SAME Board of Direction Election

2024 Board of Direction Election

Voting in the SAME National Board of Direction election for 2024 is open March 1 to April 15. The ballot includes candidates for President-Elect, Vice President, and Elected Director. Click on each candidate’s name down below to view their qualifications and read their statement of commitment.

Vote by accessing the online ballot form (members must log in to vote and can only vote once) 

This year’s ballot includes candidates for President-Elect, Vice President, and Elected Director (NOTE: President-Elect automatically ascends to SAME President the following year).

For 2024, there are eight Elected Director candidates vying for four spots. Vote for any four Elected Director candidates. The highest vote-receiving Young Professional will be elected regardless; however, more than one Young Professional can be elected if they are in the top four of votes received. You may ONLY vote for four Elected Director candidates. While Vice President and President-Elect candidates are running unopposed, voting for these individuals is an integral part of SAME’s governance, and affirms the membership’s confidence in the Society’s leadership.

Members may vote only once. Once you vote, you cannot submit a vote again. To log in and see the ballot if you are not already logged in to your member account, click on the “login” link at the top of this page and enter your SAME username and password.Then, click on the 2024 Ballot Form button.

Questions on your login? Contact | Questions on voting? Contact

#peFor President-Elect

Michael Huffstetler, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP, F.SAME
Michael Huffstetler, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP, F.SAME

Michael Huffstetler, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP, F.SAME
Principal | Federal Programs Leader, DLR Group

Primary Post: Omaha

Key SAME Leadership Positions/Contributions

  • National Vice President, (2023-Present)
  • Appointed Director – IGE, SAME Board of Direction (2022-Present)
  • SAME Executive Committee (2020-Present)
  • Elected Director Review Task Lead (2022)
  • Membership Focus Groups Team Lead (2021)
  • Omaha Post Board Member (2016-2022)
  • Omaha Post, VP for Industry Government Engagement (2021-2022)
  • Omaha Post VP for Relationships (2018-2021)
  • Omaha Post Membership Committee Chair (2016-2018)
  • Mentor, Omaha Post Student Annual Mentoring Program (2007-2009)
  • Chair, Membership Community of Interest (2020-2022)
  • Deputy Chair, Membership Community of Interest (2019-2020)
  • Inaugural Member, DEI Working Group/Sub-Committee (2019-2022)
  • Active Member, Membership COI, Architectural Practice COI, Facility Asset Management COI

Key Awards & Recognition (SAME & Other Organizations)

  • Omaha Post Douglas A. Plack Golden Eagle Award (2022)
  • SAME President’s Medal (2022)
  • SAME President’s Coin (2021)
  • SAME Fellow (2021)
  • Omaha Post – Rising Star Award (2016)
  • National Capital Chapter 2001 Project of the Year Award, CMAA
  • Merit Award Winner, 1992 U.S. Air Force Design Awards Program
  • Back-to-back U.S. Air Force Office Exchange assignments with USACE: Transatlantic Division and Baltimore District (1993-1998)
  • Military Awards/Decorations: various U.S. Air Force and U.S. Army decorations during USAF active duty service and as an exchange officer to USACE (1988-1998)

Statement of Commitment

“To be an effective leader one must focus on applying their strengths. Serving as an SAME national officer, I commit to influence positive change and engaged behavior across our society by focusing on two key personal strengths.

First is being solutions-driven: Problem-solving has always driven me both personally and professionally, as I thrive on tackling issues and challenging situations. Taking on tasks and seeing them through to resolution (or at least to the next step) contributes to change and creates impact. The second key strength is trusted stewardship: I have a calm, reassuring demeanor that is effective when collaboration and trust-building are needed most. Whether within my organization, my teammates or with industry colleagues, this phrase best defines what all of us volunteer-leaders are tasked with: we are entrusted as temporary stewards in the roles we step into and therefore have an obligation to further the unfinished goals we inherit.

I believe service across SAME is less about “checking boxes” and resume-building, and more about finding where you can best plant yourself to be effective, no matter how small the “ask” or need may be. Our governance needs, expects and deserves its directors and leaders to actively lead and influence from where they serve. I commit to being objective and discerning, while influencing others through a “side by side” leadership model, working with other SAME colleagues who are just as passionate and skilled, if not more so.

