Jonathan J. Gotwald, PE
FES Pinellas Chapter President,
Vice President, Engineering
George F. Young, Inc.
Members of the Pinellas Chapter,
I would like to thank the Membership of the Pinellas Chapter of the Florida Engineering Society for entrusting your presidency in my hands. I have been a member for many years and have enjoyed my involvement learning from my contemporaries and mentors over that period of time. It wasn’t until I was “volunteered” to become involved in the K-12 committee that I realized how important my profession was to me and that sharing my passion with others was a natural step in fulfilling my career. Over those same years, we have seen many changes in how our engineering society has operated and the expectations we have as members. The message that we are hearing is we have to take control of our own destiny to be the professionals that we are and it is up to us to make sure that our profession stands strong for generations following us.
Our FES Mission states:
“FES supports engineering education, advocates licensure, promotes the ethical and competent practice of engineering, and enhances the image and well-being of all engineers in the state of Florida; and furthers the public’s knowledge and understanding of the importance of the profession.”
It is this Mission that we need to stand up and defend, especially during the recent public attacks on our profession following acts from mother nature that have placed unsubstantiated doubt on engineers in our community. We need to conduct ourselves honorably, responsibly, ethically and lawfully to enhance the honor, reputation and usefulness of the profession (as stated in the NSPE Code of Ethics) in a manor to respond to the media’s questions and educate the public on the solutions available.
I would challenge all of our member engineers to be that advocate for our profession and reach out and share the commitment we have when the opportunity arises. Our Chapter provides a number of ways to contribute to sharing our mission, providing you an opportunity to be a positive force in promoting engineering in our community. The Pinellas Chapter is governed by an Executive Committee (Officers) and a Board of Directors to provide our members with programs and opportunities to network. But it is our committees that provide the communication of our mission to our members. This is how you can help.
The State FES has Standing Committees for Legislative Affairs, Membership, K-12, MATHCOUNTS, Student Professional Development, Scholarships and Awards.
The State FES also has affiliated Practice Sections with separate governing boards for Engineers in Government (FPEG), Engineers in Construction (FECON), Engineers in Education (FPEE), Engineers in Industry (FPEI) and Florida Institute of Consulting Engineers (FICE).
There are other State and Special Committees needing local leadership including;
State: Communications, Conservation and Environmental Concerns, Constructed Environment, Energy, Ethical Practices, Professional Concerns, Professional Development and Leadership Advisory.
Special: Transportation Supersession, Golf Tournament, Engineers Week and Community Action.
My challenge this year is to lead this Chapter providing the services our members are looking for, and I cannot fulfill this challenge without the help of these committees and involved members like you.
I would like to re-energize these committees with your help that are most important to our members and provide a means to share this information to our membership through the monthly newsletters, website and membership meetings. I am looking for men and women engineers that are tired of hearing the engineering profession in the media represented in a bad light, have a significant involvement and expertises in the areas represented by FES Committees, or enjoy sharing with others the benefits of our profession. Get involved! Your career will benefit and our Chapter will benefit from your contributions.
I look forward to this coming year as President of the Pinellas Chapter, and I look forward to seeing some new faces in our Committees to support our Mission. Help me help you!
Jonathan J. Gotwald, PE
FES Pinellas Chapter President
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