29 episodes

Welcome to the GBA Podcast, where we present information and expertise from geoprofessionals around the globe to provide you with wisdom and insight to help in your pursuit of knowledge.
 
GBA was founded over 50 years ago to serve geotechnical, environmental, and other geoprofessionals by giving them proven tools to achieve business success by confronting risk and optimizing performance.

GBA Podcast Geoprofessional Business Association

    • Business
    • 5.0 • 37 Ratings

Welcome to the GBA Podcast, where we present information and expertise from geoprofessionals around the globe to provide you with wisdom and insight to help in your pursuit of knowledge.
 
GBA was founded over 50 years ago to serve geotechnical, environmental, and other geoprofessionals by giving them proven tools to achieve business success by confronting risk and optimizing performance.

    #1 - Leadership Lounge - How to Communicate Like a Hostage Negotiator

    #1 - Leadership Lounge - How to Communicate Like a Hostage Negotiator

    Leadership Lounge - How to Communicate Like a Hostage Negotiator

    About This Episode
    In this episode, we learn from a master negotiator about how to communicate more effectively through building cultures founded on emotional communication, active listening, and relationship-based negotiations. It doesn't matter if you are left-brain dominant, you can learn the right-brained skills necessary to become a better communicator. Dan talks about how every conversation is a negotiation, why storytelling is important in communication, and finally, he provides some practical advice to start developing and implementing these skills immediately.


    Series Summary
    In the Leadership Lounge hosts Tiffany Vorhies and Ryan White have conversations with business coaches and share ideas to elevate your team. Have you ever wondered how a skilled coach might be able to help you or your firm? Well, you're in the right place! In each episode we sit down with a business coach who shares their tools, insights, and practical tips. From personal coaches to strategy planning specialists and even a hostage negotiator who coaches on listening. We will explore topics like the ROI of coaching, how investing in coaching pays dividends beyond the balance sheet. Effective execution, how coaches can help your team stay on task and complete those lofty goals. Innovation igniters, unleashing creativity within corporate walls. Culture crafting, shaping cultures that attract and retain your top talent. Together, let's go on a journey of insight, inspiration, and impact. Remember, success in business is a team sport. And our coaches know how to write a game plan for business victory.


    Our Hosts
    Tiffany Vorhies, NACE CIP-2, PMP – Principal/Vice PresidentSME
    Project management professional with twenty-five years of experience related to the built environment. Tiffany manages a department that specializes in weld and concrete reviews. A large part of what they do is related to fabrication oversight prior to construction. Then they also follow the life cycle of the structures through the building phase, and into the maintenance phase. From lighting structures and sign trusses over the highway, to culverts and bridges underneath it, we work with owners to protect their assets.


    Tiffany's specialties include program management of multi-year projects, including contract and scope negotiation, laboratory/field testing, data collection, and quality assurance of data. Our projects typically include Certified Welding Inspectors, nondestructive testing specialists, Prestressed concrete specialists, engineers, and laboratory technicians.


    Ryan White, PE, GE – Principal Geotechnical Engineer/PBS Engineering and Environmental Inc.
    As PBS’ Principal Geotechnical Engineer, Ryan is regularly involved with all aspects of geotechnical projects, from exploration through construction, with wide-ranging scopes and complexity. Ryan leads the PBS geotechnical engineering team, bringing over 27 years of experience in successful project management and engineering in areas such as shallow and deep foundation design; slope stability evaluation, monitoring, and stabilization; shoring; retaining wall design; stormwater infiltration; pavement design; and seismic evaluation. Ryan’s project experience includes multi-story commercial developments, schools and universities, municipal facilities, utility alignments, water and wastewater facilities, bridges, roadways, and industrial facilities.


    About Our Guest
    Dan Oblinger – Consulting Negotiator/Leadercraft
    Dan Oblinger is a hostage negotiator commander, author, international keynote speaker, and consulting business negotiator. He specializes in working with architects, engineers, and construction managers. Whether speaking at conferences, facilitating workshops for active listening and negotiation skills, or coaching and consulting with companies to build strong agreements, Dan loves to share his craft and enhance culture.


