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Keynote Presentations

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

20 Years After 9/11: Lessons Learned & More to Research

Dan Eschenasy, P.E., SECB, F.SEI; James W. Feuerborn Jr., P.E.; Therese McAllister, F.SEI; Vicki Arbitrio, P.E., SECB, F.SEI

2021 marked the 20th anniversary of 9/11 and the Summit keynote in New York City will feature panelists who were involved in the initial recovery efforts and with the subsequent building performance study. They will discuss the following topics:

  • Response of the engineering community

  • Building performance – structural design and fire protection

  • Emergency response legal issues and proposed legislation

  • Building code changes– what has changed and what changes are still recommended


Dan Eschenasy, P.E., SECB, F.SEI, Chief Structural Engineer at NYC Buildings

Dan Eschenasy has been the Chief Structural Engineer of the New York City Department of Buildings since 2003. In this capacity he participated to the development of several editions of the NYC Build Code and  was also involved in numerous investigations of building and retaining wall collapses.  Some of his findings and statistics related to construction accidents (excavation, demolition, underpinning, cranes) were published and provided the basis for improvements to the NYC Building Code.  His prior experience includes   design of high-rise office buildings and of petrochemical   installations. On 9/11 Dan was tasked by the city to organize the engineering response  to the disaster.  He is a member of several ASCE standard committees including Structural Design for Fire Conditions, Design Loads on Structures during Construction and Structural Condition Assessment of Buildings. He is also a member of the expert panel advising  CROSS-US.

James W. Feuerborn Jr., P.E., Managing Principal at Thornton Tomasetti, Inc.

James W. Feuerborn Jr. Co-Leader of both our Forensics practice and New York Metro Region, has an extensive background in structural analysis and design, peer review, due diligence and condition assessments, failure and forensic investigations, emergency response, renovations, litigation support and common and complex property loss scenarios. He has worked on a variety of building types involving a wide range of construction materials, including reinforced concrete, steel, aluminum, cast iron, masonry and timber. James has considerable experience in complex deconstruction projects, such as 130 Liberty St. (Deutsche Bank Building) and 680 Madison Ave. in New York City, and investigations involving crane collapses and roof and foundation failures. His project credits include emergency response services following the 2001 World Trade Center disaster and Superstorm Sandy in 2012.

Therese McAllister, F.SEI, Community Resilience Group Leader and Program Manager at NIST 

Dr. Therese McAllister conducts research on community resilience, with a focus on the integrated performance of physical infrastructure and social and economic systems. She has expertise in structural reliability, risk assessment, failure analysis of buildings and infrastructure systems, and the performance of structures in fire. She co-led detailed structural analyses of the WTC towers and WTC 7, and conducted studies of Hurricane Katrina flooding in New Orleans and Hurricane Sandy flood effects on infrastructure systems.  She has won awards for her research on resilience and disaster analyses.

Dr. McAllister is an ASCE SEI Fellow and serves on the ASCE/SEI 7 standard committee, Infrastructure Resilience Division, and several ASCE/SEI technical committees. She is an advisory panel member for NIBS, DHS and HUD resilience activities. 


Vicki Arbitrio, P.E., SECB, F.SEI, Associate Partner Gilsanz Murray Steficek, NCSEA Past-President

In her 35 year career as a structural engineer, Vicki Arbitrio has worked on a wide range of projects, both new construction and renovation, as well as specialty projects such as art installations and forensic reports.  In her role as an Associate Partner, Ms. Arbitrio has directed many of GMS’s operational efforts including the streamlining of human resources, hiring of new staff, overseeing marketing and business development, and creating standards for communications.

Ms. Arbitrio contributes to the structural engineering industry through involvement in professional societies both locally and nationally. She is a Past-President of the Applied Technology Council, and a Past-President of NCSEA. Ms. Arbitrio participated in the ASCE/FEMA 403: World Trade Center Building Performance Study and in NCSEA’s first edition of SEERPlan Manual: Structural Engineers Emergency Response Plan. More recently, Ms. Arbitrio helped to found the SEAoNY Diversity Committee; she serves on the ACEC-NY Public Policy committee and was 2018-2020 Chair of the ACEC – New York Metro Region. In 2019 she was named an Honorary Member of SEAoNY.

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Lighten Up & Lead: Leverage Levity to Boost Client Confidence & Employee Engagement

Tami Evans

A happy workplace is imperative to success, but how do you remain positive AND professional? Laugh and learn key characteristics to create levity in the worker, workforce and workplace, with tools that help you reach your personal and professional potential through the power of fun. Connection creates culture and culture creates employee engagement — and the fastest way to connect is through levity. Engagement empowers employees to collaborate through challenges, create innovative solutions and communicate confidently. Not to mention the bump to your bottom line!

Tami helps your attendees shine as they learn the concept of Connected Autonomy —where it’s possible to leverage their unique strengths and talents, while remaining part of the larger whole and serving the collective vision.

The background combination of corporate manager and professional actress allows Tami to deliver a powerful and memorable keynote using humor based storytelling, clean and captivating visuals, videos and music. Audience members become part of the program during hilarious interactive moments they will repeat on the reception dance floor. Every keynote is highly customized to the attendees, and the powerful tools they learn will improve both their professional and personal life, and they will have a blast doing it.

If they are laughing they are listening, and if they are listening they are learning.

Tami Evans, Employee Engagement and Levity Leadership Expert

Formerly the president of the National Speakers Association of NYC, Evans has also worked as a corporate manager, university professor, communications specialist, as well as such diverse career experience as a fashion designer and professional actress. She also holds a Masters of Fine Arts, and BAA degrees in Broadcasting Communications and Theatre.

With focus on a variety of topics around leadership, employee engagement, client connection and culture strategy with a direct link back to retention, productivity and profitability, Tami’s presentations are content-rich, interactive and filled with her relatable and relevant humor.  She believes if they are laughing they are listening, and if they are listening they are learning.

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