California Asphalt Magazine - 2020 Special Emergency Response Issue

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INSIDE: Crisis Communications On-line construction meetings 5 keys to success when working from home Partnering reimagined



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Publisher’s Letter Prioritizing in a time of crisis In the last issue of this magazine, our association chairman, Scott Fraser with R.J. Noble Co., wrote about our association’s long-term strategic plan and our goals, which fall into four broad categories: Promotion, Learning, Advocacy and Networking. We use the acronym “PLAN” to make those categories easy to remember. Long-term planning is always important for any organization, but as the events of recent weeks have shown us, sometimes a plan must be changed on the fly to respond to major and unforeseen circumstances. A global pandemic that sweeps across our country is the ultimate example of that, a “Black Swan” that poses an existential threat to our lives, our businesses and our way of life. So, does that planning and preparation go to waste? Absolutely not. In fact, that planning focuses our thinking to our core mission, how all of our various activities support that mission. It ensures that we are prepared for any eventuality. CalAPA® is in the information, education and influence business. It just so happens we use our skills and expertise in support of the asphalt pavement industry. The other core mission for CalAPA® is to be looking over the horizon to identify threats that could be harmful to our businesses, assess them, and provide useful information to our members so that they can make good business decisions. As I have written previously, “You can’t make good decisions without good information.” When the COVID-19 pandemic surged across our state and nation, it overwhelmed everyone’s ability to comprehend the nature of the crisis and what it would mean for their lives and their business operations. CalAPA® already possessed the infrastructure to respond effectively to the crisis. Our top priority was the health, safety and well-being of staff. Once that was established, our second priority was continuity of operations. Our association already had contingency plans in place, and they were tested and ready to go. When health officials gave a “stay at home” order, for example, our staff was already working remotely, performing our work without interruption. Our third priority was gathering valuable and actionable information, distilling it to its most essential elements, and distributing it back out to our members, almost in real time. As I told staff, we were shifting into emergency response mode. Borrowing a page from my previous career as a reporter and editor for United Press International, I told them we were converting CalAPA® into a virtual newsroom. We anticipated the flood of questions that would emerge from our members, and we knew that our public agency partners would also be overwhelmed as they scrambled to understand the rapidly changing situation and develop guidance for their own employees as well as our industry. A time of crisis is where the relationships and credibility we have established over many years are put to the ultimate test. In our case, our lobbyists leveraged longstanding contacts within the Newsom administration in the Legislature to get the latest information and advocate for our industry positions. Our staff mined our public agency contacts to learn the latest situation on the ground, and also reached out to our members to assess the impact events were having on operations. Since having a united front in extraordinary times like this is essential, I reached out to other associations to coordinate messaging. We funneled all of this information into a central location, processed it, and immediately sent it out to our members in the form of “Member Alerts” and other essential communications. We quickly assembled the most important information on our website so it would be easily accessible to all, 24/7. As I write this, events continue to unfold, but rest assured that our association will continue to operate at a high level to provide essential information, insight and advocacy in support of our industry. Sincerely,

Russell W. Snyder, CAE Executive Director California Asphalt Pavement Association


California Asphalt Magazine • 2020 Special Emergency Response Issue

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Contents Volume 24, Issue 2


Publisher’s Letter


Communicating effectively is essential in a crisis


Get ready for on-line construction meetings


5 keys to success when working from home


A global pandemic may force us to rethink how Partnering contributes to successful project outcomes


Page 8

Page 18

Industry News

On the Cover:

Cover illustration by Aldo Myftari of Construction Marketing Services.

Page 20



P.O. Box 981300 • West Sacramento • CA 95798 (Mailing Address) 1550 Harbor Blvd., Suite 211 • West Sacramento • CA 95691 • (916) 791-5044 Russell W. Snyder, CAE, Brandon M. Milar, P.E., Bill Knopf, • (909) 400-9697 Sophie You, Russell W. Snyder, CAE, Executive Director, CalAPA® Construction Marketing Services, LLC • (909) 772-3121 P.O. Box 892977 • Temecula • CA 92589 Aldo Myftari Russell W. Snyder, CAE, CalAPA®, Kevin Elliott is Managing Director, U.S. Risk+Crisis Communication Practice Director, Hill+Knowlton Strategies. Jeffrey C. Bliss, Director of Executive Communications for California State University, Long Beach, Sue Dyer, MBA, MIPI is president of OrgMetrics LLC., Rob Reaugh, Vice President and Partnering Facilitator, OrgMetrics LLC., Sam Hassoun, P.E., Global Leadership Alliance Kerry Hoover, CMS, (909) 772-3121

Copyright © 2020 – All Rights Reserved. No portion of this publication may be reused in any form without prior permission of the California Asphalt Pavement Association. California Asphalt is the official publication of the California Asphalt Pavement Association. This bimonthly magazine distributes to members of the California Asphalt Pavem­­ent Association; contractors; construction material producers; Federal, State and Local Government Officials; and others interested in asphalt pavements in California and gaining exclusive insight about the issues, trends and people that are shaping the future of the industry.


