TZL 1446 (web)

June 20, 2022, Issue 1446 WWW.ZWEIGGROUP.COM


Travel and entertainment costs

Best practices for AEC firms will continue to evolve, but firms that take steps to innovate will be the ones that succeed. AEC marketing best practices

Zweig Group’s 2022 Financial Performance Report of AEC Firms analyzes data from income statements and balance sheets to understand key trends in the industry. One of the more interesting income statement line items was travel and entertainment costs, shown as a percentage of net service revenue in the chart above. After hitting an all-time low during the pandemic in 2020, these costs have seen a bounce-back in the 2021 fiscal year. Participate in a survey and save 50 percent on the final or pre- publication price of any Zweig Group research publication.

A EC marketing is different than product marketing. The marketing, business development, and sales cycle is much longer than for product industries. Best practices for products can be easily found by Googling – but best practices for architects, engineers, and contractors aren’t so easily found. There are few sources and data surveys collected, but it’s really all about talking to the marketplace. There are some best practices that architects, engineers, and contractors should follow if they want to be part of the marketing elite. ■ ■ Marketing plan . You don’t get anywhere without a plan! Your firm should have a strategic business plan which will guide the strategic marketing plan. It’s not impossible to put together a marketing plan without a strategic plan, but you’ll reach your goals faster if these two are working in tandem. Writing your marketing plan and the tactics you are taking to get there not only helps your marketing and business development staff, but it also communicates with other firm leaders how you are going to reach your marketing goals. Again, it goes back to alignment. Writing your marketing plan and then implementing it will take your firm to the next level. Unfortunately, so many times, firms put together a plan with the best intentions – and then it just sits in a folder. No one ever looks at it except for once every three or four years. Once that plan is written, it’s helpful to break it down into quarterly, monthly, and weekly tactics. Having the big picture is great, but you also must outline the details and how you will implement the plan. Firms that write down and implement a marketing strategy consistently are much more profitable than firms that don’t. ■ ■ Thought leadership. Being perceived as an industry expert is a great way to market your firm. This concept has been talked about for years but hasn’t really taken hold yet in the AEC field. There are many different ways to become a thought leader. You or a technical staff member can present at client/prospect conferences or sit on panels. Offering webinars or podcasts on your own platform is also a way to reach clients and prospects. Education marketing is the term I use. It’s not selling. You aren’t selling one thing, but rather sharing your knowledge and expertise. Tell stories about how you’ve helped your clients succeed and reach their business goals. Offering guidebooks, white papers, blogs, and other written material on your website, newsletter, or other marketing

Lindsay Young

FIRM INDEX AECOM ....................................................................... 12

Choice One Engineering ..................................4

Croy ............................................................................... 10

Skiles Group ............................................................. 8

Studio+ .......................................................................... 6

MORE ARTICLES n MATT HOYING: Out-of-the-box benefits Page 3 n Transforming lives: Mike Lendino Page 6 n JASON CUNNINGHAM: Risky business Page 9 n MARK ZWEIG: Easily-solved marketing problems Page 11




