EDSymposium19 Speakers
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Meet Our EDSymposium19 Speakers


Pre-Conference Workshop - Risk Management and You: Contracts, Communication, Collaboration

Session Handout - Everything You Need to Know About Contracts

Session Handout - Document Retention

Session Handout - Lunch Presentation

Session Handout - Project Communication Case Study

Session Handout - Training Your Team for Success


Click for Mark's bio

Mark Blankenship is an Assistant Vice President for Liberty International Underwriters where he underwrites architects and engineers professional liability insurance.  Previously, as a Senior Vice President of Willis HRH he was head of the Risk Management Department where he gave risk management presentations to architects and engineers in addition to advising clients regarding their insurance programs. Mark has 20 years experience in insurance claims ranging from general liability and workers compensation to professional liability for architects, engineers, lawyers and accountants. Prior to joining HRH A&E in 2001, he was a Claim Supervisor for Design Professional Insurance Company where he handled claims on projects ranging from single-family home additions to NFL football stadiums and federal highway projects. Mark is a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professional (LEED AP).  He earned the Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter designation from the American Institute for Property Casualty Underwriters. He also holds an Associate in Claims from the Insurance Institute of American and a Bachelor of Arts with honor from Michigan State University. Click the above link again to hide bio

Click for David's bio

David Ericksen is a principal shareholder in and immediate past President of the law firm of Severson & Werson in San Francisco, California, and leads the firm’s Construction and Environmental Practices. For over 25 years, David has specialized in the representation of architects, engineers, construction managers, design‐builders, and other construction professionals. His expertise covers all aspects of such professional practice as lead litigation and trial counsel, as well as being an active resource for risk management, strategic planning, and transactional matters. He is a trusted and valued resource to design and construction professionals and their insurance carriers across the United States and beyond. He has been repeatedly recognized as an industry leader, including being named a Construction “SuperLawyer” for the last twelve years. He is a graduate of Boalt Hall School of Law, University of California, Berkeley, and a former law clerk to the Washington State Supreme Court. Click the above link again to hide bio

Click for Diane's bio

Diane Mika, Berkley Design - Diane has over 20 years of experience in A/E professional liability insurance, focused on risk management and loss prevention education. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in organizational behavior and is also a certified instructional designer. In her career, she has led in‐depth claims studies to reveal the breakdowns in business practices that can lead to risk exposure. Diane has translated that heightened awareness of the risks that design professionals face into meaningful education programs. Her ongoing mission is to create and deliver information, education, and resources that help engineers and architects adopt practices to avoid or mitigate loss. Click the above link again to hide bio

Click for Michael's bio

Michael Edmonds, Parker, Smith & Feek - Michael is an Account Executive and Management Liability Practice Director in the Commercial Department. He utilizes his nine years of experience with an international insurance carrier to assist in complex management, professional, and privacy liability exposures for a broad array of clients across various industries. Prior to entering the insurance industry, Michael worked in supply chain management for a Fortune 500 company based in the Silicon Valley, as well as business development in the technology and consulting industry in the Puget Sound region. Michael joined Parker, Smith & Feek in 2014. He sits on the board for Communities in Schools of WA and the Pacific Northwest Insurance Council in support of Provail and the amazing services they provide to members of our community. He is passionate about the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Institute and is active in the Innovators Network at “The Hutch.” Michael graduated with a B.S. in Marketing from Santa Clara University’s Leavey School of Business. Click the above link again to hide bio

Click for Stan's bio

Stan Pease - Shipley& Pease Insurance  - Stan Pease is President of Shipley & Pease Insurance, one of the largest independent specialist agencies in the Northwest.  Shipley & Pease Insurance is, focused on Insurance and Risk Management for Architects, Engineers and other clients such as Attorneys, Medical Care Providers, Senior Living facilities, etc. that have a need for highly experienced consultants who will work with them as a partner to help  identify and minimize the day to day risks of operating their businesses.  Stan brings decades of experience in Claims Management, Risk Management and Agency/Business Ownership to his clients.  He provides common sense hands-on guidance whether it involves responding to a potential claim, reviewing a contract or placing a highly technical insurance policy for a unique situation. Click the above link again to hide bio

Beth Hanishewski


Resiliency in the Real World

 Session Handouts

Click here to watch the "Come to My Session" video

Click for Beth's bio

Beth Hanishewski is an internationally recognized Speaker, Coach and Writer who teaches her audiences that the Real Path to Success is through Relationships. She has shared the stage with the world’s top speakers including Jack Canfield, Robin Sharma, Lisa Nichols, and Mike Dooley in Australia, the U.S. and Canada.