California Asphalt Magazine • 2020 Special Emergency Response Issue

Communicating effectively is essential in a crisis By Russell W. Snyder, CAE


arly in my professional career I was a reporter and editor for United Press International. To impress upon those new to the profession the gravity of our charge, one of my favorite sayings was, “You’re always one story away from the end of your career.” The point was, of course, that every story, every fact gathered and reported, must be treated with the utmost care and respect because, ultimately, the fate of your career and professional reputation is on the line, not to mention the reputation of the news organization you represent. And so it is with communicating in a crisis. As we have seen with the recent COVID-19 pandemic, this crisis swept in seemingly out of nowhere, and has swamped our ability to understand its implications, make good decisions to protect our businesses, and resist the “fog of war” syndrome of being paralyzed by too much information, bad information or missing information. As a reporter, I personally covered countless natural disasters, wars, riots and other types of crisis situations, and witnessed the enormous strain they put on first-responders, leaders and others called upon to not only manage the crisis, but also to communicate effectively to demonstrate they are competent and responding effectively. After leaving my career in journalism, I got to get a dose of my own medicine (being on the other side of tough questions hurled by the media) when I was a Public Information Officer for the California 8

Department of Transportation. I’ll have more on that later in this article. First, I wanted to establish the importance of effectively communicating, which is always essential, but is never more critical than in a crisis. In the introduction to his book, “Crisis Communications: The Definitive Guide to Managing the Message,” Steven Fink puts it as succinctly as I have read: “At some time, every company—large or small, publicly traded or privately held—will find itself mired in a crisis of some kind and have some communicating to do. It’s only a matter of time and of degree. And how that crisis is managed— and how the management of that crisis is communicated—often spells the difference between the life and death of the company, the rise and fall of its stock price, and the hero or goat label attached to management. Crisis communications defines a company, for better or worse, and for many years to come.” Fink goes on to write, “Make no mistake, the ripple effects of poor crisis communications are far-reaching and can disrupt

lives, livelihoods, stock prices, shareholder value, employees, employee morale, the company’s image, management’s reputation, the firm’s ability to conduct business, its ability to obtain credit, and on and on; it can also lead to loss of jobs or loss of business, as well as triggering media exposes, litigation, hostile takeover battles, government oversight and investigations, labor woes, legislative hearings and so much more. All this can happen in a heartbeat, all with the slip of a tongue.” A colleague of mine, Jeffrey C. Bliss, is an authority on communications and has spent many years working in the higher education sector. He’s currently the executive director for leadership communications for California State University, Long Beach. I queried him recently on this subject via e-mail and here was his reply: “There is a tried-and-true adage in the crisis communications field: ‘You will be judged more harshly for the way the organization is seen to be responding rather than the initial problem itself.’” And, he added, “Keep that in mind, especially if

California Asphalt Magazine • 2020 Special Emergency Response Issue

anyone tries to sway you when you advocate for open, honest, comprehensive, clear and quick communications.” Like with almost anything, prior planning and training are essential to prepare for a crisis. “Experience, as you can probably imagine, is always the best teacher,” Bliss says. “But planning and practice (drills) are essential to being prepared – and not losing your shirt and head along the way. Watch what other people do right and wrong in crises, and closely examine your mistakes when you deal with a crisis. Learn from those missteps and you will improve.” Bliss subscribes to “the 7 R’s” of crisis communications (see sidebar): Rapid Response, Regret, Responsibility, Resolution, Restitution and Reform. “While every issue/crisis is different, this response template is at least a basic starting point,” Bliss notes. “I will say that every time I’ve been faced with a crisis communications challenge, it has served me/my organizations well. Further, as situations unfolded and this method was presented to organization leaders, it made things easier for them to understand the thinking behind the overall process and better appreciate the positive results.’ Speaking of leaders, there will always be the inevitable conflicts with executive management over how best to respond to a crisis, and what information is to be released, and to whom. Lawyers, in particular, often strike a hard-line “less is more” approach, worried that public communications or other comments, if mishandled, will end up in lawsuits. Insurance companies, who may be the ones who have pay out in losing lawsuits, are also wary of any public-facing communications. Mark Alcorn, an attorney and management consultant with the Alcorn Law Corporation in

Sacramento, specializes in representing non-profit associations, including CalAPA®. A former association executive himself, Alcorn also has experience on both sides of the issue, and has seen the conflict between the Legal Department and the Communications Department in the executive suite. In response to my query, he recently offered the following observations, which were tailored toward an association but are universal for any company or organization: 1. There are multiple audiences that an association needs to think about in times of crisis. The audiences include leadership, members, chapters, vendors, legislators/regulators, competitors and the public. Every message should be viewed from each perspective prior to publication of the message. 2. Honesty is the best policy, with very few exceptions. A mistake is usually tolerable, but a lie can be a multi-generational stain. Certain situations require confidentiality (or are privileged), so know where the boundaries are. 3. The audience is smart and cynical. If you don't know something, don't claim that you do, and let them know you are working on it. Avoid saying "no comment" or displaying anger; both are viewed as an admission of fault. 4. Have a skilled person serve as the face and spokesperson of the association. That might not be the president or chair. And train and advise association leadership on how NOT to be the inadvertent spokesperson for the association. 5. Have a crisis management policy and protocols in place before the crisis happens.

California Asphalt Magazine • 2020 Special Emergency Response Issue

The April 1994 issue of the Caltrans District 7 employee newsletter.

