A Fond Farewell & Thank You To Audrey Camp

For over seven years a/e ProNet had the good fortune of retaining Audrey Camp’s services.  Audrey has authored the a/e ProNet blog, hunted down outstanding content for our guest essays and whitepapers, edited the ProNetwork News, and she worked diligently behind the scenes to maintain the a/e ProNet website.

As an organization, a/e ProNet offers its members a host of industry specific content, which members can use to educate their clients about the nuances of their insurance programs and the relationship between insurance and their design trades.  Audrey has been at the forefront of a/e ProNet’s efforts to keep up with the demand for substantive writing about risk management for architects and engineers, among other topics, and her matter of fact writing has been integral to the comprehensiveness and readability of that material.

a/e ProNet found, in Audrey, a terrific asset.  Audrey came to us with necessary insurance industry experience to discern between critical and immaterial issues, the tech knowledge to provide web-maintenance services, the networking capacity to obtain content, and she happens to be a professional writer!  Audrey fit without a glitch into a complicated mold as our editor.  But, best of all, we have had, in Audrey, a person with the passion, drive and focus necessary to grow a/e ProNet’s industry presence.  Audrey’s care for this organization and its members fueled her efforts, and it shows.

Audrey may be leaving a/e ProNet, but she isn’t slowing down.  Over the last couple of years Audrey has shifted her focus onto other things, including motherhood, teaching literature at University of Oslo, and continuing her freelance writing career.  And, in 2017 Audrey was elected Chair of Democrats Abroad Norway!  Thusly, we bid Audrey Camp a fond farewell, and we thank her for her years of service to a/e ProNet and to us.

For more about Audrey, please visit her website, www.audreycamp.com

In mid-November, F. David Shipley passed away. He was 81 years old.

Dave ran a successful insurance brokerage–Shipley and Associates–for many years. Along the way, he and three colleagues co-founded a/e ProNet in 1988. Dave went on to serve as our Treasurer for more than two decades. Recently, he was deservedly named a Member Emeritus.

You can read about Dave’s long, productive, and fun-loving life in The Oregonian. He was a man who lived to serve his community, a priceless quality, and something the world could always use more of.

We are grateful for the time, effort and care he gave to our organization, and we’ll miss him very much. Our thoughts and prayers are with Dave’s lovely family.

Next year, a/e ProNet will celebrate its 30th Anniversary. We’ve been around a long time, but we continue to be a dynamic organization. Now we’re proud to announce a new category of a/e ProNet membership.

Effective immediately, a/e ProNet’s members rolls will include Associate Members: invited attorneys who specialize in serving design professionals.

Associate Member information:

  • An Associate Member must be an attorney who specializes in providing services to design profession and companies providing professional liability insurance to design professionals
  • They must be involved in national and/or local design professional associations
  • They must be recommended by two members of a/e ProNet and complete an application
  • The application for membership and recommendations will be reviewed by the Membership Committee and approved by the board of directors before an invitation for membership can be extended
  • The Associate Member shall pay an annual membership fee
  • An Associate Member can attend all a/e ProNet meetings, receive all information distributed to the membership, and be listed on our website as an Associate Member

The Board of Directors has extended an invitation to the first two Associate Members: Kent Holland (Construction Risk, LLC) and Dave Ericksen (Severson & Werson). Both parties have been invited in recognition of their extensive work they have performed in support of a/e ProNet and on behalf of its members.

We’re looking forward to discovering the many ways this change will be to our benefit and help us to grow.

At the end of this month, a/e ProNet will hold its annual meeting in Chicago for our members, affiliates, and sponsors. ProNet has held these fall meetings for more than two decades, but the goal and capacity of the meeting continues to evolve to meet the climate of the industry.  This year, we’re proud to host Richard Friedman, president of consulting firm Friedman & Partners as our guest speaker.

