Digital MagazineYear 2021

53 Years of Championing Progress in Capital Projects: 1968 – 2021 – ECC

53 Years of Championing Progress in Capital Projects: 1968 – 2021 - ECC

“The industry and the ECC will continue to evolve, leveraging digitization and innovative technologies to form the basis of our future. Success will depend on how we transform to meet these demands.”

KYMBERLY BUTTS – Chief engineer and vp, zachry group

By Kymberly Butts – Chief Engineer and Vice President, Zachry Group & Board Chair, ECC

Possibly of your interest: Leveraging the Value of Silos in the Capital Projects Industry

The Association for the Capital Projects Engineering & Construction Community [ECC] has a rich history of bringing executives and thought leaders together to collaborate in an open and transparent environment. Indeed, ECC and its first conference in 1968 arose out of a need to address rapid changes in the global economy and capital project industry. Accordingly, the association realized to effectively tackle the challenges facing the industry. Thus, they needed to bring together a diverse group of decision-makers from Owner, Contractor, and Supplier companies.

ECC Leadership

Senior executives from leading organizations in the capital projects industry serve on the Executive Board of Directors. Hence, they are there to advance the mission of the ECC to promote thought leadership. Therefore, serving in a voluntary capacity, these industry executives plan the annual ECC programs to help leaders discover new perspectives. Besides, to explore today’s biggest challenges and to drive excellence and long-term success of the industry.

Flash forward 50+ years and the strong relationships, fresh perspectives, and key insights; those are elements that arisen from this discussion platform today. In fact, there have been many pressing issues explored over the years from US dependency on oil imports. For instance, in the 1970s to an engineering deficit in 1980 to the global effect of Asia-Pacific fuel quality in 1997 and the impact of the ongoing COVID pandemic. However, one common theme has resounded throughout – the industry is constantly TRANSFORMING.

The power of transformation

Newly appointed ECC Board Chair, Kymberly Butts believes in the power of transformation.  Moreover, like the industry, the association continues to pivot and evolve. As a response to the pandemic, the group held its first virtual conference last year. Consequently, the association is leveraging technology to provide the preeminent experience that attendees have come to expect. Therefore, “the industry and the association will continue to evolve; thus leveraging digitization and innovative technologies to form the basis of our future. Furthermore, success will depend on how we transform to meet these demands,” stated Butts.

The ECC is rising to this challenge with their newly established Academic and Workforce Development Committee [AWDC].  Accordingly, the AWDC focuses primarily on craft skill and professional development. This, as enablers of project success by fostering tighter collaboration between industry and high schools, universities, and trade schools.  Another aspect of ECC’s recent evolution is partnering with industry associations like CII and CURT. Accordingly, those are meant for increased capital efficiency, connectivity, and content.

Championing even under uncertain conditions

ECC past keynote speaker and Senior Lecturer in Leadership and Innovation at MIT, Hal Gregersen said it perfectly; “When you are operating on the edge of uncertainty, questions really are the answer”. This global pandemic has caused disruption and upheaval within every organization. Therefore, the need to reassess how we position ourselves to meet future needs is now more important than ever. How do we deliver improved efficiency and innovation with reduced resources? How do we create effective leadership and incorporate diverse thoughts to creatively tackle these challenges?

These questions and more will be addressed by world-class keynote speakers at the 2021 Annual Conference, September 8-11; at Gaylord National in National Harbor, MD. Indeed, the premier annual conference features workshops, breakout sessions, networking opportunities and ECC’s widely acclaimed Future Leader Program. The latter, designed to engage and help grow the leaders of tomorrow. 

Navigating the reality of life today, the Board is planning for an in-person conference in the fall with all the required safety and social distancing measures considered, but they are poised to pivot as needed.  Therefore, “throughout ECC’s history in championing progress in the ever-changing capital projects industry, our association remains true to promoting thought leadership and growing the rich relationships of the ECC community. We hope you will join us at the premier conference as we focus on Performing While Transforming: Executing Now, Evolving for Tomorrow and explore how we as leaders will shape the future together, “ Butts concluded.

 To learn more about the ECC, visit ECC Association | Who We Are (

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