Now back to my experience at the California Department of Transportation, or Caltrans as it is known informally. During my tenure in the District 7 regional office (Los Angeles and Ventura counties), our department’s communications abilities were put to the ultimate test during and after the Northridge Earthquake. What would become one of the most significant seismic events in California history struck the greater Los Angeles area in the pre-dawn hours of Jan. 17, 1994, a state holiday as it happens, while most of L.A. was sound asleep. It was centered in the San Fernando Valley, but because of the peculiar nature of geology, how seismic waves travel, and the age and composition of the built environment in and around Los Angeles, the loss of life and damage to property were confoundingly random. A house virtually unaffected here. A collapsed big-box store there. At California State University, Northridge, most buildings held up OK, but a parking structure pancaked. In all, 60 people died, and an estimated $30 billion in 9

damage resulted, officials would estimate. Once I completed the damage assessment of my own home in Westlake Village, which got a good shake but came out of the temblor largely unscathed, I headed into the downtown Los Angeles offices of Caltrans just as the reports were streaming in about severe damage on Los Angeles are freeways. The Traffic Management Center was a beehive of activity. Staffed by Caltrans traffic managers and the California Highway Patrol, the TMC was the “nerve center” of the L.A. freeway system, operating 24/7, providing real-time traffic information to the news media and the public. On this day, as you can imagine, is was packed with people manning phones, video monitors and radio dispatches. Detours were being developed, and changed, and traffic routing information broadcast out of the center, over and over, as conditions changed. That’s how it is in a crisis. In an instant, something bad happens, your life as you know it is flipped upside-down, and you need to act quickly and decisively while under extraordinary stress. For police, firefighters, medical professionals, the military and other first-responders, this is what they train for, year after year. Worst-case scenarios. Disasters. Riots. Floods. You name it, they’ve probably had some training on it and what to do. The world is getting a fresh introduction into this topic with the current COVID-19 pandemic, a Black Swan that no one saw coming, except that we did. Experts had warned of something like this and called for us to be prepared. Some did. Most did not. No matter, when the house is on fire is not the time to talk about fire prevention. You put out the fire. That’s how it is with every crisis. You may 10

Jeffrey C. Bliss (right) was on hand for a tour held May 10, 2019 on the campus of California State University, Long Beach for Assemblyman Patrick O’Donnell (D-Long Beach). The tour was of the Caltrans-industry Joint Training & Certification Program, which is conducted on the campus of Cal State Long Beach and also San Jose State University. Also pictured, from left: Dr. Forouzan Golshani, Dean, College of Engineering; Dr. Shadi Saadeh, CSULB engineering professor and JTCP manager; and Caltrans State Materials Engineer Dan Speer. Jeremy Peterson-Self, the Caltrans JTCP program manager, is in the background at left pointing out features of the construction materials lab to Assemblyman O’Donnell.

not have trained on these exact circumstances, but there are parallels with other fast-moving emergencies that can swamp our ability to comprehend them and take decisive action to protect ourselves, our communities and our businesses. In a crisis management plan the priority is protecting human life and property, hopefully through preparation, and as a crisis unfolds, the proper deployment of resources to contend with the crisis. Effective internal communication is an important part of any crisis management plan. In fact, police and fire departments have a well-known and proven system known as the “Incident Command” structure that is built around effective communication and deployment of people and materiel. The crisis communication plan, however,

deals primarily with communicating to external constituents, such as the community, news media, regulators, stakeholders and others. In the case of the Northridge earthquake, the most iconic images of the disaster were those of the damage wrought to several busy freeways in Los Angeles. As I wrote later for an internal Caltrans employee publication: “Perhaps the most visible sign of the devastation—an image the news media transmitted around the world—was that of quake-damaged freeways. On Interstate 5 near Santa Clarita, towering overpasses were severed cleanly as if by a giant surgeon’s scalpel. Yawning gaps punctuated the nearby Antelope Valley Freeway. Close to the earthquake’s epicenter, the Simi Valley Freeway sagged [ Continued on page 12 ]

California Asphalt Magazine • 2020 Special Emergency Response Issue


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like last week’s lasagna. And on the nation’s busiest freeway, the Santa Monica, concrete columns exploded and thick steel rods twisted out of shape like a heap of overcooked spaghetti. In seconds, the world’s most famous transportation system suffered more than $300 million in damage, and the commute for an estimated 1 million people promised to be a white-knuckle nightmare. The future looked bleak for the City of the Angeles.” Meanwhile, as I worked out of the TMC on Day 1 of the disaster, the media was circling like ravenous wolves, devouring every morsel of information and howling for more. How extensive was the damage? Why did the freeways fall down? Who is to blame? When will they be fixed? First, of course, was to address the immediate need to identify where there was damage, make sure no one was hurt or needed rescuing, and then secure the sites of the damage and establish detours. Caltrans engineers were doing the field assessments of all area bridges and roadways, and funneling that information back to the TMC. Caltrans maintenance staff were securing damaged routes, and setting up signage and detours. California Highway Patrol officers were assisting in helping divert traffic around the damaged routes. The early hours of the disaster were consumed with gathering, verifying and disseminating this essential information. Meanwhile, Caltrans engineers were activating emergency “force account” contracts with private construction companies to begin demolition work, again within hours of the quake. Reconstruction plans were developed shortly afterward. Then the tough questions came: How did this happen? With nearly a century of experience 12

building highways in earthquake country, Caltrans had some of the most knowledgeable experts in seismic safety on staff. The department was well into a program to retrofit thousands of bridges across the state to withstand the most powerful shakers, but the damaged freeways had not yet undergone that strengthening work. I helped coordinate the first media briefings in the downtown Caltrans basement auditorium, which were attended by every major media outlet in the region, plus reporters from national news organizations and even overseas. Fortunately, as referenced above, we had a highly credible spokesperson, James E. Roberts, the Caltrans chief engineer who was later inducted in the National Academy of Engineering. With a burly build, booming voice and flat-top haircut, he exuded credibility and confidence. He was able to speak clearly, frankly and with authority about why the freeways were damaged and the department’s plan to rebuild them quickly. The rest is part of Caltrans and construction industry lore. The smashed Santa Monica Freeway was rebuilt and reopened in 66 days, more than two months ahead of schedule. Other freeways followed in rapid succession. As I wrote in the Caltrans employee newsletter at the time, “Early estimates were that it might be two years or longer before the freeways could be repaired. That wasn’t good enough. Neither was 18 months, or one year. In the case of the Santa Monica, it was demolished and rebuilt stronger than ever in just 66 days, an engineering tour de force that brought a traffic jam of politicians to witness the feat. L.A. was coming back, and better than ever. ‘Today, less than three months later and 74 days ahead of schedule, I-10’s opening