LINDSAY YOUNG , from page 2

collateral is also a great way to show your experience. Getting published in client and prospect magazines, newsletters, and websites is another way to market your thought leadership. Our industry has dipped its toes into this concept, but not fully immersed itself yet. Thought leadership has a very long lead time, too. Many times, a lead doesn’t come for years. (It’s also a combination of other marketing tactics you are implementing, not just the thought leadership piece.) ■ ■ Digital marketing. Digital marketing is just what it sounds like. Everything online – your computer screen, your mobile device, the internet. Digital marketing is the future wave of our industry. The days of packing around loads of paper brochures are over. You can have some printed collateral, but most clients don’t want to have files of brochures and pamphlets. Digital marketing includes podcasts, white papers, blogs, email marketing, SEO, display ads, video, and social media. These things must all complement each other and work together. Drip campaigns (where you collect a client’s email and then give them relevant information over a course of time) can be successful when used properly. Again, you must educate your client and not just promote your firm. You’ve probably signed up for something online (leadership or management training) and receive emails from that trainer. The good email drip campaigns are customized to you. It can even track when you click to their website and the path you take on their website. This isn’t cheap, but it can be very helpful in knowing the path your clients and prospects are taking digitally when it comes to your firm. On a more manageable scale, taking good video (both drone and on the ground) is a great way to showcase your clients and their projects. Video content has exploded in popularity and will continue to grow over the next five years. Just remember that most people watch video on their mobile device with the sound muted, so you must include captions with your video. Video is a powerful tool to quickly convey your message and your brand. Social media – especially LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram – continues to grow specifically for architects, engineers, and contractors. LinkedIn is becoming the most popular business-to-business social media platform. As an advertiser, you can reach more of your target audience through LinkedIn, because you can better target your clients and prospects. Tying back into thought leadership, ensuring search engine optimization is maximized on your website is also important. It goes back to writing white papers, blogs, and producing relevant content. Google combs your website frequently to see what you’ve updated, and it produces Google search results accordingly. Content is not only important from an SEO standpoint, but when a prospect goes to your website to “check you out,” you need to have some educational information that sets you apart from the competition. So many times I see the same tabs on a website (About Us, Projects, Services, Contact Us). I’ve been guilty of this, too, but you need to have some call-to-actions and education components on your website. Best practices for AEC firms will continue to evolve. As the market changes and clients change how they research and purchase professional services, we must always be open to change and innovation. It’s never easy. It’s always challenging. Those firms that take the steps to innovate and improve will be the ones that succeed and are profitable. Zweig Group offers marketing, branding, and business development advisory services. Click here to learn more! Lindsay Young, CPSM is a marketing services advisor with Zweig Group and president and founder of nu marketing. She can be reached at

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LEADERSHIP SKILLS FOR AEC PROFESSIONALS This program provides AEC professionals with the skills to become more competent leaders and helps attendees develop and affirm the leadership skills, strategies, and techniques necessary to grow personally and professionally. Join us in New Orleans August 11-12. Click here to learn more!

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Choice One Engineering staff on a company trip to Cleveland.

Out-of-the-box benefits

Getting creative with perks that go beyond the office can help you retain and attract employees and improve your culture overall.

W e’ve all heard of the extraordinary, creative perks and benefits offered by the latest big tech company or hottest small business upstart: free lunches, unlimited paid time off, onsite childcare, game rooms, nap rooms, and the list goes on. While these are certainly exciting benefits, they don’t make sense for all companies, whether it be a matter of space, finances, workforce, or production. That doesn’t mean, however, that some creative benefits can’t be added to your organization that can fit any budget, space, or culture – especially when the benefits occur outside of the walls of the office.

Matt Hoying, P.E.

As a civil engineering, landscape architecture, and surveying firm of 64, we at Choice One Engineering have implemented some benefits that both retain and attract employees and contribute to our culture of enjoyment and fulfilling lives inside and outside of the office. Our employees repeatedly cite some of our out-of-the-box systems and benefits as some of their favorite contributing factors for finding satisfaction in their work and personal lives. Below are some of the more uncommon benefits, from smallest investment to largest, that can help you start thinking of ways to provide benefits to your employees that go beyond free coffee and a ping-pong table. Included with each benefit is an approximate investment per employee:

■ ■ Paired lunches. This initiative combines free lunch, culture enhancement, and individual appreciation. Each month, those who participate in paired lunches are randomly paired with another employee and are instructed to go out to lunch together on the company. Not only do employees get uninterrupted time to build relationships (often with someone they don’t typically work closely with), but they are appreciated with free lunch and time to support other local small businesses near our offices. (Investment: $15 per employee per month.)

