• 07/22/2019 3:37 PM | ACRAsphere Blog Team

    Charissa Durst, President and owner of ACRA member firm Hardlines Design Company, has been named one of the honorees in Smart Business Columbus magazine’s list of 2019 Central Ohio Smart 50 award winners. 

    The Smart 50 Awards recognize the top executives of the smartest companies in the region for their ability to effectively build and lead savvy organizations, according to Smart Business Columbus magazine, which hosts the awards. The honorees had to address several questions, such as how their company innovates and develops new products, services or solutions; what kind of impact their company has on its employees and other constituents; and how the company’s impact and innovation have led to a sustainable, scalable business.

    In announcing the winners, Smart Business Columbus magazine noted how “Durst has established Hardlines Design Company as an expert in historic architecture, able to field research on a historic property and help clients apply for and manage the use of historic tax credits. She’s built a skilled team, strategically hiring and mentoring female architects, and invested in technology upgrades to keep the firm on the cutting edge.”

    Durst and her company were honored with other honorees in the Class of 2019 at a special celebration on July 18 and will be recognized in a special editorial report in Smart Business Columbus.

    Charissa Durst at the July 18 Small Business Columbus celebration

    “It’s an honor to be in the company of such engaged, successful business executives in the Columbus area,” Durst said. “We also appreciate the recognition of the impact that an architectural firm like Hardlines Design Company can have when it carves a niche for itself in historic architecture as we have done. After 29 years, we look forward to continuing to pursue our passion — historic architecture and preservation.”

    Congratulations to Charissa and Hardlines Design Company!

  • 07/19/2019 11:14 AM | ACRAsphere Blog Team

    Earlier this year, we relaunched ACRA's CRM Industry Salary Survey after a 6-year hiatus. We are thrilled to share with you that the summary report of the results is now available!

    The survey has maintained a primary focus on patterns of annual sales, business practices, and wage and benefit packages, helping you understand where your firm measures up compared to others. The independently collected and analyzed results provide essential longitudinal information on the state of the CRM industry. These data help substantiate industry trends over the long term, and no other organization collects this information specifically for CRM.

    Based on member feedback, we have enhanced the summary report by including regional data. The CRM industry can vary widely depending on what part of the country you work in, and our report now provides you with benchmarking statistics specific to your region on certain questions.

    The comprehensive, 129-page report is only available to ACRA members*. Get your copy on the ACRA site now!

    Get Your Salary Survey Report Now

    This year's ACRA conference in Spokane will include a special session on the salary survey results. During this session, we will provide additional analysis and insights supplemental to the summary report. If you have questions about the report, add them in the comments below for consideration for this session.

    *One exception: non-members who completed the 2019 survey are eligible to receive a copy of the summary report.

  • 07/16/2019 4:17 PM | ACRAsphere Blog Team

    The Washington Post has reported that the Department of the Interior will be moving the majority of the Bureau of Land Management's DC staff to the western part of the country. The new headquarters is slated to be in Grand Junction, Colorado:

    "Interior’s plan for BLM, according to two people briefed on it who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter, proposes dispersing about 225 staffers who report to headquarters to states including Colorado, Nevada and Utah over time, while reassigning another 75 to the bureau’s state offices. The rest of employees would remain in Washington to work on issues such as the bureau’s budget, regulations and Freedom of Information Act requests."

    According to the article, 95% of the departments employees already work in the field, and opponents worry that this "could complicate the agency’s relationship with Capitol Hill, budget officials and other federal entities."

    This move has not currently been cleared with the House appropriations committee. Former Interior Deputy Secretary David Hayes thinks that more congressional support from outside the region will be needed:

    Read the full article in the Washington Post.

  • 07/11/2019 4:20 PM | ACRAsphere Blog Team

    This is the last call to join ACRA and SAA in making the point this August that “History Comes to Life Here.”

    Our organizations are mobilizing members to share your project site with your elected representatives to demonstrate how our work preserves our shared cultural heritage for present and future generations, creates economic benefits for the communities in which this research is conducted, and contributes to community identity and history.

    If you have a site you are working on this summer, consider hosting congressional visitors this August. Please contact Amanda Stratton and request our congressional visit toolkit today! This helpful guide will include tips on conducting a great site visit, talking point suggestions, working with their press staff, social media samples, and other items.