    As a

    • 1 hr 1 min
    #1 - Management Best Practices - How to Have Tough Conversations

    #1 - Management Best Practices - How to Have Tough Conversations

    Management Best Practices - How to Have Tough Conversations

    About This Episode
    If tough conversations have the power to bring about positive change, why are they often associated with feelings of discomfort? Join GBA’s Jennifer Sanborn and Leadership Development Coach Jen Bell as they explore how to facilitate better one-on-one discussions.


    “Our aversion to difficult conversations comes from the inherent potential for conflict associated with corrective actions,” Bell says. “But through a well-prepared, strategic approach, we can address pressing concerns amicably and simultaneously build a culture of mutual understanding.”


    By embracing discomfort as a catalyst for positive change, we pave the way for enhanced collaboration, improved relationships, and a resilient, forward-thinking workplace.


    Series Summary
    Becoming a manager or supervisor is an important step in many people’s professional careers, and it introduces a set of new responsibilities that they may not have had in their prior role. The Management Best Practices series highlights a handful of those responsibilities, the challenges that can go along with them, and best practices for navigating through them. The episodes in this series will provide valuable advice for new as well as seasoned managers or supervisors.


    Our Host
    Jennifer Sanborn, PE – Vice President/Sanborn, Head & Associates, Inc.
    After 20 years of being part of and leading environmental engineering project teams, Jenn currently leads career development, learning, employee engagement, and culture initiatives at Sanborn, Head & Associates, Inc. Jenn continues to lead a small number of projects, conducting environmental assessments and cleanup under the USEPA Brownfields program. Jenn is passionate about staff development and seeing those around her succeed. As a supervisor, she enjoys the opportunity to mentor staff and guide their career development. She is also a member of Sanborn Head’s Board of Directors.


    About Our Guest
    Jen Bell – Leadership Development Coach/True North Culture Advisors
    Jen is a passionate, Boston-based leadership coach who joined True North Culture Advisors in 2018. She possesses 25 years of experience and approaches client engagements with empathy and discernment to uncover new leadership insights for various professionals in different industries. For over 20 years, Jen has worked extensively in both international non-profit ministries and corporate America. Her work has focused on developing leadership teams, executive and leadership coaching, and optimizing organizational strategies. Her relationship development skills, coupled with her strong operational acumen, have helped her develop more productive teams across the organizations she’s led.


    Lessons Learned:



    Leaders must make an effort to become skilled in tough conversations.
    Creating an environment where such discussions feel normal is crucial.
    Lack of accountability can lead to organizational dysfunction.
    Failing to hold people accountable limits growth and development (aka leadership sacrilege!).
    Trust is crucial for corrective, hard conversations.
    Earning the right to address tough issues is essential.
    Rules without relationships lead to rebellion.
    Indicators that a tough conversation needs to be had include big offenses and violations of core values.
    Strategies involve being well-prepared, clear, compassionate, and inviting response.
    So-called stop conversations address unacceptable behaviors, while switch conversations change perspectives.
    Grow conversations provide opportunities for learning and improvement.
    Documentation and facts are essential for effective grow conversations.


    Calls-to-action:



    Visit the GBA Website at https://www.geoprofessional.org for other training resources and reference materials and/or to become a member.
    Visit https://www.gbapodcast.com for future Podcast Episodes
    Contact us at info@geoprofessional.org with any podcast-related questions or comments

    • 1 hr 5 min
    #93 - Case History - $150M Near Miss

    #93 - Case History - $150M Near Miss

    GBA Case History Series – Case History #93 - $150M Near Miss

    Summary


    The GBA-Member Firm’s CEO and the developer’s CEO had worked together successfully on numerous projects for more than 15 years, establishing a friendship based on mutual respect and trust. This project was the developer’s most ambitious to date, by virtue of its size, local prominence, and complexity. Among other things, the project plan called for four levels of parking beneath 2½ city blocks and adjoining streets. As the excavation was nearing completion, three soldier piles in the northeast corner of the excavation plunged downward between 12 and 18 inches and rotated toward the basement excavation. If the issue wasn't resolved quickly not only would the safety of the public be at risk, but so would the relationship.