See MATT HOYING , page 4



MATT HOYING, from page 3

■ ■ Cell phone plan. Providing a cell phone for employees is nothing new, but Choice One does it with intention and purpose that may not be the intention of many other organizations. First, employees get to keep their personal number and get to choose their phone type and carrier. Employees can use the phone for any and all personal uses in addition to company use. The only requirements are that the voicemail greeting includes a reference to Choice One and the employee’s protective case is the provided Choice One branded case. Not only do employees get unlimited data and quality phones, but clients, friends, and family notice the branding and ask questions, leading to great conversations about working for and with Choice One. (Investment: $460 per employee per year.) ■ ■ Company trips. Every two years, the company invites all employees and significant others on a trip to a drivable metropolitan area for a three-day expenses- paid adventure. Along with a day of paid time off for the long weekend, employees are treated to all meals, transportation, lodging, and organized tours/activities. While this trip does not include specific team-building activities, it gives employees a chance to mingle with their coworkers outside of the office, meet significant others, and develop relationships that go beyond CAD tips and waterline design. Indeed, even a three-hour traffic jam on the most recent trip to Pittsburgh provided extra opportunities for employees to interact on the charter buses that everyone remembers (thank goodness for the bathroom onboard!). This perk may not, on the surface, fit every company’s budget, but we would argue that the relationships and shared company legends that develop from the trips are worth the investment. Employees grow deeper in relationships, families become involved and intertwined with each other and the company culture, and the shared experience provides endless advantages in trust and camaraderie. In fact, Choice One employees look forward to the trip every two years and try to schedule family weddings and birth of children around them. (Investment: $650 per person or approximately $1,300 per employee every two years.) “While traditional benefits cover must- haves like healthcare and time away from work, the out-of-the-box benefits presented here have developed culture and relationships inside and outside the walls of the office.” ■ ■ Anniversary trips. Rather than a plaque or fancy watch, Choice One sends employees away for every five years of service with extra paid time off and a bonus that must be used to travel. Every additional five years earns more PTO and a bigger budget, and the only stipulation is that the employee provide a photo from the trip and a brief description of how they spent their time. Employees have travelled abroad, visited national landmarks, or taken their family for a weekend at a nearby indoor waterpark.

Choice One Engineering staff enjoying a company trip to Pittsburgh.

The experiences are then posted on an oversized map near the copier for all to see and appreciate. Recognizing everyone’s continued dedication to our company with years of service and seeing proof of enjoying some time with family or friends improves everyone’s morale and keeps everyone dreaming of their next destination, compliments of the company. (Investment: Five-year anniversary per employee – 16 hours PTO and $1,500; each additional five years includes eight more hours and an additional $500.) ■ ■ Increased company 401(k) contribution. The general standard for a company’s 401(k) contribution to an individual’s account is 4 percent for their contribution of 5 percent. We increased this to 5.5 percent for their contribution of 8 percent for several reasons. First, it is a direct way to impact an employee’s compensation and future in appreciation of their commitment to our company. Second, it helps many employees save more for the future when perhaps they would not do so on their own. Our company purpose is to “provide fulfilling lives for a lifetime,” and what better way to provide for our employees’ futures after they leave Choice One than by providing means for a fulfilling retirement that can include financial stability? (Investment: $1,000 per employee, average, per year.) While traditional benefits cover must-haves like healthcare and time away from work, the out-of-the-box benefits presented here have developed culture and relationships inside and outside the walls of the office. Providing benefits like these allows us to invest in our people in a way our culture supports and our people appreciate. At the end of the day, these investments amount in total to approximately $2,800 per employee per year. Said another way: way less than it would cost to go through turnover-induced offboarding, recruiting, and onboarding. Matt Hoying, P.E. is president of repeat Best Firm To Work For winner Choice One Engineering, a civil engineering, landscape architecture, and surveying firm in western Ohio. Connect with him on LinkedIn.

© Copyright 2022. Zweig Group. All rights reserved.




Transforming lives: Mike Lendino CFO of Studio+ (Fort Myers, FL), an architecture and interior design firm focused on design solutions that transform lives.


L endino is one of Studio+’s initial founders. Having spearheaded the firm’s growth from eight employees at its inception in 2011 to more than 50 today, he says teambuilding and recruitment are among his greatest passions. A true entrepreneur, he works to balance financial austerity and strategic growth opportunities as the firm looks to grow over the next decade. “My number one goal as a leader in this company is to grow people in the ways they want to grow, and I’m always on the lookout for new ways to help our people,” he says. A CONVERSATION WITH MIKE LENDINO. The Zweig Letter: Your website states, “Together we design solutions that transform lives.” What does this mean to you? Mike Lendino: I find this mission resonates with everyone in the firm, regardless of role. Design, in our core markets of healthcare and education, truly can transform a life. Every

detail matters and plays a role in the impact of design. When projects and schedules create challenges, having a mission focused on such a meaningful outcome keeps our team focused on the cause and result of the design, no matter the scale and complexity. This mission also is vital during the interview process. The strongest new hire candidates tend to find great meaning and connection to our mission. TZL: What skills are required to run a successful practice? What do you wish you knew starting out that you know now? ML: The internal culture of a firm is so important. Not losing sight of this is vital to maintaining a long-term, successful firm. It’s unfortunate that negativity tends to spread faster than positivity. Focusing on keeping leadership and the studio positive and team-oriented can help drive a strong culture. TZL: What was the reason for the recent acquisition of TDM Architects? What do you hope it will achieve?



