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JAMES ABRON

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JAMES ABRON

GENERAL OVERVIEW

James Abron is a construction subject matter expert based on formal training and a 35 year career in design and construction. Mr. Abron has converted his industry knowledge into an active practice as a mediator and arbitrator focusing on contract, construction, engineering, architectural, land use, and environmental disputes. James has provided mediation, arbitration, fact finding and neutral expert witness services to both public and private clients. James became an arbitrator for the California State Contractors License Board in 1995.

Approach

James has stated that “In mediation, I function as a positive neutral. My role is to design a process that will allow for constructive problem solving by the parties to the dispute. I rely on my construction industry knowledge to help the parties evaluate proposals for resolution”. While, “In arbitration, I function as an active listener. My role is to critically evaluate the evidence presented and make a timely decision based on the facts presented”.

Construction Engineer/Construction Manager

Mr. Abron has been exposed to many facets of design, engineering and construction during the course of his career. As a general contractor, he constructed residential structures, sanitary sewers, and other subdivision improvements. As a public works engineer, he designed roadway projects, storm and sanitary sewers, retention/detention basins, traffic signaling and signage.

James was employed by Jones & Henry Engineers, Ltd., Toledo, Ohio for eight years as the Director of Infrastructure Management. In this role, he designed or conducted feasibility studies for water and waste water projects such as pipelines, pumping stations and water and wastewater treatment plants. He also completed water and wastewater utility rate studies and utility energy audits.

As a resident construction engineer, James supervised the construction of an 8-story pre-stressed concrete parking garage, a four lane segment of highway, a drilled soldier pile post-tensioned retaining wall, and the complete architectural and structural rehabilitation of the Henry J. Kaiser Convention Center (Oakland, California).

As a construction manager, James constructed new libraries, fire stations, parking garages, relief sewers, pumping stations, recreation centers, road improvements, dock facilities, lake dredging projects, pedestrian bridges, environmental (asbestos abatement, lead abatement, hydrocarbon soil remediation) projects, and the rehabilitation of tens of thousands of linear feet of sanitary sewer using open trench construction, insertion renewal, chemical grouting and other No Dig technologies.

Construction Project Administration

Mr. Abron was responsible for implementation of Oakland, California’s annual capital improvement program and chaired the Standard Specifications Committee. The capital program consisted of the design and construction of 30-40 capital projects annually. It was during this period that Mr. Abron’s construction administration skills were most challenged. The 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake and 1991 Oakland Hills Firestorm created a multitude of construction projects spread over a very diverse area.

James became the Director of Public Works for Wayne County, Michigan in March 1999. He inherited a $300 million waste water treatment plant expansion project riddled with claims. The project included the construction of a 10-ft diameter combined sewer storage tunnel, also encumbered with differing site condition and delay claims. These were all resolved to the Owner’s satisfaction. Other capital projects under construction during his tenure included sanitary pumping stations, combined sewer overflow basins, and pipelines valued at over $345 million. As the Wayne County Drain Commissioner, James was responsible for the maintenance of hundreds of miles of open trench and buried storm water diversion pipeline.

Training and Teaching

While at the City of Oakland, James developed and taught an 18-week construction management course to engineers and architects seeking transfer to the Construction Division. He authored two 100+ page manuals for this program – The Resident Engineer’s Legal Reference and the Manual of Construction Management Practice. James served as an adjunct instructor at Diablo Valley College (Pleasant Hill, California), teaching Heavy Construction and Construction Documents. While at Jones & Henry Engineers, James taught construction project management seminars for the Michigan Rural Water Association. Additionally, Mr. Abron has been employed as an adjunct instructor in project management for the University of California, Berkeley Extension as well as the Keller Graduate School of Management.

A listing of James Abron’s professional credentials follows:

Employment History

AbronADR Services Mediator/Arbitrator Livonia, MI
Jones & Henry Engineers, Ltd. Director of Infrastructure Management Toledo, Ohio
Wayne County, Michigan Director of Public Works Detroit, MI
City of Oakland Public Works Division Manager/Principal Engineer Oakland, CA
Abron Construction Company President/CEO Oakland, CA
Professional Licenses/Certifications
Professional Engineer State of Michigan No. 046389
Registered Civil Engineer State of California No. 32754
Licensed Land Surveyor State of California No. 5069
General Building & Engineering Contractor State of California No. 362182
Industrial Site Storm Water Operator Mich. Depart. of Environmental Quality No. C-09801
Project Management Professional Project Management Institute No. 3262
Certified Floodplain Manager Association of State Floodplain Managers US-06-01785
Certified Construction Contract Administrator Constructions Specifications Institute No number
Formal ADR Training
Basic Community Mediation 40 hours Schoolcraft College
General Civil Mediation (MCR 2.411) 40 hours Schoolcraft College
Domestic Relations Mediation (MCR 3.216) 40 hours Schoolcraft College
Evaluative Mediation and Arbitration 16 hours Schoolcraft College
Domestic Violence Screening Protocol 8 hours Schoolcraft College
Michigan Civil Law for Non Attorney Mediators 8 hours Schoolcraft College
Basic Arbitrator Training 8 hours American Arbitration Association
Certified Arbitrator Course 8 hours Arbitration Mediation International, Inc.

Formal Education

Bachelor of Science, Engineering   Purdue University, W. Lafayette, IN
Professional Development Degree   University of Wisconsin, Madison
Master of Business Administration   Golden Gate University, San Francisco
Certificate – Total Quality Management   California State University, East Bay
Certificate – Conflict Resolution Specialist   Schoolcraft College, Livonia, MI

ADR Memberships/Panels

  • 2nd. Judicial Circuit Court of Michigan Panel of Mediators
  • CDRS National Panel of Construction ADR Specialists
  • The Urban Institute Panel of Mediators
  • Association for Conflict Resolution
  • State Bar of Michigan Alternative Dispute Resolution Section
  • ESD, Engineering Society of Detroit ADR Committee
  • Ohio Mediation Association
  • Mediators Beyond Borders
Professional Memberships

  • American Society of Civil Engineers (Fellow)
  • Association of State Floodplain Managers
  • Michigan Stormwater-Floodplain Association

Personal

Electronics has been a hobby since childhood. Today, James operates an internet streaming radio station that plays “old time radio” programs from the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s. The station can be accessed worldwide at www.kkjaradio.com. James is the holder of the following licenses/industry certifications by examination:

  • Amateur Extra Class License (ham radio) - W6AQT
  • General Radiotelephone Operator License w/ship radar endorsement - PG 1231543
  • Certified Broadcast Technologist (Society of Broadcast Engineers) No. 23996
  • Certified Radio Operator (Society of Broadcast Engineers) No. 70441