Kate Stillwell's Blog

Welcome to the SEAONC President's Blog!

June President's Message: The Freedom of Not Knowing

Reflecting on my year as President, what surprised me most is the liberation that has come from not always knowing something.  Explanation below, but first, updates:

May President's Message: Here’s to Mentors

Most of us, myself included, would not be where we are without the support and wisdom from mentors.  Below I highlight a few of mine, and why I’m grateful to them, but first, updates:

April President's Message: Your Company or Your Friend?

Would you give up a friendship for the survival of an organization that you believe in? Some of us have faced this excruciating choice. I’ll share my own story, but first, updates:

March President's Message: How SEAONC Pre-Empted the Internet

The news has been awash with stories about the rise of the ‘gig economy,’ i.e., how more people are doing more work as freelancers rather than employees.  In a freelance economy, membership in a professional organization such as SEAONC is an indispensable key to success.  (I’m only a little biased!)

But first, updates:

February President's message: The Greater Good vs. What's In It For Me

The central challenge of a professional association is to balance its activities that provide direct value to members, with those benefiting the profession at-large.

January President's message-Thought Experiment: Private Practice without Privacy

How would your practice of structural engineering be different if each of your decisions could be searched and scrutinized by any member of the public?  Regardless of whether this will be true someday, thinking it through as an experiment could guide your decisions.  But first, a few updates:

December President's message: Giving Thanks and Giving Back

It’s that time of year when many of us pause to give thanks and give back.

We at SEAONC are especially thankful for our members, the strength of the organization.  SEAONC members’ commitment to creating a safer world is fueling a larger resilience movement.

November President's message: The Accelerator of the Profession

In Silicon Valley parlance, Accelerators are organizations that provide startups with the advice, contacts, and sometimes funding to launch successfully.  The Accelerator’s job is to identify and encourage new ideas, bring together the right people, and pepper in some institutional support. 

Kind of sounds like SEAONC and its committees, don’t you think?  Not surprising!  I’ll tell you why after three brief announcements:

October President's Message: Energy, Ideas, Collaboration, and...Artistry!

A high point for me this past month was attending the SEAOC Convention in Seattle.  The energy, ideas, and collaboration all reminded me why I love our profession, and I was thrilled to see a large turnout from SEAONC!

September President's Message: Committee work is the secret to success and happiness (sort of)

SEAONC brings value to our profession.  Of course, SEAONC offers many specific benefits, but I believe that single most important purpose of SEAONC is to increase structural engineers’ collective value to society, as well as our individual value as professionals.

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