January/February 2023 - 7

GIANFRANCO DI CICCO,
PRESIDENT
PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE
And Now What?
As I began writing this, I was trying to
remember my first " contact " with DFI.
I believe it was at a conference a few
years after I moved to the U.S. At that
time, I did not really know what DFI
was and what to expect. I knew that
many of my competitors were attending,
and I wanted to understand
the reason why. However, I don't
remember much in particular, other
than meeting shortly in the elevator
with one of my old competitors who, in
a few words, told me more or less
" whatever you are trying to do, it will
never work here. "
answer is the result of two different
events in my career.
The first was in 2005 when I started
my consulting adventure and decided
to " invest " in attending the DFI Annual
Conference in Chicago. There, I found a
lot of new contacts and returned home
with two contracts that gave me the
opportunity to start my consulting
business, which continued to grow
through 2019, before I took on my
current position.
The second event happened in 2011
when, while overseas presenting to a
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)
How do we, DFI members, introduce our organization
to our clients in both the private and public sectors?
For many years, I thought it was a
waste of time and money to go to those
conferences where nothing important
was happening to improve " my "
business. At that time, I actually felt that
the members attending were lobbying
against the interest of the company I
was representing, because of the then
unique techniques we were trying to
introduce to the U.S. market from
Europe, which are now commonly used.
After a few years, I finally joined some
committees connected to the projects I
was involved in, and marginally to improve
some of the " old " specifications.
Possibly, others have had the same
thought: Why do we have to spend
time and money to be part of this
organization? For me, discovering the
delegation, I questioned the reason for
their overseas travel. The answer was,
more or less, " we need to learn more
about the industry and understand the
innovations available to us for our
challenging projects. " That response
led me to wonder: " Why couldn't DFI
provide a forum where its membership,
which consists of all the stakeholders
in the industry, answer the U.S. government's
questions? "
Upon suggesting this to them,
incredibly, I found that they did not
know much about DFI nor the potential
benefits of it being the only
geotechnical/foundation organization
that connects academia, engineering,
contractors and manufacturers to
clients/owners. From there, together
with USACE's support, the idea to start
a seepage control working group at
DFI was born and later it became a
committee, which successfully supported
the rehabilitation of the critical
dam infrastructure in the U.S., as well
as overseas.
So, maybe, this is one of the answers
to the title of my article: How do we, DFI
members, introduce our organization to
our clients in both the private and
public sectors? How can we attract more
clients and owners to participate in our
events and become members of DFI?
How do we show them the benefit of
joining in? The selling point: We are
willing to start new groups that serve
our markets whenever necessary to
solve their problems and to support the
industry/market that they represent -
just as we did for the USACE.
As we enter the new year, following a
difficult financial year and projecting a
potential budget shortfall this year, we
are seeking ways to create new revenue
streams, and that cannot happen just
meeting among ourselves. Theresa and
Matt, the Executive Committee and the
Board of Directors are interested in
hearing from you on how our committees
can better address the needs of the
clients you serve so we bring more of
them into our activities and ensure DFI
continues to grow worldwide and be the
" go to organization " for any geotechnical
and foundation challenge; on land,
above and under water, and soon (I can't
wait) in space.
Contact Gianfranco Di Cicco at gianfranco.dicicco@bauerfoundations.com
DEEP FOUNDATIONS * JAN/FEB 2023 * 7

January/February 2023

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of January/February 2023

TOC
January/February 2023 - Intro
January/February 2023 - 1
January/February 2023 - 2
January/February 2023 - TOC
January/February 2023 - 4
January/February 2023 - 5
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January/February 2023 - 7
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