ACEC of Idaho has been around for more than 60 years. Learn more about our past and what we have done to support engineers in the state of Idaho.

ACEC of Idaho over the years

Origin & History
Beginning in 1956, the professional engineers providing consulting services in Idaho formed an organization known as the Consulting Engineers Functional Group of the Idaho Society of Professional Engineers, a member state society of the National Society of Professional Engineers.
1966 - Present
In 1961, the name of the group was changed to the Consulting Engineers of Idaho (CEI) and new bylaws ere drafted. The new organization continued to function as the private practice group of the Idaho Society of Professional Engineers with the following mission:

  1. The integrity and viability of the CEI as an organization was paramount.
  2. The CEI must keep a good relationship with the Idaho Society of Professional Engineers.
  3. The CEI must have freedom of action as an independent body including the prerogative of affiliation with other groups either local or national including the Consulting Engineers Council of the United States.

Beginning in 1956, the professional engineers providing consulting services in Idaho formed an organization known as the Consulting Engineers Functional Group of the Idaho Society of Professional Engineers, a member state society of the National Society of Professional Engineers.

In 1961, the name of the group was changed to the Consulting Engineers of Idaho (CEI) and new bylaws ere drafted. The new organization continued to function as the private practice group of the Idaho Society of Professional Engineers with the following mission:
The integrity and viability of the CEI as an organization was paramount.
The CEI must keep a good relationship with the Idaho Society of Professional Engineers.
The CEI must have freedom of action as an independent body including the prerogative of affiliation with other groups either local or national including the Consulting Engineers Council of the United States.
The culmination of these efforts was the revision of the bylaws and the formal incorporation of the Consulting Engineers of Idaho under the laws of the State of Idaho through Articles of Incorporation filed on September 13, 1966. These Articles of Incorporation have since been amended in 1978 and again in 1980.

The Consulting Engineers of Idaho formally affiliated with the Consulting Engineers Council of the United States in 1968 and also continued to function as the private practice section of the Idaho Society of Professional Engineers. The American Consulting Engineers Council (ACEC) was formed in 1973 through consolidation of the American Institute of Consulting Engineers and the Consulting Engineers Council of the United States.

(The historical text above came from a January, 1981 document of CEI)

In 2003, the American Consulting Engineers Council (ACEC), after much research and debate on the purportedly negative connotations of the word “consulting,” changed its name to the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC). As part of the branding effort of the new name, they asked all Member Organizations (M.O.’s) to change their names to reflect the ACEC affiliation.

After more than a year of debate concerning the name recognition and visibility value of the name, Consulting Engineers of Idaho, the membership conceded to ACEC’s request and changed the name to ACEC of Idaho. However they adotpted a tag line, Representing the Consulting Engineers of Idaho, to remind elected and appointed officials alike who the organization is and where it came from.

Despite this name change, ACEC of Idaho continues its strong affiliation with the Idaho Society of Professional Engineers (ISPE) and still requires that a principal with each member firms be also a member of ISPE.

Legislation & Change over the years
Over the years, ACEC of Idaho has been instrumental in many legislative changes and challenges in the state of Idaho. One of the most important tasks ACEC of Idaho has accomplished is the protection of the scope of practice of engineers in Idaho. On almost an annual basis, a legislative challenge has been made, encroaching into the performance and responsibilities of the engineering practice. ACEC of Idaho, with the help of its longtime lobbyist Ken McClure, has successfully killed legislation from the architects, geologists, landscape architects and public agencies that have attempted to change the scope of practice of engineers. This task is on-going and ever vigilant!

Another success that took over 20 years to ultimately accomplish was Qualifications Based Selection (QBS). In 1972, the Brooks Act (Public Law 92-582) was passed at the national level. This act requires a QBS approach for selections of design professionals under which consultant contracts are negotiated on the basis of demonstrated competence and qualifications at a fair and reasonable price. Specific price quotations are excluded from the selection process. Soon after the passage of the Brooks Act, the consulting engineers in Idaho began their bid for a similar law at the state level. This culminated with a law that had voluntary language in the early 1990’s and ended with a mandatory law in 1998. Since then, ACEC of Idaho has been the primary supporter of the QBS law and its compliance, through the QBS Facilitator Council. This council consists of eight design industry and public partners and provides education to public agencies on the requirements of the QBS law.

Over the years ACEC of Idaho has been involved in various licensing requirements. They have supported and worked on the adoption of the construction manager and public works contractor licensing and contractor registration requirements in Idaho.

