TZL 1437 (web)

Ap r i l 18 , 2022 , I s sue 1 437 W W W . Z W E I G G R O U P . C O M


Value per employee

Firms with purpose driven leadership have tangible benefits and more successful outcomes. Purpose driven leadership

F I R M I N D E X ACTS 29 Consulting.......................................... 12 Ardurra........................................................................10 CMTA........................................................................... 12 EN Engineering....................................................10 HEAPY........................................................................... 6 Larson Design Group..........................................4 Mitie.................................................................................2 O’Connell Robertson...........................................4 P2ML...............................................................................2 TG Advisers, Inc...................................................10 Therma Holdings................................................ 12 MO R E A R T I C L E S n ASHLEY HEINNICKEL: Don’t fear the rebrand Page 3 n Colleagues first: Ginger Scherbarth Page 6 n RICK CLOUTIER & KART VAITH: Leveraging the synergy of rapid growth Page 9 n MARK ZWEIG: What makes a good partner? Page 11 In Zweig Group’s 2022 Valuation Report of AEC Firms , yearly trends for the value per employee ratio were analyzed to better understand the market. As one of the least volatile value ratios calculated by Zweig Group, the value per employee ratio is a quick way for firms to assess their relative value. The median value for 2022 was $86,068, which was an 11 percent increase from 2021. By comparison, the average annual increase for this value was 4.6 percent between 2012 and 2021. Participate in a survey and save 50 percent on the final or pre- publication price of any Zweig Group research publication.

O ne of the many things I’m interested in thinking about is legacy. Doing so requires us to ask ourselves about our purpose. By purpose, I do not mean passion. Passion can be an important factor in your success, but it is hard work that makes us passionate. Purpose is what you truly care about. It is what you are uniquely positioned to provide and gives you the resilience to succeed. For this article, I’d like to focus on what purpose driven leadership and strategy mean for our firms. At Zweig Group, we strive to Elevate the Industry as the leaders in driving purpose and performance for the AEC universe. Before diving into some of the research and data indicating why purpose should be the foundation of your strategy, let’s look at several other examples of well- crafted purpose statements from companies you may be familiar with: ■ ■ REI – “Awaken a lifelong love of the outdoors, for all.” ■ ■ Google – “To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” ■ ■ Charles Schwab – “A relentless ally for the individual investor.” You may be thinking, this is all great, but are there tangible benefits, evidence, and data that purpose driven leadership, organizations, and strategy have more successful outcomes? The short answer is yes. The Gartenberg study published in 2019’s Organization Science 30, No.1 included 500,000 people across 429 firms suggesting a positive impact on both operating financial performance (return on assets) and forward-looking measures of performance (Tobin’s Q and stock returns) when the purpose is communicated with clarity – even after controlling for current performance. It also noted that this relation is driven by the perceptions of middle management and professional staff rather than senior executives. Additionally, Thomas Malnight and Ivy Buche of IMD and Charles Dhanaraj at the Fox School of Business launched a global study of high growth companies that investigated the importance of three strategies known to drive growth: creating new markets, serving broader stakeholder needs, and changing the rules of the game. What they found surprised them. There was a fourth driver that hadn’t been considered – purpose.

Phil Keil

See PHIL KEIL, page 2



TRANSACTIONS MITIE ACQUIRES P2ML Mitie has expanded its telecoms offering with the acquisition of P2ML. P2ML is a specialist telecoms tower design house, which will further expand Mitie’s telecoms Acquisition, Design and Construction capabilities following the acquisition of DAEL Telecoms last year. P2ML will be acquired for a total consideration of £2.1 million, on a cash-

free, debt-free basis, with a normalised level of working capital. The acquisition will be funded from existing facilities. P2ML provides design, construction, inspection and maintenance services for cellular telecoms infrastructure, enabling major network operators and tower owners to facilitate upgrades to their estates. This ensures that new technologies, such as 5G, can be implemented and optimised safely and to the highest standard.