ML: The TDM Architects acquisition was focused on market synergies and overall approach to client service. TDM Architects had a 27-year focused expertise in K-12 education design, amongst strong expertise in several other markets. This complimented Studio+ very well. Additionally, their model for client-focused service and project delivery also aligned with Studio+. Lastly, their culture was one focused on their people first. This is embedded in our core values which are: ■ ■ People. It’s our motivation. ■ ■ Passion. We love what we do. ■ ■ Process. We’re continually pursuing excellence. ■ ■ Performance. We meet expectations. TZL: They say failure is a great teacher. What’s the greatest lesson you’ve had to learn the hard way? ML: Without getting into a long story, the greatest lesson is not to lose focus on your core business. The core business is truly what makes Studio+ successful. Remaining focused on architecture and design is critical. “When projects and schedules create challenges, having a mission focused on such a meaningful outcome keeps our team focused on the cause and result of the design, no matter the scale and complexity.” TZL: You founded the company in 2011. When starting the company why were you part of the team? ML: Through prior experience, our CEO, Damon Romanello, knew of the importance of someone to monitor and maintain the business side of an architecture firm. Fast forward 11 years, Studio+ has built an administrative and business operational foundation that has been critical to our growth and success, enabling growth at-scale without increasing non-billable overhead staff. That is ultimately what I bring as a partner to the firm. I am not a designer, but I have designed a powerhouse team of administrative professionals that allows our architectural talent to drive unparalleled client service and curated design – so they aren’t worried about non-billable administrative burdens.

TZL: What type of leader do you consider yourself to be? ML: I consider myself a very rational, servant- oriented leader. I truly believe that leadership can be achieved through building meaningful relationships based on synergistic goals. Listening, empathy, and stewardship are just some of the characteristics I use to guide my team. “The internal culture of a firm is so important. Not losing sight of this is vital to maintaining a long-term, successful firm.” TZL: It is often said that people leave managers, not companies. What are you doing to ensure that your line leadership are great people managers? ML: Very true and very tricky. We have recently implemented a 12-month firm-wide leadership training program, with an additional focus on those in leadership/manager positions within the firm. By giving managers access and training to the right tools, they will be better equipped to manage their teams in a successful manner. TZL: Since you founded Studio+ what is one of the top accomplishments you are most proud of and why? ML: Watching the firm grow from eight to 56 employees has been fantastic. Having Studio+ serve as a firm that captures the talent and skills of our employees and having the ability to create both a healthy professional life and the construct of a successful personal life is really what motivates me. Our team is the most important aspect of Studio+. Seeing that team grow has been the most rewarding result of my career. TZL: How many years of experience – or large enough book of business – is enough to become a principal in your firm? Are you naming principals in their 20s or 30s? ML: Principals get named when they have earned it. In most cases, this occurs when they have engrained themselves with core clients, delivered projects successfully, and driven repeat business. Motivating teams to succeed is also key. Equally important, principals of Studio+ embody the core values of Studio+ that are the foundation of the strong studio culture. That said, it seems like principals are typically in their late 30s or older. See TRANSFORMING LIVES , page 8


Fort Myers FL





■ ■ Fort Myers, FL

■ ■ Tampa, FL

■ ■ Orange County, CA

■ ■ Los Angeles, CA


■ ■ Healthcare

■ ■ Senior living

■ ■ Corporate

■ ■ Education

■ ■ Commerical


■ ■ Architecture

■ ■ Interior design

© Copyright 2022. Zweig Group. All rights reserved.

UNE 20, 2022, ISSUE 1446


ON THE MOVE SKILES GROUP ANNOUNCES PROMOTIONS Skiles Group, an award- winning, national general contracting and Lean Construction management firm based in Richardson, Texas, has announced the promotions of two of their senior project managers to client executive positions. Ross Brindle has broad experience in the construction industry with a diversity of project types, including healthcare, commercial, municipal, and higher education.