One legislative fight at the national level that ACEC was not successful in was the fee curve. For years, a fee curve produced by NSPE helped to not only direct appropriate fee levels on various projects, but was a guide for public agencies to determine if they were getting a fair deal. In fact this curve was published in the original Idaho directory of members published in 1957. This curve was challenged at the national level as “price fixing.” This set in motion a national debate that took place over several years. In the end the fee curve was deemed to be price fixing and its use was discontinued.

Projects
Finally ACEC of Idaho has been instrumental in raising the visibility of the importance of the engineering profession in Idaho over the years. From our legislative work to our involvement in local community projects, our focus has been to raise awareness of the important role engineers play in society. This has been specifically accomplished through four projects:

Western Region Public Relations Coalition – Idaho teamed with four other western states on a public marketing plan that developed the “How the West Was (Really) Won.” This visual campaign focused on the engineering feats that allowed for development in the west including transportation (roads and railways), dams, bridges and irrigation. The display has been shown throughout the western states and throughout Idaho over the past five years, reminding us that without engineering, the West would not have been developed.

Engineering Excellence Awards – ACEC of Idaho has annually recognized the best of the best engineering projects in Idaho in numerous categories from transportation to water resources. Winners are honored each year at the annual ISPE Banquet. Over the past five years, two of these projects have gone on to receive national recognition.

Buy Idaho – ACEC is a member of Buy Idaho and promotes the use of Idaho based engineers when possible on both public and private projects. The organization developed a brochure that talks about the reasons Idaho engineers are good for Idaho!

Scholarships – ACEC of Idaho has given scholarships to local college engineering students to help promote engineering as a career.

Presidents

  1. Robert E. Smith
  2. Robert W. Underkofler
  3. Davis C. Toothman
  4. Charles C. Fisk
  5. Bill M. Chronic
  6. Terence O’Rouark
  7. Keith E. Anderson
  8. Austin B. Milhollin
  9. Don C. McCarter
  10. Donald D. Wisdom
  11. Bruce W. Stoddard
  12. William W. Briggs
  13. C. James Voeller
  14. John L. Hoffman
  15. John L. Hoffman
  16. Wendell A Higgins
  17. Donald D. Wisdom
  18. LeRoy R. Taylor
19. Richard T. Kanemasu
20. Larry V. Perkins
21. Stanton S. Nuffer
22. D. Michael Preston
23. Theodore H. Purcell
24. Donald M. Ellsworth
25. Gilbert C. Walker
26. Walter V. Jones
27. Walt Jones
28. Larry Osgood
29. Jim Keller
30. Phil Smith
31. Rick Orton
32. Bill Johnson
33. Les Walker
34. Jim Rees
35. Jerry Peterson/Sherril Pitkin
1991 Jack Harper
1992 Steve Narkiewicz
1993 Don Hubble
1994 Charles Williams
1995 Scott McClure
1996 George Wagner
1997 Tom Krumsick
1998 Gary Funkhouser
1999 Dave Butzier
2000 Sam Matthews
2001 Carlyle Briggs
2002 Rob Tate
2003 Hank Fenske
2004 Dick Jacobsen
2005/06 Mike Merhar
2007 Jim Poter
2008 Rex Hanson
2009 Roger Sorenson
2010 Karen Doherty
2011 Vance Henry
2012 Bryan Foote
2013 William Russell
2014 Pete Szobonya
2015 Tracy Olsen Ellwein
2016 Justin Walker
2017 Tim Haener
2018 Paul Wasser

ACEC Fellow

Carlyle Briggs, P.E./ L. S

Special Life Members

Sherwin M. Barton, P.E./L.S.

John L. Hoffman, P.E./L.S.

Sumner M. Johnson, P.E./L.S.

Donald C. McCarter, P.E./L.S.

Earl Reynolds, P.E.

Bruce W. Stoddard, P.E./ L.S.

Davis C. Toothman, P.E./ L.S.

William H. Tuller Jr., P.E./L.S.

Terrance O’Rourke P.E./ L.S.

Wendell Higgins P.E.

Sherwin M. Barton, P.E./L.S.

John L. Hoffman, P.E./L.S.

Sumner M. Johnson, P.E./L.S.

Donald C. McCarter, P.E./L.S.

Earl Reynolds, P.E.

Bruce W. Stoddard, P.E./ L.S.

Davis C. Toothman, P.E./ L.S.

William H. Tuller Jr., P.E./L.S.

Terrance O’Rourke P.E./ L.S.

Wendell Higgins P.E.

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