• 12/04/2019 9:00 AM | Deleted user

    ACRA is mobilizing with our partners at the Coalition for American Heritage to ask you to contact your representatives about the reorganization of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM)! 

    The Trump Administration is moving the headquarters of BLM. As part of the process, the Office of Cultural, Paleontological Resources and Tribal Consultation is being severely reduced. Key leadership positions in the office have been eliminated, and with only 30 days-notice, many of the experienced civil servants are being told to choose whether to accept a cross-country move or leave their jobs. It is anticipated that the BLM will lose the majority of their CRM staff at the start of the year, which could endanger cultural resources across the country.

    The Coalition webpage makes it easy to take action in just minutes - it has links to your Member of Congress and a sample email message. Ask Congress NOW to carefully conduct strong oversight of the BLM reorganization and halt any actions that would diminish the Office of Cultural, Paleontological Resources and Tribal Consultation.

    Take Action NOW

  • 11/25/2019 3:28 PM | ACRAsphere Blog Team

    We heard from a number of you that you needed a bit more time to send in your proposals for 2020 webinars, and we have good news: the deadline has been extended to Thursday, December 5.

    From the technical aspects of cultural resource management to expanding general business skills and knowledge, we hope to offer a range of sessions for CRM practitioners.

    Presenters receive a traditional honorarium and are eligible to share in the webinar revenue after the attendance threshold is reached. You can view the detailed requirements in the Request for Proposal here.

    You can help shape ACRA's continuing education program AND make some extra money - send us your proposals by December 5!

  • 11/22/2019 12:42 PM | ACRAsphere Blog Team

    Have you checked out the ACRA Savings Marketplace yet? You can save money on your holiday shopping and travel just by being an ACRA member.

    There are currently over 527 different brands offering deals on the Marketplace, including some of the brands you use often. Brands include:

    • Amazon
    • Best Buy
    • BuyBuyBaby
    • Carter's
    • Dell
    • Disney
    • Gap
    • Home Depot
    • JCPenney
    • Kay Jewelers
    • Kohl's
    • Michael's
    • Nordstrom
    • Ray-Ban
    • Samsung
    • T-Mobile
    • Ulta
    • Walmart
    • Zales

    The deals change on a weekly basis, so keep coming back to the marketplace for more ways to save!

  • 11/21/2019 3:32 PM | ACRAsphere Blog Team

    The deadline to submit your ideas for 2020 webinar topics is tomorrow, November 22. Send us your submissions NOW to ensure that your expertise can reach a wider audience!

    As a reminder, we hope to offer a range of topics for sessions, from the technical aspects of cultural resource management to expanding general business skills and knowledge. ACRA's 2020 online learning program continues the revenue sharing program that was introduced last year. You can view the detailed requirements in the Request for Proposal here

    You can help shape ACRA's continuing education program AND make some extra money - send us your proposals now!

  • 11/15/2019 3:41 PM | ACRAsphere Blog Team

    ACRA Conference Awards Reception at Barrister Winery

    The 2019 ACRA Industry Awards were handed out at the the Annual Conference in Spokane last month during the reception at Barrister Winery. A full list of the winners is below, and we will be doing a blog series on each of the projects starting next week. Congratulations to all who received an award!

    ACRA President Nathan Boyless handing out 2019 Industry Awards

    2019 Industry Award - Private Sector

    The Dermot Company for the development of the 21 West End Tower at Riverside Center in New York City.

    Emory Beacon of Light, Inc. for the Beacon Center Project in Washington, DC.

    2019 Industry Award - Public Sector

    Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development for the Louisiana Historic Bridge Inventory.

    Tennessee Valley Authority for management of the Hiwassee Island archaeological site.

    Chelan County Public Utility District No. 1 for ongoing commitment to address cultural resources in ways that go above and beyond simple compliance with the law.