PHIL KEIL , from page 1

Those in the study that were driven by purpose had average compound annual growth of 30 percent or more in the previous five years. A security firm from the study completely reshaped its business to align with purpose and saw sales increase from 6 percent of total revenue to 20 percent in the new sector of focus. A financial services firm in India, a country with abysmally low (3.5 percent) insurance penetration, following its purpose to “rise” and serve rural areas managed to grow its market and client base to serve 50 percent of villages and 6 million customers. They also found impacts on unifying the organizations, motivating stakeholders, and broadening impact. Finally, other research has shown purpose driven leaders gain nearly 50 percent more market share than their competition, they win Best Firm To Work For awards, and attract better talent. As I’ve already mentioned, Zweig Group exists to help AEC firms see results like these by helping them design and implement the strategies that work. A few things that purpose driven leaders and firms have in common: ■ ■ They are introspective and self-aware. ■ ■ They focus on the big picture. ■ ■ They integrate purpose into their strategic plan and strategy. ■ ■ They have an ethical filter. ■ ■ They communicate and inculcate their values and purpose into the culture of their firm constantly and particularly on an employee’s day to day level. ■ ■ They set measurable goals.

PO Box 1528 Fayetteville, AR 72702

Chad Clinehens | Publisher Sara Parkman | Senior Editor & Designer Shirley Che | Contributing Editor Liisa Andreassen | Correspondent Tel: 800-466-6275 Fax: 800-842-1560 Email: Online: Twitter: Facebook: Group-1030428053722402 Published continuously since 1992 by Zweig Group, Fayetteville, Arkansas, USA. ISSN 1068-1310. Issued weekly (48 issues/year). Free electronic subscription at © Copyright 2022, Zweig Group. All rights reserved.

■ ■ Their purpose allows them the power to innovate. ■ ■ Their purpose leads them to impactful partnerships.

At this point, perhaps you are convinced and would like to take steps to transform your firm, perhaps you’re unconvinced and would like to challenge this framework, or perhaps you are just interested enough to learn more. There are two ways for you to continue this journey of discovery. I’ll be speaking more about these topics at DISRUPT, the largest virtual business of architecture symposium in the world on May 1-5. Alternatively, you can reach out to me directly. I’m always interested in edifying conversations with others sharing a similar passion in the AEC universe. Phil Keil is a principal and director of strategy services at Zweig Group. Contact him at

2022 AEC EXECUTIVE ROUNDTABLE This roundtable is a unique opportunity for AEC firm leaders to engage and interact with industry peers to discuss current issues facing firms today, explore industry trends and next practices, and confront the biggest challenges they face leading their firms. See you this June 22-24 in Dallas!

© Copyright 2022. Zweig Group. All rights reserved.




Don’t fear the rebrand

A rebrand is an opportunity to elevate your firm’s identity and build excitement about where you’re going.

L arson Design Group took on a major brand initiative in 2021 by launching a new visual identity including a modernized logo, bolder colors, and updated fonts. This refreshed appearance has now been deployed across all types of media and both print and digital platforms like our website, social media, proposals, collateral, advertisements, promotions, and events; through our external announcement campaigns; and even interior and exterior signage for our 15 offices across seven states. The initiative has required a lot of time, effort, and coordination across our company – but why all the effort just to change the appearance of something?

Ashley Heinnickel

Looks aren’t everything – but they are something. The aesthetic perspective aside (no logo can stay relevant forever), a company should always be aware that there are four equally important aspects of a professional services brand: 1. Strategy and how you go to market 2. Messaging and how you tell your story 3. Your people, how they serve your clients 4. Your visual identity, which includes logo, fonts, colors, and images Companies tend to diminish the visual identity

component in favor of others, as the line of thinking goes that fonts and colors aren’t relevant in the grand pursuit of contracts and clients. At LDG, the implementation of a new strategic plan and the goal of expanding our company from regional to national in scope has led to rapid growth in the last several years, which in turn has led us to enter new markets and offer new services. It also forced us to take stock of how the company has changed since the last adjustment to the brand in the mid-2000s. This led us to ask ourselves some tough questions: Does our logo reflect the energy and passion of our current organization and where we’re headed? How