I believe I enhance the National Leadership Team with a unique range of both experience and learned perspectives. I am a military veteran, have been in the A/E/C industry for my entire career, and a member of the Society since I was 23 years old. During all that time, even when I was not there for SAME, it was there for me. As I know many of my colleagues can relate, the Society is home—home to long-standing friendships, opportunities to explore and push ourselves professionally, a vehicle to forge new alliances in the face of new challenges, and an avenue for meeting the expectations we place on one another as volunteer leaders.

At the time I will begin my President-Elect role, I will have served on both the National Board of Direction and Executive Committee continuously for the past four years as well as various other local/national leader roles for 17 years. At the time I step in as the Society’s 106th President, we will have rallied together under the flag of a new Strategic Plan. Having served within two military branches, led the federal practice of my current and previous A-E firms, led my previous firm’s leadership development program for six years as its director, and operated my own small business for the past 10 years, I believe I offer a broad range of thought-leadership and experience to the role of President Elect. I look forward to this new and challenging opportunity to further invest my servant-leadership as SAME enters a new chapter of driving even greater relevancy and impact across the profession.”

Michael Huffstetler

For Vice President

Brig. Gen. Patrice Melancon, P.E., F.SAME, USAFR (Ret.)
Brig. Gen. Patrice Melancon, P.E., F.SAME, USAFR (Ret.)

Brig. Gen. Patrice Melancon, P.E., F.SAME, USAFR (Ret.)
Owner | CWG Consulting

Primary Post: San Antonio

Key SAME Leadership Positions/Contributions

  • Vice Chair – Internal Affairs, Academy of Fellows (2021-Present)
  • TEXOMA Regional Vice President (2017-2019)
  • San Antonio Post President (2013)
  • TEXOMA-Missouri River Regional JETS Operation Officer (2012)
  • San Antonio Post Individual Member Director (2011-2012)
  • San Antonio Post Secretary (2009-2010)
  • Inaugural Fellows Investiture Ceremony Committee (1995)

Key Awards & Recognition (SAME & Other Organizations)

  • Legion of Merit (3rd Oak Leaf Cluster) (2021)
  • SAME Goethals Medal (2020)
  • University of Texas Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering Academy of Distinguished Alumni  (2019)
  • University of Louisiana, Lafayette, College of Engineering Alumni Wall of Honor
  • SAME RVP Medal (2019)
  • AETC – National Society of Professional Engineers Federal Engineering of the Year – Military Category (2010)
  • AETC – Air Reserve Component – Civil Engineering Manager of the Year – Officer Category (2009)
  • General Edwin W. Rawlings Award for Environmental Excellence, Management Category (2003)

Statement of Commitment

“I am excited and humbled to be considered for nomination as a National Vice President.  I am proud to be an SAME “Lifer.”  It’s always been an underlying desire to give back, to help develop and mentor the next generation of military engineers, and to foster more meaningful connections between industry and government.  SAME is the perfect organization to do that.  I have served at the Post, Regional, and, most currently, at the National levels so I have experience with all aspects of the Society.

I bring a very unique perspective to the National Leadership team. I served nine years on active duty and 24 years as a reservist.  I have been a commander twice, have experience at base level, major command, combatant command, and Air Staff levels. I have been activated for five extended active-duty tours since Sept. 11, 2001, including my final tour as the Executive Director of the Natural Disaster Recovery Program with a focus on reimagining Tyndall AFB as an Installation of the Future. I had a very full civilian career, working 15 years with CDM Smith, serving as a Group Leader for Water Resources Engineering in the Public Sector Group and then a Client Service Manager with the Federal Group.  From 2016-2019, I worked as a Department Manager for the San Antonio River Authority.  So, I bring not only experience on the consulting side, but also on the public sector side, outside of the military.

My leadership role in the efforts to bring innovation to the Tyndall rebuild helped me to gain a better understanding of some of the bureaucratic hurdles to turning innovative ideas into reality.  I believe that the military procurement system still presents significant challenges to Industry-Government Engagement, particularly in the area of innovation.  Through leading the Tyndall rebuild, I was exposed to some of the streamlining DOD is considering and I would like to help identify ways that we can continue to have fair competition while allowing for more meaningful partnering.  For example, I believe that the current procurement systems minimize the benefit that DOD could gain by truly unleashing the power of concepts like Design-Build and Early Contractor Involvement.

