James G. Zack, Jr. CFCC FAACE Hon. Life


There are two reasons I have participated in the RP effort – personal and professional.

On a personal level, I was raised to believe in “paying things forward” in all aspects of my life.  I have benefited personally and in business from individuals who helped me.  I’ve learned from many of these people – some teachers, others colleagues, bosses, etc.  Given my age (75 in a couple of months) a great many of these people have passed on.  I’m in no position to thank them any longer.  However, I can help others as they go through their lives and in their professions.  I hope to help others just as I have been helped throughout my life.

Zack_ALTOn a professional level, it is somewhat different.  When AACE was founded in 1956, “cost engineering” was a well-defined and recognized professional practice.  Over the years, cost engineering morphed into “project controls” with a wider scope of services – business planning and management, decision and risk management, planning, scheduling and delay analysis, dispute resolution, etc.  Within the wider project controls arena, many of our members specialize in only a narrow segment of the profession.  As the profession has changed over the years there has been a growing need for agreed upon professional practices in all areas of the cost engineering/project controls profession.  These recommended practices must be drafted, reviewed, edited and agreed upon by practicing professionals.  If AACE members do not take on this role our profession runs the risk of other professions defining our practices, even in the absence of detailed knowledge of our profession. 

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