ON THE MOVE O’CONNELL ROBERTSON ANNOUNCES LEADERSHIP PROMOTIONS O’Connell Robertson has promoted three employees to its leadership team: Danny Cornejo (associate principal), Jeremy Zorn (senior associate), and Patricia Runge (associate). The new leaders bring valuable knowledge and experience in education and healthcare design, as well as community engagement. Their leadership will steer the company into

the future, exemplifying the firm’s core values in their everyday interactions with clients and colleagues. “We are excited to recognize these individuals who are demonstrating the highest level of response to our firm’s core values. They are not only excelling in their areas of engineering, design, and business expertise, but are mentoring others in the development

of their knowledge and are champions of client service. We are pleased to be recognizing career growth and expertise development in the diversity of skills and opportunity this group brings to O’Connell Robertson, ” says Amy Jones, president. This is an exciting time at O’Connell Robertson as the firm continues to grow, bringing value to clients through creative problem solving and design.

■ ■ Network. Connect with others who recently tackled a similar initiative to hear their lessons learned. ■ ■ Be intentional about your project team. It’s not just marketing that handles a rebrand – it takes an army! Get involvement from senior leadership and departmental champions to help conduct a thorough review of all places in which your logo appears. Consider organizing into smaller working groups such as marketing, operations, offices, and corporate service teams – and assign a lead to each. ■ ■ Organization is key. We divided our initiative into three phases: † † Strategy: Scoping the project and determining a budget † † Creative: Design iteration and template development † † Rollout: A comprehensive audit of materials helped us with timing of deliverables to spread cost and internal resources ■ ■ Weekly sprints. With more than 1,000 projects happening throughout the initiative, breaking the plan into weekly priorities helped us stay focused and not overwhelmed. ■ ■ Communicate appropriately. Be sure to have relevant communications for specific audiences like board members, leadership, or all employees. Remember that too many details can be distracting. ■ ■ Use technology to its fullest extent. Tech will set you free! We deployed MS Office 365, especially Teams, for storage, chats, document collaboration, edit consolidating, our draft-to-review process, and more. ■ ■ Lean on good partners. Working with trusted vendors for printing, promotional items, and creative design helped us stay focused on our goals for the initiative and kept the scale in check. If a rebrand is on your mind, my advice is to go for it. Consider timing it with a major announcement or company milestone so that it gets good exposure – launching a new logo without a story could be a missed opportunity. Ashley Heinnickel is chief marketing officer at Larson Design Group. Connect with her on LinkedIn .


is our audience, from clients to employees, evolving and expanding? Which new competitors do we now see and how do we make ourselves stand out in comparison? The answer was that LDG needed a fresh, exciting look to match our energetic growth and development. In creating our new logo and updating our visual identity, it was crucial to balance homage to our foundation and our legacy of success with our exciting growth and promising future. We enlisted the help of an outside creative agency, who helped us retain the recognizable square shape of our previous logo, and our internal marketing team and an extended group of leadership and employees collaborated on the final design. It was an evolution, not necessarily a revolution, that we believe elevates our identity and builds excitement about where we are going, meant to engage everyone from current clients to prospective clients, new employees, and our industry as a whole. BY THE NUMBERS. Obviously, changing your logo isn’t free. There are internal costs, like the time and effort required to scope your project and get internal documents and templates updated; but there are also the hard costs to consider, such as engaging a creative agency, reprinting collateral, and ordering new office signage. As an employee-owned company, it was important to us to be intentional about those costs, so we took a two-year approach splitting final deliverables into Day 1, 100-day, and long-term plans. After the company-wide launch of the new logo, which included some new apparel and promotional items for all employees, we focused on updating client-facing, business development, and recruiting elements first. This resulted in a lot of positive feedback – both internal and external – that we carried into the next phase of addressing more internal-facing aspects. It’s also important to remember that plenty of items can be replaced when due, rather than up front. LESSONS LEARNED. Here are some key takeaways for anyone considering taking on an initiative like this: balance homage to our foundation and our legacy of success with our exciting growth and promising future.” “In creating our new logo and updating our visual identity, it was crucial to

© Copyright 2022. Zweig Group. All rights reserved.




Colleagues first: Ginger Scherbarth Chief people officer at HEAPY (Dayton, OH), a nationally recognized leader in sustainable and resilient engineering design.


