THREE Questions is a new blog series highlighting ACRA member firms and their experiences in the CRM industry.

ABOUT OUR MEMBER: David Klinge is the Chief Operating Officer and a Project Manager for the ASC Group, Inc. Based outside of Cleveland, Ohio, he has spent 25 years working throughout in the Midwest, New England, and the Great Lakes regions.

What best describes your firm within the overall CRM industry, and what are the biggest challenges to your operation at this time?

DK: ASC Group, Inc. is a mid-sized firm that provides archaeological and architectural history consulting services throughout the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic. Our biggest challenge at the moment is finding sufficient qualified staff for an increasing work load. I do not think we are unique in that situation.

In light of recent trends in the CRM workforce and real or anticipated hiring challenges, what advice would you give for shaping the next generation?

DK: The best advice I can offer the next generation of CRM professionals is to remain curious, and to demonstrate that curiosity to employers. Cultural resources management is driven by curiosity. Asking questions about our past and our present, and how we can best utilize the data we collect about one to benefit the other, is the at the core of what we do. I would also advise those starting out to spend some time to really understand the enabling legislation that supports our work and the challenges to it. To achieve the best results for our clients, our resources, and for the broader public, we need professionals who are as familiar with both the letter and spirit of those laws as they are with artifact typologies or building facades. As a final note, I would encourage those entering the profession to expect to work collaboratively and as a team member. Take every opportunity to gain experience in the full scope of disciplines or specialties that fall under the umbrella of CRM. It comes back to being curious. Being willing to learn new skills or manage different data sets will not only make you more valuable as a team member, but it will add depth to your own analyses and work.

Many ACRA members participate in public and legislative outreach. What are your best stories for engaging people, bringing recognition to our industry, or just getting across why the past matters?

DK: This is a difficult question. Of late, I’ve been trying to demonstrate the need for what we do by connecting people to the recent past as a way of showing how easily it is forgotten. As quickly as technology has continues to change, we have lost lifeways over the past 20 or 30 years that are as foreign to younger Americans as steam engines or stone project points. I have had a lot of fun asking high school students why we “dial” phone numbers on their iPhones. Few have any idea. Even some of their parents did not grow up with rotary phones, at this point. But, the connection between our current vocabulary and that recently vanished technology and recently forgotten behavior introduces the idea that the past resonates in the present.