TZL 1384 (web)


ON THE MOVE DEWBERRY PROMOTES MARK TALBERT TO SENIOR ASSOCIATE AND RICHARD KINCHELOE TO ASSOCIATE Dewberry , a privately held professional services firm, has announced the promotion of nearly 50 professionals nationwide, including one in Danville, Virginia, and one in its Virginia Beach, Virginia, office. Mark Talbert, PE, has been promoted to senior associate in Danville and Richard Kincheloe, PE, has been promoted to associate in Virginia Beach. Talbert joined the firm in 2007 and has 14 years of experience. His expertise includes industrial and commercial site design projects related to site selection, site layout, grading/ drainage design, stormwater management design, erosion and sediment control design, and utility design. As the assistant department

manager for the firm’s land development practice in Danville, Talbert has worked with large, big-box retailers, as well as local developers. Talbert earned his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from North Carolina State University (2007). With more than 13 years of experience, Kincheloe leads the firm’s mid-Atlantic utility master planning and hydraulic modeling practice for water and sewer infrastructure systems for municipal clients. Having worked in both the private and public sector, he has a versatile background in planning and design of water/wastewater infrastructure, collection/ distribution systems evaluation, and pump station optimization. Kincheloe earned his master’s and bachelor’s

degrees in civil engineering from Virginia Tech, and is a member of the American Water Works Association and the Water Environment Federation. Dewberry is a leading, market-facing firm with a proven history of providing professional services to a wide variety of public- and private-sector clients. Recognized for combining unsurpassed commitment to client service with deep subject matter expertise, Dewberry is dedicated to solving clients’ most complex challenges and transforming their communities. Established in 1956, Dewberry is headquartered in Fairfax, Virginia, with more than 50 locations and more than 2,000 professionals nationwide.

JULIE BENEZET, from page 3

To create a leadership profile, the company should take a steely eyed look at its future and identify its strongest competitive position. That means figuring out their highest expertise, the market demand for it, and any other winning offerings, such as high touch customer service or audacious new concepts. Then the company can pinpoint the key leadership skills, behaviors, and other attributes that will deliver on that position. “Championing a future leader galvanizes the ascendency of leadership talent, important company conversations, and a big step toward the future.” 3)How to manage risk. The crux of championship is advocacy. To make sure their candidate receives the right advancement opportunities, the champion must fight for the candidate, running the risk of hurting their reputation if the candidate fails. They also face the risk of pushback. People might challenge the candidate’s qualifications, undercut the champion to promote their own candidate or simply object to hang on to power. Whatever the case, the champion should enter the arena armed with facts mapped against the backdrop of the company’s strategic plan for the future, its leadership profile, and the importance of promoting to talent retention. Then they must argue why their candidate qualifies. Whatever the outcome, it’s important for the champion to place high value on doing the right thing for the business and stand proud. Championing a future leader galvanizes the ascendency of leadership talent, important company conversations, and a big step toward the future. JULIE BENEZET spent 25 years in law and business, and for the past 18 years has coached, taught and consulted with executives from virtually every industry. She earned her stripes for leading in the scariness of the new as Amazon’s first global real estate executive. She is author of the award-winning The Journey of Not Knowing: How 21st Century Leaders Can Chart a Course Where There Is None . Her workbook, The Journal of Not Knowing , provides a self-guided discovery mission to navigate the adventure of pursuing one’s dreams based on the Journey principles. She can be reached at

THREE THINGS TO KNOW. To optimize the advancement of a prospective leader, the champion should know the following: 1)The candidate. Advocating for someone is highly personal, requiring that the champion and the candidate form a strong relationship. Before putting political capital at risk, a champion must know the candidate well enough to determine whether the person has the right skills, judgment, and values to succeed. Skills can be relatively easily observed and measured as part of routine performance reviews. Judgment and values require spending both formal and informal time with the candidate to learn how they approach life. While finding sufficient time in our warp speed world can be difficult, it is essential that the champion find it to assemble the facts they need to know about a candidate and how best to argue their case. In addition to the time commitment, getting to know the candidate better can land a champion in uncomfortable situations. A champion might have to watch an emotionally charged business meeting where the candidate struggles to find their sea legs. Or the champion might be an introvert, eschewing socializing, even in a work context. Conversely, they might be an extrovert and prefer hanging around people similar to them. The best candidates might be dissimilar to the champion but can contribute vital talent to the company. Preference for the familiar can be a barrier to champions establishing relationships with women. I remember meeting with three male leaders from a large design firm about their reluctance to invite women associates to join them after work to socialize with clients. The answers began with, “Oh, they wouldn’t want to come.” I rolled my eyes. Then, “My wife wouldn’t like it.” Really? And finally, “I just want to spend my time with people like me!” Points for honesty, and a problem, which can be fixed. 2)The company leadership profile. To choose a candidate, a champion needs a framework to determine the person’s fitness for the leadership role. Using a company leadership profile as a measuring stick forces the company and its champions to focus on leadership attributes based on what will yield business success, rather than on personalities.

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