American Council of Engineering Companies/Maryland


Annually, ACEC/MD honors a member firm representative that has made a significant contribution to the community by volunteering their time and expertise.

2022 Winner

Marco Avila


Aside from practicing Civil Engineering for over 26 years, Marco is an active member of several societies, including American Society of Highway Engineers, American Society of Civil Engineers, ACEC/Maryland (committee Chair), The Engineering Society of Baltimore (ESB), and Engineers Without Borders. 

Marco is the Chairman of the Board and President of the Maryland-Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (MDHCC), where he has created and implemented a MDHCC Scholarship Program, as well new programs for mentoring, education, growth, partnership, promotion/marketing, procurement advisory, international business marketing, and networking.

In 2016-2017, Marco was president of the ESB, where he increased their membership to 550 and led the approval and execution of one of their biggest capital projects, the construction of ESB’s Elevator Tower. He also chaired their annual Engineers Week Program. At this time, Marco continues to serve as a board member and as one of the trustees of the ESB Education Foundation, which provides annual scholarships to future engineers.

For over 26 years, Marco has been the CEO and Co-Founder of the Healing Hands Foundation where he organizes global medical and dental missions to help children in need at no cost. As a dedicated volunteer, he helps children with complex congenital malformations in areas lacking resources and surgical expertise. Marco has also coordinated tons of donated medical supplies and personal protective equipment to third-world countries in the midst of COVID-19. 

In 2019, Marco was appointed to the Advisory Council for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Baltimore where he volunteers for fundraising events.

In March 2021, Marco joined the Sail Baltimore Foundation Board of Directors. At Sail Baltimore, residents and visitors can learn about maritime history, navigation, geography, technology, and international cultures.

In April 2021, Marco joined the Maryland Aviation Administration (MAA) Small Business Advisory Council (SMBAC) to ensure MAA opportunities can be offered to Minority and Small Businesses in Maryland. Around the same time, Marco also joined the Association for Enterprise Growth, a national nonprofit, as a Board member.

2021 Winner

Lauren Waesche, PE


Lauren WaescheLauren is a devoted steward to the community through her leadership and participation in numerous civic societies, programs, and charitable organizations, both in and outside the Engineering Community. Her kindness and good will toward her community certainly sets her apart from others.

As an active member of the ACEC Community Outreach Committee, she has supported the Industry’s concerns for proposed legislation, such as Indemnity and Duty to Defend, and has reached out to local politicians to voice  CEC’s interests.

Lauren helps educate her neighbors in local government and assesses the neighborhood for traffic calming and overall safety. She has participated in several STEM events for high school students throughout Maryland and is actively involved with the Women’s Transportation Seminar (WTS). She participated in a fundraiser for the WTS Nicole Washington scholarship fund, which provides educational opportunities to college students. As the co-chair and a mentor of the WTS Mentor Program/Committee, she gives guidance to younger women engineers/planners to help them succeed in the Transportation industry. Her experience has led her to start a new mentor program titled, ‘Next Level’ that targets building leadership skills for mid-level engineers/planners.

As a lead on the Red Shoe Shuffle committee with the Ronald McDonald House (RMH), Lauren developed a plan and modified details for an in-person 5k race to become a virtual event. Her leadership skills helped raise thousands of dollars for RMH. With this organization, she has also prepared and served hundreds of meals for families of pediatric patients in Baltimore Hospitals and rendered her spare time to helping children with crafts.

As part of the WSP Green Team, Lauren was involved in the cleanup of several parks. In 2020, Lauren graciously donated funds to a WSP-led charity drive to support the Maryland Food Bank during the holiday season. Her generosity doesn’t end there; she continues by donating clothing and toys to both Toys for Tots and Operation Christmas Child. She has even gone to the limits of growing out her hair, only to have it cut and donated to make wigs for cancer patients.

Lauren has a selfless, ‘take charge’ attitude. At the rise of the pandemic when essential personal protection equipment was limited, she took the initiative to respond to the worldwide COVID-19 crisis by buying supplies and making/sewing over 600 plastic face shields and masks for the  Kennedy Krieger Institute, Healthcare for the Homeless, and local hospitals in the Baltimore area for front line workers fighting the pandemic.

While volunteering for Bridges to Prosperity, Lauren spent two weeks in Africa providing design and construction services for a pedestrian bridge that now connects two rural communities in Kabere, Rwanda. Last spring, Lauren had a mission trip planned to Guatemala through a non-profit organization, but unfortunately, it was canceled due to COVID travel restrictions. She has rescheduled the trip for 2021.

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