Academy Speakers

Academy Speakers

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Pitfalls and Problems Facing the AEC Industry

Founder and President of SmartRisk, Timothy Corbett will discuss major industry trends that impact his current work developing and implementing risk management programs for some of the largest design and construction firms in North America. Tim brings years of experience as a risk and performance consultant. He has worked on over 200,000+ construction claims and disputes. to date.

Tim’s keynote will kick-off the CSI Academy event in Chicago. Participants will take away a better understanding of how industry trends on risk management are changing the way all members of the project team work together and what major risks might derail future projects.

He will also highlight how he specifically wrote the new Risk Management Chapter of the Project Delivery Practice Guide (PDPG) 2nd Edition to best reflect the established methods of project delivery and communication that CSI is known for.


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Risks That Affect the Public

Judy Frydland, Commissioner at the Department of Buildings for the City of Chicago, joins the CSI Academy to discuss mitigating construction risks from public. In her role, Judy must address construction risk from a very different point of view – the end user and the public. She oversees the entire department in charge of reviewing, maintaining, and developing governmental policy that aims to limit and prevent buildings from negatively affecting the city and its people.

Judy will share the city’s plans for identifying risks brought on by new construction. She will also discuss how ordinances, local building codes, and policy at the government level can improve a construction project and the city surrounding it. Chicago’s ongoing discussions about adopting aspects of the International Building Code, is a hot topic. There are potential benefits and risks that might bring to a city revered for its building history.

Participants will take away a better understanding of how a city and government identifies and looks to address construction risk, and what actions can be done by all members of the project team to prevent those risks from derailing future projects.


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Managing Construction Risks: Tracking Risks Through the Design

Kimberly Kozak, Manager of Program Development and Program Controls at HNTB, will highlight the main production and building risks that affect most construction projects as a workshop moderator. Kimberly is an expert in modeling quantitative risk analysis for large-scale construction projects.

Her workshop will look at how common construction risks affect the overall schedule and budget, how to track those risks, and how to develop a response to those risks through qualitative assessments. Kimberly will help answer questions and facilitate group exercises to discuss tracking risks through the design, how much contingency is needed, then how to manage risks once in construction.

Participants will take away a better understanding of the types risks that specifically affect the successful execution of designs and construction documentation from the design/owner team. Participants will also begin to compile a more complete list of the risks, and their predicted impact on project team members and the overall project delivery.

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Risks Passed from Design to Construction

Workshop moderator Daniel Buelow will discuss the common risks that result from the production of construction documents, contracts, and the project team members who develop them. Daniel is a contract negotiation, claims advocacy, and risk management expert who is currently the Managing Director of Willis’ Architects & Engineers Division.

Participants will take away a better understanding of the types risks that specifically affect the successful delivery of designs and construction documentation to the construction team. His workshop will work to distinguish risks that most commonly cause confusion on the job site, conflicts in the construction process, and delays as a result of miscommunication or confusion in the handoff from the design professionals.

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Managing Design Risks: What are the most commonly overlooked
or missed risks found in construction documentation,
contracts, and initial project team meetings?

Andrew Mendelson, a long-standing leader on the AIA Documents Committee and Senior Vice President and Chief Risk Management Officer for Berkley Design Professionals, will offers his expertise in design risk management as a workshop moderator. Andy will identify a number of key risks that specifically affect building projects in the design and conception phase.

Building off the pre-event educational content and the experiences of the workshop attendees, Andy will help answer questions and facilitate group exercises. Participants will take away a better understanding of the types risks that specifically affect the successful delivery of designs and construction documentation to the construction team. Participants will also begin to compile a more complete list of the risks, and their predicted impact on project team members and the overall project delivery.


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Universal Risks That We All Must Plan For

Canaan Crouch, a professional geologist, environmental and professional liability expert, will discusses the unique risks of working in and against the elements. There are some universal risks that we all must plan for with the unpredictable nature of the environment and job site.