S cherbarth describes herself as a genuine, results-oriented leader who is a highly strategic thinker who’s able to balance the “big picture” with the details required to make meaningful change. One of her key talents is developing an organization’s strategy and cascading the objectives and messaging so that the entire organization is pointed in the same direction; that’s just what she’s doing at HEAPY. “When I started, HEAPY had just transitioned from a practice- centered structure to a formal C-suite, and I was hired as the first chief people officer,” Scherbarth says. “This demonstrated to our colleagues that they are our most valuable asset, which warranted a ‘seat at the table’ to advance our colleague-first vision.” A CONVERSATIONWITH GINGER SCHERBARTH. The Zweig Letter: One of your chief responsibilities is to revitalize the HR department at HEAPY. What steps are you taking to do that? Ginger Scherbarth: During my first year, we spent a lot of time

building our internal infrastructure – setting a framework for operations, establishing a service-centered and collaborative culture, and developing solid, meaningful partnerships with vendors who support us. We were also dealing with the ramifications of COVID-19 and the impact the pandemic had on our day-to-day work and our colleagues’ wellbeing. As we transitioned to a colleague-first organization, we redeveloped our purpose, vision, mission, and core values. We also used employee engagement survey to understand where we needed to improve. We discovered that we needed to get back to basics and help colleagues to understand what is expected of them and provide them with the materials and equipment needed to do their work. We took a deep dive and formed focus groups to evaluate and update job responsibilities for certain roles to ensure alignment. Our work also involves understanding each colleague’s dream for their career and personal life. We’re putting in plans this year to foster that journey, which is very exciting to me. TZL: Have you had a particular mentor who has guided you –



in school, in your career, or in general? Who were they and how did they help? GS: During my days at LensCrafters Corporate Office, I oversaw the benefits programs for our associates and my mentor was our vice president of operations. His expectations were super high, but he had a sense of humor and sarcasm that resonated with me. He was known for fully preparing before every meeting, finding a tiny error in the middle of a hundred-page document, or questioning any statistic that seemed “fishy.” He taught me to bring my A game, anticipate questions, and be sure the problem I was solving was indeed the root cause and not a symptom.

we have a clear understanding of the role and skills necessary for a candidate to be successful. We have an excellent recruiter on staff who helps screen candidates for technical skills and culture fit. We look for colleagues who will be inspired by our purpose, vision, mission, and core values. We prioritize candidates who demonstrate their drive to collaborate, show care for others, and drive results for our clients and communities. We also recently updated all our roles and job descriptions to reflect our updated purpose and values. TZL: What are you most excited about in terms of the future of the firm’s HR? Why? GS: When I started, HEAPY had just transitioned from a practice-centered structure to a formal C-suite, and I was hired as the first chief people officer. This demonstrated to our colleagues that they are our most valuable asset, which warranted a “seat at the table” to advance our colleague- first vision. Just one month after I started in my new role, we all went home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It was interesting to be in a colleague-centered role and not be able to physically meet and interact with our people! But we found ways to foster the culture and a feeling of belonging, even though we weren’t together for more than a year. Our CEO, Mark Brumfield, is incredibly visionary and I’m driven by his passion for building a sustainable, well, and more resilient society. My focus is helping colleagues understand how they align with that purpose and vision, giving everyone a reason to get out of bed in the morning: A paycheck is not enough! “It was interesting to be in a colleague-centered role and not be able to physically meet and interact with our people! But we found ways to foster the culture and a feeling of belonging, even though we weren’t together for more than a year.” TZL: Howmuch time do you spend working “in the business” rather than “on the business?” GS: You might find it unusual that an HR See COLLEAGUES FIRST , page 8

HEADQUARTERS: Dayton, OH NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES: 202 YEAR FOUNDED: 1945 OFFICE LOCATIONS: 5 MARKETS: ■ ■ Healthcare ■ ■ Education ■ ■ Corporate/ commercial ■ ■ Industrial/ ■ ■ Government ■ ■ Science and technology ■ ■ Cultural/arts ■ ■ Mission critical SERVICES: ■ ■ Mechanical ■ ■ Electrical and plumbing design ■ ■ Fire and life safety design manufacturing technology design ■ ■ Building optimization/ commissioning ■ ■ Sustainability and resiliency ■ ■ Engineer-led design build construction ■ ■ Master planning/ facility condition assessment ■ ■ Lighting design ■ ■ Information and communication

