Today I attended the latest IRWA Tri-Chapter Installation Lunch for Chapters 1 (Los Angeles), 57 (Inland Empire), and 67 (Orange County). This year, my home chapter, Chapter 67, hosted the event, which was held at the Nixon Presidential Library and Museum. Despite the poor economy, 165 of the finest right-of-way professionals in Southern California showed up, and it was -- as always -- more a holiday celebration lunch than a formal meeting.
International President Sandy Grigg flew down from Canada to install new officers for Chapters 1 and 57 (Chapter 67 will install new officers in June 2010), and he took a few minutes to talk about where the IRWA has been and, more importantly, where it is headed. If you'd like to know a little more about Sandy, he was profiled at length in a September/October 2009 article in Right of Way magazine.
It was also nice to see so many of my collegues getting installed (or remaining) on the Boards of the three Chapters:
- David Graeler was installed as Treasurer of Chapter 1;
- I am serving another six months as Secretary of Chapter 67;
- Ben Rubin is serving another six months as Treasurer of Chapter 67;
- Brad Kuhn is serving another year on the Board of Chapter 57; and
- Though Rick Friess is not on any of the Boards for 2010, he is a Past President of Chapter 67, so I guess he is excused.
I spent the lunch chatting with IRWA Executive Vice President Mark Rieck. One theme in our discussion was keeping agency participation in these difficult economic times, where agencies are less likely to pay for employees to have IRWA memberships, attend the lunches, and attend the educational offerings. His suggestion is to get the decision-makers to attend at least a few events (even if the local chapter has to pay the cost for such participation) and show those decision-makers the value the organization has for its right-of-way agents. Probably a good idea.
Rick Rayl is an experienced litigator on a broad range of complex civil litigation issues. His practice is concentrated primarily on eminent domain, inverse condemnation, and other real-estate-valuation disputes. His public ...
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