Board Election Results

A regular election was run between the April and May Chapter Meetings, with the following outcome:

  • • Don Owings was elected to a new 3-year term on the Board (he was elected last fall to complete the final months of a departing Board Member’s term).
  • • Steven Paget was elected to the Board for a 3-year term, replacing Mark Gabel who had also stepped in to complete the final months of a departing Board Member’s term last fall.

The Board appreciates the other candidates who were nominated and agreed to run in this election. They, and the write-in-candidate, are encouraged to run again during our next election.

By electronic voting after the election but prior to this Chapter Meeting, the current Board appointed the following Board positions to the newly elected members:

  • • Board Member, Steve Paget
  • • Board Member-at-Large, Don Owings

Treasurer’s Report

Treasurer John Langer was unable to attend the May meeting, but he passed the Treasurer’s Report on to the Board prior to the gathering. Don Owings shared the report, noting that we have $6,846.84 in the Cascadia Chapter SAVE Account. Don pointed out that SAVE International holds those funds since we voted at the beginning of the 2014/2015 program year to be a division of the National organization. As the holder of the funds, Save International receives the interest generated by the money.

Presentation: Reducing Project Development Time

SAVE May 2015 Chapter Meeting Presentation

Don Owings shared an overview and the results of a 2013 VE Study that he conducted for the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) District 4 Project Development and Environment (PD&E) processes and practice. The District was interested in reducing the amount of time it took to develop and construct transportation capacity improvement projects and asked HDR Engineering, Inc. to facilitate a Value Engineering Study to review their methodology and suggest improvements. Using a phased approach and a series of questionnaires for each discipline with a role in the process, Don explained, his team was able to examine the existing process and identify underlying concerns. His team identified 149 issues to consider and generated 575 ideas to provide value. The ideas were evaluated, resulting in 15 developed recommendations and 13 noted “design considerations”. FDOT implemented all 15 recommendations.
Don’s presentation is posted along with these notes for those interested in viewing.


Meeting Minutes and Presentation April 8, 2015

SAVE Cascadia Chapter 2014/2015 Board Year: April 8, 2015
Board and Chapter Meeting

Date: April 8, 2015
Location: Vince’s Italian Restaurant and Pizzeria, Renton Washington
Board Meeting Attendees:
Blane Long (Board President) HDR
Steven W. Thompson (Board VP) The Boeing Company
John Langer, (Board Treasurer) John Langer Consulting
Teresa Platin (Board Secretary) HDR
Michael Schneider (Board Member) Commonwealth Development
Additional Attendees for Chapter Meeting:
Ann Jamison HNTB
Eric Trimble Value Management Strategies
Tomi Hume WSDOT

Board Meeting (5:10 – 6:00 pm)

See list of Board Meeting participants above.

New Technical Equipment

Following up on our conversation from previous months, John Langer, purchased audio/visual (AV) equipment for use during Board events. John noted that he has only a raincheck for the new projector (at a considerable savings) – the new projector still isn’t in. The Board thanked John for making the purchases for the Chapter.
It was agreed that the Secretary is the repository for all of the equipment (laptop computer, web cam, projector, and screen). Steven offered to help transport equipment if needed, and it was agreed that Board members can make arrangements to get the equipment from Teresa before a meeting if she is unable to attend, or there are other circumstances making this desirable.
Between the April Meeting and the first meeting of the new Board Year in September, the Board agreed to learn how to use the webcam and to be ready to beta-test it in September. The laptop has Windows 8.1 and the home/student version of Microsoft Office. That should be sufficient to run the webcam.
Steven agreed to draft a policy for the use of the equipment before the September Meeting. If Teresa has notes from previous discussion about the equipment policy, she will e-mail them to Steven. One of the equipment issues we discussed during this (April) Board Meeting related to the use of the equipment outside of Chapter meetings. AV Equipment is for SAVE and SAVE-type presentations. Members may use this equipment only to promote the profession, not for personal or business use. There should be a limit on how many days a member may “check-out” the equipment.

Treasurer’s Report

Treasurer John Langer reported that after the equipment purchases, the Cascadia Chapter treasury is $6,375. The $600 reimbursement for local members arrived from National.

The new method of making purchases and asking National for reimbursement appears to be working; however, National reimburses our state chapter quarterly, but our webmaster (Two Rebels) has been sending monthly invoices.

Web Site

We are pleased with the work Two Rebels is doing for us with the website. Network Solutions is the name of the site provider we used in the past. If we wish to continue having Network Solutions host the site, we will need to pay the $499 invoice (for 5 more years) in mid-May. The Board discussed having Two Rebels host, and decided we should ask them for a proposal to host our website. John made a motion to request a website hosting proposal from Two Rebels, and Teresa seconded it.

SAVE Summit

Several Cascadia Chapter members and at least 3 of the Board Members are planning to attend the SAVE Value Summit in San Diego (June 7th – 9th). Blane, Teresa, and Steven agreed to serve as delegates if there is a vote at the National meeting. Teresa will send out a query to the Chapter membership to see how many plan to go to the Summit. If possible, we will convene the June Chapter Meeting on the grounds of the Summit. A 1-hour meeting (pre-breakfast or post-day of presentations) will be planned.

There were no essay submittals for the Cascadia Chapter’s offer to pay dues to attend the conference. This contest was open to engineering students and Chapter members with an AVS certification. With no applicants, the money was not awarded and remains in the treasury for other uses.