makes it the most stirring symbol yet of California’s endurance – and the spirit that moves the California comeback,’ said Gov. Pete Wilson at the freeway’s opening. ‘This project was an enormous success, and everyone who worked on it deserves praise and congratulations. Because of them, Los Angeles is moving again.’” If there was ever any doubt that the Caltrans response to the Northridge earthquake was effective, not only in the actions taken by department employees and contractors, but also by how that was communicated to the public, it was evidenced by the flood of congratulatory letters that streamed into the department as the freeways were reopened. Many were put on display at the Caltrans employee cafeteria. One letter was signed by 75 employees of a local real estate loan office signed, “Countrywide employees commuting to Simi.” The letter said, “You cut through red tape and redefined the term ‘working days’ to get us back on the 118 Freeway faster than any of us imagined after the Northridge Quake!” It was a great story, effectively communicated. Or as I have pointed out to some of our agency partners recently during this current crisis: That is what success looks like. CA Russell W. Snyder, CAE, is executive director of the California Asphalt Pavement Association (CalAPA®). REFERENCE: Fink, Steven. Crisis Communications: The Definitive Guide to Managing the Message. 1 Edition. © 2013 McGraw Hill Books.

California Asphalt Magazine • 2020 Special Emergency Response Issue

The 7 R’s of Crisis Communications By Kevin Elliott & Jeffrey C. Bliss

When it comes to crisis communications, we practice — and preach — "the 7 R’s.” They are: Rapid Response, Regret, Responsibility, Resolution, Restitution and Reform. Rapid Response: Get out ahead of the issue before everyone else does. If you don't tell your story, someone else will. Nature abhors a vacuum, and it really hates openings in a crisis. Furthermore, ignorance breeds more than fear, it excites the imagination. So tell your story as fully, accurately and as quickly as possible. If you don't, someone else — your competitors/opposition, the rumor mill, and/or the media — will. Regret: In normal situations, when someone does something that injures, bothers or causes someone a problem (or pain), the social contract calls for them to apologize. So if you or your organization causes harm, say you're sorry, early (Rapid Response!) and often. Responsibility: The concerned and the aggrieved need to hear, know and believe you/your organization will be responsible and will do everything possible to take care of the situation at hand…and will continue to act responsibly in the future. Resolution: It is vital to provide stakeholders, those impacted, the media and others with your vision for the future: immediate and long-term. But this has to come after Regret and Responsibility because the audience(s) have to believe

that you’re empathetic and will act responsibly – basics of trust and confidence. Restitution: The aggrieved need to know they’ll be taken care of, that you’re going to make things right. Take care of immediate needs; don’t squabble over “trivial” compensation; realize that taking care of people’s needs (and your reputation) doesn’t mean an admission of guilt/liability; and communicate that you will make people whole if you played a role in their discomfort/injury. Reform: Audiences need to know that whatever occurred didn’t happen in vain. In other words, you learned something from it and you/your organization is going to be better because of it. (It doesn’t hurt to give a view of what that means.) While every issue/crisis is different, this response template is at least a basic starting point. We will say that every time we’ve been faced with a crisis communications challenge, it has served our organizations well. Further, as situations unfolded and this method was presented to organization leaders, it made things easier for them to understand the thinking behind the overall process and better appreciate the positive results. CA Kevin Elliott is Managing Director, U.S. Risk+Crisis Communication Practice Director, Hill+Knowlton Strategies. Jeffrey C. Bliss is director of executive communications for California State University, Long Beach.

California Asphalt Magazine • 2020 Special Emergency Response Issue


Get ready for on-line construction meetings By Sue Dyer, MBA, MIPI


isneyland is closed. Gyms are closed. Dentists are closed. We must maintain a 6 foot “social distance!” We are amid a pandemic! This is unheard of! A pandemic changes life, forever. I believe that with every challenge, opportunities are unveiled. One opportunity is for the construction industry to join the millions of workers worldwide that run their project meetings on-line. Yes, they are different, and it can be harder to make a personal connection—but they also offer some benefits. My company ran our first on-line partnering session back in 2015, so we know that you can have highly effective meetings on-line. Here’s how you can get started, some best practices to make your meetings effective, and ideas for how you can use these meetings to support your projects.

How to get started Build your on-line Team Charter The first thing to do is to build a Team Charter on how you are going to work together using on-line meetings (and working remotely). Teams that skip this step often struggle for months or years. It is a great first step. Here are some best practices. • • • • •


Agree on what kinds of meetings you will hold, how they will be run, and who is to attend. The charter includes ground rules for participating (like be transparent, over communicate, don’t be silent, be on time, etc.) Determine everyone’s preferred method of communication after the meeting as you continue your work. (text, email, call, etc.) Some teams set up signals for “emergency” situations with unique ring tone or vibration or code so the team knows this is an SOS. Your charter should also include what you are trying to accomplish together, or your Key Performance Indicators. In this way, your team charter evolves with you as your team works together. Everyone knows what others are working on, so they can help, or not hinder, your work.

