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Minnesota County Engineers 2020 Conference Schedule

Welcome to the 75th Annual MCEA Conference

Cragun's Resort and Hotel on Gull Lake

The Minnesota County Engineers Association invites you to the 75th Annual Minnesota County Engineers Conference on January 21−24, 2020. They say hindsight is 20/20, and looking back at the 75 years of this association, we see the foundation of success this conference has created.

This milestone is celebrated with a new look to our conference format. This year’s conference will begin with an opening session on Tuesday afternoon with our membership and a warm welcome to those new to our association. Wednesday morning will include our business meeting, followed by informative technical sessions. Wednesday afternoon’s keynote by Catie Rasmussen of the University of Minnesota will address our ever-changing, multigenerational work environment. Thursday continues the professional development opportunities in the morning and concludes with our MnDOT partners joining us for the afternoon technical session and district meetings.

Our reception and banquet move to Thursday this year to recognize our members’ achievements and to celebrate the rich history over the last 75 years. The conference concludes on Friday morning, following committee meetings and the 2020−2021 board of directors meeting. Our 75th year is one with a clear vision of our past and future with the innovation, partnership, and leadership you all share. We look forward to seeing you. On behalf of the conference planning committee, welcome!

Printable Schedule (PDF)

Tuesday, January 21

Time Activity Presenter Location
11:15 a.m. Board of Directors Meeting   Lakeshore 4
1:30 p.m. On-Site Registration Begins   Lobby
  Afternoon Sessions Presiding: Wayne Sandberg, President, Minnesota County Engineers Association  
2:30 Opening Session/Welcome   Lakeshore 1–3
3:00 State Aid Update: Part 1 Kristine Elwood, State Aid for Local Transportation Lakeshore 1–3

Otter Tail County Transportation Planning Case Study

Otter Tail County Case Study − From analyzing their system, identifying the needs, evaluating a funding plan, and executing.

Rick West, Otter Tail County; Wayne Johnson, Otter Tail County Commissioner; Craig Vaughn, SRF Consulting Lakeshore 1–3

Ten Commandments of Working with Your County Board

Washington County Public Works Director Don Theisen will share his 30+ years of experience working with elected officials in a Top 10-style format.

Don Theisen, Washington County Lakeshore 1–3
5:15 Adjourn   Lakeshore 1–3
5:30 New Engineer Reception   Paul Bunyan Room
Evening Fun Night − Appetizer Buffet   Recreation Center

Wednesday, January 22

Time Activity Presenter Location
7:30 a.m. Breakfast   Dining Room
8:30 Business Meeting   Lakeshore 1–3
10:00 Break    
  Morning Sessions Presiding: David Overbo, Clay County  

The Pavement Doctor Has Left the Building

This session will highlight the work of three LRRB projects focused on the challenge of maintaining our county paved network. Counties are including pavement presentation techniques like bioseals, scrub seals in our tool box. How about the concept of a lightly surfaced road—where could it work in your county? It all comes together when we check in with the some of the pilot counties' work in overall system preservation.

Michael Marti, SRF Consulting Lakeshore 1–3

Legal Eagles: Soaring Guidance on ROW & Drainage

Friends of the County Engineers return to answer your legal questions in the area of right of way and drainage. Bring your questions and be prepared for this interactive session on the real-world challenges where we all need a little help from our friends.

Adam Ripple, John Kolb, Rinke Noonan Law Lakeshore 1–3
12:15 p.m. Lunch   Dining Room
  Afternoon Sessions Presiding: Andrew Witter, Sherburne County  

Bridging the Generations: The Multigenerational Workplace

A generational shift is changing the dynamics of the workplace will continue into the next decade. Plus, today’s work world is complicated by many factors: globalization, breathtakingly fast technology changes, flattened organizations, social media, and increased expectations of customers and clients. If organizations want to attract and retain quality workers, they have to position themselves to meet or exceed the expectations of a multigenerational workforce. Questions need to be discussed to rethink policies and practices around management, training, and work-life balance. Research identifies five key principles being applied by successful organizations.

Catherine Rasmussen, University of Minnesota Mankato Lakeshore 1–3
3:45 Break    

Growing Your Own Technicians

This session will describe efforts made in at least two other Minnesota counties to enhance their staff and specifically meet the need for engineering technicians.

Chris Byrd, Benton County; Joe MacPherson, Anoka County Lakeshore 1–3
4:45 Adjourn    
6:00 Dinner at Poolside   Indoor Pool Area


Thursday, January 23

Time Activity Presenter Location
7:30 a.m. Breakfast   Dining Room
  Morning Sessions Presiding: Brian Giese, Pope County  

State Aid Update: Part 2


Kristine Elwood, State Aid for Local Transportation Lakeshore 1−3

TZD: the Inner Workings of Traffic Safety and Crash Reconstruction    




Toward Zero Deaths, Kristine Hernandez, Minnesota Department of Transportation Lakeshore 1−3

Crash Reconstruction 101

Demonstration of crash reconstruction on roads and bridges by the MN State Patrol.

Lance Turcotte, MN State Patrol Lakeshore 1−3
10:15 Break    

Stabilized Base Case Studies

This session will provide lessons learned from various stabilized base projects using cement, Base One, and asphalt as stabilizing agents as well as the types of surfaces added on top of those stabilized bases.

Dave Rettner, American Engineering Testing; John Brunkhorst, McLeod County; Rich Sanders, Polk County; Charles Grotte, Otter Tail County Lakeshore 1−3


Joshua Root from the Minnesota Department of Transportation's Office of Chief Counsel will provide information on ethics.

Joshua Root, Minnesota Department of Transportation Lakeshore 1−3
12:30 p.m. Lunch   Dining Room
  Afternoon Sessions Presiding: Ted Schoenecker, Ramsey County  

Thinking Like a Contractor

This session will help you consider the contractor's perspective early in the project development so you can better manage risk and control costs from planning through construction.

Michael Rief, Ross Jentink, WSB & Associates, Inc. Lakeshore 1−3

Iowa County Engineers Association Update    


Todde Folkerts, Lucas County, Iowa Lakeshore 1−3
  National Association of County Engineers Update Tim Hens, Genesee County, New York  

District Meetings

District photos will be taken − poolside

  Paul Bunyan 3 & 4



  Paul Bunyan Room

Awards and Recognition Banquet


Announce Project of the Year

Poolside Reception to immediately follow banquet

Wayne Sandberg, President, Minnesota County Engineers Association

Margaret Anderson Kelliher, Commissioner, Minnesota Department of Transportation (tentative)

Wendall Meyer,  Division Director, Federal Highway Administration 

Dining Room


Friday, January 24

Time Activity Presenter Location
7:30 a.m. Breakfast   Dining Room
9:00 Committee Meetings   Lakeshore 1–3
10:00 Board of Directors Meeting   Lakeshore 1–3
11:30 Adjourn