Business Program / Presentations

Thursday, June 11


9:00 – 11:00am   
Annual Technical Tour – Canadian Niagara Powerhouse & Forebay Bridge

11:45 – 12:45pm
ACEC YP Network Working Session (includes lunch)

Session Description:
The YP Network connects YP groups across Canada. Hear what YP groups in different jurisdictions are doing to strengthen the YP Network, share ideas and promote best practices and leadership.

1:00 – 2:15pm   
Global Trends Reshaping the Business Environment for Canadian Companies

Opening Keynote Speaker: Rudyard Griffiths, Munk Debates Organizer, Broadcaster and Author   

Session Description:
Since the 2008 financial crisis, a new set of global trends are remaking the landscape in which Canadian companies have to survive and thrive both domestically and internationally. Global macro trends in both the developing and major Western economies are in a state of flux not seen in a generation. Persistent growth challenges and the relentless acceleration of technology are driving cost-cutting and productivity in a system of economic globalization and free trade. Many nations are either opting out or challenging this system directly. How should Canadian companies, at home and abroad, interpret this shifting ground? What are the opportunities this fast changing environment presents to nimble and creative companies? And what are the new economic threats that Canada and Canadian-based enterprises should be preparing for?

2:45 – 3:30pm
Business and Market Trends (Flash file)
Where are the Opportunities?

Speaker: Mark Casaletto, V.P. and General Manager, Construction Market Data-Canada (CMD) 

Session Description:
Looking at trends in the marketplace, engineering firms will gain insights into new and evolving opportunities. Where is the market for consulting engineering heading? How is it changing? What types of services, innovation and vision will clients expect from engineering firms? This session offers predictions for predictions for infrastructure, industrial/commercial/institutional and resource sector markets. Gain unique perspectives on opportunities and challenges for engineers as both implementers and trusted advisors.

3:30 – 4:00pm 
Results of Deltek’s Clarity A&E Industry Study
Grow Your Engineering Firm: 2014 Industry Benchmarks & Insights
For a copy of this presentation, please contact Jason Choo at

Speaker: Jason Choo, Manager, Channel Sales, Deltek

Session Description:
Growing your engineering firm requires understanding how its performance compares to your peers and competitors.  This session will provide the answers to help you understand where your opportunities are.  Drawing on data from the just-released Deltek Clarity A&E Industry Study, you’ll see how high, average and low-performing North American A&E firms performed in 2014 in three key areas: Project Management, Business Development and Finance. 

4:00 – 5:30pm 
Market Sector Roundtables
Opportunities and Challenges in Infrastructure, Industrial/Commercial/Institutional and Resource Sectors

Session Description:
An annual feature of ACEC’s Leadership Summit, roundtable discussions provide a forum to explore opportunities for innovation across major market sectors. Exchange ideas with your peers and learn about their experiences and strategies for optimizing opportunities in a marketplace that places a high premium on innovative business models.

Choose from one of three facilitated roundtables: infrastructure, industrial/commercial/institutional or resource sector. Each roundtable will be asked to report key outcomes at the Friday morning plenary session. Rapporteurs will be available to document key discussion points and assist with reports.

Note: Coffee and refreshments will be available at each of the roundtables.


Friday, June 12

7:00 – 8:30am
Breakfast for Delegates
Reports from Market Sector Roundtables

Representatives from each roundtable will share key discussion points with delegates.

8:30 – 9:30am 
State of the Practice: Exploring Models of Professional Practice

Keynote Speaker: Kyle V. Davy, President, Kyle V. Davy Consulting

Session Description:
This session will contrast the dominant economic business model, that has been used to manage engineering and design firms for decades, with new, emerging models of practice focused on value creation and professional entrepreneurship. The session will help leaders gain new insights and uncover new possibilities for transforming their firm’s value proposition and model of practice.

9:30 – 10:30am
Transforming our Business Model


Session Description:
In this session, leaders from professional services firms will offer insight on how they reinvented their business models to align with new realities, effectively “throwing out the rulebook” and embracing new ways of doing business. Understand how and why a changing business and regulatory climate led these firms to rethink and question longstanding conventions. Learn about the challenges and opportunities, both internal and external, encountered on the journey to becoming more relevant and effective organizations. Most importantly, learn how such bold changes have benefited these companies, ensuring their continued viability.

11:00 – 12:00pm   

Trends that are Changing the Game


Session Description:
Economic, technological and societal changes in recent years have significantly altered the business climate for consulting engineering. These changes, and their impacts, are continuing at an ever increasing pace. Thought leaders from a variety of backgrounds will offer their predictions on the trends that consulting engineers will most need to be aware of in order to adapt and prosper in the new and ever changing reality. Participants will hear about how economic uncertainty, client demands and societal expectations will impact the risk-reward relationship and how consulting engineers will need to approach business decisions. 

1:00 – 2:00pm 
Responding to the Market: Transforming our Role


Session Description:
Consulting engineering firms need to adapt as the marketplace and the demands of clients become more varied, more complex and more unpredictable. With increasing frequency, consulting firms are being asked to provide multi-disciplinary services and “one-stop” shopping to their clients. Engineered assets and other projects are being increasingly scrutinized by end users such as taxpayers, shareholders and other stakeholders, including the public. Consequently, engineering firms are being compelled to offer new and different services and assume non-traditional roles to remain relevant to the market and stakeholders. Panelists will reflect on what these changes mean to the consulting engineering sector and what services firms will need to offer to remain relevant and viable in a constantly evolving marketplace.

2:00 – 3:00pm   
Who will Lead the Transformation?


Session Description: 
With such profound changes occurring in our marketplace, consulting engineering firms must transform the way they do business in order to survive and thrive in the 21st century. How can firms create a business culture that will foster the necessary leadership skills to drive this transformation and ensure long-term success? Hear how some companies are empowering their employees to create such a culture. Leaders and emerging leaders from member firms will offer cross generational perspectives on ensuring our industry has the leadership capacity to embrace new and innovative ways of doing business.

3:30 – 4:15pm
The Art of Knowledge Management

Closing Keynote Speaker: Paul Smith, President and Founder, The Flywheel Effect

Session Description: 
The most valuable asset of any consulting engineering firm is an off-balance sheet one – the collective knowledge and experience of its people. Many leaders struggle with how to share that knowledge efficiently across their firm. In order to pull ahead of the competition and build a solid foundation for the future, successful leaders design a systematic plan for their firm’s Knowledge Management.  A firm’s ability to effectively harness this builds confidence in the eyes of employees and clients alike, while helping leaders create an enduring legacy.

4:30 – 5:30pm   
Annual General Meeting – Agenda
ACEC's 2015 Annual Report

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