Approximately 400 people attended the Midwinter Meeting for an in-depth discussion of future trends and the risks present today, especially risks related to technology that construction lawyers and their clients now use to do their work. With engaging discussions among industry leaders and insights from legal experts, the Forum’s 2020 Midwinter Meeting offered unique perspectives on the challenges facing construction professionals now and those likely to be faced in the future.
The Midwinter Meeting included several sessions addressing the use of new technologies at the construction site. For the first time, the Forum held a “Tech Show” in the exhibitor area, encouraging our exhibitors and sponsors to showcase examples of today’s technology used on projects and at job sites. Our sincere thanks to all exhibitors who participated in our Tech Show!
Programs at the Midwinter Meeting included:
- Futurist Simon J. Anderson, who outlined emerging trends and ways of thinking to be prepared for the future that will impact the Construction Industry;
- A special visit and presentation by ABA President Judy Perry Martinez. We were honored to host our ABA president at the Midwinter Meeting. President Judy spoke on the Centennial of the Nineteenth Amendment (securing women’s right to vote), and progress toward the ABA’s goals to serve members, improve the legal profession and justice system, eliminate bias and enhance diversity, and advance the Rule of Law in society;
- A special exhibit educating all on the history of the Nineteenth Amendment;
- A discussion on artificial intelligence, wearable technology, virtual and augmented reality, and collaborative design;
- A session addressing cybersecurity risks for design and construction professionals;
- A discussion of recent trends in construction and design risk management;
- A session highlighting best e-discovery practices for construction lawyers and their clients;
- A discussion of labor and employment risk trends and laws intersecting the construction industry;
- A session addressing the challenges of modern communication tools on a lawyer’s ethical obligations; and
- A special Diversity & Inclusion Breakfast featuring Keynote Speaker, Vicki O’Leary, the ENR 2019 Excellence Award Recipient for her work developing the “Be that One Guy” initiative promoting site safety for iron workers. Vicki provided attendees with pragmatic steps for legal counsel to provide to their construction clients to help stem harassment and bullying on construction sites and create a culture of inclusion and safety for all workers. Vicki brought the house down with her candor, humor, and insight.
Forum divisions and sponsors also came together to put on several special events:
- Welcome Reception giving us a taste of the Old West under the stars, complete with a gentleman cowboy guitar player/singer;
- A well-attended Women’s Networking Event;
- A Forum first: Racing for Good! An early morning race/walk benefiting Building for Good, Inc., an independent 501(c)3 non-profit corporation founded by several Forum leaders to connect charities and non-profits nationwide with pro bono construction law counsel that they need. We had 88 registrants, who helped raised $22,100 with a final fundraising goal of $25,000. To support this cause, please visit https://www.building4good.org/racing4good; and
- A fascinating, behind-the-scenes guided tour of the Biosphere 2, one of the world's most unique facilities dedicated to the research and understanding of global scientific issues.
Last, but certainly not least, program attendees generously donated $3,100.00 for Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona. The Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona was recognized by the Feeding America Network as Food Bank Member of the Year. In the last 24 meetings, the Forum has donated $99,229 to local causes in our venue cities. Our sincere thanks to Forum Member Daniel Goldberg who founded this Forum tradition.
Now that the Midwinter Meeting has concluded, we turn our focus toward the Annual Meeting in Seattle on April 22-24, where we will learn about Effective Project Management & Strategies. We look forward to seeing you in Seattle!