HAKS Water/Wastewater Team Makes a Splash at Water Week 2017
Last week, water sector organizations gathered for "Water Week 2017", a week-long rally to elevate water as a national priority. In honor of the week, we gathered with the New York City Department of Environmental Protection at the Rego Park Center to help inspire action. On March 24th, VP Todd Yanoff and Senior Environmental Health & Safety Amy Roman Kohn gave a presentation entitled “Quality, Safety, Lessons Learned and Communication,” which spoke to safety & compliance on projects. In addition to their presentation, VP Alan Larson also presented on “Professional Engineering Ethics” on Thursday 3/23.
Attendees included the DEP, as well as patrons who via webcast, watched from all around the state. As we advocate for national policies that advance clean & affordable water, we are happy that our team could make a small splash.
Young Engineers Take Flight at P.S.79
Last month, it was our pleasure to host our annual Engineering Fair at the P.S.79 Francis Lewis School in Flushing, New York. Students from the ages of 6 to 11 were given the opportunity to build and engineer a variety of structures including a dome made of gumdrops, a paper bridge and an 18-story tower (JENGA). Students then figured out how to modify their design to withstand loads in the form of pennies or blocks. Raquel Duran and our C.I. Department coordinated the fair with the assistance 15 HAKS volunteers, who oversaw the various stations.
Here an eager student puts her survey skills to the test using one of our Leica 3D Laser Scanning systems. It was a pleasure working with the bright students of Ps 79 Francis Lewis school – we look forward to next year! Please enjoy some of our photos from the fair: https://www.facebook.com/HAKSgroup/posts/1323420491037307
Lunch & Learn at the University of Pennsylvania
The HAKS Special Inspections team hosted a Lunch & Learn for the Design Department at the University of Pennsylvania facilities this past Friday February 17th. While one of the premier universities in the country, UPENN also has a very robust building program in the City of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. We were proud to be in attendance and look forward to our continued work together. Present from HAKS: were SVP Paul Hoffman, VP Phil Resciniti (pictured middle), AVPs Paul Manning (pictured left) & Charlie DiCello (pictured right), and David Price.
HAKS Engineers at the NJWEA 2017 Winter Technology Seminar
The New Jersey Water Environment Association (NJWEA) held their 2017 Winter Technology Seminar earlier this week and our own AVP Samer Hassan, P.E. & Srinivas Gidugu, P.E. were a part of the proceedings. In a continuing education session held on March 8th, Samer gave a presentation on the "Fundamentals of Structural Evaluations of Highway Bridges" while Srinivas served as a moderator of the session. The presentation was well received with over 100 consulting engineers and treatment plant staff in attendance. They included Joint Meeting Of Essex And Union Counties, Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission, Jersey City Municipal Council Chamber, Old Bridge Municipal Utilities Authority and others. Consultants in attendance included AECOM, CME Engineering, Hazen and Sawyer and others.
Looking forward to what NJWEA has in store for 2017 and beyond.
First Precinct Station Officially Open
In 2013, the Nassau County Department of Public Works announced a proposal to construct a new First Precinct Police Station in Baldwin, Nassau County, New York. After four years and countless hours on site, we are proud to announce its official opening! On January 26th 2017, County Executive Ed Mangano and Acting Commissioner Krumpter were joined by First Precinct staff, legislators, council members, civic and community leaders to dedicate the building. HAKS SVP Jeff Terzakis and our Project Manager Greg Gherardi looked on in support.
The new 20,000 square foot facility includes a dedicated line-up room, multiple private interview areas and a turnout room that can be used for community meetings. Learn more about the project and our role: lnkd.in/dzCjZ7K
Chairman & CEO Husam Ahmad recognized by AAARI
The Asian American/Asian Research Institute (AAARI) celebrated its 15th anniversary on December 9th and honored leader and CUNY alumnus, Husam Ahmad! Our Chairman & CEO was awarded the CUNY Distinguished Asian American Alumni Award in recognition of his outstanding work and leadership. Acting President Alberto Villaman accepted the award on Husam’s behalf, and many of the HAKSTeam were on hand to cheer him on.
10 Years and Counting
The Southern New Jersey Development Council (SNJDC) recognized HAKS as a 10-year continuous member at their Annual Holiday Luncheon on December 16th! Several key players on our HAKS NJ team (pictured from left to right: AVP Steven Mervine, VP John Schweppenheiser, III, P.E., VP Vincent Pagliaro, Jr., & PM Joseph P. Michiels, P.E.) were on hand to accept this distinction. We are thankful for the acknowledgment of the SNJDC and their commitment to the growth and prosperity of the South Jersey region. We are proud to aid their efforts for the next ten years and beyond.
