The Construction Management Association of America’s (CMAA) Board of Directors has created a new office that will strive to improve the professional practice of construction management. Heading the new office will be William Heitz, president of Atlanta-based Heery International Inc.
CMAA, which maintains the CM Standards of Practice and, through a subsidiary, administers the Certified Construction Manager program, appointed Heitz as its Board of Directors vice chair for professional practice. He will provide strategic input to the board on the future of professional CM services and oversee the work of CMAA’s Professional Development Committee and Standards of Practice Committee. He will interface with the Construction Manager Certification Institute to ensure that the examination for the Certified Construction Manager credential is aligned with the latest CM Standards of Practice.
In this role, Heitz also will represent the CM professional community in outreach to certain other organizations through articles, presentations, and other vehicles.
Heery provides program management, CM-at-risk, and design services from 30 locations across the United States. Heitz has been credited with playing a key role Heery’s growth and expansion for three decades. He is currently responsible for the day-to-day operations of the firm. During his career, he has been involved in all facets of the industry, including architecture, program management, and construction.
CMAA, whose mission is to serve the interests of the professional construction and program management industry, consists of 28 regional chapters and more than 8,400 public and private firms and individuals nationwide. The organization promotes the construction management industry and provides professional resources, advocacy, professional development, certification, and business opportunities to its members.
CMAA Vice President Provides Additional Details to CPC/BIM
In an email interview with Construction Project Controls and BIM Report (CPC/BIM), CMAA Vice President John McKeon provided the following additional details about the new office and position that Heitz has assumed:
CPC/BIM: Will there be a term limit for the person serving in this position? If so, what is the duration of the term?
McKeon: Technically, CMAA vice-chairs serve one-year terms but they are eligible for re-election, so the only real “limits” on Bill’s service would be if he were to be elected to a higher office like chairman of the board, or if he reached the end of his eligibility to serve on the board, which is six years. The topical assignment, “professional practice,” is assigned by the chairman of CMAA. CMAA has had vice chairs with specified areas of responsibility before, including membership, professional development, etc. This is the first time we have designed a vice chair for professional practice.
CPC/BIM: What will be the annual budget to fulfill the operations of this new office? How will the position be funded? Via membership dues?
McKeon: The position will be funded and supported by the general operating budget of the association. The main support necessity will be staff time, and the vice chair will have the support of staff in both the professional development and communications departments.
CPC/BIM: What specific types of standards of practice and CM services are expected to benefit from the efforts of this new office? For example, are CMs expected to improve their skills in using certain construction-related technologies, such as building information modeling (BIM), as a result of this new office’s efforts?
McKeon: The main task of our vice chair for professional practice will be to evangelize for the Construction Management Standards of Practice (SOP) and build industry recognition and acceptance of these standards. Our SOP has been recently expanded to embrace new areas like sustainability, BIM, risk management, and program management. It is certain to expand further as we continue to collaborate with the Construction Industry Institute (CII) to integrate CII’s construction best practices into our body of knowledge. We believe owners can realize significant improvements in their project and program outcomes by embracing the SOP as the basic guide to how they want their projects executed. The best indicator of a practitioner’s full commitment to the SOP is, of course, attainment of the Certified Construction Manager (CCM) credential. The CCM examination tests knowledge of the entire body of knowledge, which in the near future will include knowledge of CII’s best practices along with the CMAA SOP.
CPC/BIM: Your organization has stated that Mr. Heitz will represent the CM professional community in outreach to other key organizations through articles, presentations, and other vehicles. Which specific other organizations will be targeted?
McKeon: We have ongoing relationships with such organizations as the Society of American Military Engineers (SAME), CII, the Chartered Institute of Building in the United Kingdom, the Women’s Transportation Seminar, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, and others, and we are always open to creating or improving relationships with similar organizations. We have worked with SAME to deliver our three-day, instructor-led SOP courses to their membership, and we regularly present at CII conferences and invite CII leaders to make presentations at CMAA conferences. These exchanges help to build awareness of CMAA and our SOP throughout the industry.
CPC/BIM: What statistics, if any, can you provide on the number of professionals who are expected to benefit through the works of this new office? How many professionals take the exam for the Certified Construction Manager credential?
McKeon: We are approaching 1,700 CCMs, and approximately 200 people currently have met all of the other requirements and are eligible to take the exam. We have been receiving about 250 applications annually in recent years. This is just one aspect of professional practice, though we think it is a very important aspect. There are obviously a lot of non-certified CMs in the field, and we hope more of them will be certified every year. Regardless, to the degree that owners and practitioners alike understand and apply the SOP, the industry benefits from CM professional practice.