  • 11/14/2019 3:43 PM | ACRAsphere Blog Team

    The ACHP is back for the final webinar in our 2019 series, Meeting the Reasonable and Good Faith Identification Standard in Section 106 Review, is coming up on Thursday, December 5 at 2:00 pm EST.

    Experienced Section 106 practitioners will benefit from this opportunity to explore the steps necessary to make a reasonable effort to identify historic properties for a specific undertaking and to carry out such identification efforts in good faith. Attendees will be able to ask questions about the process in real time.

    Anyone in your firm who is involved in CRM work, from new employees to owners, will find this advanced session useful. Register today!

    Register Now

    ACRA members receive $40 off the regular webinar price, and student members can attend for just $19.

    ACRA's expert provider for this webinar is Katry Harris, who has 25 years experience in historic preservation. Since joining the ACHP in 2006, she has worked with FCC, HUD and local governments, VA, the various transportation agencies, the US Forest Service, and NPS regarding their programs and historic preservation policies. She is the ACHP’s Training Specialist and remains involved in ACHP initiatives regarding Section 106 and NEPA coordination, Energy Efficiency and Sustainability, Energy Development and Transmission, Federal Lands Stewardship, and Distance Learning.

  • 11/08/2019 12:41 PM | ACRAsphere Blog Team

    If you attended the 2019 Annual Conference in Spokane, we want to hear from you!

    Each year we use attendee feedback to continue to improve your experience at future conferences and events. Our Conference Committee actively uses the data collected to inform the selection of our conference sessions and add-on events.

    Let us know your conference experience by filling out the form below!

  • 11/06/2019 2:25 PM | ACRAsphere Blog Team

    We are thrilled to unveil the new ACRA Savings Marketplace, which provides hundreds of discounts on goods and services that you use the most. From hotels to car rentals, from mobile phones to computers, the ACRA Savings Marketplace can help you save money in both professional and personal settings.

    On the business side, deals with brands like Lenovo, Dell, Samsung, and more can help firms save on their technology needs. Deals including specific discounts with Avis, Enterprise, and hundreds of hotels can help save on travel expenses, particularly if a specific project requires car rental or lodging accommodations for employees.

    This brand new member benefit doesn’t just help those in leadership positions save money – firm leaders can also pass this along to their employees as a human resources benefit. Large companies often have benefits like this for their employees, but as many CRM firms are small businesses, this type of program in not financially feasible to offer. From vacations to retail options like JCPenney and Kohl's, give your employees access just in time for holiday shopping!

    Examples of discounts include:

    • Mobile phones
    • Computers
    • Hotels
    • Car rental
    • Clothing
    • Event tickets
    • Amazon flash deals
    • and much more!

    The Marketplace is updated with new discount opportunities on a regular basis. Now you can save on business expenses and pass on discounts to employees just for being an ACRA member - get started by accessing it through our members-only benefits page today!

  • 11/01/2019 4:01 PM | ACRAsphere Blog Team

    Charissa Durst of ACRA member firm Hardlines Design Company has won a 2019 Preservation Merit Award from the Ohio State Historic Preservation Office. The details are included in the press release below, and congratulations to Charissa!

    The State Historic Preservation Office has recognized the Woodward Opera House with a 2019 Preservation Merit Award.

    State Historic Preservation Officer Burt Logan presented the award to Charissa Durst, president and owner of Hardlines Design Company, as well as Woodward Development Corporation, the City of Mount Vernon, Korda/Nemeth Engineering Inc., and Modern Builders for the Woodward Opera House rehabilitation project. Four other groups also earned Preservation Merit awards and two groups won honors for Public Education and Awareness at the awards ceremony, which took place during a luncheon at the Ohio History Center in Columbus.

    “This project, while one of the most challenging ones we have ever been a part of, has also been one of the most fulfilling ones,” said Durst. “We have devoted two decades of our lives to restoring this historic place, and it has been very satisfying to see the Knox Partnership for Art & Culture’s vision and dedication be recognized with this statewide honor.”

