TZL 1365 (web)


TRANSACT IONS BIRD + BULL JOINS V3 V3 Companies, Ltd. and Bird+Bull, Inc. announced that the two firms have merged, increasing V3’s presence in central Ohio under the leadership of Brian Coghlan and Andrew Gardner. The combined firms now provide a full suite of engineering, surveying, landscape architecture, and natural resources services to the private development, public works, and power and energy markets. “We are thrilled to continue our growth and commitment to serving our clients throughout the Great Lakes Region by joining forces with Bird+Bull, whose rich and long history in Ohio provides a tremendous foundation to build upon. As one company, we will continue to thrive under our shared approach to how we treat our team members and our clients – one rooted in respect, support, and service,” said Rob Petroelje, V3 founding principal.

“This merger maintains focus on the people which are the heart of our organization. I firmly believe that Bird+Bull and V3, together under the V3 name, will be a stronger organization with tremendous potential to grow our operations and provide unlimited opportunities for our people to experience personal and professional growth and fulfillment. I feel a personal sense of responsibility to our clients and I have every confidence that this merger will increase client satisfaction with the expanded service offerings, the additional expertise, and the improved efficiencies that come from being part of a larger organization,” said Coghlan, Bird+Bull, Inc. president. “I am thrilled that Bird+Bull is joining forces with the V3 Team. Client service, quality, and integrity are core values I have been committed to throughout my career. V3 shares those values and I believe together we will do great things for the Ohio community. This

merger will bring new opportunities for growth to our employees and provide greater breadth of services to our dedicated clients who have been with us for so many years. Bird+Bull has a 70-year history in central Ohio, and I am looking forward to continuing to build on that history as V3,” said Gardner, Bird+Bull, Inc. vice president. V3 provides consulting services in civil, ecological, environmental, landscape architecture, planning, surveying, and transportation engineering as well as contracting disciplines. V3 has offices in Illinois (Chicago and Woodridge), Indiana (Indianapolis and Carmel), Ohio (Columbus and Cincinnati), Missouri (St. Louis), Canada (Sherwood Park) and Haiti (Port-Au-Prince). Founded in 1950, Bird + Bull is a firm with a long history in central Ohio specializing in land development consulting, municipal services and surveying.

TOUCHDOWN, from page 7

for the project. Every decision can impact a client’s bottom line. We find ways to improve efficiency in the workplace, maximize existing assets, improve culture which helps with employee attraction and retainage, and how to bring their services/products to market quicker. TZL: Ownership transition can be tricky, to say the least. What’s the key to ensuring a smooth passing of the baton? What’s the biggest pitfall to avoid? RR: Our founding principal started early. Going back to trust, that has to be the key in letting go, but also in knowing you have the support behind you to lead in your own way or speak your mind. We are as transparent as we can be with about 99 percent of our financial information, all of our banking relationships, and firm operations. The biggest pitfall that I have seen is waiting for “the right time” or waiting for one person who can do all things. Second- and third-generation leadership are usually best shared as the firm has to morph into a new, larger version of itself to remain viable and desirable for the next group. 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? RR: This is only one of five qualities we evaluate for someone to become a principal in the firm. Leadership, promotion of the industry, technical competence, and personal development round out our list. This list is also ever evolving as the world around us changes. To get technical, we have an associate principal in her 30s and soon will have a couple more shareholders in their 30s. TZL: In one word or phrase, what do you describe as your number one job responsibility as CEO? RR: Fullback. I don’t mind doing the dirty work and clearing a path for others. Occasionally I even score a touchdown.

RR: Inventure has always been a flat organization. This can be refreshing and challenging depending on the people. To help overcome some of the challenges, we have started a formal mentoring program in the firm. This has helped set aside dedicated, focused time to engage our next leaders – no matter where they are in their career. It is a program open to all. “I love the mix of competition, accountability, and support we have in our leadership. You don’t want to be the lowest on the revenue spreadsheet, but you will always have someone there to pick you up if you have a slump.” TZL: How do you handle a long-term principal who is resting on his or her laurels? What effect does a low- performing, entitled principal or department head have on firm morale? RR: Thankfully, we do not have this problem. I love the mix of competition, accountability, and support we have in our leadership. You don’t want to be the lowest on the revenue spreadsheet, but you will always have someone there to pick you up if you have a slump. There are also many ways to contribute to the firm’s success beyond the numbers. Leadership and experience are where a lot of our value lives. TZL: Can you provide an example of how Inventure has positively impacted a client’s bottom line? RR: With the joy of corporate architecture there are a couple of early phases of discovery that have always grabbed me. Discovery is full of questions and answers, tours, and finding the future vision. It’s during this discovery that we tend to have the ability to help set goals

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