    Our Hosts:



    Elizabeth Brown, PE - Geotechnical Services Manger/Atlas Technical Consultants


    Elizabeth is the Geotechnical Services Manager at Atlas Technical Consultants in Boise, Idaho. Elizabeth has performed and/or assisted with numerous geotechnical investigations throughout Idaho, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming managing projects, providing geotechnical design, project quality control, cost and value engineering, and evaluating geotechnical constructability issues.



    Ryan White, PE, GE – Principal Geotechnical Engineer/PBS Engineering and Environmental Inc.


    Ryan is the Principal Geotechnical engineer and Geotechnical Engineering Group manager at PBS Engineering and Environmental Inc. Headquartered in Portland, Oregon, Ryan regularly manages projects throughout the Pacific Northwest and has worked on projects across the US. Ryan's experience includes commercial development, transportation projects, design for low- to mid-rise buildings, bridge foundations, roads, landslide evaluation and stabilization, retaining wall design and construction, seismic evaluations and solar energy and land development.


    Links


    Soldier pile and lagging shoring


    Tiebacks


    Lessons Learned:



    Use root-cause analysis to identify the cause of a condition and never stop working the problem.
    Practice financial fortitude when there is a problem to build good will with the client and identify the real cause of a problem.
    Keep your emotions in check when dealing with a stressful situation.
    Consider the risks and consequences of your actions.
    Develop and maintain strong client-professional relationships.


    Calls-to-action:



    Download Case History #109: https://www.geoprofessional.org/product/gba-case-history-no-93/
    Visit the following link to access all of GBA’s Case Histories: https://www.geoprofessional.org/gba-case-histories/
    An account is required to download the individual Case Histories, which are free for GBA Member Firms.
    Visit the GBA Website at https://www.geoprofessional.org for other training resources and reference materials and/or to become a member.
    Visit https://www.gbapodcast.com for future Podcast Episodes
    Contact us at info@geoprofessional.org with any podcast-related questions or comments


    Subscribe



    Subscribe to the GBA Podcast https://www.gbapodcast.com/subscribe


    This episode was produced by the following GBA Members:



    Ryan White, PE, GE – Principal Geotechnical Engineer/PBS Engineering and Environmental Inc.
    Elizabeth Brown, PE - Geotechnical Services Manger/Atlas Technical Consultants

    • 18 min
    #109 - Case History - We Were Hacked

    #109 - Case History - We Were Hacked

    GBA Case History Series – Case History #109 - We Were Hacked

    Summary


    Member Firm with multiple offices became the victim of foreign hacking enterprise. It started when an employee of the firm innocently opened an email from an unsuspected contact and clicked on a link allowing the hackers to access the Member Firm’s management systems. Unbeknownst to anyone, the infiltrators spent months learning about the Member Firm’s operations, information storage and data. After obtaining and securing the information that they were after, the hackers locked out the Member Firm keeping them from accessing their IT systems, including emails and project files. They promptly demanded seven-figure sum of money for the key to their lock.


    Our Host


    Jennifer Sanborn, PE – Vice President/Sanborn, Head & Associates, Inc. (Link to Profile)


    Jenn’s work in environmental site characterization and remediation has taken her to the leading edge of our practice in vapor intrusion and emerging contaminants. Jenn works on a number of projects under the USEPA Brownfields program, conducting environmental assessments and preparing regulatory submittals. She has extensive field experience and familiarity with environmental regulations across several states. At Sanborn Head, Jenn helps with Sanborn Head’s business practices, reviewing contracts and educating staff about risk management practices. As a supervisor, Jenn also enjoys the opportunity to mentor staff and guide their career development. She is also a member of Sanborn Head’s Board of Directors.