Called the “swiss army knife” of coaches, Beth has over twenty years motivating, leading and coaching business professionals with one singular goal in mind: RESULTS. Beth’s promise is simple: to provide simple solutions to the most challenging of business and life problems.

When Beth Hanishewski speaks… relationships and workplaces are transformed. Beth leaves audiences laughing, engaged and armed with the tools they need to decrease the toxicity of the relationships that surround them at home and at work. Companies hire Beth because they understand the cost of toxic workplaces and strained relationships in teams. When stress takes over the workplace, EVERYTHING else is secondary. Profits. Productivity. Creativity. It all goes out the window when relationships break down. Click the above link again to hide bio

Brad Adler


Top Mistakes in Employee Handbooks that Create Legal Exposure

Session Handout


Click for Brad's bio

Brad Adler is the General Counsel at Freeman, Mathis & Gary, LLP, where he serves as Co‐Chair of their Labor & Employment National Practice Section.

Mr. Adler is a nationally recognized labor and employment lawyer who has represented employers across the United States in a diverse range of labor and employment matters. His labor and employment practice fully encompasses the issues that employers may face in managing and interacting with employees, including employment discrimination and harassment claims, wage and hour claims, FMLA and ADA claims, and disputes surrounding enforcement and defense of non‐compete, non‐solicitation and confidentiality agreements. As part of his practice, Mr. Adler regularly appears before the EEOC and related federal and state agencies, including the DOL, and also represents employers before federal and state courts throughout the country in a myriad of employment disputes. In addition, Mr. Adler routinely provides day‐to‐day counseling to employers on harassment investigations, leave and accommodation situations, sensitive disciplinary and termination issues, handbook development and preparation of non‐compete and related agreements. Click the above link again to hide bio

Judy Straalsund


Fat-Free Gracewriting

Session Handout

Click here to watch the "Come to My Session" video

Click for Judy's bio

Judy Straalsund, Freedom Finder with Graceworks, has spent over 17 years working with corporations, providing creative solutions for a variety of programs, presentations, and workshops. A dynamic combination of an experienced corporate trainer, artistic director, political campaign manager, and mountaineering guide, she’s a born leader who aspires to help people achieve their best. Based in Portland, Oregon, she’s worked with firms ranging from Intel to Hewlett Packard to the Portable Sanitation Association (i.e., the “Porta‐Potty” folks). So, whether it’s rock climbing or preparing for your own Mount Everest of a shortlist presentation, Judy is here to empower you to meet any challenge! Click the above link again to hide bio

Friday Best Practices Panel - Please Don't Leave! How Employee Development and Growth Work for Employee Retention and Recruitment

Session Handouts

Presented by SDA Fellows Featuring These Panelists:

Emily Meyer              Gretchen Renz


Bernardo | Wills Architects



Brooke Simcik                Jeff Simcik


VAI Architecture - Path to Leadership


Judy Beebe                 Diane Klug


WSP USA - Administrative Certification Program


Steven Burns, FAIA


Breaking the Addiction: A New Way of Doing Business

Session Handout


Click for Steven's bio

Steven Burns is a licensed architect and a member of the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects, FAIA. He sold his architectural firm in 2007 to work full‐time on the startup he launched to create ArchiOffice and EngineerOffice, and then brought his expertise to BQE SoŌware. He earned his master of architecture from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design and his bachelor of fine arts from Syracuse University. His passions include ultra‐endurance cycling (he's ridden as far as 522 miles without stopping) and working with Los Angeles Social Venture Partners to help innovative non‐profits change the landscape for social justice. Click the above link again to hide bio

Heather Stratford


Phishing Trends & Cyber Attacks

Session Handout


Click for Heather's bio

Heather Stratford, founder and CEO, is a thought leader in the Cybersecurity field. She leads a team of dedicated individuals who help organizations become stronger and more secure in this age of cyber threats. She has led technology teams throughout her career, which has spanned the fields of publishing, manufacturing, technology, food services, contractor services, and transportation. She specializes in start‐ups and young organizations and has launched two of her own international companies: Moxie Marketing, a technology integrator for the Marketing Industry, and Stronger International, Inc., a cybersecurity firm.

