September 2014

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Meet The Primes

Mr. Bob Ball and Ms. Melanie Webster from the MCN Podcast 130x130 BrownDivision of Business Services – Office of Purchasing for Baltimore County Public Schools join the program to talk about the 6th Annual “Meet The Primes” program on October 15th, 2014. Get the event flyer Here!

The program venue is the MD State Fairgrounds – Exhibition Hall located at 2200 York Road in Timonium MD. The event begins at 8:00 am and runs until noon. This networking opportunity is organized to allow subcontractors (particularly MBE’s) to showcase their company and talents to prime bidders for state and local government projects in Maryland. The show is free of charge and affords an outstanding opportunity to learn what public projects are/will be available to bid as well as what qualifications you as a subcontractor need to have to be able to bid with the general contractors. While construction is the primary focus, vendors and suppliers of services of all kinds are invited to attend.

Baltimore County Public Schools has partnered with a long list of school systems and local governments to make this a very unique opportunity. Representatives from Baltimore County, Baltimore Metro Council, Baltimore County Public Library, Community College of Baltimore County, Anne Arundel County, the City of Annapolis, Baltimore City, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, MD General Services, Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, Montgomery County and Prince Georges County will all be on hand to offer information and insight into upcoming projects.

In addition, over 100 general contractors and other organizations that foster growth and participation in the construction industry will have exhibits to help you learn to build your business and become their valued partners in the construction process. You will have the opportunity to schedule private meetings with general contractors to get detailed information on requirements to bid and gain work on public projects.

Bob and Melanie encourage everyone to register early at http://meet-the-primes-2014.eventbrite.com so your name and contact information can be included in the directory of participants. This is a handy tool to help you remember who you have met and help those you meet remember you! Deadline for registration to be included in the booklet is October 9th. However, registration is open all the way to the day of the event in case you learn about the event at a later date. Bring plenty of business cards as registration for last year’s event was in excess of 500 people and this year should be even larger. Also, subcontractors are encourages to bring copies of their capabilities statement and references to distribute to the GC’s.

If you have additional questions about the event you may contact Bob and Melanie at 410-887-4334 or Carla Tucker at 410-887-3119.

 

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Women In Construction Leadership And Networking Conference

Barbara G. Werther, Esq., a Principal with MCN Podcast 130x130 BrownOber|Kaler Attorneys at Law is today’s guest to the show. Barbara is a co-founder of the Women In Construction Conference along with Barbara Wagner, an Executive V.P. from Clark Construction. This annual single-day event unites women in construction and offers networking and mentoring crafted to help women from across the country to advance in the construction industry.

The ninth annual Women in Construction Conference features a full day of panel discussions, presentations and interactive breakout activities covering key issues. The event is being held on October 23rd at the Renaissance Washington, DC Downtown Hotel; 999 Ninth Street NW; Washington, DC 20001.

Barbara reviews the history of the Women In Construction Conference, speaking about past events and how the programs have evolved to specifically address the needs and concerns of ladies in the industry. Ms. Werther speaks about how the conference has grown to nearly 200 attendees since the inaugural program in 2006 and how the event has attracted women and men to share knowledge and expand their network of professionals in the industry.

The Women In Construction Conference is a non-profit event that relies solely upon registrations and sponsorships to cover expenses. Sponsors for this year’s conference include:

  • Deloitte
  • Clark Construction
  • Navigant
  • Baker Tilley
  • Intertek
  • Balfour Beatty
  • Forrester Construction Company
  • The Whiting-Turner Construction Company
  • Capital Project Management, Inc.
  • Structuretone
  • JAMS ADR
  • Hertzback & Co., P.A.
  • Warner
  • Seyfarth Shaw
  • Smoot Construction
  • Skanska
  • Hensel Phelps
  • Quagliano Law
  • Varela, Lee, Metz & Guarino

This year’s sessions include:

