|History of the Long Island Branch|
The Met Section News, probably in the fall of 1970, had an item requesting an expression of interest in forming a branch of the ASCE Met Section on Long Island. At the time, my employer, Burns & Roe, had an office in Hempstead. From my perspective there was a difference in the nature of engineering firms on the Island and those in the city. So, I responded. Before long I had a call from Elmer Isaak, who was then President of the Met Section. He asked me to take on the task of starting a Long Island Branch and suggested that I ask Mike Pender for help.
Initially, the nucleus of the branch was called the Long Island Meeting Committee. In addition to Mike and myself, early members of the committee that I recall are Al Rivera, George Lehan, George Adler and Henry Chlupsa. We held committee meetings at the Burns and Roe offices and Mike Pender's office in Hempstead Town Hall. The first meeting, on January 13, 1971, was a joint meeting with the Nassau County Society of Professional Engineers. Two independent meetings were held on March 29th and May 26th. Both meetings were well attended and indicated that there would be sufficient support to form a branch, which was approved by the Met Section Board of Directors.
We started our program as a branch in the fall of 1971. The officers during the first year were: President — Frank Patti; Vice-President — Mike Pender; and Secretary — Henry Chlupsa. During the 1971-1972 year, the Branch had six meetings, some of them jointly sponsored with other groups. Students from Hofstra University and Nassau Community College were invited.
In 1978, the National Committee on Sections and District Councils approved a boundary change between the Long Island Branch and the Metropolitan Section to the Queens-Nassau border. Previously, members in Brooklyn and Queens had been assigned to the Long Island Branch.
In 1988, to recognize Frank Patti's efforts to establish the ASCE Long Island Branch, the Frank Patti Award was established to recognize the distinguished service of a branch member. The first award was presented to Frank Patti and every year since has been presented to an outstanding individual to reward their unselfish contributions to the Long Island Branch.
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