ON THE MOVE DEWBERRY WELCOMES BEN BLITCH AND TREVOR NOBLE TO PANAMA CITY, FLORIDA, OFFICE Dewberry , a privately held professional services firm, has announced that it has hired Ben Blitch, PE, and Trevor Noble in its Panama City, Florida, office. With more than 15 years of experience, Ben Blitch joins the firm as a senior project manager where he is responsible for developing and maintaining client and agency relationships and providing engineering design, permitting, and construction expertise. He brings with him a diverse background in private, public, and regulatory experience. Prior to joining Dewberry, Blitch served as the utility services director for Bay County, the assistant director for the Northwest District of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, and as branch manager for a geotechnical, construction engineering, and environmental services firm. Blitch earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Florida State University and is a licensed professional engineer in Florida, Alabama, and Georgia. He is the president of the local chapter of the Florida Engineering Society and an active member of the Society of American Military Engineers.
“I’m excited to be a part of the Dewberry team and to see what the future holds. I hope that my diverse experience can further strengthen the depth of an already talented group of leaders and professionals,” says Blitch. Trevor Noble brings with him more than a decade of management experience and joins Dewberry as a senior project manager, where he is responsible for developing and maintaining client and agency relationships, managing staff in the development of projects, and providing utility and regulatory expertise. Noble has a diverse background in management, including emergency response, utility planning, regulatory compliance, and municipal public works, and water/wastewater utility operations management. Prior to joining Dewberry, Noble worked as the utility services assistant director for Bay County. Before his time with Bay County, he served as the director of public works for the city of Callaway and the program administrator for Florida’s Source and Drinking Water Program, which is a branch of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. Noble’s private sector experience includes working for a local engineering firm as the geotechnical department manager.
Noble earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Florida State University and an associate’s degree in pre-engineering from Santa Fe Community College. He is currently the vice chair for the region’s American Water Works Association and a member of the Water Environment Federation. “I’m thrilled to join Dewberry and to be able to bring my public sector and regulatory management experience to both existing and prospective clients. I am excited for the opportunity to be a part of a great organization and look forward to developing successful relationships,” says Noble. 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.
CHASE MILLER, from page 11
collaboration such as multi-user VR environments. Lastly, trust is more important than ever. We hire professionals, treat them like professionals, and expect them to perform like professionals. We don’t micromanage or babysit, though it is important to verify this trust. Through these activities, I would argue that our culture is more robust than before the pandemic. ❚ ❚ Communication. Communication is arguably the most essential aspect of virtual leadership. In an environment where communication takes extra time and effort, it’s easy to forget to communicate or dismiss its importance. As leaders, we must be intentional about sharing and not taking knowledge and information for granted. If leaders do not take control of the narrative, negative narratives will take control of the firm. This may mean increasing the frequency of your communication. You also want to be intentional in communicating through different media and not neglect the importance of visual and non-verbal communication. By investing the additional time needed for proper communication, you will reap the benefit of the cultural impact, sustaining motivated teams, and a positive (virtual) culture. For example, BSA leadership shares a video update each Friday called “The Pulse.” This video conveys pertinent information to the entire company, but it also builds our culture by shedding light on events within various studios, and even some trivia sprinkled in. Leadership is not easy and leading from a distance only makes it that much harder. Don’t give up. Your teams need you. We are starting to see the light at the end of this tunnel, and it is more important than ever to persevere and lead. CHASE MILLER is the director of planning at BSA LifeStructures. He can be reached as firstname.lastname@example.org.
where your team can drop into a Zoom call at any time within a specific window. Whatever the case may be, it is more critical than ever to make yourself visible to your team/staff. These small intentional acts begin to paint the picture of an effective leader and go a long way in motivating your teams. “Leadership is not easy and leading from a distance only makes it that much harder. Don’t give up. Your teams need you. We are starting to see the light at the end of this tunnel, and it is more important than ever to persevere and lead.” ❚ ❚ Culture. It is easy to think that the culture you have been building so deliberately throughout your organization’s life has been decimated over the last year. You have lost touch with your staff and teams. Small talk about your personal lives, families, kids, and hobbies has all but ceased to exist. Relationships have gone from personal to transactional. In sustaining culture through a virtual work environment, you cannot lose sight of what is truly important: people. As leaders, it is more important than ever to be there for our people. Many are struggling financially, physically, relationally, and emotionally. It is our job to support them and uplift them. Activities such as virtual happy hours, virtual trivia, virtual coffee, or virtual water coolers can facilitate these personal relationships. We begin our regular team meetings with a round-robin of personal and professional bests. This allows us to get to know one another on a personal level. We are also testing new technologies to further facilitate
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THE ZWEIG LETTER MARCH 15, 2021, ISSUE 1383
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