DEVELOPMENT OF ACI
Marion Almy founded ACI in 1976 and was joined by Joan Deming in 1978. Local development projects dominated the first few years, but in the 1990s ACI took off – it was awarded cultural resource assessment survey contracts by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT).
Over the years, ACI has become the “first choice” of national and international engineering firms, developers, federal, state, and local agencies, as well as a “go to resource” for tribal collaboration. Our staff come from a variety of educational and professional backgrounds bringing their experience and expertise, resulting in ACI be knowledgeable, diverse, and flexible. In recognition of their knowledge and experience many of ACI’s staff have been nominated or elected to serve as board members and officers for various national organizations including American Cultural Resource Association (ACRA), National Trust for Historic Preservation (NRHP), Society of Professional Archaeologists (SOPA/RPA), with state organizations, including the Florida Public Archaeology Network, Florida Archaeological Council, and the Florida Anthropological Society (FAS), as well as the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation (FTHP), and the Florida Historical Commission (FHC); and local organizations include various city and county Historic Preservation Boards and Planning and Development Boards.
ACI also has extensive expertise working with pertinent state and federal laws and regulations. As the oldest full-service CRM firm in Florida and in recognition of our lead staff knowledge and experience, ACI has played a key role in assisting the FDHR and FDOT with writing and updating industry standards and guidelines. Theses documents include the original Rule Chapter 1A-46, Florida Administrative Code; the FDHR’s Archaeological and Historical Report Standards and Guidelines (S&G) and the Cultural Resource Management Standards and Operational (S&O) Manual; and the FDOT’s Cultural Resource Management (CRM) Handbook, the updated Chapter 8 of the PD&E Manual, and the third statewide edition of The Historic Highway Bridges of Florida.
Despite Marion’s early efforts to encourage her in other directions, her daughter Maranda pursued her degree in Anthropology focusing on Bioarchaeology and Forensic Anthropology. Marion soon realized the error of her ways and encouraged Maranda to pursue Anthropology! While in undergraduate and graduate school, Maranda worked for other CRM firms, the National Park Service, and museums throughout Florida. After earning her PhD, she furthered her education and experience through teaching and field work. Ultimately, Dr. Maranda Almy Kles joined ACI in 2018 as its Vice President, Principal, and head of the Bioarchaeology and Forensic Anthropology unit.