Software We recommend Zoom ( https:// We have used Microsoft Teams, Go to Meeting, Google Handouts, Facetime—and the best is Zoom. Zoom is easy to set up and use, and offers you the ability to see each other as you talk. You can use a virtual white board, break up into different rooms and share your screens—all while you record your meetings or automatically transcribe your meetings. Zoom is the best for mimicking how your face-to-face project meetings run. Zoom has great tutorials on-line via their website. Hardware First, you will need a computer, monitor with a camera. Many laptops have built-in cameras and that will work. We like to use high definition cameras (we like Logitech); it makes a big difference in the image you project. Second, you will need audio. You can connect through your computer or through your cell phone, with a call-in number (that will be provided in the software you use). Below are the requirements for using Zoom. − Windows XP or later, or Mac OS 10.6.8 (Snow Leopard) or later − Browsers: IE7+, Firefox, Chrome, or Safari5+ − An internet connection – broadband wired or wireless (3G or 4G/LTE) − Speakers and a microphone – built-in or USB plug-in or wireless Bluetooth (we recommend using a headset)

California Asphalt Magazine • 2020 Special Emergency Response Issue


Best practices for running your on-line meetings


Preparing for the meeting You want to try and create a similar atmosphere that you have in your regular project meetings. Here are some best practices to help: •

Someone will need to send out a Zoom meeting invitation with the link to join the meeting. If you have reoccurring meetings, you can these up as well and use the same link. Have an agenda prepared with clear objectives for the meeting. Send it out to everyone in advance. Be sure that the role each person has in the meeting is well communicated at least 24 hours ahead of the meeting. Decide if you are going to appoint someone to take notes, if you are going to use the Zoom Whiteboard to take notes, or record the meeting or transcribe the meeting (Zoom has these tools). You will need a way to share with the team what happened. Prepare for your portion of the meeting. Make sure you are ready for your part. If you are going to share your screen and walk through a document, have it ready to be shared. If you need to use the white board, practice using the tool before the meeting. Clear up your space and try to plan to curtail distractions during your meeting time. It is easy for people to walk it or the phone to ring and disrupt things. Zoom also has a background that you can use—so no one sees the “mess” around you. I especially like this feature. Log in to the meeting a few minutes ahead of the start time, so you are ready. And, have time to troubleshoot if something isn’t working.

PHONE BRIDGE-WEBINAR ETTIQUETTE  Test your equipment in advance (computer mic, speakers, etc.; know how to mute your phone)  Join the meeting a couple of minutes early  Mute yourself immediately (phone or computer)  Unmute yourself to comment or ask a question  Identify yourself before speaking  Speak slowly and clearly  Try not to talk over others  Be aware that background noises are disruptive  Even if you are at the meeting in person, remember that remote participants cannot see you.  Avoid calling from the car

Running the meeting Here are some best practices for making your on-line project meetings effective: •

In order to have a successful meeting, whether in person or online, you need someone to lead the meeting. So, pick a leader to run your meeting(s). This can be your project manager, or whomever typically runs your meetings, or it might be the person best at running the technology.

California Asphalt Magazine • 2020 Special Emergency Response Issue


• •

Do an ice-breaker or check-in so that you make personal connection. The biggest challenge to on-line meetings is making connection. So, build that into your agenda and approach. Share the screen with individuals as they share their portion of the agenda. This way they can show you the exact thing they are talking about, and the entire team can see. This is a huge benefit of on-line meetings. It is much easier to see what everyone is sharing and work together to resolve issues. If you aren’t sharing your screen, describe clearly in words what you are saying. Go slowly. You will find that different internet connections go at different speeds, so there can be a lag time. So slow down so people can follow.

After the meeting After each meeting it is important to make sure that there is follow-through. Here are some tips to ensure that what was committed to, happens. 1. Make sure the person appointed to create notes (or recording or transcription) sends them out to the entire team within 24 hours. It is best if it is clearly understood what the next steps are and who it taking the lead for each item, and the expected deadline for completion. 2. Make sure any new meetings dates that were set get scheduled on Zoom and invitations are sent. 3. Thank everyone for coming and continue to build connection with your team. I know some teams who have given tours of their house, or held a ping pong ball into a cup contest, or happy hour.

3. Weekly Progress Meetings—this is our typical project meeting, don’t forget to include stakeholders you need for specific issues. 4. One-on-One Meetings—you can talk to each other just like you are in the room together using Zoom. 5. All-Hands Meetings—You can bring everyone together (up to 200 people) into a Zoom meeting and so everyone hears the same message. This can be for safety, strategy, or celebrations. 6. Project Tours—Yes, someone can walk the job and with their phone camera, they can take the entire team on a project tour. Or, show the specific area where there is an issue. 7. Partnering Meetings—We have been using Zoom to build high performing project teams since 2015. It is different from face-to-face, but it works! Remember, that the key to success for on-line meetings is to OVER COMMUNICATE. Silence makes people feel disconnected. Engage with each other and use the tools to facilitate that connection and you will find some great benefits to on-line meetings! CA Sue Dyer, MBA, MIPI is president of OrgMetrics LLC. She and her team specialize in developing collaborative cultures for project teams and organizations. OrgMetrics facilitates partnering using an array of collaboration tools that allow teams to develop the norms of collaboration. To find out more information please contact Sue at: or (925) 449-8300. Her company website is:

Types of on-line construction project meetings You can use on-line meetings for many different types of project meetings. Here are some we recommend: 1. Virtual Huddles—to discuss and resolve issues. 2. Daily Check-in and Check-out—to share what you are doing that day, and what you were able to accomplish.


California Asphalt Magazine • 2020 Special Emergency Response Issue

Vocabulary There is some vocabulary you might need for your new on-line life:

employees can execute their projects and surpass their goals wherever they please.

On-line meetings An on-line meeting is between at least two people who can see each other but are not in the same place. An on-line meeting is a web-based meeting or conference format that allows people to see and hear each other.