I believe I can contribute to strategic discussions as we continue to refine our servicemember engagement approach, bring the Construction COI into the fold, and turn the coming Strategic Plan 2030 into actions.  It is my sincere desire to take my level of involvement with SAME to the next level.”  

Patrice Melancon

For Vice President

Albert Romano, CFM, F.SAME
Albert Romano, CFM, F.SAME

Albert Romano, CFM, F.SAME
A/E/C Industry Consultant

Primary Post: Northern Virginia

Key SAME Leadership Positions/Contributions

  • Co-Chair, SAME 2023 Strategic Plan Development Team
  • Chair, Resilience COI (2021-2023)
  • Advisor & Collaborator, Post Resilience Activities – SF, DC, NoVa, Philly, NY/NJ (2016-Present)
  • Organizer, Phoenix Post IGE/Resilience Workshop (2016)
  • Phoenix Post, Board Liaison for Resilience Activities (2015-2016)
  • Chairman, TISP Board of Directors (2011-2012)

Key Awards & Recognition (SAME & Other Organizations)

  • SAME Fellow (2023)
  • President’s Medal (2023)
  • Multiple SAME Coins for recognition
  • Multiple recognitions from ACEC, ASCE, WTS, and ASFPM

Statement of Commitment

“Having served as a volunteer in various leadership roles over the past several years, I have gained a much greater understanding and appreciation of the vital role that the National Leadership Team members play in directing the Society. They are exceptionally talented, and visionary individuals who are an inspiration to me and many others, demonstrating their wisdom, commitment, and care for the Society, its members, as well as internal and external stakeholders. I share these qualities and believe that the experience and knowledge I have gained over the past several years working with and supporting these leaders at the national level, have prepared me to be an effective contributor to SAME’s vision, mission and goals as stated in the 2025 Strategic Plan.

Furthermore, I have been appointed and honored by our current National President, Charlie Perham and the XC, to serve as a Co-Chair for the development of the Society’s 2030 Strategic Plan. It is indeed a privilege to work with the amazing core SP2030 development team led by Sharon Krock, President Elect, Brian Duffy, Co-Chair and Kathy Off, representing the National Office.

There are many ways that I am able to support SAME’s strategic plan as a National Officer, one of which is to engage fully and frequently with the various stakeholders in the Society. I will continue to support SAME’s IGE programs, the SAME Foundation, and perform the duties and tasks assigned to me by the National President. I will also be an active listener and help the Board of Direction and XC to support our DOD and agency partners and industry leaders.”

Albert Romano

For Elected Director (vote for four)

(candidates listed in alpha order)

Michelle Exaros, CSP
Michelle Exaros, CSP

Michelle Exaros, CSP
Vice President, Business Development, Fulcrum Energy Solutions Inc.

Primary Post: Panama City

Key SAME Leadership Positions/Contributions

  • Construction COI Secretary (2023-Present)
  • Panama City Post Director of Resilience (2020-Present)
  • Contributor, Operational Technology Cybersecurity Whitepaper IGE Effort (2022)
  • SAME Membership Review Committee Member (2021)
  • Chair, Energy & Sustainability COI (2019-2021)
  • Young Member COI Energy & Sustainability Liaison (2015-2017)

Key Awards & Recognition (SAME & Other Organizations)

  • SAME Regional Vice Presidents Coin (2023)
  • SAME Panama City Post Member of the Year – Industry (2022)
  • Lutron High Performer Award (2018)
  • Energy & Sustainability COI Member of the Year (2016)

Statement of Commitment

“SAME is an organization that has assisted in my career and personal development. I learned leadership skills as an active participant in the Energy & Sustainability COI, working my way from Young Member Liaison to COI Chair over five years. Concurrently, those leadership skills transferred to my own career progression as I worked my way from a new outside salesperson to leading a national sales team in the same period.

Since being a COI Chair, I became a board member of the Panama City Post specifically leading as Director of Resilience. Uniquely, my board position is a remote position as I live in Pennsylvania; however, this has not deterred me from adding value at the local level. I participate in monthly board meetings, and I contribute to our Industry Days and other events as an active member on planning committees. I feel lucky having this experience, as I learned I have the capability to add value no matter where my physical location may be.