    To get started, you need to submit your scheduling request. Go to the SAA Take Action portal today and click on the “History Comes to Life Here” link. Here you can enter the zip code in which your site is located, and send an editable template invitation to the senators and congressperson who represent that area.

    Once you have a visit scheduled, please let us know the particulars so that we can follow up with their offices.

    Legislators' schedules fill up quickly - get your meeting requests in NOW to participate in this great campaign!

  • 07/09/2019 3:21 PM | ACRAsphere Blog Team

    Thank you to all who voted in the 2019 ACRA election! This year's election was extremely close, and we eagerly anticipate welcoming new members to the Board of Directors at the 2019 ACRA Annual Conference in Spokane. We greatly appreciate the service of our departing board members and look forward to their continued leadership on essential committee projects.

    Congratulations to the winning candidates below! Their terms will start the Conference in October. Be sure to add your congratulations in the comments below!


    Officers are elected for two-year terms, with those below serving from 2019-2021.

    • President: Daniel Cassedy (AECOM)
    • Vice-President - Membership: Richard Grubb (RGA, Inc.)
    • Secretary: Deborah Cox (Public Archaeology Lab, Inc.)
    • Treasurer: Nicki Sauvageau (Dovetail Cultural Resource Group)

    Designated Board Seats

    Designated Board Seat Members are elected for three-year terms, with those below serving from 2019-2022.

    • Small Firm Representative: Jessica Yaquinto (Living Heritage Anthropology)
    • Medium Firm Representative: Mason Miller (AmaTerra Environmental, Inc.)
    • Large Firm Representative: Robert Heckman (Statistical Research Inc.)

    At-Large Board Positions

    At-Large Board Members are elected for three-year terms, with those below serving from 2019-2022.

    • Jacki Mullen (Alpine Archaeological Consultants) 
    • Ryan Peterson (Cardno, Inc.)

    • Ann Scott (Terracon Consultants, Inc.) 

    • Jo Reese (Archaeological Investigations Northwest, Inc.) 

  • 07/08/2019 3:18 PM | ACRAsphere Blog Team

    The 2019 ACRA Conference will be held in Spokane from October 24-27, 2019, and you have one week left to register for the lowest prices! Join us to hear exciting updates on preservation legislation in DC, be a part of interactive panels on CRM's most critical issues, and meet new business partners.

    What can you expect at this year's conference? Find out in the recently released session schedule. From sessions on innovative approaches to CRM and company/project branding and graphics, this year's slate covers a wide range of CRM and business-related topics.

    Given the region's rich tribal history, we have also included a number of tribal elements, including a traditional blessing and a session specifically on the interaction between tribal leaders and the CRM industry. Tribal members are able to attend these specific sessions for a special one-day rate: head over to the registration page to learn more.

    Register now to get the Early Bird rate - after July 15, prices increase. ACRA members and firms who register multiple attendees get an even bigger discount. Sign up today!

    Register for the 2019 ACRA Conference NOW

  • 07/05/2019 1:31 PM | ACRAsphere Blog Team

    Readers can now find relevant news items compiled all in one place! In our CRM Firms in the News series, we feature recent mentions of ACRA member firms and their projects across the country. Was your firm recently featured in a news article or on social media? Send it to us to be included in our next volume of the series!

    • When railroads made access to remote mountain areas easier, resorts began to flourish in areas like Lake Tahoe. Researchers in California have been studying sunken boats in the lake to learn more about not just local boat building, but also "the  emergence of vacations in our lives—a relatively new phenomenon in Western history." Staff from Far Western Anthropological Research Group designed and fabricated these underwater markers and ‘dive cards’ for three boats and two barges that are part of the Emerald Bay Maritime Heritage Trail. Read more at phys.org.
    • ACRA member firm New South Associates was consulted for this fascinating article on a forgotten African-American cemetery in Tampa, FL. The article also mentions Congresswoman Alma S. Adams and the African-American Burial Grounds Network Act - check it out in U.S. News and World Report.
    • Brockington and Associates has helped to uncover South Carolina's forgotten phosphate industry, which got it's start right after the Civil War. People from all walks of life, from scientists to newly freed slaves, worked together to create an industry that would "mark the start of vast, global change." Read more in the Post and Courier.
    • PaleoWest Archaeology is doing great work to document the civil rights buildings and history in the streets of Montgomery, Alabama. Read more about the project in the Montgomery Advertiser.