102nd Annual Meeting of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials
The 102nd Annual Meeting of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) took place November 14-15 in Boston, Massachusetts and it was certainly the place to be. One of the industry’s most important transportation gatherings offered all attendees the opportunity to network and share in the latest industry policies and innovations. As you can see from our booth pictured, the HAKS Boston team was there to do just that. From left to right: Luke Olden, EVP Franco Balassone and SVP Brian Novelline. Chloe Diorio and VP Sandra Dumas, (second photo), also provided their expertise at AASHTO2016. Looking forward to next year already! https://www.facebook.com/HAKSgroup/posts/1208514182527939
Special Inspections Shines at the 55th Annual CIB Awards
The Spring Street Salt Shed Project Team was recognized at the 55th Annual Concrete Industry Board (CIB) Roger H. Corbetta Awards held at Marina del Rey Caterers on November 9th. The team, which included our own SVP Paul Hoffmann, VP Paul Zoltanetzky, PMs Lisseth Reyes, Abe Mourad and others from our Special Inspections group, received the 2016 CIB Award of Merit in the Public Works category. Congratulations to the team and thanks to all who made this possible.
Tri-State AAAEA 10th Annual Scholarship Gala
We were proud sponsors of the Tri-State AAAEA 10th Annual Scholarship Gala which took place at the Hilton Garden Inn on November 13th. The Gala entailed an evening of guest speeches & recognition awards for:
1) Thomas Abdallah, PE, LEED AP – MTA New York City Transit Chief Environmental Engineer
2) Wahid Albert, PE – New York State Department of Transportation Chief Engineer
3) James Starace, PE – Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Chief Engineer
4) Eric C. Macfarlane, PE – New York City Department of Design and Construction Deputy Commissioner
Six students were awarded with scholarships as our own SVP Hesham Kotby presented an award to one of the students on behalf of HAKS. Planning & coordinating efforts of the gala included efforts by our own President Michael Awad Shamma, SVP Tarek Khouri, VP Khaled Husein, Reema Albahri and many more. The night was a huge success and we thank all who were able to attend. Please enjoy our photos from the Gala: https://www.facebook.com/HAKSgroup/posts/1225794487466575
A Grand Assembly at the SAME 76th Annual Scholarship Fund Dinner
It was a grand assembly at the Waldorf Astoria New York for the Society of American Military Engineers (SAME) 76th Annual Scholarship Fund Dinner Dance. On November 7th, SAME honored both civilian and military colleagues in the A/E/C industry with a gala tribute to the leaders and future leaders of our country; it was our distinct pleasure to serve as a sponsor of this terrific event.
Chairman & CEO Husam Ahmad (SAME Chair) opened & closed the event with riveting remarks & our own Rosaline Gibbons, Executive Assistant to the Chairman, planned and coordinated the entire 500+ person event with the aid of Raquel Duran & Reema Albahiri. Many on the HAKS team (pictured) were present & dressed to impress including our President, EVP Alberto Villaman, SVP Paul Hoffmann & more. Enjoy our photos from the gala: https://www.facebook.com/HAKSgroup/posts/1203284623050895
Students Learn Building Blocks of Engineering at Queens Library
The education of the next generation of architects and engineers remains close to the heart of HAKS Chairman and CEO Husam Ahmad. On February 17th 2016, he and HAKS again hosted an engineering fair at the Central Library Discovery Center in Jamaica, Queens to introduce grade-school children to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) principles. The school children, ages 8-11, took turns at learning stations where they eagerly participated in interactive activities that presented engineering concepts via easy-to-follow exercises.
The various hands-on activities required building structures and then modifying their designs to withstand loads in the form of pennies or wooden blocks. Other exercises tested dexterity and hand-eye coordination. The older students used a bridge simulation program (West Point Bridge Design) to construct the least expensive truss bridge that could pass a simulated load test. Alberto Villaman, P.E., Senior Vice President, Head of the Construction Inspection Group, coordinated the fair with the assistance of Francine Fyffe and 12 volunteers who oversaw the stations.