With these experiences, I am excited about the opportunity to serve our Society in the capacity of Elected Director. Fortunately, I had the privilege of being on the Board previously as Chair of the Energy & Sustainability COI, which gave me an appreciation of our Society and how it functions. I also learned that active engagement is necessary and our input matters.  As Elected Director, I want to invigorate and inspire our members to be the value, and I want to focus on increasing communication from the national COI to the Post level. Having the experience of COI Chair and being a remote Post Board Member, I believe I have the background to make an impact as an Elected Director. Increasing national COI to Post communications will take a concerted effort working with the Chairs while learning who are the best people to engage with at each Post. With the creation of the SAME Knowledge Network, we have the opportunity to utilize technology in new ways to invigorate our membership.

Throughout my nine years with SAME, I learned to be an active member as one receives more value when being the value for others. I am excited for the opportunity to be an Elected Director to continue my contributions to our Society.”

Maj. Gen. Anthony Funkhouser, P.E., USA (Ret.)
Maj. Gen. Anthony Funkhouser, P.E., USA (Ret.)

Maj. Gen. Anthony Funkhouser, P.E., USA (Ret.)
Vice President, Army Account Director, AECOM

Primary Post: Hampton Roads

Key SAME Leadership Positions/Contributions

  • Class Mentor, SAME Leader Development Program (2023)
  • SAME SBC Pre-Conference Session Facilitator (2023)
  • Dallas Post Agency Stakeholder as USACE SWD Commander (2009-2010)               
  • Tulsa Post President (2007-2008)
  • Active Member while assigned to location, Fort Hood Post; Fort Leonard Wood Post
  • Frankfurt Post Air Assault and Breach Demonstration Participant (1987)

Key Awards & Recognition (SAME & Other Organizations)

  • AECOM Veterans Alliance Employee Resource Group President (2021-Present)
  • Army Distaff Foundation Board of Directors – Knollwood Life Planning Community Washington, DC (2021-present)
  • Military awards: Distinguished Service Medal (Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster); Defense Superior Service Medal Legion of Merit (2 Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters); Bronze Star Medal (“Valor” Device and Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster); Meritorious Service Medal (Silver Oak Leaf Cluster); Army Commendation Medal (4 Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster); Combat Action Badge; Joint Chiefs of Staff Identification Badge; Army Staff Identification Badge

Statement of Commitment

“It is my strong desire to serve as an Elected Director and support SAME. I aspire to bring my nearly 40 years of leadership experience in Military Engineering to support our Society as we advance toward our 2025 goals and shape our 2030 goals.

There are many major aspects of SAME and the Strategic Plan that are of interest to me and where I believe I can add value. Understanding the requirements and responsibilities of an Elected Director, I would look forward to contributing to the National Board of Direction’s vision and help drive it to success. I bring years of experience being part of boards where we leverage leadership and are constantly seeking to improve governance and gain efficiencies. I am not afraid to roll up my sleeves and do the hard work it takes to get the mission done.

I know there will be many new challenges for SAME as we look to implement the 2030 Strategic Plan. I would assist in bringing the right teammates together with focused agendas to develop actionable courses of action. I would seek to increase our active duty military engagement/membership and focus on our underrepresented demographics (NCOs/minorities) as I did when I was the U.S. Army Engineer Commandant. Diversity of personnel and of ideas will be essential as we bring this team together.

I would also like to assist where possible in Military/Veteran transition and mentorship. Taking care of our military in transition is an essential aspect of SAME and the engineering community. Finally, as an Elected Director, I would be flexible and open to support wherever needed and open to participating in any of the evolving SAME Task Forces that emerge from discussions. Essayons!”

Cdr. Roland DeGuzman, P.E., CEM, F.SAME, USN (Ret.)
Cdr. Roland DeGuzman, P.E., CEM, F.SAME, USN (Ret.)

Cdr. Roland DeGuzman, P.E., CEM, F.SAME, USN (Ret.)
Senior Project Manager, MBP

Primary Post: Philadelphia

Key SAME Leadership Positions/Contributions

  • Philadelphia Post President (2023-Present)
  • Chair, Leader Development COI (2022-Present)
  • Chair, Philadelphia Post Resilience Committee (2020-2022)
  • Facilitator, Leader Development Program (2019-Present)

Key Awards & Recognition (SAME & Other Organizations)

  • SAME Fellow (2023)
  • Philadelphia Post Service Award (2021)
  • SAME Goethals Medal (2016)

Statement of Commitment

“I have served in SAME in numerous capacities over the years and I would like to keep building the future of SAME by serving as an Elected Director to support my fellow Society members. I think that taking on an Elected Director position is a great way to maintain the momentum I have developed over the past few years as Chair of the Leader Development COI and President of the Philadelphia Post.