Michael Knapp is a Certified Healthcare Constructor and CM-Lean certified builder with a depth of experience on multiple large-scale, complex healthcare facilities. As client executives, they will serve as liaisons for the firm’s customers, developing, managing, and maintaining successful long-term relationships. They will also oversee project management procedures, milestones, lean processes, and deliverables, ensuring all services adhere to each of their client’s customized expectations and requirements.

Skiles Group is a national general contracting and lean construction management firm. Skiles Group aspires to serve as a partner, advocate, and resource for our clients by creating trusted relationships and understanding how they define success. We foster a process-centered, customer- focused, and dynamic culture for our employees, where we collaborate as a team to perpetually develop and deliver innovative solutions to the built environment.

TZL: A firm’s longevity is valuable. What are you doing to encourage your staff to stick around? ML: This is especially challenging right now. Regardless of money and benefits, the work experience and studio culture is critical. Ensuring the studio has team members who others are excited to work with is vital. The overall attitudes of team members and managers lead to the type of culture that people either want to be a part of or want to leave. “I am not a designer, but I have designed a powerhouse team of administrative professionals that allows our architectural talent to drive unparalleled client service and curated design.”


TZL: What keeps you organized? What are your go-to tools and strategies? ML: I rely heavily on my operations and administrative team. We work very closely daily on all things finance, HR, administration, and marketing. Our core team is cross-trained in multiple aspects of the business operations to support one another when and where support is needed. We rely on proprietary developed programs and other AEC specific software to give us the information we need to make decisions in an expedited timeframe. TZL: In one word or phrase, what do you describe as your number one job responsibility? ML: Maintaining a successful, efficient, and evolving operation in architecture.

© Copyright 2022. Zweig Group. All rights reserved.




Risky business

W hen it comes to eliminating the risk of an IT security incident at your firm, the only way to get to zero risk is to not be in business. There are several proactive actions that can be implemented to mitigate IT security risks and keep your firm prepared.

However, there are several proactive actions that can be implemented to mitigate risks and keep your firm prepared. Ultimately, mitigation is about minimizing the risk factors, assessing the cost, and making plans to recover as quickly as possible with minimal loss and downtime. While it would be difficult (and frankly, boring to most readers) to provide a comprehensive list of disaster recovery, cyber-attack response, and malware prevention tools, this article is designed to provide an overview of four categories of mitigation strategies that can help protect your firm – whether you have an in-house IT department, outsourced IT, or you do it all yourself. Let’s take a look: 1. Classification. Classification includes defining and understanding the events that can cause

business downtime or data loss. To keep it simple, there are two main classification categories: infrastructure loss and cyber-attack/ corruption. Infrastructure loss happens when you lose access to the physical environment. This occurs if your building floods, burns, or a truck drives through the front of it. Infrastructure loss also includes lost connection to local hardware, such as if a gas leak shuts off access to your space, which can be especially detrimental if your firm has a local server. For engineering firms, this is a specifically unique challenge since most employees work with large CAD files; limited – or loss of – access can be detrimental to productivity and projects.

Jason Cunningham




In addition, below are a few other strategies I recommend to protect your infrastructure: † † Pay for anti-virus or anti-exploit software. While there are free options, it is worth investing in a paid version. These are typically inexpensive and offer better protection than free tools. † † Implement network segregation. While all your data may be important, there is data that is more critical to restore quickly given an incident. I suggest keeping primary, active project data separate from older, archival data. This will help you quickly and easily target which data to recover first. It also can help prioritize what data can be off-loaded or moved more easily. † † Determine security groups. We use the phrase “principal of least privilege” to help determine the minimum access a user needs to perform his/her job. This is important if malware infects a machine, and then operates and encrypts the network using the compromised user’s account. If the user cannot access certain folders, data in those folders could not be encrypted – therefore, limiting access creates a small barrier that may prevent a mass encryption. 4. User interaction. There’s a joke in IT: If we had no users to support, we would have no issues! But, of course, we wouldn’t be needed either. We have a symbiotic relationship with our coworkers and work to support them in various ways. That said, while the strongest component of our firm is our employees, they are also often the weakest link in our security. To combat this, we focus on educating our employees – warning users, providing examples of what to look for in malicious emails, and sending fake phishing emails to continually train awareness. If you don’t have the bandwidth to do this in your own business, there are options to outsource this type of education and probing effort. In a similar vein, email security is a constant battle, but it can be won. Many firms have access to threat protection tools to help keep malicious emails from making it into employees’ emails. Whether you have an in-house IT department or outsourced support team, ask employees to send any suspicious emails to your IT staff to investigate and make adjustments as needed. Finally, implement multi-factor authentication, such as inputting a code received via text message or having an app authenticate the user’s identity. While this effort doesn’t win the “convenience award,” it does help significantly protect employees, data, and infrastructure for a huge security win. Jason Cunningham is the director of corporate operations at Croy. He can be reached at