Mr. Ahmad hopes that exposure to these activities and displays will inspire young minds to pursue an engineering career. Check out our video feature on NY1 who covered the event here: http://www.ny1.com/nyc/queens/news/2016/02/18/kids-learn-engineering-building-blocks-at-queens-library.html
HAKS Sponsors the Run to Remember
HAKS is proud to have been a sponsor of the 9/11 Memorial 5K Run/Walk held on April 24th. Thank you to everyone who participated in the third annual Family Day event. The route began at Pier 26 and followed along Battery Park City, with views of One World Trade Center. Immediately following the Run/Walk, participants attended the Community Day on Greenwich Street, adjacent to the 9/11 Memorial. There were food trucks, music, and activities for kids and adults alike.
More than 4,000 people participated in this year’s 5K and thousands attended the Family Day following the race; all proceeds and donations were to fund the 9/11 Memorial and Museum. The HAKS Team featured several runners and walkers this year. Check out our photos from the day: https://www.facebook.com/HAKSgroup/posts/1053232498056109
SAAAI Annual Scholarship Fundraising Dinner 2016
The South Asian American Association Inc. (SAAAI) held its annual 2016 Scholarship Fundraising Dinner back on September 8th. We were proud hosts of the event which took place in a beautiful ballroom at Terrace On The Park.Every year SAAAI honors a few selected industry leaders with outstanding contributions to the architecture, engineering or construction (AEC) industry, as well as award scholarships to deserving students for post-secondary and post-graduate schooling.
The star-studded affair featured honored industry leaders such as Christine Flaherty, Associate Commissioner New York City Department of Design and Construction, James Starace, P.E. Chief Engineer, The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, Gordon Tung, P.E., VP of Construction Management, NYC School Construction Authority and many more. Congrats to all of our honorees and a big thank you to all who attended. Check out our photo album for familiar faces & highlights from the evening: https://www.facebook.com/HAKSgroup/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1199690723410285
Bringing Engineering Concepts to P.S. 499
On May 6th, 2016 HAKS made a trip to P.S. 499 in Flushing, New York to host an Engineering Fair. Students from Kindergarten to the 8th grade were given the opportunity to build various structures-a gumdrop dome, a paper bridge, an aluminum boat (Topple-a-Tug) and an 18-story tower (JENGA)-and then figure out how to modify their design to withstand loads in the form of pennies or blocks. EVP Alberto Villaman coordinated the fair with the assistance of Raquel Duran and 14 HAKS volunteer "teachers" (pictured here) who oversaw the various stations.
A STEM school, P.S. 499's curriculum emphasizes science, technology, engineering and mathematics. We hope to have enriched its program by bringing #engineering principles and challenges into the classroom. For a more comprehensice look at the day's happenings, visit: https://www.facebook.com/HAKSgroup/posts/1063277847051574
25th Anniversary Celebration
Employees, clients and other guests took in the festive atmosphere on May 19 as HAKS celebrated its 25th anniversary with a gathering at its 40 Wall Street headquarters. In honor of this silver anniversary, the firm awarded five scholarships to engineering students and recognized significant projects that served as milestones in its history. The event was attended by Alexandra Greene, Senior Policy Advisor to Governor Cuomo, who presented a certificate to HAKS in recognition of its accomplishments. Before awarding the scholarships, Chairman and CEO Husam Ahmad, PE, and President Michael Shamma, PE, made remarks about the diverse and expanding HAKS family and its tradition of giving back to the community.
Lunch & Learn with the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society
Our Special Inspections team hosted a Lunch & Learn with the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania back on October 21st. The continuing education seminar for licensed professionals was as exciting as it was interactive. Our leaders defined special inspections agency rules and inspector requirements as required by the international building code of the City of Philadelphia Government. Here, we find SVP Paul Hoffmann delivering his portion of the presentation, with (from l. to r.) AVP Paul Manning, PM Lisseth Reyes & VP Philip Resciniti flanking him on the left.
HAKS Family and Friends Enjoy Annual Picnic
Friendly competition drew employees and their families to our annual family picnic held in Warren, New Jersey on September 10th. The day of festivities, attended by approximately 300, included tug-of-war, a remote-controlled car station and four types of races. In a hotly contested affair, the Construction Inspection department took home the trophy in this year's HAKS Mini Olympics. Overall, the beautiful day was a huge success! Highlights from the picnic can be viewed here: HAKS 2016 Company Picnic.
HAKS Attends 2016 New York State of the Market
Relive the sights & sounds from last week's "New York State of the Market 2016" event sponsored by HAKS. The event, held high above Times Square, provided an environment for major players in commercial real estate to discuss the issues affecting current and future development in New York. SVP Paul Hoffmann moderated an intense Development, Construction & Design panel as our S.I. team made the rounds networking with the various patrons. Check it out!