  • Safety as a Culture
  • Workplace Diversity – Everyone Profits: Understanding How Inclusion Makes Good Business Sense
  • Leading the Way: Women Business Owners and Their Success Stories
  • It’s Not What You Know, It’s Who You Know: Learning How to Effectively Speed Network (Breakout Session)
  • Mini MBA Bootcamp
  • It’s Not Easy Being Green: Sustainable Building Trends and How They Affect Your Company
  • The Wow Factor: Look and Speak Like a Leader

Women in Construction offers wonderful opportunities to meet your peers, learn from them and develop long-term business partnerships and friendships. There will be many opportunities for networking throughout the conference, so be sure to bring lots of business cards. View agenda.

Registration for Women in Construction 2014 is now open. The cost is $150 and includes lunch and the post-conference cocktail reception. Group and student discounts are available. Register here.

Stay updated on conference plans by joining the Women in Construction Group on LinkedIn, by liking them on Facebook or by signing up for email updates.

You may also contact Barbara directly at (202) 326.5015.

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Tips on Controlling Exploding Construction Project Documentation.

Anthony F. Vittoria, Esq., a Principal with MCN Podcast 130x130 BrownOber|Kaler Attorneys at Law joins us for this presentation about some sound principals for managing the ever-increasing amount of information generated in the construction process. Memories fade and details are lost.  Project documentation gives an unvarnished view of what happened on a project.  And in the event of a claim or lawsuit, regular, reliable and pertinent information for the project will go a long way to helping you prevail.

Contemporaneous documentation can be vital to proving a claim or defense:

  1. Contractual notice provisions
  2. Memories fade, either because the project lasted many years or suit was brought well after the project closed.
  3. Need documentation to provide backup for claims for cost overruns, change order costs, costs related to delays, acceleration, extended home office overhead, and profit, among others.

Not all information has to be saved – just the right information. However, the law requires that once it is reasonably likely that a dispute will arise, and certainly not later than when a claim is made, the parties to the dispute have a legal duty to save all of the documents that are relevant to the dispute. If a party destroys relevant documents after it had notice of a dispute the Court or arbitrator can impose penalties on the party.  Those penalties can include financial penalties, an evidentiary ruling against the party, or even default judgment against the party. The penalty will be more likely, and more likely severe, if the party intentionally or recklessly destroyed the documents than if the document was lost because of a mistake.

Electronic documents like e-mails, texts and spreadsheets can be especially troublesome because they are so easy to produce and re-produce, and because they can be stored in many locations at the same time.  Imagine, a single e-mail could exist on the sender’s iPhone, as well as his laptop in the trailer, the recipient’s iPhone and desktop at his office, and all of the cc: recipient’s smart phones and computers. Great care needs to be exercised in the issuance and control of electronic data.

A company should have a written document management and retention policy and provide that policy to all of its employees.  The policy can provide many ways to control the amount of documentation created on a project.

For example the policy could provide:

  • that there can be no internal e-mails regarding a project
  • that e-mails with other project participants can only be about mundane issues, while all issues relating to the performance of the contract or a possible claim, must be written on letterhead and sent by facsimile or overnight mail
  • that every e-mail that is sent must also be sent by cc: to a “project file” for safe keeping
  • that all e-mails in a person’s e-mail inbox will be deleted after a period of time, such as six months.

The document management and retention policy should also contain provisions regarding the preservation of project documentation should a dispute arise.  It would include the cessation of an automatic delete function, unless all project documents are copied to a project file because then it wouldn’t matter if the e-mail is deleted, because it is already preserved in a secure location.

If a company has a written document management policy, it has to ensure that everyone is following the policy.

Finally, some of these procedures could be incorporated into the contract.  For example, contracts could provide that all correspondence between the parties has to be on letterhead and faxed or overnighted.  Or that all e-mails sent between the parties must be copied to a shared project file so that there is one location where all of the project information resides.

With the proliferation of information pertaining to construction projects and the interactions of all parties in the construction process, a strong and reliable information management program is vital to the long-term success of your company.

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