COAA-TX Fall 2022 Workshop Recap

Posted By: Ginger Smith Education, Get Involved, News,

The Texas chapter of COAA (Construction Owners Association of America) recently ventured to central Texas Kalahari Resorts for their annual Fall Workshop. The turnout at the Thursday reception and Friday workshop was top notch. 

On Friday, September 16, Ginger Smith of UTHealth Houston and current President of the chapter welcomed attendees following a networking breakfast and kicked off the morning presentations.

Barbara White Bryson, Bryson Breakthrough Strategies, introduced us to a framework for creating a culture of predictable outcomes for design and construction projects. The framework is used to diagnose barriers to success and ignite critical conversations about implementing cultural change within the team. A follow up breakout provided the hands-on opportunity to evaluate a case study and report ways and methods for aligning the values of the study with its overall goal. This included identifying gaps in leadership, collaboration, and decision-making. The interactive brainstorming in a group setting was well received by participants.

Keely Foreman, Amegy Bank EVP/Manager Corporate Real Estate and Facilities; Joanna Frieson Toler, Amegy Bank VP, Construction and Design Manager; and Caryn Ogier, Kimko Designs, teamed up for a case study session highlighting lessons learned and best practices for delivering large-scale projects that actually apply to projects of any size. The Zions Bancorporation’s New Technology Campus focused on preparing for the future through workplace surveys to identify needs and engage the staff who perform the work. Discussions around the moving process were insightful and this presentation team introduced us to some benefits of hiring a move management team. 

Ranbir Ahdan, Memorial Hermann Health System Associate General Counsel; Joshua Mermis, West Mermis, Attorney and Founder; and Steve Harper, Owner Insite CEO and Founder, discussed how to ensure contract language mitigates risks and liabilities. Insightful guidance was provided to assist hospitals in identifying pitfalls and risks in construction project contracts.

Lunch included a short discussion on the history and mission of the organization by Lucie Castro, Manager, Operations and Administration of COAA National, and Chapter President, Ginger Smith.

Aziz Hussaini, Austin Community College District Interim Vice Chancellor, Facilities and Construction along with Todd Kaiser, BGK Architects Principal, Chris Moyes, Flintco Project Director, and Angela Whitaker-Williams, Perkins + Will Principal demonstrated the transformation of a local area mall into a flagship campus for Austin Community College. This 420,000 sf metamorphosis was complex, thoughtful, and deliberate in bringing the college and community together in an innovative approach.

The day concluded with a fireside chat between friends. F. Keith Hall, Senior Project Manager, of the Texas Facilities Commission and Rob Roy Parnell, President of Parnell, Inc., walked us through the newly renovated capital site in downtown Austin, Texas. The discussion focused on challenges, lessons-learned, surprises, and successes of these important projects for the State of Texas. If you have not been to Austin to see this project, it is a must see.

Special thanks to our event sponsors, Ensight, Haynes, and Whaley and Procore as well as our annual sponsors who make these events possible.

Stay tuned to the Texas Chapter for future events in Texas as we begin to plan for 2023.