Distributed teams A distributed team (also known as a geographically dispersed team, virtual team, or remote team) is a group of individuals who work across time, space and organizational boundaries with links strengthened by webs of communication technology.

Remote work Remote work is a working style that allows professionals to work outside of a traditional office environment. Think of it this way: instead of commuting to an office each day to work from a designated desk, remote

Homers Homers is the name for someone who works from home. — Sue Dyer

California Asphalt Magazine • 2020 Special Emergency Response Issue



So, you are running your project while being “Sheltered in Place”? By request, preference or mandate, you may be working from home in a real way for the first time. As of the March 17th “Shelter in Place” order, those of us in the San Francisco Bay Area had our work environment change considerably. I now have three new “officemates”—my wife and two young kids. They need support, relief and also just may want to hang with dad. You may be able to set up a home office, take over an area in your bedroom (like me!), or designate a small desk in a common room. I wanted to share five keys to success gathered from personal experience and Virtual Business expert Chris Ducker to help you maximize productivity and maintain your sanity through the transition:

1. SET YOUR SCHEDULE. • Is your day going to be 7 a.m. – 3 p.m. or 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.? Set it up and make your schedule visible. • Get up, shower and get dressed for work. • Define your start time, your end time and your lunch time. Inform your family/roommates, and follow the plan. Remember, if you don’t schedule it, you don’t do it. • Schedule lunch – this may be a time you can connect with your family. Give yourself 30 minutes or the full hour. • Set alarms. By setting the expectations and communicating about it, your family and friends become a part of your smooth transition.

2. ESTABLISH GROUND RULES. • Define your work area. Ideally you have a locking door. This helps prevent little visitors from asking for emergency LEGO design assistance. • If your new “office” doesn’t lock, set up a visual cue (like a Red Post-it on your door or on the back of your chair) to inform everyone else that you are working. Green dot/unlocked means they can interrupt you. • If you are in a common area, negotiate a plan for conference calls/video chats. Bribe officemates with mini-ice cream cones or screen time as needed. • Also, recognize that you may not be able to do certain things in the moment. Communicate your limitations with your colleagues, they will understand.


California Asphalt Magazine • 2020 Special Emergency Response Issue

3. SET YOUR SCENE. • Make your work space yours. Keep a clean work station. • Organize it and give it decent lighting. • Get plants (they improve the air quality). Set up an area for writing, typing and designing. • Invest in a good printer and upgrade your WIFI. • If your work space is well organized, you will think better. It will also help your officemates respect your space.

4. MAINTAIN SOCIAL CONNECTION. • Check in with your colleagues and friends. Talk with at least 3 different people per day. • Set up a morning coffee meeting. • Hold your OAC/Progress Meeting using a Zoom Videoconference (I’ve run a lot of remote meetings and Zoom works the best!). • Facetime your family in the evening. • Set up a video chat and have a beer with friends. “Social distancing” may be the word of 2020, but distance doesn’t mean you become a hermit. This will help you in the long run.

5. STAY POSITIVE. • The Dow is down, the economy is tanking, layoffs are starting and many of us are going stir crazy at home. Do not panic! As leaders in our family and with our teams, this is a critical time to control your mindset and experience. • Get up and MOVE! Get exercise. Stand and stretch every 30 minutes. Do planks. Set up a home gym. Go on a bike ride. Go for a walk, hike or run during your lunch break. • Use the Headspace Meditation App. Your team, your family and your crews need positivity right now. Make sure your mind is right, so you can help them.

Remember two things: 1) As a leader you have followers. Your team and family are watching you, so lead by setting a positive example for them to follow. 2) Invest in yourself to keep your mind right. It is easy to stress-eat

and mope around in uncertain times. Take control of your situation and maximize your productivity (and sanity) by applying these five keys. Your team and your family/officemates will appreciate it! CA

California Asphalt Magazine • 2020 Special Emergency Response Issue

Rob Reaugh is Vice President and Partnering Facilitator for OrgMetrics LLC. He can be reached at (925) 449-8300, or via e-mail at:


A global pandemic may force us to rethink how Partnering contributes to successful project outcomes By Sam Hassoun, P.E.


or over three decades now, Partnering specifications have appeared in the contract specifications of many public works agencies, and often is mandatory on projects over $10 million. What started originally by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers — as an alternative disputeresolution tool to arbitrations, litigations and courts with great measurable success — has become a one-size-fits-all approach for many heavy civil and other types of construction contracts in an effort to proactively (and early on) establish a good working relationship between the owner and the contractor team members, and establish common project goals for all stakeholders to commit to and work toward achieving. Those common project goals have become almost a template for partnering on projects: Safety, On Time, Within Budget and Quality being the cornerstones. Effective communication and prompt dispute resolution are some of the tools utilized to achieve the outcomes every project aims for from the start. Safety has been and continues to be the No. 1 goal for every project. Advancements in training, personal protection equipment and proactive safety tailgate meetings have 20

contributed greatly to the culture and non-compromising expectation that everyone on the project deserves to return home safely to their families and loved ones. This vital, focused and measurable goal has brought project stakeholders together and became the bedrock of the project relationship, upon which all other partnering goals are built. The strengths and weaknesses of those relationships will never be more exposed than during an emergency. Safety training and practices are designed to prevent accidents, and to function as a system and procedure to handle situations during an emergency. With the COVID-19 pandemic that has swept across the globe, the construction industry must go into emergency response mode, and make those relationships work on the fly, given the role of our industry and our public works partners in protecting the integrity of our vital infrastructure and our workers. True partnering has a core principle that goes beyond a signed charter or a facilitated partnering session. It is a true commitment of every team member to the success of every other team member, which ultimately leads to a successful project. That requires open and

collaborative communication, mutual problem-solving and trust, which often leads to innovative solutions to the inevitable challenges that come up, large and small, on every project. Unfortunately, partnering in many cases, has become another task — a series of “sessions” that many on a project team view as something to endure, not to embrace. “Just checking the boxes,” to meet contract specification, or worse, something to be called upon urgently to fend off a looming and costly dispute. In some instances, when project leaders opt to utilize partnering only ondemand, or “as needed” instead of as a regular maintenance and enhancement to their commitment to their project [ Continued on page 22 ]

