2023 Step Up Your Game Conference

April 19, 2023

Last month, CEC hosted the second Step Up Your Game technical conference at our Pittsburgh headquarters. The conference gave our team a chance to create fresh content and work with a senior mentor from the Step Up Your Game Steering Committee to develop and polish a presentation. Those presentations were then introduced at the Step Up Your Game conference in front of the presenters’ peers in preparation for regional and national conferences. Thanks to the efforts of the Steering Committee and others, the event and subsequent networking happy hour were a great success and allowed team members from multiple different backgrounds and locations to learn from and socialize with one another. The internal conference hosted team members from 18 of our offices. 

Steering Committee members:

The conference was intended to promote: 

  • Use of innovative technologies, techniques, and best practices to better serve our clients while expanding our knowledge and understanding of the most challenging technical matters that our clients face;
  • Opportunities to meet and network with other colleagues at a technical conference venue;
  • Opportunities to observe a colleague present on a practice-related topic delivered in an actual conference setting to help mitigate apprehension and encourage junior staff to pursue presentation opportunities at regional or national conferences;
  • Technology transfers from leading environmental practice vendors regarding state-of-the-art services and products including laboratories, remediation product vendors, remediation contractors, and treatability testing laboratories;
  • Development of networking skills in a conference setting to expand internal and external contacts (i.e. vendor contacts); and
  • Exposure to the conference content consisting of the latest technologies, processes, and projects which have benefited clients.

The anonymous survey we distributed returned positive results with one attendee saying, “The broad range of topics presented was inspiring and beneficial.” Referencing the “Navigating Professional and Business Development for Junior Staff” panel, another attendee said, “As a young professional, the speakers showed me how to request attendance to professional development opportunities and gave helpful tips on how to make the most of business development opportunities.” Lastly, another individual praised the conference’s networking opportunities; “As a new team member, it was a great opportunity to meet other CEC staff for the first time, and it’s a great example of CEC culture. It shows that the company is serious about building a cohesive team across practices and offices.” Watch the video below to hear other positive feedback our attendees had.


Thank you to all our presenters:

  • Zak Schmidt, E.I.T., Pittsburgh
  • Tori Frew, Boston
  • Ryan Olson, Cincinnati
  • Jacob Rattay, Pittsburgh
  • Colleen Johnson, E.I.T., Corpus Christi
  • Ben Trask, Pittsburgh
  • Baylee Kushner, G.I.T., Pittsburgh

Poster presenters:

  • Keshav Parikh, E.I.T., San Diego
  • Jacob Mabrey, E.I.T., Nashville
  • Corey Perkin, Austin
  • Derek Kiss, P.E., Columbus
  • Brandon Kay, E.I.T., Cincinnati

Panel presenters:

  • Navigating Professional and Business Development for Junior Staff
    • Allison DePage, Columbus
    • Mary Guinee, Pittsburgh
    • Lisa Weber, Pittsburgh
    • Hannah Comune, Columbus
  • Phase I Environmental Site Assessments
    • Allison DePage, Columbus
    • Christine Pietrzyk, Chicago
    • Adam Conti, P.E., Austin
    • Brandon Kay, E.I.T., Cincinnati

The Steering Committee worked diligently to bring in technical vendors to share additional knowledge, add more value to the conference, and create opportunities. Through this, attendees were able to not only grow their network internally but externally as well. We thank the below vendors for their participation and valuable insight.

To learn more about Step Up Your Game and the presentations, click here.

To read about last year’s Step Up Your Game conference, click here.

About the Author

CEC Staff

Headquartered in Pittsburgh, Civil & Environmental Consultants, Inc. (CEC) provides comprehensive market-oriented consulting services to advance client strategic business objectives. CEC is recognized for delivering innovative design solutions and integrated expertise in air quality, civil engineering, ecological sciences, environmental engineering and sciences, manufacturing infrastructure services, survey/geospatial, waste management, and water resources.

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