In 2011, a group of consulting estimators in private practice who had been conversing and sharing information in a LinkedIn forum decided to meet in person to explore the idea of a real life trade association dedicated to serving the needs of the consulting estimator. In April of that year, Bill Manfredonia, CPE, Daniel Frondorf, CPE, and former ASPE (American Society of Professional Estimators) Executive Director Edward Walsh, met for two days in Fishkill, NY to lay the groundwork for this new association.
Consulting Estimator Round Table was born that weekend.
A website was developed and the presence on LinkedIn was stepped up. Monthly conference calls, moderated by different members each month, were conducted with estimating business related topics the subject of each call. Each call topic has also been the focus of in depth discussions on LinkedIn and on the CERT website. In July of that same year, several ASPE members met informally while at the ASPE national convention in Nashville, TN to discuss the development of the CERT group. Later that year, in October, another informal conference was held in Chicago, IL that coincided with the ASPE Central Plains Fall regional meeting.
That meeting was attended by several ASPE and CERT members as well, and momentum continued to build. Membership increased as the word got out in the consultant community, the monthly conference calls continued and got better and longer, and a “best practices” manual was started to be developed with the contributions of numerous members. In August 2012, the first official national CERT conference was held in Columbus, OH with 12 members attending.
There, national elections were conducted, a more formal organizational structure was adopted, and a validation process was created to allow for the recognition of firms whose business practices are peer reviewed for providing excellent client service. Subsequent national conferences during 2013-2014 in Philadelphia, PA, Scottsdale, AZ, and Indianapolis, IN were held.
At each of these meetings, estimators in private practice shared ideas, experiences, and concepts that could assist each other’s practices, as well as making plans to develop the CERT into a more organized and recognized professional trade association. In April 2014, the first edition of the CERT Best Practices Manual was published, and a live seminar based on this publication was presented to the ASPE 2014 national estimating academy, further establishing CERT as an important trade association within the AEC community.
CERT’S EXECUTIVE BOARD
- Joshua HuckPresident, CERT
- Troy Thomas Vice President
- Lewis Finkel, FCPEPast President, Treasurer and a CERT Founding Member
- Dexter Murphy, PE, CPEDirector, CERT
- Katy AbrahamDirector, CERT
- Michael French, PE, CEPDirector, CERT
- David M. Battle, FCPEDirector and Past President,CERT
- Phillip Salisbury, CPEDirector and Past President, CERT