“Our culture is unique. Part of our vision is to provide meaningful work that also fosters

TZL: How has COVID-19 permanently impacted your firm’s policy on telecommuting? GS: I was amazed at how quickly HEAPY was able to pivot and transition to fully remote work when the pandemic hit. You don’t want to waste a crisis, and we used the pandemic as an opportunity to develop a nimbler workforce and accelerate our adoption of new technology and workflows. It also allowed us to look at our workforce in a more flexible way and foster our colleague-first culture. In this tough labor market, we’re all looking for ways to recruit and retain the best. We have found that we have a mix of colleagues who want to work in the office, some at home, and others hybrid. Right now, we’re maintaining flexibility and letting colleagues lead the way. Honestly, we’re trying to figure out how to keep our unique culture fully woven into who we are as a company. There’s nothing like the interaction of in-person connections, especially when you have a mentoring/ learning environment such as ours, but flexibility and work-life balance are equally important. TZL: What are some key traits needed to fit into the culture at HEAPY? How do you work to ensure that your new hires will be the right fit? GS: Before we ever post a job opening, we meet with our leadership team to ensure enduring relationships – for colleagues, our clients, and the surrounding community.”

© Copyright 2022. Zweig Group. All rights reserved.

PRIL 18, 2022, ISSUE 1437



person would answer this question, because we are typically considered a “cost center.” However, our department spends about half our time on what I’ll call “run the business” activities (performance reviews, benefits program management, etc.) and the other half on strategic initiatives. I believe that even our “run the business” activities produce company savings through retention, engagement, and cost-effective processes. Our strategic initiatives include using employee surveys to track and improve our colleague engagement and helping to ensure colleagues understand howwhat they do every day contributes to HEAPY reaching its objectives. TZL: Trust is essential. How do you earn the trust of your clients? GS: My “clients” are our 200 colleagues. Other than the obvious answers such as honesty, integrity, listening, and following through on commitments, our team focuses on investing in our people and helping them reach their potential. We collaborate with all our leaders to support their objectives in meeting client needs and HEAPY objectives. We’re partners in every problem and champions for every success. “Our team focuses on investing in our people and helping them reach their potential. We collaborate with all our leaders to support their objectives in meeting client needs and HEAPY objectives. We’re partners in every problem and champions for every success.” TZL: The firmwas founded 75 years ago. In terms of culture, what do you believe has stayed the same and what has changed? GS: For the past 77 years, we really tried to create a highly talented and capable workforce, which still informs our mission focused on real collaboration, real inspiration, and real performance. We’re not a commodity. We offer an exceptional service, and we focus on relationships with our clients. We are a leading-edge firm, especially when it comes to energy and sustainability, and that remains core to our culture today. Our colleagues have a strong sense of connection and meaningful relationships, and I am grateful that has remained unchanged throughout our history. The pandemic has accelerated some cultural changes in the past year, leading to increased flexibility and collaboration across the organization. We’re also more focused on emotional intelligence and conscious leadership, which helps our colleagues find their path and engage in meaningful work. Finally, we are more proactive about improving diversity and inclusion at HEAPY and in our industry. We are looking for new and creative ways to engage young people in our industry and improve our hiring practices so that our workforce better reflects the communities we serve. TZL: It is often said that people leave managers, not

HEAPY staff volunteering at the Dayton Foodbank.

companies. What are you doing to ensure that your line leadership are great people managers? GS: We are “consultants” to the managers in helping them with growth and development of their people through coaching and training. We foster the sharing of feedback, provide direction on career path mapping, and collaborate in handling difficult colleague challenges. Our primary purpose is to support our colleagues, and this is encompassed by our value “show care.” We endeavor to coach our leaders to show care for those they supervise and support. We have the HEAPY Leadership Development Program, a three-year program that incorporates conscious leadership practices to set the framework for future leaders of the company. We’re currently implementing CliftonStrengths to help our teams work toward their strengths and value diverse characteristics and skills among team members. TZL: In one word or phrase, what do you describe as your number one job responsibility? GS: Helping HEAPY fully transition to a colleague-first culture. TZL: A firm’s longevity is valuable. What are you doing to encourage your staff to stick around? GS: We put a great deal of effort into helping our colleagues reach their personal and professional goals. We’re mapping a journey from our first interaction with a candidate to when they become a colleague to when they retire. We customize training and development opportunities to help colleagues achieve their goals, and we provide flexibility to help our colleagues reach their potential both inside and outside of work. Our culture is unique. Part of our vision is to provide meaningful work that also fosters enduring relationships – for colleagues, our clients, and the surrounding community. Colleagues embrace a higher purpose and feel a deep connection to each other, which gives everyone energy and excitement about their work and howwe can positively impact society.

