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  • Young Designers Professional Development Institute: YDPDI 2021

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    Young Designers Professional Development Institute: YDPDI 2021

    Wednesday, January 27, 2021 @ 11:00 am - 2:00 pm PST

    Winner, AIA Emerging Professionals Program of the Year Award

    YDPDI enables you to:

    • Take on new tasks and responsibilities
    • Improve job performance and productivity
    • Learn the most current professional best practices
    • Build an exciting, profitable design career

    The YDPDI program features:

    • Industry leader instructors
    • Small breakout discussion groups in all sessions enable you to participate actively, comfortable and learn in greater depth
    • All sessions held jointly with AGC Young Contractors


    “YDPDI exceeded my expectations in many ways. I knew that it was good for career development, but the program really excelled by having me step back and think critically about who I am, how I think, how I act, my interests, strengths, and weaknesses, as well as my career, professional goals, and aspirations. I learned a lot about the hard skills, such as negotiating, that are necessary to be a good manager but also the soft skills, such as communication and listening, to be a strong leader.”

    –Alex Zink, Architect, Payette

    Why YDPDI Continues To Thrive and Improve: The Need / Our Instructors

    The Need. Through building booms and recessions, YDPDI has continued to thrive because there’s a need for it in the design profession. Early in your career, job expectations enlarge. You’re no longer just a designer. Your firm now wants you to take on new tasks: more project management, communicating, writing, managing finances, negotiating, presenting. You don’t need another degree, but you do need serious exposure, training and development — and that’s exactly what YDPDI delivers.

    Our Instructors. One of the great benefits of working in the Boston area is our access to some of the best thinkers and thoughtful design professionals in the world. 20+ session instructors – architects, contractors, engineers, owner/clients – all specialists in their topic, assist in teaching and leading small breakout group discussions. You not only to hear, but connect and engage with them to explore the issues and ideas most important to you.

    New This Year: AIA San Francisco joins YDPDI

    We’re pleased to welcome AIA San Francisco as a new partnering YDPDI sponsor. We look forward to meet and work with AIA SF young designers and benefit from the perspective and insight they’ll add to discussions and professional relationship building.

    Online or Live Programs in 2021?

    Given the Covid-19 uncertainties at this time, we’re planning all sessions to be online. We’ll be mitigating the constraints of online programs by adding several online networking opportunities. As the year progresses, we may conduct select sessions live.

    Program Leadership

    President of Gathering Pace, Inc., William Ronco, Ph.D., founded YDPDI 20+ years ago. He directs the program, partnering with the Boston Society of Architects. Dr. Ronco also founded and directs the Young Contractors Professional Institute, partnering with the Massachusetts Associated General Contractors.

    Dr. Ronco consults on strategy, leadership and partnering with design, engineering, owner / client, construction, and biotech and science organizations. He is author of The Partnering Solution (Career Press) and Partnering Manual For Design and Construction (McGraw-Hill). A former professor in Northeastern University’s MBA program, Dr. Ronco earned his B.A. at Rutgers University, his Ed.M. at Harvard and his Ph.D. at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

    Colin Milberg and Toni Loiacano assist with Institute leadership. A founding partner of ASKM Consulting, Colin is a construction industry expert in lean methods, facilitation and change management. Toni is a senior vice president at Cannon Design. She has extensive experience and interest in mentoring, presenting new design concepts to client associations.

    “YDPDI has been incredibly valuable for my career development. The sessions had a variety of speakers and mentorship opportunities that helped me define my career trajectory. The most valuable workshop for me was the writing workshop, where I connected there with another participant and we submitted an abstract to the ABX 2020 conference. To our surprise, it was accepted! Overall, I highly recommend YDPDI for all emerging professionals!”
    –Arielle Scher, Designer, HGA Architects and Engineers

    YDPDI Benefits and Outcomes for Participants

    Training and development are intangible but they can produce very tangible results. Participants’ outcomes from participating in the program include:
    • Improved ability to add value in their firms
    • Increased skills taking on new, challenging tasks
    • Increased performance in areas that matter most for the firm’s performance
    • Improved ability to develop meaningful relationships with clients
    • Increased performance in marketing, business development and networking
    • Development of essential skills e.g. communicating, writing, presenting, managing projects, managing finances, marketing, managing CA and CD, etc.
    • Acquisition of perspective resulting from interaction with peers from other firms, instructors, and interaction with contractors in the Young Contractors program
    • Increased focus, job satisfaction and motivation resulting from all the above