I volunteered to serve as founding Vice Chair of the LD COI when it was established in 2020 and then fleeted up to become the Chair in 2022. At the same time, I assumed duties as Resilience Committee Chair for the Philadelphia Post in 2020. I took on duties as the Post Vice President in 2022 and became President in 2023. The common theme was that I took on these responsibilities as the COVID-19 pandemic was tightening its grip on our country. I spent lots of time changing plans- usually midstream- to shift our programs to virtual platforms. As the pandemic continued, we continued to improvise and adapt: improved communications, adopted new Post standard operating procedures, created virtual graduation ceremonies for our LDP classes, established hybrid conferences to maximize attendance. In short, we learned numerous lessons about how to communicate and how to operate in a new distributed environment. More recently, as we emerged from the pandemic, we have taken those lessons and used them to adapt to new challenges and new opportunities amidst a new geo-political and economic environment.

In accordance with Charlie Perham’s intent expressed this year, I want to help my Post and my COI become better than we were before the pandemic. Locally at the Philadelphia Post, I have been telling our BOD that we will achieve full operating capability, “FOC” in military parlance, this year during my tenure. At the same time, our new LD COI has made great strides towards establishing lasting programs, policies, and procedures as we adapt to these new challenges. I made a commitment during my investiture into the Academy of Fellows to continue to help the LD COI grow and one of the best ways for me to honor that would be to serve as an Elected Director and help the COI and our Society connect with other like-minded agencies interested in leader development.”

Heather Polinsky, PMP, F.SAME
Heather Polinsky, PMP, F.SAME

Heather Polinsky, PMP, F.SAME
Executive Committee and Global President – Resilience Business Area, Arcadis

Primary Post: Baltimore

Key SAME Leadership Positions/Contributions

  • Baltimore Post President (2017-2018)
  • Baltimore Post Vice President (2017)
  • Baltimore Post Programs Chair
  • Baltimore Post Audit Committee Chair
  • Baltimore Post Young Member Director

Key Awards & Recognition (SAME & Other Organizations)

  • SAME Fellow (2020)
  • SAME RVP Medal (2017, 2018)
  • Army War College, National Security Seminar Participant (2014)
  • National Association of Ordnance and Explosives Waste Contractors Leadership Award (2013)
  • Baltimore Post Young Engineer of the Year (2000-2001)

Statement of Commitment

 This was my first engagement with the Society back in 1999, shortly after leaving my position as an Army Civilian and joining private industry. That one request has led to roles as Young Member Director, Treasurer, President, Board Director, serving as committee chairs, planning events, participating in philanthropic opportunities with veterans and STEM events with local students. It also resulted in immeasurable professional relationships, irreplaceable career development opportunities, and a lot of fun.

As an Elected Director, I will give back and help create this experience for current and future members. As the 2030 Strategic Plan is launched, I’m eager to bring my intimate knowledge of the Society, its mission and operations to serve in SAME’s second century. I am committed to serving in any capacity required to achieve the evolving mission and objectives.

My current executive role at a global architecture and engineering consultancy uniquely positions me to represent the industry on a national and global scale. My contributions will include broad membership representation; strategic thinking; governance acumen; fiduciary responsibility; a focus on diversity, equity, inclusion, and sustainability; and unwavering integrity.

My commitment to the SAME mission is underscored by dedication to enhancing membership value; fostering strategic partnerships to advance the mission; and bringing innovation that builds on our strong legacy, and adapts to the world changes around us.”

Candice Scale
Candice Scale

Candice Scale
Young Professional

Vice President, Key Account Manager – Federal and Defense Program, Senior Business Development Manager, HDR Inc.

