TZL 1354 (web)


ON THE MOVE WESLEY HEVENER, P.E., JOINS AMT IN PARKERSBURG A. Morton Thomas and Associates, Inc. is pleased to announce that Wesley Hevener, P.E., has joined AMT’s Parkersburg office as the West Virginia director of structural engineering. In his role, Hevener will lead structural design efforts in West Virginia and drive organizational growth in neighboring states. He will also lead National Bridge Inspection pursuits on a national scale. Prior to joining AMT, Hevener served as the Project Manager for the Kimball Slab Bridge and five district-wide Bridge projects for District 1 in West Virginia. Additionally, he served as the project manager and lead

bridge inspector for the Veteran’s Glass City Skyway Bridge in Toledo, Ohio, as well as the Admiral T.J. Lopez, Fifth Street, and 35th/36th Street Six-Year Inspection projects. Hevener brings more than 17 years of experience in transportation, bridge, and structural design to his new position and holds both an MBA and a master’s degree in civil engineering from West Virginia University. “Wes’s expertise and passion for structural design make him an excellent addition to the AMT team. We look forward to the project success and business growth he achieves in West Virginia and beyond,” notes AMT President and CEO Michael Wiercinski, PE, PLS.

A. Morton Thomas and Associates, Inc. has a deep appreciation for establishing vision and achieving goals. Client-focused since the firm’s 1955 inception, AMT has evolved into a multidisciplinary engineering and design consultancy with more than 20 offices throughout the eastern United States. As an ESOP managed and 100 percent employee-owned firm, AMT employs highly qualified individuals who are experts in their respective fields to oversee, perform and manage our business practices. These team members are driven to positively impact the communities where they live, work and play.

MIKE KUKUK, from page 11

❚ ❚ Shares valued annually through a modified version of the Zweig Group’s Z-2 formula; ❚ ❚ Investment/redemption account where the company deposits all stock sale proceeds, as well as contributes a monthly cash contribution (this helps cash flow future redemptions); ❚ ❚ Direct-share purchase financing program with the company acting as a bank; and ❚ ❚ S-Corporation designation with employee owners benefitting from both stock price appreciation and quarterly dividends to shareholders. “Through theses strategies and other business practices, we are well on our way to achieving an orderly and successful internal ownership transition of the firm.” PLANNING NEXT STEPS. To enhance our existing program and further pursue success of our planned ownership transition from the founding owners to the next generation, we are planning these additional amendments in 2020: ❚ ❚ Contract with a business planning and valuation firm to review and critique our program; ❚ ❚ Perform the first outside valuation and business appraisal of Blackstone, which will provide a new valuation formula specific to Blackstone; and ❚ ❚ Initiate paying a small portion of bonuses in company stock versus cash. Through theses strategies, and other business practices, such as prioritizing long-term objectives, recognizing opportunities, retaining top talent/future owners, and mentoring the next generation on successful business operation and succession planning, we are well on our way to achieving an orderly and successful internal ownership transition of the firm. With more than 35 years in the environmental engineering field, MIKE KUKUK is president, CEO, and principal at Blackstone Environmental and has overall responsibility for the company. He founded Blackstone in 2010 after retiring from a firm he co-founded in 2002. He has been called a “serial entrepreneur” for starting two separate companies from scratch. Contact him at

ownership transition is the practice of transitioning ownership from one group of employee-owners to another. There are different ways to accomplish this; Blackstone is completing internal ownership transition over time. It works like this: From the company’s perspective, stock is offered to satisfy the following essential needs: ❚ ❚ Raise capital to maintain our financial strength and support growth; ❚ ❚ Provide employees the opportunity to benefit from our financial success; ❚ ❚ Replace lost capital due to normal retirement redemptions and termination of employee shareholders; and ❚ ❚ Develop a culture in which employees feel and act like owners. From the employee’s perspective, the purchase of Blackstone stock offers these key benefits: ❚ ❚ Achieve a high level of commitment and satisfaction from functioning as an employee and owner and participating in the financial benefits of our hard work and success; and ❚ ❚ Serve as an attractive investment and provide employees a means of accumulating significant equity holdings over the years (although there is no guarantee of performance). Of common interest to Blackstone and employees, is the desire to set our own course and maintain internal control of the company. DEVELOPING AN EMPLOYEE OWNERSHIP PROGRAM. Blackstone was incorporated in 2010 (celebrating a decade this October!). In 2013, with the help of the Salontai Consulting Group, attorneys, accountants, and others, we offered our first shares of stock to employees. Our stock program attributes include: ❚ ❚ Open-book financials supplied to all employees; ❚ ❚ Unique quarterly bonus program, based on profit, to get cash

in employees’ hands more frequently; ❚ ❚ Annual stock sale to select employees;

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