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California Asphalt Magazine • 2020 Special Emergency Response Issue


Sam Hassoun of GLA Corp. (left) participates in a project briefing Dec. 6, 2019 on the Gerald Desmond Bridge in the Port of Long Beach. Also pictured is, from left: Caltrans Director Toks Omishakin, Caltrans Engineering Service Center Chief Tom Ostrom and Port of Long Beach Port Director Duane Kenagy. Photo courtesy of Engineering News Record magazine. Used with permission.

[ Continued from page 20 ]

goals, often these on-call partnering sessions end up becoming mediation and intervention sessions. The other flaw that has emerged with project partnering is that it can be dismissed as too “touchy-feely,” personality and chemistry based, depending on how well key project leaders get along on a specific project. The ability to sustain or replicate the success of one project to the next depends largely on the attitude of individuals, and their ability to work collaboratively and cohesively with the new project team members. Often past history, reputation or perceptions, play a factor before the project even begins. Finally, partnering is, in my opinion, overdue for a disruption by the use technology, similar to what we have seen in so many other areas of our lives. As currently configured, partnering is too labor-intensive, requiring trained facilitators, follow-up in-person sessions to maintain the momentum at an offsite location away from the daily disruptions. This requires allocation of many hours by attendees away from production. This investment in 22

planning and coordination of key project personnel has contributed to the cancellation or postponing of partnering sessions as team members deal with more urgent matters. Should we replace traditional partnering with a phone app? Not exactly. What I am suggesting, however, is partnering needs a refresh and a rebalancing, aided by technology. We are seeing this phenomenon with the COVID-19 crisis. Companies and agencies are scrambling to rethink how they perform work with a high degree of emphasis on outcomes over output. Prevention awareness and education, instead of dealing with curing an infection, is one of the lessons we need to apply to partnering, as we battle through this pandemic. Upfront investment in online training and communication before the project begins will develop skills by all project participants before the actual work starts. The use of technology tools that are available now can be utilized to prompt project participants to take the various steps needed to keep the project moving and track risks and issues as they arise real-time, before they turn into disputes.

In this unprecedented time of our lives, we need more partnering now than ever before. Though our in-person communication may be altered temporarily by the current pandemic, more innovative virtual meetings and communication tools are being utilized to maintain our focus on our common goals. We will emerge from this crisis as a society and an industry, stronger and more resourceful than ever before. CA Sam Hassoun is a licensed civil Engineer who worked at Bechtel Inc. and the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans). In 2001, he founded Global Leadership Alliance (GLA Corp.), a Partnering and management consulting firm based in Sacramento, Calif. GLA consultants have contributed to the success of hundreds of projects across the United States and internationally with a total project value of more than $40 billion. Sam Hassoun was named one of the Top 25 Newsmakers in the United States for 2019 by “Engineering News Record” magazine. His company website is: .

California Asphalt Magazine • 2020 Special Emergency Response Issue



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Fall Asphalt Conference speakers provide glimpse into 2020 and beyond, with a colorful nod to history Looking ahead but with a colorful nod to the past highlighted CalAPA®’s 2019 Fall Asphalt Pavement Conference held Nov. 6-7 in Sacramento. More than 200 industry and agency personnel attended the 10th annual conference, which brought together technical subject-matter experts, noted authorities on transportation funding, regulations, work-force development and leadership. A trade show floor afforded attendees ample opportunity to learn first-hand about new technology and equipment. "I would like to thank our many speakers and presenters, who are taking time out from their busy schedules to share valuable information and insight," said 2019 CalAPA® Chairman Jordan Reed with George Reed Inc. in his opening remarks, during which he also thanked the event sponsors and CalAPA® members. "You demonstrate true leadership and dedication tothe betterment of our industry, which in turn benefits all Californians." Jay Hansen, executive vice president of the National Asphalt Pavement Association, led off the Day 1 program, providing an up-to-the-minute look at the federal transportation funding picture and other machinations in the Beltway reality TV show that has gripped the nation. Walking attendees through the basics of federal funding appropriations vs. authorization, and the muddled prospects of any grand infrastructure deal in a divided Congress, Hansen focused on the immediate dangers at hand: the potential for another government shut-down 24

and the lack of bipartisan cooperation. The federal fiscal year began Oct. 1 and a "continuing resolution" to temporarily fund the federal government expires on Nov. 21. The message being delivered by the asphalt industry and other partners, Hansen said, is bunt: "Congress, do your job." The heavy lift in Washington will be to align program spending with revenues, as was done with previous comprehensive transportation bills such as ISTEA (1991) and the more recent FAST Act passed in 2015. If nothing is done, Hansen said "this is the nightmare scenario" for long-term planning for both agencies and the construction industry. Providing a bookend to Hansen's federal assessment, Kiana Valentine, Executive Director of CalAPA®-supported Transportation California, gave a dinnertime speech on SB1, the state transportation funding measure, and efforts by the construction industry and others to keep close watch on how SB1 dollars are spent. Valentine noted that more than 7,700 transportation improvement projects are either in construction or planned for the near future in California. An executive order issued by the governor seemed to suggest transportation dollars could be "leveraged" to help address the state's housing crisis, creating an outcry by taxpayer groups and others. That aspirational order was quickly clarified by the California State Transportation Agency, which assured transportation advocates that SB1 dollars are

NAPA's Jay Hansen provided an insider view of Beltway politics and transportation funding at the CalAPA® Fall Asphalt Pavement Conference last week in Sacramento.