© Copyright 2022. Zweig Group. All rights reserved.




By formalizing a few key integration strategies, you could effectively leverage the synergy of each new acquisition leading to sales, operations, and delivery benefits. Leveraging the synergy of rapid growth

E ven during these unprecedented times, Ardurra has been fortunate to grow from a staff of about 100 to more than 900 employees in less than five years. While this staggering growth is exciting, it also brings a host of challenges that our leadership both anticipated and developed strategies and business processes to address. These processes have allowed Ardurra to leverage the benefits of this rapid service growth and geographic expansion by proactively integrating each acquisition, while encouraging and rewarding collaboration.

Rick Cloutier, P.E.

Our growth has included both organic and acquisitive growth. Organic growth, while providing value to Ardurra’s clients, also provides ongoing opportunities to staff and maximizes shareholders’ value. Growth has also occurred geographically through the acquisition and assimilation of carefully selected partners. Acquisitive growth without organic growth often results in poor investments; organic growth without mergers may be too slow in the current consulting environment. This strategy of bringing together organic and acquisitive growth requires synergy. Synergy is defined as interaction or cooperation that gives rise to a whole that is greater than the simple sum of its parts. Synergy does not happen by itself and has been a carefully managed process within Ardurra and includes the following:

■ ■ Structured integration process for acquisitive growth. Ardurra has established an integration “team” that aligns each of our existing service areas with their counterparts in the new firm. Known as “initiatives” these specific focus areas include: human capital, accounting, information technology, marketing, sales, production, operations, and technical services. Each initiative has a champion from each firm who work together in a zippered approach to fully integrate within a three- to eight-month period. Together, they develop milestones and deadlines to fully integrate their particular area within the rest of the organization. Our synergy director, Rick Cloutier, guides us through the process and

Kart Vaith, P.E.






ranging from startup optimization to outage planning, maintenance, and root- cause failure analysis. They will be a great complement to our power services team.” TG Advisers, Inc. was founded in 2004 and specializes in troubleshooting, risk-informed outage planning, and O&M optimization solutions. They help utilities navigate a challenging marketplace by leveraging decades of experience with turbines and generators

and offer a robust suite of services and training. “This is an excellent opportunity for us to partner with a nationwide industry-leading engineering firm,” said Thomas Reid, director of TG Advisers. “We are excited to be able to expand our capabilities and partner with the EN power experts to offer turnkey solutions.”

DELAWARE-BASED ADVISERS, INC. EN Engineering announced the acquisition of TG Advisers, Inc., steam and gas turbine, generator, and utility plant consultants based in Wilmington, Delaware. TG “We are excited that TG Advisers has joined EN,” said Adam Biggam, CEO of EN Engineering.” They bring extensive experience and expertise to a wide variety of turbine generator projects

