TZL 1402 (web)


TRANSACT IONS AYRES ANNOUNCES MERGER WITH MEP FIRM GAUSMAN & MOORE Mechanical, electrical, and plumbing design firm Gausman & Moore has merged with Eau Claire-based consultant Ayres , resulting in an approximately 350-person firm with offices in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Florida, Colorado, California, and Wyoming. Gausman & Moore, operating as a division of Ayres, adds MEP, renewable energy, energy modeling, and design software to Ayres’ diverse services, which include the following: civil and municipal engineering, architecture, transportation, structural design and inspection, environmental, geospatial, landscape architecture, planning and development, river engineering and water resources, and telecommunications and subsurface utility engineering. Gausman & Moore, with offices in Minneapolis/ St. Paul and Los Angeles metro areas, has a

more than 80-year history of providing MEP consulting services. Ayres was established 62 years ago in the engineering and architecture fields, expanding into many more service offerings over the ensuing decades. Both firms enter the merger with ambitious growth plans. Gausman & Moore will continue to team with its longtime base of architecture clients to design efficiency into buildings with its MEP, energy modeling, and renewable energy expertise. Gausman & Moore’s services can also be employed on Ayres’ utility, dam, moveable bridge, renewable energy, industrial, municipal, and street lighting and signalization projects. This energy expertise also adds breadth to the vision Ayres’ planning and development experts can provide as they imagine the potential of sites that developers are transforming in the Southeast, Midwest, and West. Gausman & Moore’s expertise has been instrumental in helping clients achieve LEED certified and equivalent projects.

“We are honored and excited to be joining with Ayres,” says Daniel Sandoval, PE, Gausman & Moore’s president, who transitions to vice president of the new Gausman & Moore division of Ayres. “The cultures and business synergies between our firms align very well. I don’t think we could have found a better partner with whom to forge our future.” “Ayres and Gausman & Moore share strong reputations in the government and commercial markets, and our combined experience in the education, energy, health care, residential, and industrial markets will bring our clients even greater confidence in our leadership in these areas,” says Bruce Ommen, PE, president of Ayres. “Culturally, this merger joins firms that are virtual twins, with our commitment to delivering creative solutions to clients we treat as partners, as well as our passion for giving back to the communities where we work.”

MARK ZWEIG, from page 11

equipped to take on your job, you will need to show interest in them and spend time with them before and after they assume your role. To make that time and your coaching most effective, having some sort of set time to talk every week and a regular agenda to guide your discussion will be helpful. These will have to be two-way discussions, with you doing plenty of listening to them. Hopefully, whomever you pick is coachable. If he or she already knows everything and doesn’t value your input, odds are they won’t work out. You could have picked wrong. If and when you become aware the successor isn’t going to work out, whether before or after you have passed off the baton, it’s up to you to fix the situation. You can’t let it go on. That may mean you will need to step back again and start all over. Little is more painful or frustrating. But it doesn’t change the fact that you will need to do it. Make a better pick next time and do a better job with your coaching, as well as a better job prepping your team to be ready for someone different, and hopefully you won’t make the same mistakes again. Divorce is painful, but sometimes necessary. I think this whole subject needs a lot more attention than it gets. If you look at a list of Zweig Group's clients, there are some rapidly growing companies that make up the bulk of that list. These successful, growing firms have many management transitions taking place at once. It’s super critical that these transitions go well or the company will have costly turnover and their growth will be stymied. One thing I know for sure is that everyone needs to identify their successors or nothing will happen. You may need to force each of your key people to take that first step NOW if this is something you believe is important to your long- term success! MARK ZWEIG is Zweig Group’s chairman and founder. Contact him at

is to go internal if at all possible, which may mean certain criteria for years of experience or educational or registration credentials will have to be compromised because cultural knowledge is more important. Whomever you pick, the more time you have to get them and everyone else ready for them to assume your role, the better. You can see how others react to them. You can coach them on the nuances of the role and share your insights and experiences with the other team members. Obviously, you don’t want to pass on any prejudices about the people to them, so you have to be careful about what you share with them. "Whomever you pick, the more time you have to get them and everyone else ready for them to assume your role, the better." As far as the rest of your team goes, the longer they have to get used to the reality that there will eventually be a change, the better. The worst thing that can happen is you send out an email on a Friday evening that someone else will be taking your job. That will shock (and scare) your team. Getting a new boss is always disconcerting on a certain level, unless you have no allegiance from your team. He or she may not understand you and the expectations that have been laid on you for your job. Changing those expectations quickly is stressful. I liken the naming of a successor well before they take over to the situation of changing a company policy. My experience is telling everyone that in 90 days one of your policies will change is more likely to be accepted than changing it and saying the new policy will take effect immediately. People need time to mentally prepare. If your successor – whomever that is – is going to be

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