TZL 1359 (web)


ON THE MOVE MERRICK WELCOMES NEW PROJECT MANAGER, DERON FRAILIE Deron Frailie, Colonel, USAF (retired), has joined Merrick & Company as Project Manager for its High Performance Facilities business unit. He will support the firm’s business growth in the Huntsville, Alabama, area and Gulf Coast, as well as throughout the Department of Defense and aerospace markets. “We are thrilled to add such a well-rounded professional as Deron Frailie to our team of project managers, technical leaders, and business development professionals that are anxious to build our consulting business in the

Huntsville area. Deron has the right attitude to do just that,” said Tammy Johnson, senior vice president, HPF. Frailie brings more than 23 years of experience in planning, design, construction, environmental, real estate, and lifecycle operations and maintenance. He retired from the United States Air Force at the end of June where he last served as Vice Commander of the 75th Air Base Wing at Hill Air Force Base, UT and supported the Air Force’s second largest installation by population and geographical size.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in architecture from Louisiana State University and a master’s degree in architecture with a building construction emphasis from Virginia Tech. Merrick & Company, an engineering, architecture, and geospatial solutions firm, serves domestic and international clients in the energy and chemicals, national security, life sciences, and infrastructure markets. The employee-owned company maintains 23 offices in the U.S., Canada, Guam, Mexico, and the United Kingdom.

TONY FIORILLO, from page 3

Our marketing team works alongside the mergers and acquisition teams to create (internal and external) messaging that ensures communication and our level of service remains consistent throughout the transition. Additionally, marketing materials like business cards, letterheads, logos to website and social media content, and communicating early and often is key to establishing and maintaining our brand. “The ECS Group of Companies is one of the largest and most rapidly growing engineering and consulting companies in the U.S. ... Over the last five years, ECS has acquired five companies throughout the U.S. with two being in the first quarter of 2020.” 5)Understand and integrate culture. We focus on humanizing the merger by addressing the communications needs of employees through each phase of the integration. This helps address potential culture issues and makes for a smoother integration process. In addition to communication, gaining an insight of the acquired organization’s culture helps us develop an effective plan. Four steps to consider: ❚ ❚ Understand the acquired organization’s operating style ❚ ❚ Determine the future operating style of the merged organization ❚ ❚ Develop a plan to narrow the gap ❚ ❚ Implement solutions and monitor progress With each merger or acquisition, we learn something new to build upon for our next opportunity. We have learned to stay flexible and that it takes drive, determination and the ability to connect people and ideas to achieve remarkable results. While challenging, the opportunities to collaborate and think outside the box are endless. TONY FIORILLO is president of ECS Group of Companies. Contact him at

3)Prioritize synergy. Put simply, synergy is either the “revenue enhancing” or “cost savings” achieved by integrating the companies. An initial part of due diligence is identifying potential synergy opportunities between candidates and ECS (the buyer). Synergy opportunities can be analyzed early in the integration process to build momentum and credibility amongst internal and external audiences. Focusing on the high-end, quick-hit projects to create momentum by creating a plan to monitor results. Some types of projects include talent retention and financial planning. Talent retention: ❚ ❚ Understanding people concerns ❚ ❚ Retaining key talent

❚ ❚ Redundancy and severance Financial planning and design: ❚ ❚ Finance and administration integration ❚ ❚ Engaging external service providers

In 2018, ECS acquired GEM Engineering, Inc. to not only expand our footprint into a new state, but also to increase our technical capability. GEM and ECS were an ideal match and created unprecedented opportunities for our employees and our clients. 4)Communication. Throughout the acquisition process, communication with different messages are required for different stakeholders involved. Key stakeholders of each company may include current and prospective customers, employees, business/professional organizations, news media, and regulatory bodies. By developing separate messages and delivery formats (e.g. open forum meeting, official letter, memo, email, newsletter, and media), effective communications can be achieved. A few critical factors to a successful strategy include communicating: ❚ ❚ Early and often ❚ ❚ Openly and honestly ❚ ❚ Consistently, both internally and externally

❚ ❚ Proactively ❚ ❚ Face-to-face

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