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ON THE MOVE DEWBERRY WELCOMES RICK RUDIN TO SUPPORT COASTAL NORTH CAROLINA CLIENTS Dewberry , a privately held professional services firm, has announced that Rick Rudin, PE, has joined the firm as a senior project manager. Rudin is based out of the firm’s Raleigh, North Carolina, office, but works remotely in Wilmington, North Carolina. Prior to joining the firm, Rudin worked in the utilities group for WithersRavenel in Wilmington where he was responsible for the design and construction of water and sewer infrastructure projects. Since joining Dewberry, he has

been involved with the firm’s utility projects throughout the state. “I’m very excited to be part of Dewberry’s growing coastal North Carolina practice and leverage my familiarity with the region and its regulations to support our clients and help them achieve their goals,” says Rudin. Rudin earned his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Texas at Arlington and is a member of the American Water Works Association. Dewberry is a leading, market-facing firm with

a proven history of providing professional services to a wide variety of public- and private-sector clients. Recognized for combining unsurpassed commitment to client service with deep subject matter expertise, Dewberry is dedicated to solving clients’ most complex challenges and transforming their communities. Established in 1956, Dewberry is headquartered in Fairfax, Virginia, with more than 50 locations and more than 2,000 professionals nationwide.


highest rate in our firm’s 40-year history. If companies can’t hire people, they can’t grow and the economy will suffer. I considered these factors warning signs for the overall economy. As a result, we slowed down hiring new staff, reduced capital expenditures, and paid off debt in 2019 instead of looking to rapidly expand. TZL: The firm has three founding principles: stability, quality, and innovation. Can you give me an example of something the firm has done recently to hold true to each of those principles? RS: Our firm lives and breathes these three founding principles every single day. Our commitment to stability is exemplified by our firm’s commitments to our clients and our employees regardless of external conditions such as pandemics or recessions. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve continued to meet our clients’ project needs and provide uninterrupted service. Our commitment to quality and innovation is practiced every minute of every day. Our success is dependent on our ability to solve our clients’ problems and make their lives easier. And, we constantly have to innovate and do things better and more efficiently today than we did yesterday. In business, if you’re not improving and innovating, you’re falling behind. TZL: In one word or phrase, what do you describe as your number one job responsibility as CEO? RS: Taking care of people (employees and clients). TZL: A firm’s longevity is valuable. What are you doing to encourage your staff to stick around? RS: As an organization, we do everything we can to treat our people well, fully recognizing that every single employee makes a conscious choice each day to work for raSmith. As a service organization, we understand our people are our product and our company’s most valuable resource. What differentiates raSmith from our competitors and has allowed us to have an incredibly low turnover rate is the fact that we emphasize work-life balance. We listen to the thoughts, ideas and concerns of all of our people, and as an organization, continue to grow, creating opportunities for people to advance in their careers at raSmith.

RS: You can never take your success for granted; there will always be challenges and setbacks. At the same time, when those challenges and setbacks occur you must keep moving forward because things are never as bad as they seem. In 2010, less than one year into becoming director of the land development services division at raSmith, our relationship with our biggest client, which accounted for 33 percent of our division’s revenue, ended. I was devastated; I thought my career and the future of the land development services division were ruined. My father, who was president of the company at the time, called me and calmly said to me that in business these things happen and that you just need to move forward. I had no choice but to work hard. By the end of the year, we as a division had made up all of the lost revenue from that client – something that I never thought was possible so soon. “Our success is dependent on our ability to solve our clients’ problems and make their lives easier. And, we constantly have to innovate and do things better and more efficiently today than we did yesterday. In business, if you’re not improving and innovating, you’re falling behind.” TZL: Since being named president in 2018, what’s been your greatest challenge and greatest achievement? Why? RS: My greatest challenge has resulted in my greatest achievement – preparing raSmith for the possibility of a recession in 2020. We did not financially overextend, so we have not had to reduce staff or salaries. In the midst of record corporate revenue and profit levels, telling our firm’s managers that I believed we needed to hunker down and prepare for a recession was not easy. However, in 2019 we were in the midst of the longest economic expansion in U.S. history, which meant that we were much closer to it ending than starting. And, the labor market was way too tight; hiring experienced engineers was difficult. Even co-ops and new graduates turned down job offers at the

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