technical leads, and subject matter experts within each of our practices. Each is responsible for identifying and connecting new employees and acquisition staff within their service area to the team, available tools, and available resources. The goal is to help every staff member achieve their professional goals while helping Ardurra continue to innovate and provide exceptional services to our clients. Additionally, this group is fostering collaboration and communication, sharing lessons learned on current projects and pursuits, such as experience with various technologies, manufacturers, operational strategies, etc. Finally, they help garner national recognition for Ardurra and our clients by presenting technical papers and preparing award submissions on innovative solutions and feature projects for industry conferences and agencies. ■ ■ Rapid integration and coordination between sales staff. Firms that are most aligned with Ardurra have strong leadership and have built a sound technical and project delivery practice with a foundation of exceptional client services. However, a key to continued high organic growth has been the rapid assimilation of the acquired firm’s leaders into the Ardurra system. This allows the acquired staff to follow some simple but required procedures, while integrating and becoming a part of a group with world- class competence. While each of these may seem like intuitive strategies, you would be surprised how many acquisitive firms are not applying them. This is why so many continue to operate as “franchises,” rather than one, cohesive company. Inherently, Ardurra’s culture facilitates a family structure, encouraging collaboration and teamwork. By formalizing these key integration strategies, we have effectively leveraged the synergy of each new acquisition leading to sales, operations and delivery benefits. Rick Cloutier, P.E., is director of synergy at Ardurra. Connect with him on LinkedIn . Kart Vaith, P.E., is chief strategy officer at Ardurra. Connect with him on LinkedIn .


holds the group accountable for achieving the established milestones. ■ ■ Integrated selling program. As part of the integration process, our chief strategy officer, Kart Vaith, has initiated an integrated selling program that includes an education process for our existing staff on the full suite of our services that may be of interest to our clients. We also provide tools and information to the new additions that help our staff better understand Ardurra’s history, resources, and services that they can now offer to our clients. The cornerstone to this approach is to put the client first and allow every employee in the firm to prioritize superior client service and exceptional project delivery above all else. “These processes have allowed Ardurra to leverage the benefits of this rapid service growth and geographic expansion by proactively integrating each acquisition, while encouraging and rewarding collaboration.” ■ ■ Cross-selling incentives. To further encourage our existing and new acquisition sales teams to offer the full suite of services to our clients, Ardurra has instituted a training program with incentives to allow staff to learn and grow in areas outside of their core skill set. Not only does this program provide us with the means to track tangible results of the synergies realized from each new acquisition, it has successfully spurred outreach, communication, and collaboration across geographic regions and service disciplines. ■ ■ Market leader initiative. Ardurra has identified key individuals to serve as national market leaders, regional

M&A NEXT SYMPOSIUM Reserve your seat at the table as Zweig Group’s M&A thought leaders share insights and provide deep learning through an interactive experience focused on current and “next” practices in the world of M&A. This highly interactive event is designed to provide M&A education and practical application through interactive roundtable discussions, thought leadership from expert panelists, and focused networking to connect leaders from across the country. Join us in Charleston, South Carolina April 28-29. Click here to learn more!

© Copyright 2022. Zweig Group. All rights reserved.




What makes a good partner?

These are some of the most important qualities to look for in a potential business partner.

M ost of us who are owners of businesses have partners or fellow owners of one sort or another. It’s really common in this business to have multiple owners of firms.

I think a lot of people believe partners should all be like-minded. Heck, if you asked me if I thought they should be that 35 years ago, I would have said “yes.” But today, we know better. It’s all about diversity. And not just diversity in sex, race, or national origin – although those things make sense because we live in a diverse world – but also diversity in thought and experience. But that presents a problem. Diverse-thinking people don’t always get along. And the partners in a business need to do get along or it’ll be hell. So the ability for different types of people to get along is a requirement for good partners. I could talk all day about the benefits of diverse- thinking partners who get along, but there is more to it than that. Here are the qualities that have been present in some of the best partners I have had over the years:

1. Big picture thinkers who can get beyond their roots. The worst partners I have had or observed in client companies over the years could never take off their “Kansas City office leader” hat or their “HVAC engineer” hat to see the bigger picture and support what was really best for the whole company. 2. People who are honest and ethical. There just isn’t any room in the tent for dishonest or unethical people, especially for those who are the owners of the business. They will always do something that brings shame or embarrassment to the firm at some point in the future. Too much risk having these kinds of partners, no matter how much work they can bring in. 3. No hidden agendas! The last kind of person you

