March 3, 2020

It is an honor and privilege for me to serve as the 2019-2020 ACOPNE President. As we begin the second decade of the ACOPNE since our launch, on behalf of the ACOPNE Board and staff, I would like to thank Past-President Paul Boulos and Andrew Cairns for their leadership and service this past year. Also, we welcome new ACOPNE Board members Gary Chock, Greg Weykamp, and Lori Brownell for this next year.

Over the past year, the ACOPNE Board members, committees and staff have worked to increase the visibility of Board Certification for our ACOPNE Diplomates, through our various initiatives and annual activities.

This past year as we celebrated our 10th year, we have recognized outstanding professional engineers with the ACOPNE Board Certification, practicing in the field of coastal, ocean, port & navigation engineering with advanced knowledge and expertise. We celebrated these outstanding leaders during the 2019 COPRI Ports conference in Pittsburgh, with a captive audience of 800+ attendees. The ACOPNE also hosted a special sponsored 10th anniversary celebration dinner with ASCE, COPRI and ACOPNE leadership, and special guests in attendance.

With the launch of our ACOPNE LinkedIn company page, we are gaining more visibility and outreach with our organization’s mission and marketing brand. We thank you if you are already following us on LinkedIn. If you are not yet following us, you can do so by clicking here.

For 2020, among our top priorities will be to continue to communicate the importance of board certification to employers of professional engineering and agencies responsible for the design, construction, and management of coastal, port, ocean & navigation infrastructure. We envision board certification of Civil Engineers in the specialties in which they practice as a key component in advancing our profession.  In this regard, I would like to see testimonials from our Diplomates with respect to “Why” you chose the path to become Board Certified. I will ask that all testimonials as to the “Why” be published on our website monthly.  I believe that once other practitioners understand the “Why” we have all chosen to be Board Certified, it may serve to inspire and motivate them to become Board Certified, as well.

Another top priority for us, is to ensure that Diplomates experience value in maintaining the highest standards of our profession including maintenance of board certification as a Diplomate. Please let us know how we are doing. You may send me an email at or to our staff at [email protected]

It has been said that you only get back from an organization what you put into it.  I encourage your participation in ACOPNE for the good of civil engineering practice.  If you would like to become more involved with ACOPNE and our review committees, there are several opportunities for you to support the advancement of your profession. Please send us an email to [email protected]

Lastly, I encourage you to recruit your well-qualified colleagues to apply to become Diplomates. We continue to encourage companies to promote board certification in career development plans and as a factor when weighing qualifications within procurement plans for professional engineering services.

Kind regards,
James N. Marino, P.E., D.CE, M.ASCE
ACOPNE President