  • 07/02/2019 4:20 PM | ACRAsphere Blog Team

    As a part of our new partnership with NAEP, ACRA members are eligible to receive the member price for NAEP webinars. See below for information on an upcoming webinar on NEPA policy, and access the discount code here.

    The National Association of Environmental Professionals (NAEP) is proud to host its annual NEPA Policy and Legislative Update. The July 25 webinar will provide current information on developments regarding the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

    The presentation will be made by Ted Boling, the Associate Director for National Environmental Policy Act at the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), a position he assumed in January of 2016 after upon his return to CEQ after five years at the Department of the Interior. Ted served as Deputy Solicitor for Parks & Wildlife at the U.S. Department of the Interior, where he supervised the work of the Solicitor's Office in support of programs of the National Park Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Ted joined the Department in August of 2010, as Counselor to the Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management where he focused on land management planning and renewable energy development and was Deputy Solicitor for Land Resources from April of 2011 to July of 2013. Before Interior, Ted served ten years at CEQ as Deputy General Counsel beginning in August of 2000, General Counsel beginning in January of 2008, and Senior Counsel from September of 2009.

    ACRA members can join this timely and important webinar for the NAEP member price - click here for the discount code.

    To register and view more details, please visit the event website.

  • 06/27/2019 4:40 PM | ACRAsphere Blog Team

    A part of ACRA's mission is to improve the business efficacy of our member firms, and that includes more than just providing guidance on Section 106 and other CRM-specific topics. Our Continuing Education Committee has committed to providing opportunities to improve your general business skills, which in turn makes you a better employee, leader, or collaborator. The next webinar in our 2019 series does just that.

    Despite how often meetings are criticized as dull, boring, or pointless, there is no better way to positively affect an organization than by changing how it conducts meetings. In fact, observing how senior leaders conduct their meetings will tell you more about the health of an organization than its balance sheet, or customer surveys.

    On July 25, join us for Meetings for a Healthy Organization to learn how you can see improved communication, reduced stress, and an environment where they and others can more effectively do their jobs. 

    And how does this differ from similar trainings from other organizations? This one was developed specifically with the needs of CRM firms in mind.

    Attendees will learn a system of a series of meeting rhythms that include daily check-ins, weekly staff meetings, stand-alone topical, quarterly review, and staff check-ins. Each of these focus on different issues that require their own solutions, from administrative, tactical, strategic, and developmental. This allows organizational leaders to focus on what’s important, rather than trying to cover everything under a single bloated meeting. Or worse still, to be in a constant state of putting out fires and dealing with interruptions that arise because of issues that aren’t being resolved during meetings in the first place. 

    ACRA's expert provider for this session is Ryan Duddleson, Senior Archaeologist and Principal of Orbis Environmental Consulting. Ryan has developed this system over 15 years of researching this topic and working in small, medium, and large CRM companies.

    Improve your skills as a leader or develop the skills you need to move up the ladder quickly - register for Meetings for a Healthy Organization today.

    Register Now

  • 06/25/2019 4:20 PM | ACRAsphere Blog Team
    What sessions, events, and more can you expect at the ACRA Conference in Spokane this October? As an ACRAsphere reader, now you can be the first to know - the draft 2019 conference schedule is now available!

    From sessions on innovative approaches to CRM and company/project branding and graphics, this year's slate covers a wide range of CRM and business-related topics. Given the region's rich tribal history, we have also included a number of tribal elements, including a traditional blessing and a session specifically on the interaction between tribal leaders and the CRM industry. Tribal members are able to attend these specific sessions for a special one-day rate: head over to the registration page to learn more.

    Barrister Winery

    This year's conference also includes a Spokane Heritage bus tour before the Saturday Industry Awards Social at the Barrister Winery. Check out the schedule to learn more, and don't forget to register before July 15 to get the early bird rates!

Become an ACRA member to get exclusive benefits including vendor discounts, premium access to online learning opportunities, and much more.

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