Mark Zweig

See MARK ZWEIG , page 12



TRANSACTIONS CMTA ANNOUNCES ACQUISITION OF ACTS 29 TO EXPAND HIGH- PERFORMANCE ENGINEERING SERVICES CMTA and Therma Holdings announced they have acquired the assets of ACTS 29 Consulting in Dallas, Texas. This acquisition benefits each company by increasing their geographic reach, engineering capacity, and ability to provide high-performance design and energy-efficient solutions to their clients. CMTA and Therma Holdings play critical roles in reducing energy consumption within the built environment and look forward to bringing CMTA’s brand of high-performance engineering to the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. CMTA joined Therma Holdings LLC, in 2021 to help create the leading end-to-end provider of energy and sustainability solutions and services for high-performance buildings with a focus on reducing energy consumption within the built environment across the United States. ACTS 29 will join the platform as part of CMTA to expand services in Texas. With the acquisitionofACTS 29, CMTAwill have over 580 engineering professionals focused on high-performance facility

and infrastructure design. CMTA delivers energy savings through both traditional and performance contracts in the healthcare, education, commercial, and local, state, and federal government markets. “I am excited to welcome ACTS 29 to the CMTA team. As a group the ACTS 29 staff are a great fit for CMTA’s culture and values. With their help we are looking forward to expanding our presence in the Dallas-Fort Worth market and bringing more of CMTA’s brand of high performance design and innovation to the area,” said Jimmy Benson, president of CMTA “We are thrilled to join the CMTA team, which holds the same values of putting the team first, open-mindedness, and continual improvement! Being part of a nationally recognized engineering firm will allow us to continue to provide excellence to our communities and valued customers. As we grow CMTA in Dallas, we will continue to provide high- quality service and positive collaborative culture that promotes innovation and growth. I am so proud of our team and know that we will do great things as we

go forward,” said Tony Roe, principal of ACTS 29. CMTA specializes in creating and maintaining high-performing facilities and energy systems by providing energy solutions, energy consulting and engineering, and performance contracting services. CMTA is recognized as a leader in sustainable facility design and energy efficiency retrofits, often providing performance contracting and consulting engineering services together as part of larger multi-disciplinary comprehensive solutions. ThermaHoldings is a leadingmechanical, electrical, plumbing, controls, and energy services company focused on designing, engineering, building, and servicing complex systems in high- performance buildings. Additionally, Therma Holdings offers environmental, social, and governance consulting and advisory services focused on designing and implementing solutions tailored toward improving sustainability and energy efficiency. Headquartered in San Jose, California, Therma Holdings has additional offices throughout the U.S.

pay cuts, signing personal guarantees for business loans, and more. I can tell you we had to do this at Zweig Group at various points in our long history, and the partners stood up and took the hits and maintained the company’s viability. People who will do that are good partners! One more thing: I don’t need to be best friends with my business partners. That’s OK, too. Everyone spends plenty of time with their people at work. We can all have mutual respect for each other and work as a team without having to do everything together, both inside and outside of the office. If you think friendship is a requirement for business partners, you won’t be able to build your business. There are only so many “best friends” anyone needs or can sustain, and that is too high of a bar to throw up for potential business partners. Mutual respect is much more important! Mark Zweig is Zweig Group’s chairman and founder. Contact him at “I could talk all day about the benefits of diverse thinking partners who get along, but there is more to it than that. Here are the qualities that have been present in some of the best partners I have had over the years.”

MARK ZWEIG, from page 11

want to be in bed with in business is someone who has a plan you aren’t a part of, or are unaware of. These people can be very divisive and may even turn into insurrection leaders. This, too, is one of those qualities that at some point will lead to something ugly. 4. People who do what they say they will. Integrity is a term I don’t hear used often, but it’s an essential quality for good business partners. It’s not all about accountability forced on people through their managers. Let’s face it, once people become partners – at least in many companies – they are treated as if they have tenure with no boss. Therefore we need responsible partners who don’t need to be closely managed for results and can instead be counted on to be self-accountable. 5. Great interpersonal skills. I don’t think everyone needs to be an extrovert, and yet that is some people’s understanding of “interpersonal skills.” I do mean that partners must be people who know how to communicate clearly and understand how to treat other people so they don’t alienate and demotivate them. This is a crucial quality for partners! 6. Willingness to make sacrifices for the benefit of the whole. Even though it may not feel like it now, some leaders have had to make sacrifices in the past and could have to again to keep everything together. That may mean

© Copyright 2022. Zweig Group. All rights reserved.


Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12

Made with FlippingBook Annual report