After nearly 18 years in geosynthetics, Elizabeth Peggs has announced her retirement from the field. Her roles have involved key positions with ASTM Committee D35 on Geosynthetics, the International Geosynthetics Society, and major conference organization and management (e.g., GeoAmericas 2016). She has also been the only Director Minerva Technology, Resources and Information and its flagship publication Geosynthetica (est. 1999) have ever known.
“When I entered the world of geosynthetics—seventeen and half years ago—it was clear there was a lot we could do with regard to communication and education,” Peggs said. “I believe, along with my colleagues at Minerva, Geosynthetica, the IGS, the IGS-NA, and the Association of Geohazard Professionals, that we have significantly moved the needle. It has been an incredible journey.”
Peggs officially concluded her role as Minerva’s Director on February 15. Earlier in the month she informed the International Geosynthetics Society Executive Council that she would also be leaving her volunteer post as the IGS Secretary this year, a role she has served in since 2010. When that moment comes, it will be the first time since 2005 that she will not be a part of the IGS Council.
ELIZABETH PEGGS ON GOING FORWARD
“Through this career path I have been given the opportunity to develop relationships and create systems to bring incredibly valuable information to engineers world-wide,” she said. “It has been very rewarding. And through this process I have been fortunate enough to meet some of the most intriguing and brilliant people and create friendships I hope will last well beyond this retirement.”
Peggs serves as a part-time senior consultant to Minerva in the interim, helping the international team navigate the complicated process of disentangling her from so many different points of leadership between the two central sides of Minerva’s businesses (geotechnical publishing and non-profit association & event management).
One of the immediate moves for Minerva has been the addition of Maria Bertuzzelli, a deeply experienced event management, budget management, and marketing professional. Some other responsibilities have been redistributed with Minerva’s long-time staff members and additional responsibilities will be taken up by an incoming project management professional. Look for more additions to the Minerva team in the near term.
“Leadership transition is never easy, but it’s especially difficult when the person departing has meant so much professionally and personally to a team, a company, and an industry,” says Chris Kelsey, Minerva’s Editor-in-Chief, who has worked alongside Elizabeth Peggs for 12 years. “We cannot fault her reasons for stepping away, though. Her family has been welcoming and supportive of all of us over the years, and they’ve patiently accepted her very busy professional schedule. We fully support her decision to focus more on her family, and we are grateful for the friendship and professional growth we’ve enjoyed during Elizabeth’s tenure.”
In her geosynthetics-related career, Peggs has led the transformation of Geosynthetica from its origin as a single-product company into Minerva and steered its growth as a diverse service-oriented entity with four publications, multiple non-profit association clients, and numerous small and large events organized and executed. Along the way she has served as the Executive Secretary of ASTM International Committee D35 on Geosynthetics, Communications Chair of GeoAmericas 2008, ad-hoc consulting member of the Erosion Control Technology Council (ECTC) Marketing Committee, IGS Council Member, IGS Officer, contributing author to IGS News, IGS Corporate Committee Chair, International Promotions Chair for GeoAmericas 2012, and Co-Secretary General of GeoAmericas 2016.
“The decision to retire from this company and this community has been very difficult – but for me it is the right time,” Peggs said. “Change provides an excellent opportunity for evolution and I am confident that the next evolution will come for Minerva and all of the associations impacted by my departure. I will be watching keenly to see what exciting things are on the horizon. I would be lying if I said I’m not a bit wistful as I close this chapter, but I’m looking forward to the emergence of new great stories as the next chapters unfold!”
Those wishing to contact Elizabeth on her departure may still reach her at Elizabeth@Geosynthetica.net in the meantime.7