    Our Guest


    Doug Barbosa – Director of Information Technology /Sanborn, Head & Associates, Inc. (Link to Profile)


    Doug is responsible for building and maintaining Sanborn Head’s technology infrastructure. In this capacity he manages their IT team and oversees the planning and development of the information systems and data processes so that everyone at Sanborn Head has the tools and solutions needed to service their clients. Doug is an expert in the area of cybersecurity and takes great pride in his efforts to protect Sanborn Head’s and their clients’ data and ensure a smooth operational environment.


    Lessons Learned



    Purchase Cyber/Ransomware insurance
    Replace old computers,update/upgrade security software and apps
    Train staff on cyber security and anti-phishing protocols; test regularly
    Bring in an outside cyber expert to evaluate your systems and get recommendations to address weak points
    Leadership, employee and client resilience


    Calls-to-action:



    Download Case History #109: https://www.geoprofessional.org/product/gba-case-history-no-109/
    Visit the following link to access all of GBA’s Case Histories: https://www.geoprofessional.org/gba-case-histories/
    An account is required to download the individual Case Histories, which are free for GBA Member Firms.
    Visit the GBA Website at https://www.geoprofessional.org for other training resources and reference materials and/or to become a member.
    Visit https://www.gbapodcast.com for future Podcast Episodes
    Contact us at info@geoprofessional.org with any podcast-related questions or comments


    Subscribe



    Subscribe to the GBA Podcast https://www.gbapodcast.com/subscribe


    This episode was produced by the following GBA Members:



    Tiffany Vorhies, NACE CIP-2 – Vice President/SME
    Ryan White, PE, GE – Principal Geotechnical Engineer/PBS Engineering and Environmental Inc.
    Jennifer Sanborn, PE – Vice President/Sanborn, Head & Associates, Inc.
    Elizabeth Brown, PE - Geotechnical Services Manager/Atlas Technical Consultants

    • 18 min
    #3 - Diversity Equity Inclusion - Allies in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

    #3 - Diversity Equity Inclusion - Allies in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

    GBA Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Series – Episode #3 – Allies in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

    Summary


    In this episode of the DEI series, we will be discussing allies in diversity, equity, and inclusions. Allies can be essential to drive systemic improvements to workplace policies, practices, and culture. But what does it mean to be an ally? How can allies impact the recruitment process? What effect does allyship have on the retention of employees? And what can we do to create more allies?


    Our Guest


    Charlie Head, PE, PG Founding Principal / Sanborn, Head & Associates, Inc. [Link to Profile]


    Charlie is a co-founder of Sanborn Head. He serves as the Chair of the company’s board of directors and oversees the implementation of the firm’s strategic plan.


    Charlie actively steers initiatives related to the expansion of the firm’s services and markets. Charlie remains active in Sanborn Head’s professional practice, with particular emphasis on environmental assessment and remediation, including due diligence for clients globally. Charlie received his bachelor’s degree in geology from St. Lawrence University, a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of New Hampshire, and a master’s degree in civil and groundwater engineering from Colorado State University.


    For Charlie, the real thrill of working at Sanborn Head is the creative problem solving and collaboration that fosters deep relationships—among staff and with clients. In his current role, Charlie enjoys focusing on the growth and sustainability of the company and helping to create opportunities for the next generation.


    Charlie is a Professional Engineer in Arkansas, Georgia, Iowa, New Hampshire, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia; he is a Professional Geologist in New Hampshire.


    Topics for discussion include:



    What does it mean to be an ally?
    Addressing the “leaky pipeline”.
    How DEI can affect the recruitment process.
    The effect an ally can have on the retention of employees.
    Recruiting more allies.


    Lessons Learned:



    Understanding and evaluating our own biases.
    DEI initiatives should go hand in hand with the recruitment process.
    There’s no shame in making mistakes.