Richard has worked in and consulted for the A/E/C and environmental consulting industries for more than 25 years. Starting out in the trenches as an environmental consultant and business developer for Stone & Webster Engineering in Boston, Rich expanded his reach as the partner in charge of marketing and business development research, consulting and training for ZweigWhite. He also managed a variety of other projects involving strategic planning, mergers and acquisitions, and executive search. Since launching Friedman & Partners, he has worked with firms at all levels, from small niche consultants to large ENR 500 organizations. He’s also conducted hundreds of seminars and workshops for firms, design and environmental industry professional associations and venues, including AIA, SMPS, ACEC, AGC, NSPE, Build Boston/ArchitectureBoston Expo (ABX), WTS and Chief Executive Network. Friedman & Partners is a marketing and management consultancy serving the U.S. and Canadian AEC and environmental consulting industries.

On the final morning of our fall meeting, Richard will speak to our members on “Selling to Architects and Engineers: Market Research and Penetration Strategies that Work.”

University students around the country are heading back to class. We’d like to recognize one of them today. In May, ACEC announced the winner of the annual a/e ProNet Engineering Scholarship as Emily Valenzuela.

Emily  is working toward a master’s degree in civil and water resources engineering from Colorado State University. She is the winner of the first annual a/e ProNet Engineering Scholarship, a $5,000 award.

“Engineering is much more than the roof above our heads, it is the solid foundation of our society.” — Emily Valenzuela

Our organization sponsors two annual scholarships, one with the ACEC and one with the AIA. We are proud to support the next generation of architects and engineers as they pursue their education. You can find details about both awards, including lists of past winners, on the Scholarships page of our website.

Good luck this year, Emily!

Markle Branch Library of Huntington – City Township Public Library – krM Architecture+

Once again, we’re proud to see several of our clients on the list of winners at the AIA Indiana Excellence in Architecture Awards.

AXIS Architecture + Interiors

Honor Award – New Building – (Project cost greater than $5 million)

Project Name:  Cummins LiveWell Center

Jury Comments:

The jury felt this project achieved a rich and simple elegance in both plan organization and exterior lines. We commend the connectivity between the indoor and outdoor environments, the palliative interiors, and use of calming tones and textures. The architectural team’s design response achieved the goal of challenging the stereotypical doctor’s office and exemplifies a holistic integration of architecture, building systems, function and site design.

Honor Award – Renovation / Addition

Project Name: Jarden Home Brands

Jury Comments:

This project creates a work environment successfully designed to foster collaboration and innovation. The design translates well from the initial concept sketches to the three-dimensional outcome with areas defined by varied use of color, texture, and architectural elements. Open collaborative workspace is balanced with quiet space for focused work. A courtyard and skylights enhance the experience for a seemingly large floor plate, bringing daylight to interior spaces. The client’s products are artfully integrated into the design in light fixtures and an art installation that serves a hallmark of the design.

Merit Award – Interior / Retrofit

Project Name: Business Furniture Corporation Office + Warehouse

Jury Comments:

The jury was particularly impressed with the design team’s expression of scale through forms, layers and textures. Marked attention was given to the importance of ceiling planes to define a space. The project clearly articulates a dynamic and collaborative work environment but also showcases the client’s passion for its product through its integration with the design.

Design Excellence

Project Name: Cummins LiveWell Center

Jury Comments:

The Cummins LiveWell Center garnered the jury’s unanimous support for the Design Excellence award. The beautifully proportioned, elegant building goes beyond ordinary expectations. The building’s transparency offers abundant, but managed views, to the mission within. The low-scale, “E” shaped building introduces daylight and affords occupants with views to the outdoors at every turn. Views to gardens in the courtyards and the landscape beyond support our biophilic connection to nature and embodies evidence-based, restorative concepts that support healing and wellness. Beautifully executed and well done.

 

arcDESIGN

Merit Award – Historic Restoration

Project Name: Indiana State University – Normal Hall

Jury Comments:

A respectful revival of a building allowed to badly deteriorated over time, and a commitment from the University to the future by restoring this oldest surviving building on-campus. The Jury admired that the design team studied archival photos to reproduce furniture and replace lost materials. The Jury applauds the restoration of the historic stained-glass dome as a centerpiece to celebrate this building. The addition articulates clearly the differentiation of new vs old building with a design reflective of its time, respectful of historic while clearly of a new century, and doesn’t compete but is compatible with original scale and materials. The outcome reflects patience with the process of restoring an old building where unexpected surprises were revealed through careful removal process. Congratulations – well-done!

