BUSINESS NEWS MIYAMOTO OPENS PUERTO RICO OFFICE The global earthquake and structural engineering firm Miyamoto International has opened a permanent Puerto Rico office to share its expertise with communities, the commercial sector, and local and state governments in earthquake impacted Puerto Rico. “Miyamoto’s mission is to make the world a better, safer place while protecting the people and economy in areas of high earthquake risk,” said Sabine Kast, director of international programs for Miyamoto. Ponce will mark the 21st office Miyamoto has opened in areas of high seismic activity worldwide. “We are committed to Puerto Rico for not only
recovery but long-term safety and economic expansion,” CEO H. Kit Miyamoto, S.E. said. Miyamoto’s Ponce office will be led by expert structural engineer Ivan Hernandez, P.E. who has provided expert structural engineering and construction quality control services in Puerto Rico for the past 20 years. Miyamoto’s focus in Puerto Rico will be on repair and strengthening engineering for homes, schools, government, and commercial buildings. Miyamoto will be working alongside Puerto Rican and international engineers to build capacity on seismic resilient reconstruction. “We will work closely with affected communities
we desire carries a greater impact than mere words alone will ever have. But, as I quickly realized, actions alone aren’t enough in this case. As a leader, we must now walk alongside, encourage, and coach the next generation of leaders as they work to establish new cultural norms and practices in this ever evolving workplace. empower, and educate all genders and races, young and old, to look past the biases and make effective change to the cultural norms that have shaped and continue to affect the AEC industry. As we integrate technological advances into our process, we must also integrate transversal (soft) leadership skills into our teams, developing our next leaders to be technically strong, empathetic, innovative, and agile professionals. Rather than be distracted by gender politics, now more than ever, we as industry professionals need to focus on our design thinking skills and passion for architecture to unite us if we are to reestablish and elevate architectural value within society. That is the type of movement that will benefit us all, all genders of all generations and races, both in the short- and long-term. That is the type of movement that will keep professionals from pivoting out of the industry. That is the type of movement I would be proud to have a voice in. Count me in! KRISTINE DORN, IIDA, Associate AIA, CAL is an AEC consultant focused on leadership transition and change management. She is currently developing a transversal and leadership skills post-secondary curriculum to further prepare tomorrow’s young professionals to be successful leaders. Kristine can be contacted via LinkedIn or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Miyamoto International is a global structural engineering and disaster-risk reduction firm providing resiliency expertise that sustains industries and safeguards communities around the world. Miyamoto International specializes in earthquake resilient engineering that reduces damage and facilitates disaster recovery. The firm designs new construction and assesses existing buildings to address specific vulnerabilities to disasters. The firm prioritizes solutions that limit damage, business interruption, and loss of life. Miyamoto is strategically located worldwide in regions vulnerable to disaster to positively impact economies and save lives. To be successful, the ElevateHer movement must inspire, include, to help understand and access their individual needs,” Hernandez said.
KRISTINE DORN, from page 3
When accepting the role of president, I knew that the hard work was just beginning. Although there were the typical business and operational items to transition, it was as important to evolve the firm’s culture by first eliminating old fashioned societal norms which had been established over the firm’s 50-year history. Our goal was to minimize barriers for women and men working to become not only strong design professionals, but loving parents and community members. To do this, we revamped the benefits package, ensured all staff were equally provided and encouraged to utilize educational stipends, and retooled the technology infrastructure to allow staff to seamlessly work from the office, onsite at a meeting, at the quiet coffee shop around the corner, or from home. We created a part-time professional staff designation for those who possessed great leadership skills but wanted to work part- time. Leadership continued to develop and promote staff, many of whom were women, based on their contributions and skills, not by how many hours they were willing to work. We were striving to create a work environment that supported the staff’s ability to focus on successful design thinking and creative problem solving regardless of gender, age, or race. A young female staff member recently asked why I didn’t use my position as a platform to promote female leadership in the AEC industry. I remember thinking how overcoming the gender and professional biases throughout my own career had eliminated many barriers for her and other women that followed within the firm. I have always believed that taking action to make the change
ElevateHer is a movement and a commitment to Zweig Group’s mission to Elevate the Industry. ElevateHer is about the future of the AEC industry and Zweig Group’s commitment to embrace, promote, and ensure equal opportunities for everyone in the AEC industry regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation, or ethnicity. Zweig Group will serve as an advisor and hub of information and resources while leading this movement – a movement that brings the industry together to promote, advance, and elevate the industry. “My vision for ElevateHer is not one of divisiveness or ‘women first,’” says Jamie Claire Kiser, Zweig Group’s managing principal, director of advisory services, and CFO. “It is a practical acknowledgement of the 100 percent of women who have considered exiting the AEC industry, confronting this challenge, and doing everything that we can to fix this system. We need women in our firms to speak up when they feel alienated.” The ElevateHer Symposium will take place in Denver on September 30, 2020. To learn more about attending or about becoming a sponser, visit shop. zweiggroup.com/collections/ elevateher.
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THE ZWEIG LETTER March 9, 2020, ISSUE 1335
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