Her educational background includes an MBA in International Management from Thunderbird School of Global Management and a Bachelor of Arts from Brigham Young University. She now specializes in cybersecurity and the impact it has on businesses of all sizes. Click the above link again to hide bio

Guy Michaelsen


The Revitalization of Riverfront Park

No Session Handout


Click for Guy's bio

Guy Michaelsen is a landscape architect and urban designer who works extensively in the public realm, including parks, trail corridors, streetscape, and commercial public spaces. He has a passion for inspiring others to imagine the possibilities of “what can be” by challenging the typical through long‐winded, fun, entertaining presentations. Guy is a regular speaker at regional and national conferences on a variety of subjects including empowering art in the design of public places, challenging the role and opportunities for urban landscapes, corridor planning and more.

Guy will share realized design strategies for integrating surgical interventions in parks while maintaining the existing character and treasured amenities. Attendees will learn the complex challenges of reimagining unique park facilities and atypical program elements into new sustainable park features. Click the above link again to hide bio

Agenda - Thursday, May 16, 2018

7:30 am - 5:00 pm 

Registration Desk Open

8:00 am - 5:00 pm 

Pre-Conference Workshop - Risk Management and You: Contracts, Communication, Collaboration

David Ericksen

Mark Blankenship

Michael Edmonds

Diane Mika

Stan Pease

8:00am - 8:30am Registration/Continental Breakfast
8:30am - 8:45am Welcome/Opening Remarks
8:45am - 10:15am Everything You Should Know About Contracts 
10:15am - 10:30am  Break 
10:30am - 12:00pm  Document Management/Retention 
12:00pm - 1:30pm  Lunch - How Owners and Contractors are Forcing Change on Project Risk and Insurance:  What You Need to Know 
1:30pm - 3:00pm  Project Communication Involves The Entire Team—Case Study 
3:00pm - 3:15pm  Break 
3:15pm - 4:45pm  Training Your Team for Success 
4:45pm - 5:00pm  Closing Remarks 
5:30 - 7:30 pm 

Welcome Reception - Office of Bernardo Wills Architects


Agenda - Friday, May 17, 2019

7:30 am

Registration Desk Opens

8:00 am

Keynote Breakfast - Resiliency in the Real World

Beth Hanishewski, Chief Inspiration Officer
Mindset Coaching

9:30 - 10:30 am

Break with Business Partners

MicroLearning Session - Grow Your Career on the Path to Becoming a Fellow

SDA National Fellows 

10:30 am - 12:00 pm


Top Mistakes in Employee Handbooks that Create Legal Exposure

Brad Adler 
Freeman Mathes & Gary, LLP

12:00 - 1:30 pm

Lunch Best Practices Panel - Please Don't Leave! How Employee Development and Growth Work for Employee Retention and Recruitment

Presented by SDA Fellows

Bernardo | Wills Architects

VAI Architecture


1:30 pm - 3:00 pm


Fat-Free Gracewriting

Judy Straaslaud, Freedom Finder

3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Break with Business Partners

MicroLearning Session -Steps to Becoming a Certified Design Firm Administrator

SDA National Certification Committee 

4:00 - 5:00 pm


Breaking the Addiction: A New Way of Doing Business

Steven Burns, FAIA Partner 
BQE Software

Agenda - Saturday, May 18, 2019

8:00 am - 12:00 pm

Registration Desk Open

8:00 - 9:30 am

Breakfast Session

Phishing Trends & Cyber Attacks

Heather StratfordPrincipal 
Stronger International

9:45 - 11:15 am

SDA Annual Business Meeting

11:30 am to 1:00 pm

Lunch -Revitalization of Riverfront Park

Guy MichaelsenPrincipal 
Berger Partnership

1:30 pm to 3:30 pm

Optional Walking Tour: Riverfront Park

6:00 pm to 7:00 pm

Cocktail Reception

7:00 pm to 10:00 pm

Awards/Installation Banquet

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