ORIGIN: Starting the Conversation

Getting Involved!

04.18.13 by Carrie Johnson
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The most effective people I know don’t just sit back and complain about the status quo. They get involved and try to make a difference. There are many aspects in life where getting involved can help  – your firm, your community, your profession, your church. Getting involved can also give you an opportunity to grow as a leader, learn from others, and meet new people. It can be as rewarding for you as it is for those you are helping.

Individuals at Wallace Engineering have been involved in a wide variety of activities including:

  • Emergency and Disaster Response
  • Local, State, and National Engineering Organizations
  • Marketing / Business Development Organizations
  • Local Code Enforcement
  • National Code Standards
  • Student Outreach
  • Professional Advisory Committees
  • Church Committees
  • Local Theater Groups
  • Articles in trade publications
  • Speaking at conferences

All of these areas are important both for giving back to our community and for developing as individuals. I’m personally very proud of everything we do. Our goal is to continue to encourage more and more people to continue to give back.

On a personal level, I am actively involved with the National Council for Structural Engineers Associations (NCSEA). NCSEA was formed to constantly improve the level of standard of practice of the structural engineering profession throughout the United States. Improving your profession, whatever field it may be, is something I hope everyone would agree is important. I am currently chairing a committee that is overseeing the re-work of NCSEA’s web site. One of the prominent features of this new web site is going to read “How Can I Get Involved?”. There is an old saying that in any volunteer organization, 90% of the work is done by 10% of the people.  We are hoping to improve those odds by getting information out there about what people can do.

The key is finding what you are passionate about, finding something that needs to be done and volunteering to help. If you don’t like the way the code is written – offer to join a code committee. If you are worried about how prepared we are for a major tornado – volunteer for a disaster response committee. There are endless possibilities.

I think some people are reluctant to volunteer to help either because they feel intimidated or that they don’t have time. If you find something you are interested in, you will find the time. And no one should ever feel that their voice is not important! It does require effort and thoughtful work, but when more people get involved, more can be accomplished!

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Carrie Johnson, PE, SE


Carrie serves as Chair of the Board on Wallace Engineering’s Board of Directors. She received her Bachelor of Architectural Engineering and Master of Architectural Engineering…

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