We’ll delve into mitigating risks for a cyber-attack/ corruption soon, but for this “classification” category, it’s important to understand each type of event and how it could impact your business. In either case, our best advice is to create a disaster recovery playbook. This step-by-step, written plan for each scenario with important login information and phone numbers can provide an established, strategic gameplan in the case of an emergency. 2. Insurance. Speaking of cyber security, having the right insurance to protect against infrastructure loss and cyber- attacks is critical and one of the most comforting “tools” you can have in your toolbox. To start, add a cyber-security policy or rider to your existing business insurance. If your firm already has a policy, review it to understand what it does and doesn’t cover. For example, an electronic data loss policy typically only covers the replacement cost for hardware, and not in the case of cyber-attacks or malware events. At Croy, our policy includes access to a third-party security firm that specializes in malware attacks. In the event of an incident, this is our first phone call (the phone number is included in our disaster recovery playbook for quick reference). The security firm will assess the damage, determine if the cost/time for recovery is worth the investment, and even negotiate and pay the ransom, if needed. An investment that is well worth it in our books. After reviewing your insurance policy’s details, follow-up with a call to your insurance provider to dig deeper and get a full picture of your coverage. 3. Infrastructure. Keeping your business environment safe involves prioritizing managing, updating, and/or patching your equipment – including all infrastructure, servers, workstations, and AV – weekly. To begin, check your router, firewall, or wireless access points for firmware and software updates. Threat actors are constantly looking and communicating exploits or bugs that take advantage of weaknesses in either firmware (component-level) or software (the operating system in your router, firewall, etc.), which makes this task a priority. Most providers are proactive about pushing out updates to patch their equipment, but it is still necessary to update your internet-facing equipment and workstations as well. To make sure your machines are receiving and applying updates at regular intervals, I recommend having automatic updates turned on. At Croy, our IT team uses automatic updates and network monitoring tools to keep us informed to see how far behind they are on updates. This allows us to prompt a user to install or reboot when an update or patch needs to be applied. But this step can also be as simple as making sure you and your employees are checking and installing updates regularly.

© Copyright 2022. Zweig Group. All rights reserved.




W hile marketing may not be at the top of your priority list right now, AEC firms – even though they have come a long, long way marketing-wise over the 42 years I’ve worked in this industry – still have a number of marketing problems that could be easily solved. Marketing for AEC firms has come a long way in the last few decades, but we still have a number of problems that could be easily solved. Easily-solved marketing problems

Mark Zweig

What are some of those, you may ask? Here is what I see and hear: 1. Marketing people are still treated like second class citizens in some companies. This has been a long-term problem. Marketing people are viewed by some design professionals just as support people, instead of equally important team members when it comes to securing new work. That demotivates them, reduces the quality of their output, and leads to high turnover of the people in these jobs. This is not good and is easily resolved. Educate your people and set a good example yourself. 2. Companies are not doing nearly enough research on the clients they have potential to work with. You still see this regularly. The team

presenting for the work knows nothing about the organization they are presenting to. Who are the key people and what are their roles? What big events have affected the potential client recently? What are their plans for their organization? What do you know that can be employed to communicate to the client that you have done your homework? This is important stuff and is the difference between doing what you need to do to win or just going through the motions. 3. Basic information on firm websites is too difficult to find. It still amazes me when I cannot find a physical address or phone number on a company. Or a concise description of what they do. Or info on their key people. Or a real representation