The group discussed whether we want to sponsor anything at the Value Summit. We did this when the annual meeting was held in Portland (within our Chapter Boundaries); however, the group did not make a motion to sponsor anything at the San Diego Summit. There was some interest in sponsoring something more local, such as the following ideas:
• WSDOT recently received a grant to teach a Mod II class. Perhaps we could identify a Mod II class in Portland or elsewhere and pay for some of    the attendance cost. 3 days of training = 24 hours (could be approximately $5k in regular labor hours for attendee).
• Mod I (5 days) and Mod II (3 days) are hard to get started because it is such a large time commitment, but if we were to provide a discount or offset some costs, that might be an incentive.
• Defray some of the Membership cost to be part of SAVE, Int. Not sure how that would work, because we get a credit back from SAVE for each member.
• A 1-day training topic: VE; Lean; Cost-Risk Assessment. Can sometimes be hard to do the advertising and get people to show up.
• Team with other groups to sponsor something of interest.

The Board will discuss this again at future meetings, and it was suggested that we review Steven’s bulleted list of potential Chapter improvements.

Nominations for Board Positions

Both Don Owings and Mark Gabel were elected last fall to complete the terms of Board members who departed before their terms concluded this spring. Teresa sent out a call for nominations and reported that she had received 4 or 5 nominations for the 2 positions. She will confirm the nominee’s interest and requests short biographies from them, and then she will create a new Survey Monkey for the election. The survey will be launched shortly, with the voting closing on the Friday before our May meeting. After the election results are determined and shared with the Board, the Board will assign the officer positions, with the following in mind:
• Board Terms are for 3 years.
• Board Positions are for 1 year.
• There is no term limit. (Steven will verify this last statement and see if after 2 consecutive terms an officer must take a term off. If so, we will discuss the implications of this rule).
• The Member-at-Large position is for someone outside of the Puget Sound/Everett to Olympia corridor.

Preparation for Next Board Year

A week or two before the September 9, 2015 Chapter Meeting, the Board agreed to get together one evening or on a Saturday afternoon to prepare for the new Board Year. Among others, topics may include the following:
• What benefit does being a member of SAVE bring (points for certification, knowledge sharing, networking, etc.)?
• What symposiums and other professional societies should we as a Chapter and as individual members get involved in? Submit presentations? (CRAB annual conference, APWA conference, TIB, manufacturing [Steve to look into options])
• Are there any conferences in our region that would be good opportunities for sponsorship, presenters, booths?
• What other locations in the Cascadia Chapter boundaries might we hold dinner meetings? Dan Owings, Ashley Carson (VMS), Rob Stewart (VMS), and Samih Shilbayeh WSDOT might have ideas about Vancouver, WA/Portland area. Tomi Hume and Blane Long might have Olympia suggestions.
• How do we encourage more attendance at the Holiday event? Clients, etc.?

Chapter Meeting (6:20 – 6:45 pm)


See list of participants, in addition to the Board Meeting participants, above.

Treasurer’s Report

Treasurer John Langer reported that the Cascadia Chapter account balance was $6,375. We discussed the following ideas to promote VE related activities locally using some of this money.
• Mod I, II, deferred cost
• Help offset some of the costs for SAVE Value Summit
• Pay to present at other societies/conferences

No decisions were reached. The Board was in favor of discussing Chapter-funded ways to promote VE again at future meetings.

Upcoming SAVE Value Summit, Other Meetings/Presentations, and Awards

Teresa, Steve, Blane (and possibly other Board Members) will be attending the Value Summit in June, and will represent the Chapter as delegates. Ann Jamison, Rahul Nagalkar, and Rob Stewart will be attending. Each will be a presenter. Other Chapter Members are also likely to attend.

Who will be submitting a paper and/or presenting at the AASHTO Conference in Washington D.C. this fall? Tomi is submitting a paper, and Ken Smith is co-authoring a paper with WSDOT. It would be good to post a note about this on the Chapter website. Teresa to contact Blane or Tomi to get information.

We may want to have the SAVE Summit presenters share what they are planning to talk about at our May Vancouver meeting as practice. Eric Trimble offered to see if VMS presenter(s) would like to do this.

There will be a SAVE Canada Meeting in November or December. The group wasn’t sure where it would be held, but at least one person offered the opinion that it would be good to attend if relatively close.

Ann Jamison shared the fact that HNTB submitted two award nominations to AASHTO: Sound Transit, Lynnwood Link Concept Design VE; Sound Transit VE Program. HNTB also submitted a SAVE award nomination for the latter.


Teresa noted that the Cascadia Chapter would be holding a brief Chapter Meeting at the Value Summit in San Diego (details to follow).

The group was asked if we should continue the Holiday Party tradition in December/January. Those at the meeting who had attended the January 2015 event agreed that it was a good get together that should be continued. We’d like to see more people attend, though. People should be encouraged to bring clients. The Board agreed to discuss this again when we get together as a Board in August.

Future meeting sites for the 2015/2016 Board Year might include the following: Vince’s (this April Meeting location), something by the airport, Tacoma, Renton/Southcenter, South Sound (Lacey), Portland/Vancouver again in the spring.

Presentation (6:45 – approximately 8:00 pm)

HDR CRA Presentation

Cost Risk Assessment – Building Success and Avoiding Surprises, by Blane Long, CVS®, CCT of HDR in Olympia

Blane’s presentation began with the observation that Cost Risk Assessments are vital risk management. All projects should have them. Base cost review is one of the most important tasks, but schedule review may be even more important, as delay can be the biggest cost to a project. Blane continued to talk about the important decision support of Cost Risk Assessment, allowing clients to make good, informed decisions. He reviewed specific tools and techniques.