Primary Post: Atlanta

Key SAME Leadership Positions/Contributions

  • Leader Development COI Mentoring Advisory Committee (2023-Present)
  • Panama City Post Director, Nominations & Recognition (2022-Present)
  • Atlanta Post Leader Development Program Task Force Chair (2022-Present)
  • Atlanta Post President (2022)
  • Atlanta Post Vice President, Programs Chair (2021)
  • Atlanta Post Director, Membership Chair (2019-2020)
  • Atlanta Post Communications Chair (2019)
  • Atlanta Post Director (2014-2015; 2023-Present)
  • Atlanta Post Communications Chair (2013-2015)
  • Atlanta Post Director (2011-2012)
  • Atlanta Post Young Members Chair (2010-2012)

Key Awards & Recognition (SAME & Other Organizations)

  • Atlanta Post Leadership and Mentoring Award (2023)
  • Atlanta Post President’s Award (2023)
  • Panama City Post President’s Award (2023)
  • 100 Most Influential Women in Georgia Engineering, ACEC Georgia (2023)
  • Top 50 Women Leaders of Georgia, Women We Admire (2023)
  • SAME RVP Medal (2021)
  • Atlanta Post President’s Award (2019)
  • Member, SAME Emerging Leaders Alliance (2014)
  • Atlanta Post Young Member of the Year (2011)

Statement of Commitment

“My goal is simple: I’m here to serve the Posts. I joined SAME when I was a senior in college in 2008. Since that time, I have served in nearly every role at the Post level, including as President, Past President, Vice President, Director, and chair of the Post’s Leader Development Program, Programs, Young  Professionals, Communications, Membership, Recognition and Nominating committees.

I am proud to be a member of the board of directors of the Atlanta Post and the Panama City Post. I am passionate about helping posts align their activities with the SAME Strategic Plan, engaging members through programs that address issues critical to government and industry partners, and building leaders for the A/E/C Industry.

If selected to serve SAME as Elected Director, my focus will continue to be on supporting the posts. I will leverage my national role to support the Society’s 100+ posts, sharing best practices, providing training opportunities, and mentoring leaders to reinvigorate posts and re-engage members in local Post activities. I remain committed to SAME and promise to bring my unique perspective, ideas, energy and positive leadership to the Society.”

Corey Weaver, P.E., F.SAME
Corey Weaver, P.E., F.SAME

Corey Weaver, P.E., F.SAME
Young Professional

Civil Engineer, USACE Huntington District

Primary Post: Huntington

Key SAME Leadership Positions/Contributions

  • Chair, Young Professionals COI (2021-2023
  • Chair, College Outreach COI (2016-2018)
  • Huntington Post President
  • Founder, Marshall University Student Chapter

Key Awards & Recognition (SAME & Other Organizations)

  • SAME Fellow (2023)
  • USACE Project Delivery Team of the Year (2017)
  • Huntington Post Outstanding Public Sector Member (2013)
  • USACE Huntington District Commander’s Coin of Excellence (2009, 2012, 2017)
  • Huntington Post Student Leadership Award (2012)
  • SAME RVP Medal (2011)

Statement of Commitment

“My SAME journey began as a founding member of a Student Chapter, where I served as both Vice-President and President. I was a scholarship recipient from my local Post where, after graduating, I joined and immediately served as the Post’s Young Professionals Chair and as the Student Chapter Mentor for the Student Chapter I helped found and lead. In addition, I continued to serve on the National College Outreach COI and served as the Chair from 2014-2018. More recently, I served as the Young Professional COI Chair from 2021-2023.

My service to the Society for the past 16 years has been founded on giving back. As an Elected Director, I am committed to shaping the future of the Society by serving on the Guided Pathways Task Force. My passion is to help Posts engage with students and young professionals at all levels and share the unlimited opportunities SAME can bring to both their personal and professional lives. I believe I am uniquely qualified and will bring valuable experience and insight to serve on the Task Force.

This great Society affords numerous opportunities to serve and get involved. I look forward to the opportunity to not only continue giving back to the future of the Society but also to support the National Leadership Team’s initiatives and the Strategic Plan.”

Melvin Williams, F.SAME, FACEC
Melvin Williams, F.SAME, FACEC

Melvin Williams, F.SAME, FACEC
Vice President/Senior Associate/Senior Client Development Manager, Terracon Consultants Inc.

