February 2020  

President's Message






Happy New Year!

It is my sincerest hope that this new year is filled with joy and personal growth.  I am honored to serve as this year’s President of the Structural Engineers Association of Ohio (SEAoO). Looking back at last year, I am reminded of the outstanding effort of SEAoO’s leadership team. Their accomplishments have greatly benefited the organization, and I am proud of the progress SEAoO is making engaging the local community of structural engineers.

We could not achieve our organizational goals without the support of a dedicated Board of Directors and Committee Chairs/Members. I want to thank outgoing board members Tim Gilbert, Bernie Kooi, and Abby Lehmenkuler for several years of service to the organization.  I also would like to thank Bernie Kooi for staying on as our Basic Education Chair and Abby Lehmenkuler for staying active with the Cincinnati region leadership team. I would also like to extend sincere gratitude to Jason Hoover for his many years of service and dedication to the Annual Conference and Communications committees.

The Board of Directors has a few fresh faces this year. Special thanks to incoming board members Frank Monastra, Kyle Blosser, and Halil Sezen. Frank Monastra will be rejoining the board as President Elect. Frank is active in the Dayton region and has previously served as a Director, Secretary, President, and Past-President. Kyle Blosser (Toledo) and Halil Sezen (Columbus) also join the board as new Directors and we look forward to working together with them to grow the organization.

As we welcome 2020 and embark on goals and New Year’s resolutions, I hope to create a culture of engagement within our organization by focusing on the following:

  1. Converting graduating student members into associate members.
  2. Encouraging & supporting SEAoO members to join a SEAoO committee.
  3. Growing our Young Members Group conference track and expanding this group to the rest of our regional chapters.
  4. Showing renewed appreciation to our membership through our Awards and Recognitions offerings.
  5. Creating value to practicing professionals by continuing to provide cost-effective PDHs and networking opportunities at the annual conference and regional meetings.

Our organization would not be where it is without our members.Their passion and dedication to the profession is what makes them an invaluable resource. I encourage everyone to take part in the regional section meetings and Annual Conference where you can collaborate and learn something new. Please visit the SEAoO website to learn more about your board of directors and to learn how to join a committee. Finally, thank you for your continued support and to our members for allowing this board to serve you. 

Phil Niekamp

[email protected]

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Past President's message






It was a privilege and a pleasure to serve as your SEAoO President in 2019.  A heartfelt thank you to everyone who devotes their time to make SEAoO such a great organization.

Here is a quick review of our 2019 highlights:

  1. Record attendance at the annual conference with over 110 engineers, 45 vendors, and 20 students (from 4 universities).
  2. Hosted inaugural Young Members Track at the Annual Conference, which drew over 30 attendees.
  3. Received $900 grant from NCSEA to grow the 2020 Annual Conference’s Young Member Track.
  4. New leadership working to renew the Toledo and Cleveland regions.
  5. Newly developed IT Committee streamlined SEAoO’s internal and external.

As 2020 gets underway and draws from last year's momentum, I’m confident Phil Niekamp will continue to grow the organization by serving as SEAoO’s 2020 President.

Thank you and Happy New Year,

Mindy Barber, P.E.

SEAoO Past President

[email protected]

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SEAoO Membership Committee

Membership renewal for all levels is still open.  Dues remain the lowest amongst all SEA's and have not increased for several years.  Note that if your membership does lapse, you must then rejoin as a new Member ($50 vs. $40 renewal), so if you haven't done so already, please renew as soon as possible.

As a reminder, SEAoO's membership levels include:

  1. Professional Member: Members that are licensed professional engineers.
  2. Associate Member: Members that graduated with a structural engineering-based degree (undergraduate or graduate) within the past 4 years.
  3. Student Member: Members enrolled full-time in a secondary or post-secondary school.
  4. Member: Members that DO NOT qualify as member types #1, 2, or 3.

If you answer yes to any of the following questions, please email us at [email protected] to change your member category and ensure you receive appropriate voting rights and Young Member emails.

  • Did you become a PE since your last renewal? 
  • Did you graduate since your last renewal? 
  • Has it been more than 4 years since you graduated?

Thank you,

Mindy Barber, PE
SEAoO Membership Committee Chair
[email protected]

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SEAoO Annual Conference

September 17th-18th. Save the Date! The SEAoO Annual Conference will be held again at the Columbus Airport Marriott located at the address below:

Venue: Columbus Airport Marriott

1375 N Cassidy Avenue

Columbus, OH 43219-1524

(614) 475-7551


A block of 30 rooms for each night (Wed, Thur) has been reserved at a rate of $143/night. We are in the works of securing speakers & exhibitors. Look for a link to register in the coming Newsletters over the next few months. 

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SEAoO Education Committee

Scholarship Opportunities:

Exciting news!  The 2020 SEAoO Educational Awards Application has been released this month.  We're excited to again be able to offer a total of $7,000 to undergraduate and graduate students!  Once the application is available, we will post it to the Basic Education Committee Webpage.


Mentoring Night

Upcoming chapters:

Keep an eye out for your local chapter's invite to the Mentoring Night event this Spring.


Jobsite Tours

Do you have an interesting project that is under construction or know of a project that students would enjoy visiting?  Remember how much you learned during site visits?  Email me to get in contact with your local SEAoO student chapter and schedule a student site visit!  

Thank you,

Bernie Kooi, PE, SE, LEED AP
SEAoO Basic Education Committee Chair
[email protected]

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Recognition Committee

2019-2020 Recognition Event Kickoff

In case you've missed it, our first ever Recognition Event was a success! Now it's time to kick off the 2019-2020 Recognition Event.

With that said, do you know of someone who has demonstrated outstanding service commitment to the profession and SEAoO? Then review the categories listed below and nominate that individual for recognition! Please don't delay, submission deadline is March 31, 2020.


SEAoO Recognition Nomination Form

For those with an interest in supporting the Recognition Committee or those with questions regarding the Recognition Event, please contact the committee chair at:

[email protected].

Thank you!

Antonio Verne, PE
SEAoO Past President / Recognition Committee Chair
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