    Calls-to-action:



    GEOSTRATA: The Pipeline to Diversity and Inclusion in the Geoprofessions
    Visit the GBA Website at https://www.geoprofessional.org for other training resources and reference materials and/or to become a member.
    Visit https://www.gbapodcast.com for future Podcast Episodes
    Contact us at info@geoprofessional.org with any podcast-related questions or comments


    Subscribe



    Subscribe to the GBA Podcast https://www.gbapodcast.com/subscribe


    This episode was produced by the following GBA Members:



    Veronica DeFreitas, PE (host) – Geotechnical Department Manager/Universal Engineering Sciences
    Ryan White, PE, GE – Principal Geotechnical Engineer/PBS Engineering and Environmental Inc.

    • 56 min
    #2 - Diversity Equity Inclusion - Understanding Your Workforce

    #2 - Diversity Equity Inclusion - Understanding Your Workforce

    GBA Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Series – Episode #2 – Understanding Your Workforce

    Summary


    Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) is a term often used in the workplace, but its meaning is often not well understood. People often mistakenly think that, with the creation of a diverse workplace, inclusion will automatically follow. Yet, inclusion should exist in tandem; it’s the climate where diversity thrives.


    In this episode, we will be discussing the how other professions tackle diversity, equity, and inclusions within their organizations and the importance of understanding the needs of your workforce in relation to diversity and inclusion.


    Our Guest


    Cristina Bartolomei, Senior Program Manager, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion / FDA [Link to Profile]


    Cristina Bartolomei is an accomplished strategist, speaker, and facilitator, with over a decade of experience in affirmative employment, EEO, and D&I. She attributes her passion for civil rights, social action, and equality to her upbringing in Puerto Rico, where she developed a lifelong passion for social activism. She has channeled this passion throughout her career. As a first-generation professional, she also believes in her role in making civil service accessible for all.


    In March 2021, Cristina joined the FDA as the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Senior Program Manager, tasked with managing short and long-term FDA-wide DEI initiatives and advising senior management on the development, enhancement, and implementation of projects, practices, and procedures to maintain an inclusive and effective diversity management program. Prior to joining the FDA, she was a Senior Specialist at the U.S. Department of Commerce, Office of Civil Rights, where she served as a key player in the development, implementation, and management of DEI programs and initiatives, which included the Inclusion is on US™ campaign and the First-Generation Professionals (FGP) Initiative – first-of-their-kind Federal initiatives promoting an organizational culture that respects, values, and engages all employees, regardless of their cultural and socio-economic backgrounds.


    Topics for discussion include:



    How to define Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
    How to start formulation DEI initiative
    The importance of understanding your workforce
    Employee Satisfaction vs. Employee Engagement


    Calls-to-action:



    GEOSTRATA: The Pipeline to Diversity and Inclusion in the Geoprofessions
    Visit the GBA Website at https://www.geoprofessional.org for other training resources and reference materials and/or to become a member.
    Visit https://www.gbapodcast.com for future Podcast Episodes
    Contact us at info@geoprofessional.org with any podcast-related questions or comments


    Subscribe



    Subscribe to the GBA Podcast https://www.gbapodcast.com/subscribe


    This episode was produced by the following GBA Members:



    Veronica DeFreitas, PE (host) – Geotechnical Department Manager/Universal Engineering Sciences
    Ryan White, PE, GE – Principal Geotechnical Engineer/PBS Engineering and Environmental Inc.

    • 52 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
37 Ratings

37 Ratings

cdf1910 ,

Fabulous conversation on DEI

Very commendable of GBA for having the conversation on DEI, especially now that times are changing, generations are changing, more females are thriving and achieving more educationally and professionaly. It is important for not only engineering companies to have this discussion but it also leads other companies into the vision and help forge the change.

jps628 ,

Great Content

Very insightful content for geoprofessionals. Keep it up!

Laura (Reinbold) Register ,

Listening to old friends

I’m enchanted by each GBA podcast. It’s visiting with old friends, celebrating catching up as we all learn together. I am grateful for Joel bringing us the next best thing to being together in person.

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