    2021 Young Designers/Contractors Professional Institute Agenda

    Online seminars run 2-5pm Eastern (11am-2pm Pacific),
    log in at 1:45 Eastern (10:45 Pacific), informal networking after all sessions

    Date Topic Instructors


    Planning Your Best Design / Construction Career.  
    Our industry’s 6 career challenges and opportunities. Clarifying and fully implementing your career goals.  Identifying, building on your real strengths and addressing your weaknesses.
    Bill Aalerud, Columbia Construction

    Toni Loiacano, Cannon Design




    2/10 Building High-Performing Teams.  Anticipating, addressing predictable team problems.  The wisdom of the team v. groupthink. Improving everyday meetings results and follow through.  Fully, actively engaging every team member. Marc Truant, MIT

    Colin Milberg, ASKM and Associates

    Stavroula Birmbas, Tervacorp





    Improving Your Negotiations Skills.  Recognizing your negotiations style, strengths, weaknesses. Getting beyond Yes. “Never split the difference?”  Negotiating to “win” vs. negotiating for synergy.  Robert Ferguson, Esq., Hinckley Allen

    Matthew Brett, Mass General Hospital



    3/10 Young Professionals HR Issues, Opportunities.  HR knowledge young professionals must have:  legal rights, boundaries, vulnerabilities.  Why, when and how to ask for raise.  Getting the most from your performance appraisal. Jess Smith, Bergmeyer

    Shelley Kolesar, HR Consultant

    Diana Hasan, CE Floyd

    Kathy Freitas, Bond




    Effective, Comfortable Marketing & BD.  Why, how to get started with marketing and BD.  Getting comfortable with sales tasks.   Selling without networking:  alternative marketing methods and skills. Ed Bond, President, Bond Brothers

    Margret Neil, Consigli Construction

    Kristine Gorman, Jacobs


    4/7 Improving Writing Skills.  Increasing email skills, impact, efficiency, results.  Writing reports more clearly, logically, quickly, thoughtfully.  Blogs and print, chronicling projects, tasks, experiences. William Ronco, Gathering Pace

    Chris Floyd, CE Floyd





    Legal and Ethical Issues Now. The top 10 issues that trigger legal and ethical problems for young professionals.  Liability and Risk.  Negotiating a contract.  What happens when you go to court. Timothy Grobleski, Cannon Design

    Charles Antone, Bldg Enclosure Science





    What Clients Really Want.  How contractors and architects misunderstand, frustrate clients. What keeps clients up at night.  Responding to client needs in different market sectors.  How to increase client satisfaction and repeat business. Maggie O’Toole, LabCentral

    Jonathan Hayward, Partners Health Care

    Ralph DeFlorio, Harvard University

    Chris Cronin, Town of Andover


    6/8 Managing Finances.  Increasing project cost controls and profit.  Spotting, addressing project financial problems quickly. Understanding company finances, your role and impact as a young contractor. Scott Lerner, Consigli Construction

    Mark Paronich, Delphi Construction

    David Sullivan, DGC Accountants


    7/15 Improving Presentation Skills.  Increasing skills, comfort, confidence and influence.  Starting with Why.  Presenting more persuasively, easily.  Telling a compelling story.  Presenting less, discussing more.  Improving Q & A for full engagement. Toni Loiacano, Cannon Design

    Kathy McMahon, National Building






    Leading Change.  Building Forensics. The current state of Lean.  Real continuous improvement.  Extreme fabrication.  7 reasons why people resist change.  How, when and why to initiate change in your own role. Jason Jewhurst, Bruner Cott

    Siggy Pfendler, Columbia Construction

    Shawn Guertin, TG Gallagher



    10/27 From Manager To Leader.  Defining, achieving the next level in your career growth.  Getting, using a 360 survey of your own effectiveness.  Building both strategic and collaborative leadership competencies.  Identifying and improving key leadership behaviors. Roger Goldstein, Goody/Clancy

    Matthew Brett, Partners Health Care

    Marc Truant, MIT





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    Wednesday, January 27, 2021
    11:00 am - 2:00 pm PST
    Event Category:


    Online Event


    AIA San Francisco
    View Organizer Website