Continue reading “ProNet Clients Among 2017 AIA Indiana Award Winners”

For design professionals, finding the right insurance broker can present a challenge. You need someone with ample experience handling the professional liability needs of architects and engineers, and who offers a wealth of value-added services. Only if your broker has a comprehensive understanding of what you and your firm are all about can he or she be of real use to you. Lacking this knowledge can leave your firm vulnerable in a shifting insurance marketplace. A good specialist broker is committed to investing the necessary time and resources to your account. They find you the best coverage for the best price, and they save you the considerable time it would take for you to do so on your own.

What is professional liability insurance and why is it important?

A professional liability (errors and omissions) insurance policy provides coverage to defend and indemnify a professional firm against claims alleging negligent acts, errors, or omissions in the performance of professional services.

Any project can give rise to a claim. Even if your firm employs an excellent risk management strategy, it is vulnerable to being named in a lawsuit. The cost of that defense can mount fast, even if your firm wasn’t in the wrong. A professional liability policy covers the cost of defense.

In the event that your firm is found negligent, and that the firm’s negligence gave rise to the claim in question, your professional liability policy will cover your firm for the damages you’re

legally obligated to pay, up to the policy limit. (Note: In most cases, defense costs erode the policy limit. Having adequate limits to cover both defense and indemnity is important.)

Why do I need a specialist insurance broker? Shouldn’t I be able to purchase my professional liability policy directly from an insurance company?

For architects and engineers, maintaining an active and adequate professional liability insurance policy is very often a legal requirement. And while a basic professional liability policy is straightforward enough for anyone to acquire, the insurance needs of design professionals are more complex than that.

The insurance industry is full of companies who want your business, but no two professional liability insurance carriers are exactly alike. Among the major differences are:

  • the size of policy limits offered;
  • whether multiyear policies are available;
  • underwriting appetites for types of engineering services;
  • and claims service.

Some companies require a 10-year loss history from design professionals, while others only require a five-year loss run. A specialist broker knows what the markets are doing, who the underwriters are, and how to present your firm in the best possible light. He or she will have understand each insurance company’s application and is quick to assist you in providing requested information. The cost of your insurance depends on this knowledge and attention to detail used on your behalf.

Here it should be noted that insurance companies often reward longevity. If your firm has been insured by a single company for a number of years and doesn’t have an especially adverse claims history, it’s likely that your premiums have been fair and endorsements (e.g., per project limit increases) have been easy to come by when needed. This does not mean that your current insurance company should be the only one to see your renewal application, however. A specialist broker understands the importance of approaching multiple markets periodically, either to reassure you that your policy is in the right hands or to grant you the opportunity to trade up.

Whether the market in a given year is hard or soft, a skilled professional liability insurance broker’s experience will benefit your firm. You need competent advice from a broker with the right perspective, both on your industry and the needs of your firm, as well as on the insurance marketplace as a whole.

This has been an excerpt of the January 2017 issue of ProNetwork News. Download the full free PDF version of Benefit from Selecting the Right Professional Liability Broker here.

About the Author

Audrey Camp is the Web & Social Media Consultant for a/e ProNet. She spent six years with a/e ProNet member IOA Insurance Services in California as a licensed account manager, specializing in the professional liability needs of architects and engineers. Today, Audrey works as a freelance writer living in Oslo, Norway. Her work has appeared in several literary magazines, journals and anthologies, and she is a founding member of the Oslo Writers’ League (OWL). She has also written for English-language Norwegian news sites and magazines. Most recently, Audrey co-authored two books—Startup Guide Oslo (Oct 2016) and Startup Guide Vienna (March 2017)—for a Danish company called Startup Everywhere, a process that inspired her appreciation for social entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship. Audrey has managed the a/e ProNet website, blog, social media presence and other publications since 2011.

Each year, we partner with the AIA to present two $5,000 awards to architecture students who demonstrate a particular interest in the principles of management in architecture practice. We’re proud to announce that the following students have won the 2017 David W. Lakamp a/e ProNet Scholarship:

Emmanuel Cofie always had an eye for art and design. This desire led him to obtain a B.S. in Architecture from Florida A&M University (FAMU) in 2007. Subsequently, he landed a full-time position at an architecture firm in Florida. The job exposed him to team collaboration, the risks involved with poor communication, and the means by which stakeholders, with different interests, mitigate issues. Wanting a more technical education, Cofie enrolled in FAMU’s Construction Engineering Technology Program and completed the degree in 2016 with knowledge of how to plan out projects to suit the owner and minimize financial loss. While enrolled, he went on a missionary trip to Peru where he saw the effects of inequality and forced urbanization first-hand. It’s apparent that such education will be needed for a future design professional to solve such complex issues. This experience further strengthened his desire to study architecture at the graduate level. Cofie will start a two-year Master of Architecture (M.Arch) degree at the University of Michigan this fall.

