Lucky and Thankful. Two words that I know define a lot of my life over the years and may perhaps hit home with you, particularly over the past two years. I hope this message finds you well and your 2022 is starting off better than you expected. My name is Gerry Hammel and was recently elected as the new President of the MAC-IECA for 2022. I look forward to helping our organization progress forward and become an even stronger leadership force in the erosion and sediment control and environmental compliance industries over the next year. The MAC-IECA foundation is a strong one and I only hope to keep that legacy going. A huge THANKS goes out to our Board of Directors and especially Dan Fisk, MAC-IECA president from 2019-2021 who did a tremendous job in this role and helped navigate us through the challenging waters of a global pandemic. I hired Dan right of college (more on that later) and we were lucky enough to work together for 5+ years, hand-pulling countless cattails and maintaining wetland mitigation banks in Northern Virginia. There are some classic stories from that time…including a jacket catching on fire while hydroseeding and the infamous poison ivy tale but I digress.
Some of you may know me as the Conference Chair guy from the past 3 years but here is a quick backstory. I was born and raised in Inwood, the neighborhood at the northern tip of Manhattan, about 10 minutes from Yankee Stadium…needless to say, I bleed pinstripes. As kids, we spent a bulk of our time roaming the woods and playing baseball, stickball and even Gaelic football in Inwood Hill Park, which is one of the largest native forests in New York City. I guess that’s where my love of nature and the outdoors started as my time spent in those woods planted a seed that led me to SUNY Cobleskill, where I received an AS Degree in Fisheries and Wildlife and a BT in Wildlife Management. From there, I landed an internship at Wetland Studies and Solutions, Inc. (WSSI) in Northern Virginia working on wetland delineations and mitigation projects where I was able to initiate an Environmental Technician Department to which I added the aforementioned Dan Fisk, who is also a Coby alumnus…I take credit for all of his success since then! My next stop was at EQR/EcoDepot where I gained exposure to the contractor side of stream restoration and product development in the environmental restoration sector. For the past 15 years, I’ve been a Senior Environmental Scientist at McCormick Taylor (out of our Baltimore office) entrenched in environmental compliance for MDOT SHA on large-scale transportation projects such as Section 100, ICC, MD 404, US 219 and MD 97/Brookeville Bypass while also assisting our stream design, environmental permitting and energy teams. If you had asked 1998 college graduate me where I would be in 24 years…I would have had no answer. But maybe that’s the way it was supposed to be…every step along the way got me to where I am today which is a spot I am lucky and thankful to be in.
2022 is already looking up as we have the IECA Annual Conference in Minneapolis, MN from 02/15/2022-02/19/2022 ( 2022 50th Anniversary IECA Annual Conference & Expo ), we are already planning the 29th Annual MAC-IECA Annual Conference in King of Prussia, PA from 09/14/2022-09/16/2022 ( 29th Annual MAC-IECA Conference ) and we are developing a Spring Roadshow at a location and date TBD. I’ve been an IECA member for almost 20 years, have been on the MAC Board of Directors/MD State Representative for several years and Conference Chair for the 2019 (Frederick, MD), 2020 (Virtual) and 2021 (Dulles, VA) Annual Conferences and it has been a great experience interacting with industry experts in the regulatory, contracting, manufacturing, engineering and consulting communities that make our industry one that I am lucky and thankful to be a part of! If you have any ideas, questions, concerns or just want to get more involved with the MAC-IECA, please do not hesitate to reach out to any of the BOD members or myself directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gerry Hammel, CPESC