New York Building Congress' Construction Industry Breakfast Forum
HAKS was a guest at the New York Building Congress' Construction Industry Breakfast Forum on June 29th and it was quite the gathering. Held at the Metropolitan Club, the Hon. John J. Flanagan, President of the NYS Senate, spoke candidly and eloquently about the resurgence of the #construction industry in NYC and all of the positive change that has come with it. We are proud to have been a part of the enlightening forum, here are a few photos from the event: https://www.facebook.com/HAKSgroup/posts/1095070997205592
New York Building Congress Annual Meeting & Construction Industry Luncheon
HAKS was a co-host of the New York Building Congress (NYBC) Annual Meeting & Construction Industry Luncheon held on January 11th at the Mandarin Oriental, New York. Bill Mulrow, secretary to Governor Andrew Cuomo, offered a detailed summary of the Governor’s plans during this annual luncheon. The Governor has now proposed more than $100 billion in new infrastructure projects, highlighted by a new LaGuardia Airport; the redevelopment of Pennsylvania Station; expansion of the Javits Center; four new Metro-North stops in the Bronx; and the addition of a third track for a key portion of the Long Island Rail Road.
During the Annual Membership Meeting portion of the event, the Building Congress announced its new slate of Executive Committee and Board members, highlighted by the appointment of Skanska USA Inc. President and CEO Richard Cavallaro as Chairman (pictured here with Bill Mulrow, middle and Building Congress President Richard T. Anderson). Representing HAKS was Chairman & CEO Husam Ahmad, President Mike Shamma, EVP Alberto Villaman, and SVPs Andy Sandor, Jeff Terzakis, Tarek Khouri, Yusuf Poonawala, Tim Volonakis, Len Schneidt and Paul Hoffmann. Chairman & CEO Husam Ahmad is pictured here in between fellow patrons at the event.
We thank NYBC for this great opportunity and send regards to all who helped make this event a huge success.
ACE Mentor Program: Investing in the Future
Some commitments have a ripple effect. Such is the case with the ACE Mentor Program, a not-for-profit organization where professionals mentor New York City high school students in preparation for careers in design and construction. HAKS has been a long-time supporter of the program, with individual employees volunteering as mentors. This year, we are proud to have formed our own mentoring team and are eager to share our industry knowledge with deserving students in the Greater New York City area.
Founded in New York City in 1995, ACE is the fastest-growing mentoring program in the building industry, operating in more than 40 states and 200 cities across the nation. ACE New York is made up of more than 30 teams, over 100 firms and more than 700 students in New York City, Long Island and Westchester.
Our volunteers will be presenting industry overviews, assigning skill-building activities and guiding the students as they develop projects under real-life conditions, including tours of construction sites and client presentations.
We have assembled a HAKS team of 12 mentors from various disciplines led by Nicholas Dandolos and Khaled Husein, Vice Presidents in our Construction Management department. We are partnering with the Bronx Design and Construction Academy, and have 25 BDCA students on our team. Our first meeting was held on November 10 at our corporate headquarters at 40 Wall Street. Mentors and students will meet for two hours for 16 weeks throughout the school year.
In addition to acquiring new skills, outstanding seniors are eligible for ACE scholarships that provide some financial support while in college, and students make valuable industry contacts for future employment.
While HAKS’ commitment to the ACE Mentor Program is rewarding in itself, it is also an investment in our industry that will reap rewards well into the future.
HAKS Continues to Make Safety a Priority
As a member of the National Safety Council (NSC), HAKS makes safety a priority and recognizes the importance of raising awareness of preventable accidents and injuries in the workplace. The NSC’s mission is to prevent injuries and fatalities at work, at home, and on the road through leadership, research, education and advocacy. It advances this mission by engaging businesses, government agencies, elected officials and the public to help prevent the fifth leading cause of death in the U.S.—unintentional injuries.
HAKS has developed a safety culture throughout the organization and takes its health and safety program beyond compliance. Our Quality Assurance/Health and Safety group was given full departmental status in March 2013, and we conduct regular safety “tool box” talks at all levels. Every Monday, our executive staff opens their weekly meeting with a safety discussion, keeping leadership apprised of any health- or safety-related issues.
Our Safety Committee ensures that information is disseminated from executive staff to all employees within the company. This committee is comprised of representatives from management in each department who have undergone NSC’s “Train the Trainer” program and received certification. Raising safety awareness is pivotal; we issue a monthly Health and Safety Newsletter (Think Health and Safety) that provides the latest and most pressing safety issues and steps we can take to reduce the risk of injuries. It is our primary goal to share information about steps employees can take to protect themselves and others.