See MARK ZWEIG , page 12



BUSINESS NEWS AECOM ACHIEVES NO. 1 RANKING BY FORTUNE MAGAZINE AS THE WORLD’S MOST ADMIRED COMPANY IN ITS INDUSTRY FOR A SECOND YEAR AECOM, the world’s trusted infrastructure consulting firm, announced today that it has achieved the No. 1 ranking on Fortune magazine’s list of the World’s Most Admired Companies in its industry for a second year. This is the eighth consecutive year that the company has been recognized on the list. “Our industry-leading position on Fortune ’s World’s Most Admired Companies list is a reflection of the outstanding contributions from our global teams who are collaborating to develop innovative solutions and deliver exceptional results for our clients,” said Troy Rudd, AECOM’s CEO. “As we progress our Think and Act Globally strategy, we are committed to continue creating long-term value for all our stakeholders and making AECOM the best place to be in our industry where our nearly 50,000 professionals can grow meaningful careers with even more opportunity to deliver a better world.” AECOM celebrated numerous accomplishments during fiscal 2021 to deliver for its employees, clients, communities and stockholders:

■ ■ Alongside increasing investment in its people and innovation, the Company achieved strong financial performance that exceeded expectations on every key financial metric. ■ ■ Advancing its leading position for environmental, social and governance related services, the Company launched its Sustainable Legacies strategy to embed sustainable development and resilience across the company’s work, improve social outcomes for communities, achieve net-zero carbon emissions, and enhance its governance. Additionally, the Company published its first global ESG report in November 2021 that further details the substantive ESG initiatives within its operations. ■ ■ The Company introduced Digital AECOM to help clients accelerate their digital journeys and achieve better project outcomes. ■ ■ The company furthered its equity, diversity and inclusion initiatives through its commitment to building safe and respectful work environments where everyone can thrive. “We are proud to be once again

recognized by Fortune as the World’s Most Admired Company in our industry thanks to the incredible accomplishments by our people to deliver the most technically- challenging projects more innovatively, efficiently and sustainably,” said Lara Poloni, AECOM’s president. “As a leading employer, we are further investing in our people through our Freedom to Grow global framework to ensure they have the balance, flexibility, resources and tools they need to do their best work and provide the best of AECOM to our clients.” Fortune collaborated with Korn Ferry on this survey of corporate reputations and determined the best-regarded companies by asking executives, directors, and analysts to rate enterprises in their own industry on nine criteria, from investment value and quality of management and products to social responsibility and ability to attract talent. AECOM is the world’s trusted infrastructure consulting firm, delivering professional services throughout the project lifecycle – from planning, design and engineering to program and construction management. On projects spanning transportation, buildings, water, new energy, and the environment, AECOM’s public- and private-sector clients trust it to solve their most complex challenges.

this repeatedly over the years. How can you sell anything to anyone if you don’t first come up with a list of who you are trying to reach? Most companies have 10 or 20 percent of the organizations and people in them in for any of their target markets. There is a mistaken belief no one should be on the list unless we know their company has project needs, or no one should go on the list unless they have been met or talked to in some way. This is bad thinking. This list of marketing-related problems is far from complete. But these things are really “easy pickins,” as we might say here in Arkansas. Fix them. Mark Zweig is Zweig Group’s chairman and founder. Contact him at “AEC firms – even though they have come a long, long way marketing- wise over the 42 years I’ve worked in this industry – still have a number of marketing problems that could be easily solved.”

MARK ZWEIG, from page 11

of some of their better projects. All of these things have happened to me in the last few months and I am not even very active in the business any longer. It is all simple stuff to fix and requires that the company take a critical look at their website. 4. Companies still have all kinds of issues related to incorrect addresses on their website and Google maps. This, too, is a common problem. Companies move and they never get this resolved. Or Google driving instructions send people to an old address. This stuff has to be fixed. 5. Companies don’t have a single, well-maintained client and potential client list. This is so common! All it takes is to make a decision on what platform you are going to use, train people on how to use it, insist that they use it, track and report on its usage, and have top management model the behaviors they want the other people to follow, and you can do it! 6. Firms are not comprehensively identifying the entire list of potential organizations they want to work for, nor the people in those organizations who can hire them or influence the decision to hire them. I have been saying

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