Emily Wirt, NCIDQ, LEED GA, completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts with an emphasis in Interior Design from the University of Georgia in 2012.  She is currently a first-year Master of Architecture candidate at the Georgia Institute of Technology.  She is an active member of Georgia Tech’s American Institute of Architecture Students and Women in Architecture chapters.  Prior to her graduate studies, Wirt worked as a commercial interior designer for four years in Atlanta and Shreveport, LA, primarily in the corporate design and healthcare sectors.  Her design work at smaller local firms provided opportunities to manage design projects with sustainability and risk assessment at the forefront.  She served as the main point of contact during the contract administration phases of several larger projects, and during this role, she learned the importance of clear communication between contractors, clients, and the design team to ensure a successful and cohesive project.  To further her professional standing and commitment to sustainable management, she has also obtained her National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) certification and LEED Green Associate accreditation. In her graduate studies, Wirt strives to further her studies of innovative technologies in sustainable design in regards to risk assessment.

“The scholarship applicants this year demonstrated strengths in diversified areas within the submission requirements that made it challenging to select our winners. The scholarship winners however, stood out among the rest because not only did their essays address the practice management topic in an articulate to-the-point manner, but also the suggested solutions demonstrated clear understanding of best practices such as peer reviews and the value of accountability, where risk is reasonably managed and future potential liabilities mitigated and the value of communication that includes in person interactions. In addition to the essay responses, the jury found the letters of recommendation to be strong while the experiences documented in their resumes indicated a conscious initiative to be educated in the business aspect of architecture while at the same time having strong design firm experience.” You can read the full AIA Press Release here.

This year, the essay prompt revolved around overseas collaboration. Excerpts of the winners’ responses can be found here.

Started in 1990, the scholarship was renamed in 1999 for David W. Lakamp. Mr. Lakamp was a founder of a/e ProNet and a trusted advisor to the profession. He left behind a legacy of professionalism and integrity that set new standards in the field of insurance services. The jury for the 2017 David W. Lakamp a/e ProNet Scholarship includes: Thomas G. Coghlan, A. Lira Luis, AIA, Matthew Shoor, AIA, and Muriel Watkins. Read more about our scholarship programs for architects and engineers, including a list of past winners, on the a/e ProNet website.

For the last few sunny days, a/e ProNet members from across the country have gathered in Scottsdale, Arizona for our annual Spring Meeting (March 1-3). a/e ProNet brokers are independent. Technically, we operate as competitors. Membership is by invitation only. We come together voluntarily as recognized leaders in our industry, meeting the insurance needs of architects and engineers. Our combined premium volume, experience, and national reach make our meetings an attractive target for insurance companies, premium finance companies, and other professionals. With our two annual meetings, we keep our fingers on the pulse of the insurance industry and advocate for our clients.

The Spring Meeting

The purpose of our Spring meeting has changed over the last three decades. Invited representatives from the companies and industries mentioned above present to the group on educational topics. This year, attorney David Ericksen of Severson & Werson in San Francisco also organized a series of five panel discussions:

  • Non-Traditional Project Delivery Methods
  • Cyber Communication Conundrums
  • The Prime/Sub Team: Roles, Responsibilities & Risks
  • Contract and Claims Connections
  • Material Transparency & Building Green

Ericksen staffed these panels with underwriters, claims adjusters, etc. from companies like Victor O. Schinnerer, AXIS, Hanover, RLI, Beazley, and several other a/e ProNet sponsors. The panel environment increases the awareness of each company regarding their competitors’ products and services. As well, it gives our members a quick, comprehensive understanding of the market’s overall perspective on these issues. Continue reading “a/e ProNet Holds Annual Spring Meeting in Arizona”