Founding Partner of Landmark E&S Insurance brokers, LLC, Canaan will utilize his background both as an underwriter and project manager to identify the many risks that result from construction taking place within the environment surrounding it.

He will shed light on ways to plan for and minimize the delays and cost overruns. Specifically, overruns caused by site conditions, material and product protection before and during construction, and inadequate prevention of weather effects on the completed structure.

Participants will take away a better understanding of the types risks that specifically affect the construction team and building throughout the construction process. This workshop will offer common methods used by industry leaders and challenge participants to think of new and creative ways to mitigate the seemingly random patterns of current and future environmental risks.




The Top Risks Affecting Construction Projects Today

Jeremy Baker will serve as a workshop moderator to lead a discussion on identifying some of the most common causes for disputes and claims in the project team. Jeffrey is an attorney specializing in Dispute Avoidance. He has represented property owners, developers, design professionals, contractors, and lenders, and will use this experience to provide background on the top 10 risks that lead to delays or disputes between the conception and execution sides of the project team.

Jeremy's two workshops will be slightly tailored to each specific education track, but hopefully lead to a better overall understanding of the legal and liability risks that affect construction professionals throughout the project’s lifecycle.

Participants for either workshop will take away a basic understanding for some of the most common types of legal risks that are unique to the conception and execution of a building project. Participants will also continue to compile a more complete list of the risks, and their predicted impact on project team members and the overall project delivery.

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Risks of Labor Shortages in the United States

Corey Zussman, Quality Assurance Director for Pepper Construction Group, LLC, will discuss the risks that result from the continued labor shortages in the United States. Corey is an architect and prolific writer on “Lessons Learned” and plans to leverage his nearly 30 years of experience in design, pre-construction, preservation, and construction to identify the number of personnel and training related risks that continue to plague the construction industry.

From the long-standing skilled labor shortages to job site safety and training on how to properly read construction drawings, workers that install building products can make mistakes. Planning for and trying to mitigate those risks can be challenging unless you know what to look out for. Corey will share what he has learned from working on over 1,000 buildings and the development of his proactive pre-construction checklists. Participants will take away a wholistic understanding for the most common personnel risks that affect the construction project and be able to identify ways to address or train staff to lessen those risks.




Working With Others in the Project Team: What Are the Risks?

Director at the Professional Underwriters Agency, Inc., Sandip Chandarana will highlight the common risks that can be inherited or passed on to you during or after the project begins construction.

Sandip will serve as workshop moderator for a discussion between a construction lawyer and certified underwriter about the unique risks of working with others in project team. He will provide insight on common risks that affect those project team members that work to execute the design and construction documents.

The workshop will specifically identify those risks that most commonly cause a project to get delayed, over budget, or may result in an expensive claim or dispute as a result of miscommunication or confusion in the handoff of a project to the professionals that make designs into reality.

Participants will take away a better understanding of the types risks that specifically affect the successful execution of designs and construction documentation from the design/owner team.


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Panel of Six Industry Leading Insurance Providers, Underwriters, 
and Practitioners give insight on the confusing process of Construction Insurance.

Join Opening Keynote Speaker, Timothy Corbet and six industry leading professionals (Sandip Chandarana, Daniel Buelow, Ben Woodward, Mark Blankenship, Will Hornsey, and James Schwartz) for this engaging and thoughtful panel discussion over lunch.

Panelists each bring their own unique point of view within the design and construction profession.  They will offer a complete look at how professional liability and project insurance can be an effective way to prevent and mitigate unforeseen risks.

Bring your questions on construction insurance as a means for risk mitigation and start to understand how that insurance bill may be the most cost-effective line item on your next project’s budget.

Participants can expect to take away a more robust understanding of how insurance is more than just an overhead expense. Additionally, participants will identify a number of questions and additional items of clarification that may need to be addressed with their current carriers and underwriters.