Transportation California's Kiana Valentine.

Corina Borroel Wong with Granite Construction poses a question during the Fall Conference.

Teichert's John Lane.

California Asphalt Magazine • 2020 Special Emergency Response Issue

Sue Weiler-Doke with D. Brown Management provided a reality check for the construction industry work-force challenge.

Dr. Adam Hand with UNR.

protected by the state Constitution and would be used as intended. Valentine pledged to work with other SB1 coalition partners to track closely how transportation dollars are used, noting that SB1 is already generating about $5 billion per year and will rise to a projected $7.2 billion in 10 years due to a built-in inflation adjuster. Valentine said key question for those who supported the 2017 Road Repair & Accountability Act, and fought to preserve it in a contentious Proposition 6 ballot fight last year, is "how much of that money is projects?" CalAPA® and its member companies donated more than $6 million to defeat the repeal measure last year. John Lane with Teichert Materials delivered an eye-opening presentation on compliance with AB617, a community air quality monitoring law that has the potential to have far-reaching impacts for asphalt plants. "You have to be engaged" to fully understand the potential risks of the law, he said, and

CalAPA® Fall Conference sponsors helped underwrite the attendance of college students pursuing a career in the construction materials industry. Pictured, from left: Yanling Liang, UC Pavement Research Center, Christina Du, UC Pavement Research Center, Fabian Paniagua, UC Pavement Research Center, Brandon Basore, Cal Poly SLO, Quynh-Dan Tran, UC Pavement Research Centerand Julissa Larios, UC Pavement Research Center.

acknowledged the work of the CalAPA® Environmental Committee to pool knowledge and expertise in this area. "It is not this industry" or regulators who are identifying air quality impacts under AB617, he said, but rather "the community that is identifying perceived risks." Noted construction workforce expert Sue Weiler-Doke with D. Brown Management painted a grim picture of the construction industry work-force challenge today and in the future, noting that the industry lost 1.5 million workers as a result of the last recession that have not been replaced. "We have an image problem," she said, and stressed the importance of the industry doing a better job of promoting the many lucrative career paths available, with challenging and diverse opportunities and excellent benefits. A special guest speaker leading into the evening was McAvoy Lane, "the Ghost of Mark Twain," who regaled the audience with the wit and wisdom of the

California Asphalt Magazine • 2020 Special Emergency Response Issue

famed author and humorist. In a nod to today's tumultuous news and "alternative facts" information environment, Twain recalled his newspaper past by reciting the advice of his first editor, "Get your facts straight — and then distort them as much as you want." The conference boasted the highest attendance by women in its history, which inspired Twain to participate in an impromptu "Women of Asphalt" group photo at the conference evening reception. He also commended CalAPA® members for adopting its visionary "Code of Ethics" guiding how the industry interacts with customers, the community and the environment. Maged Armanuse, Branch Chief of the Caltrans Materials Engineering & Technical Services (METS) branch, presented about an industry-agency collaboration on revisions to the Hamburg Wheel Track test specifications, and Dr. Adam Hand with the University of Nevada, Reno, covered sustainability initiatives 25

McAvoy Lane, "the Ghost of Mark Twain," gets to know the "Women of Asphalt" at the CalAPA® Fall Conference in Sacramento.

Dave Aver with the City of Santa Rosa (right) chats with Andrew Cooper at the Humbolt Manufacturing booth on the conference trade show floor.

and specific steps to implement them. In technical concurrent sessions, Dave Aver with the City of Santa Rosa and Greg Reader with George Reed Inc. delved into Superpave mix designs and "troubleshooting" the Job Mix Formula, and Sallie Houston with VSS Emultech gave an "Asphalt Emulsion 101" overview, while Edgard Hitti with Granite Construction demystified polymer-modified binders. Many attendees were still talking about the optional networking event held Tuesday night at the Topgolf entertainment complex in Roseville, which featured networking and fun in a relaxing atmosphere. Golf made an occasional appearance. For more information on future CalAPA conferences or events please contact Sophie You, CalAPA Member Services Manager at 916-791-5044 or CA 26

Steve Krauss, CRM (left), Emmanuel Delgado, Kao Chemicals, Greg Hurner, Carpenter Sievers, Scott Metcalf, Ergon Asphalt & Emulsions at the CalAPA® Topgolf networking event which was part of the 2019 CalAPA® Fall Conference.

Winners of the Topgolf competition were Markus McCorison, TransTech Systems, Inc. (left), Nick Schaefer, SSI, Mark Magee, WEM Automation and Dave Savage, Pine Test Equipment at the CalAPA® Topgolf networking event.

California Asphalt Magazine • 2020 Special Emergency Response Issue

CALENDAR UPDATE ANNUAL ‘DAY AT THE RACES’ Date: July 18, 2020 Del Mar Thoroughbred Club 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd. Del Mar


ANNUAL CONFERENCE Date: Fall, 2020 - TBD Location: TBD

BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING Date: October, 2020 - TBD Location: TBD

2021 ANNUAL DINNER Date: January 14, 2021 Jonathan Club 545 S. Figueroa Street Los Angeles Meeting dates are subject to change. Watch the weekly Asphalt Insider newsletter for meeting updates or call CalAPA® at (916) 791-5044 to confirm meeting date and location.

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