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RE: QUERY: What Are The Practical Benefits of Joining An "S.E.A.xx."?

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Shafat,
I disagree. You took my comments out of context. What I suggested was to find an organization to support that was responsive to the needs of their members and to evaluate them based on a range of criteria, least of which, in my opinion, is the social contact. I would not drive 90 minutes to shake hands, have a few drinks and listen to a dinner guest. For me to participate in committee work requires a drive of 2-1/2 hours without traffic and more realistically three to four hours one way with typical weekday traffic.
 
There is NO substitute for the physical meeting - you are correct. However, there SHOULD BE a substitute or alternative for physical meetings and this idea has been ignored by SEA for years. A great many engineers live in small towns much too far from a local chapter to be worthwhile. You've lost site of the need for engineering in these areas. For example, there are no structural engineers in the Imperial Valley or near the Colorado River at the Arizona boarder the closest SEA chapter is most likely Phoenix (if there is one there) rather than Los Angeles which is still three to five hours away.
 
Why should an engineer in the Coachella Valley join SEAOSC when CELSOC is local. If I want to socialize, I can obtain more networking contacts through CELSOC who's members represent other professional in the building industry besides structural engineers.
 
Few seminars created by SEAOSC are available to engineers out here. We are required to attend in Los Angeles which means leaving at 5:00 AM in the morning to make an 8:00AM seminar on a weekend. We are fortunate that ICBO offers local seminars organized through the building official in Indian Wells who maintains a list of local engineers and sends out notification as to when the seminars are to be held. In some cases the city arranges bus service to take engineers to seminars.
 
So where is your argument. For almost eight years I have written letters to SEAOSC board members, presidents and offered to establish alternative committee services to the profession for those of us too far from Los Angeles to participate in SEAOSC and for as many years, my proposals and suggestions have gone unanswered. I have not even had the curtesey of a response to acknowledge the time I spent to work out many of the fine details that would make this work.
 
I stand by my comments. When SEA becomes more attune to the needs of the professional members, I might change my mind and reinstate my membership. Until then, I will continue to voice my opinion by the group I choose to join.
 
Respectfully,
Dennis S. Wish, PE
 
 -----Original Message-----
From: Shafat Qazi [mailto:seaint-ad(--nospam--at)seaint.org]
Sent: Tuesday, January 23, 2001 2:22 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
Subject: RE: QUERY: What Are The Practical Benefits of Joining An "S.E.A.xx."?

At 01/23/01 01:47 PM, you wrote:
You will serve a greater purpose by maintaining your participation in the
Internet professional community. You should participate in SEA committees
only if this is your interest and inclination. There is no question to those
of us who know you as to your abilities or your professional ethics. In time
this will become a networking tool that will help establish your practice -
something that I don't believe a membership in any organization can insure.
Your business will grow best by networking within your community where you
work. If you wish to volunteer time, and you live in a small town such as
mine, you can extend your services non-gratis, within the community or
within a city position such as the planning commission, working with
students in Habitat type programs etc.

Dennis:

I disagree with this statement. While Internet is a great tool to enhance networking, it is NOT a substitute to physical meetings, the handshakes, social talk etc. We need to get out more and shake more hands.

Shafat