Primary Post: Charleston

Key SAME Leadership Positions/Contributions

  • SAME Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee (2021-Present)
  • Founder, Join Charleston Post/South Carolina Eastern Branch of ASCE /The Civil Engineers Club of Charleston/South Carolina NSPE Charleston Chapter Coalition
  • Charleston Post Fundraising Committee Chair (2006-Present)
  • Charleston Post Planning Committee Chair (2006-Present)

Key Awards & Recognition (SAME & Other Organizations)

  • Charleston Post Outstanding Fellow Award (2023)
  • American Council of Engineering Companies, South Carolina Engineer of the Year (2023)
  • Charleston Joint Engineer Council Engineer of the Year (2023)
  • Citadel Academy of Engineers Inductee (2023)
  • Carolina “GroundBreaker of the Year” (2022)
  • SAME Fellow, 2021
  • American Council of Engineering Companies, South Carolina Fellows Recognition (2021)
  • Charleston Post Gold Medal (2020)
  • Citadel Military College Thomas C. Evans Jr. Award Thomas C. Evans Jr. Award (2000)
  • Numerous other professional recognitions

Statement of Commitment

“Because I truly appreciate the diversity of thought, if elected to serve as an elected Director, I look forward to staying true to my “Commitment Statement” that I made when being inducted into the Academy of Fellows—which was doing my part to assist SAME with staying the course with developing a strong culture and commitment to DE&I by working with leadership, membership, and Posts with the recruitment of diverse board members along with suggesting and recruiting diverse  meeting presenters, and collaborating organizations that have in their goal to represent the interest of an underrepresented population operating in the A/E/C sector. This way a member or others can feel very comfortable when bringing their full identifying characteristics with them when engaging with SAME. Diversity of background and diversity of thought strengthen organizations and minimize groupthink.

The proposed “Vision” being developed for the 2030 SAME Strategic Plan will be centered around being the “trusted integrator across A/E/C and related professions in addressing our nation’s interests at home and abroad.”  Because of my strong belief, practice, and history of collaborating with other organizations such as ASCE, NSBE, ACEC; I look forward with seeking and suggesting mutual ways that SAME can collaborate with organizations where fellow members hold dual memberships or to collaborate with other organizations that have similar missions and goals.  This could mean but not limited to encouraging and promoting participation at each other’s programs, including conferences, webinars, and training courses.

I have a history of working to improve the engineering industry and not for a financial or personal gain.  For this dedicated service, I have received several awards and elected to various leadership roles.  If elected to the SAME Board, I will continue to be a voice of the industry and bring past leadership service to represent the best interest of the membership and SAME.”

Lee Ann Zelesnikar
Lee Ann Zelesnikar

Lee Ann Zelesnikar
Senior Business Development Manager, iSoft Solutions

Primary Post: Central Virginia

Key SAME Leadership Positions/Contributions

  • Appointed Director – Local IGE, SAME Board of Direction (2022-2024)
  • Mid-Atlantic RVP (2020-2022)
  • President, Central Virginia Post (2017-2018)
  • Deputy Chair, Membership COI (2018)
  • Organizer, Southern Virgina Posts IGE Workshop Committee
  • Board of Directors, Central Virginia Post (2013-Present)

Key Awards & Recognition (SAME & Other Organizations)

  • Salesperson of the Year, iSoft Solutions (2018, 2021, 2022)
  • SAME Industry-Government Engagement Award (2022)
  • Meritorious Service Award, AFCEA International (2022)
  • AFCEA Tidewater Chapter President’s Special Recognition (2019)
  • SAME RVP Medal (2018, 2017)
  • Board Member of the Year – Virginia/West Virginia Chapter, International Interior Design Association (2017)

Statement of Commitment

“As an Elected Director, I pledge to continue actively engaging SAME members and non-members in the mission and strategic goals of the Society.

When asked about the benefits of SAME, I share my firsthand experience. I started with SAME as a brand-new sales representative. I always saw myself as a worker, as the wind beneath someone else’s wings. Through participation on the Board of Direction for the Central VA Post, I was coached to bring out the leader inside myself. I progressed from Secretary, to Vice President, to President, to Deputy RVP, to RVP, to National Appointed Director in just eight years.

The mentorship I received from my Post Leaders, along with National Leaders, helped me grow my confidence and understanding of self-worth. And this growth happened not just within SAME, but in my career as well. I can command a room of high-ranking military officers because I have confidence that I have something important to share. This gift that I received from SAME is one that I want to continue to share with those around me. My role as an SAME Elected Director will be to help find and mentor the next generation of SAME leaders.”

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