    The Preservation Merit Award is given to projects for outstanding preservation of Ohio’s prehistory, history, architecture or culture, including the preservation and restoration of historic buildings. After a 20-year-long effort to rehabilitate the opera house, it opened to the public in January 2019 with a public performance.

    The restoration of the 1850s-era opera house at 107 S. Main Street was a dream of the Mount Vernon community. The magnificent red-brick building was conceived and constructed by Ebenezer Woodward, who intended it to symbolize commerce. Over the years, it housed movie theaters, commercial and office spaces, gymnasiums, retail spaces and more before eventually falling into disrepair. The Woodward Opera House was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on Oct. 10, 1975.

    The initial renovation actually began in 1994, and Hardlines Design Company became involved in 2001. However, the project took longer than originally planned because of funding issues and the logistical challenges of integrating an 1850s theater building with the adaptive reuse of an adjacent building.

    Durst led the multi-phase project to restore the building to showcase its historical significance. The project included adding a rear addition and work on the adjacent building. Throughout the project, Hardlines Design Company staged construction to interfere as little as possible with adjacent shop owners and their customers.

    Hardlines Design Company has worked on many notable projects across the country, including many in central Ohio, such as the historic Lincoln Theatre in the King-Lincoln district, and a $10 million rehabilitation of Stewart Elementary School in the German Village neighborhood.

  • 10/26/2019 5:02 PM | ACRAsphere Blog Team

    THREE Questions is a new blog series highlighting ACRA member firms and their experiences in the CRM industry.

    ABOUT OUR MEMBER: Daniel Cassedy is one of the principal cultural resource managers at AECOM, a Fortune-500 engineering and environmental firm that has a CRM group of over 400 archaeologists, historians, and architectural historians in 23 US states as well as Canada, Australia, and the UK. He is currently on ACRA’s Board of Directors and was recently elected to the position of President-elect. Since his first job as a field technician in 1979, Dan has accumulated a broad spectrum of experience at private sector consulting firms, SHPOs, and university applied-research facilities, and he has been with AECOM (formerly URS) since 2000. While Dan’s original academic training at the University of New Hampshire and Binghamton University focused on the prehistory of Northeastern North America, he has a broad range of experience with cultural resources across many time periods and regions, encompassing archaeological sites, standing structures, and cultural landscapes from Alaska to Florida. He is a strong believer that CRM research should be shared as widely as possible with both the public and the academic community—his published articles and conference presentations derived from contract work can be viewed here.

    When engaging a general audience, what stands out as the one thing people are most surprised to learn about your company or the CRM industry?

    DC: After 40 years in this business, I am still surprised when people are surprised to learn that most archaeological studies in the US are done by paid professional consultants for compliance purposes. Somehow, the image of the tweed clad, pipe-smoking professor out with students on a summer dig is still strong in the public imagination.

    Do you have a favorite piece of personal experience that is your “go-to” for engaging clients and/or the public as to why CRM work is important?

    DC: A client HAD to use a specific field for a construction staging area to support a multimillion dollar Superfund remediation project, and our survey determined it contained intact remains from a French & Indian war fort. There were no reasonable alternative locations, but through intensive archaeological evaluations, design modifications, and agency negotiations, we were able help them identify portions of the field that could be used for the project. This significant site was preserved, and the public health was improved by the cleanup project.

    We all know that most CRM staff believe in what we do, but how do you engage those under you in the business aspects of your firm? Do you find that an increased awareness of the challenges of running a business is related to professional satisfaction, employee retention, and/or project success?
    DC: Yes—our company uses an online project management system that integrates estimating, budget management, scheduling, invoicing, and quality controls. As junior staff are given training in this system and assigned responsibilities for reviewing and updating it, they become more aware of what factors affect profitability, and we also try to show them how a more profitable company can afford to provide the benefits/perks and working conditions that are important to them.

Become an ACRA member to get exclusive benefits including vendor discounts, premium access to online learning opportunities, and much more.

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