Conquering the Summit with the Future Leaders Program

September 20, 2013

By: Jennifer M. Hatten

The Engineering and Construction Contracting Association (ECC) held their 45th annual conference September 11 – 14, 2013, at the JW MarriotDesert Springs in Palm Desert, California. This year’s attendance was the largest in the conference’s history with over 750 registered attendees. Centered on the theme, Conquering the Summit, Aspiring to Flawless Project Delivery, the ECC delivered an exciting conference that provided valuable insight into how to deliver an unspoiled project.

A unique aspect of the ECC is the Future Leader Program. This program brings together new and young industry leaders and allows them to take on an active role not only in the ECC, but directly in the conference. The Future Leader Program plans for months and meets one day before the conference begins to provide an avenue for thought leadership and personal development.

I was able to be a part of the Wednesday Working Session Planning Team on September 11, 2013, that coordinated speakers and round table discussions. The team had the day organized into three main topics: Thought Leadership, Collaboration and Networking, and Industry. The Thought Leadership discussion was lead by Bill Hawkins of the Marshall Goldsmith Group. Bill is an expert in leadership and executive coaching and has worked with more than 20 Fortune 500 Companies. Bill spoke on the topic, “what got you here won’t get you there,” which is also the title of one of his published books, What Got you Here Won’t Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful.

The Collaboration and Networking discussion was led by Denise Elston and her husband, Rob Elston. Denise was a huge success the previous year’s conference and was brought back by popular demand. Denise retired from Shell in January 2013 after 28 years of service. At the time she retired, she was the Vice President, of Safety, Environment and Sustainable Development (SE/SD) for the Upstream Americas (UA) business. Rob Elston has worked for Shell for 26 years. For the past 10 years, he has worked in Downstream where he supported refinery and chemical plant operations, helped maintenance positions, served as a reliability engineer, and causal analysis team lead.

The Industry discussion was an insightful round table discussion with current leaders in capital projects from companies such as Advanced Project Solutions, Worley Parsons, CH2M Hill, Burns & McDonnell, Albemarle, Eastman Chemical Company and Universal/Pegasus International, Inc.

The Wednesday Working Session Planning Team put on a great program that was engaging and informative. It is great to be a part of such a dynamic group that continues to grow each year.

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