TZL 1432 (web)

Ma rch 1 4 , 2022 , I s sue 1 432 W W W . Z W E I G G R O U P . C O M


Recruiting strategy

One of Zweig Group’s landmark awards has evolved into a powerful tool that couples celebration with data-driven change. Evolution of an award

F I R M I N D E X Brenner Design...................................................... 6 CHA Consulting, Inc.......................................... 12 Liebhaber Company........................................10 MCTIGUE Architects...........................................4 O’Connell Robertson...........................................2 MO R E A R T I C L E S n BRIAN KING: Adapting to a multigenerational workforce Page 3 n Paving the way: Diana Brenner Page 6 n ROGER MARQUIS: The MVP on your project team Page 9 n MARK ZWEIG: Trying to stay positive Page 11 Firms in Zweig Group’s 2022 Recruitment & Retention Report of AEC Firms were asked about their recruiting strategy. Do these firms have an in- house recruiting staff or do they hire an outside recruiting firm to find new talent (or both)? The chart shows the percentage of firms that answered “yes” to each question. All firms with 100 or more employees had an in- house recruiter. About 80 percent of firms with 25 or more employees had hired an outside recruiting firm within the past two years. Firms in the 25-49 staff size range were the only group more likely to hire an outside firm versus housing their own recruiting staff. Participate in a survey and save 50 percent on the final or pre- publication price of any Zweig Group research publication.

I just passed my seven-year anniversary here at Zweig Group. I can’t believe it has already been that long. It seems like only yesterday I was walking into this company not knowing a whole lot about the industry we serve. I have learned so much in the last seven years and I am still learning something new almost daily. I have seen changes not just within Zweig Group itself, but also around the industry. One change in particular, an evolution in my mind, has been the change centered around our Best Firms To Work For Award. When I first started in my current role, Best Firms To Work For was solely an award. By no means is this a bad thing! Firms need to celebrate their workplace. They should be proud of the hard work that goes into creating an outstanding culture, having tremendous compensation and benefits, providing top of the line professional development, and making the work lives of their employees better. This is so important to remember. In fact, Celebrating is a pillar of Zweig Group’s vision to Elevate the Industry. It is the reason we have these industry awards and put on the best conference and awards show in the industry! But, Best Firms To Work For has now evolved into something greater. The AEC industry has always embraced the use of data to make business decisions, but the type of data available and considered in these decisions has evolved. As firms continue to celebrate, as they should, when they win a Best Firms To Work For Award, they are now also using the vast amounts of data that come with just participating. Each firm that goes through the award process is given an Employee Survey Report when they have reached the minimum threshold to participate and are satisfied with their participation level. This report contains the averages of each ranking scale question (there are more than 100 in the survey), as well as open responses and supplemental comments. It has become an extremely powerful tool for HR and firm leaders as they plan for the future of their workplace. More and more firms are recognizing how valuable employee surveys can be. They show your people that you care enough about their open and honest feedback that you want to give them a mechanism to give that feedback beyond their yearly review. The intel you can garner from employee surveys can highlight strengths and weaknesses within your organization. It can help shape policies that can help retain current employees and attract new ones. This is such a huge need given the challenges in the labor market right now.

Kyle Ahern

See KYLE AHERN, page 2



ON THE MOVE O’CONNELL ROBERTSON ANNOUNCES NEWEST FIRM PRINCIPAL O’Connell Robertson has announced that Jayna Duke, IIDA, LEED AP, has been promoted to principal. Duke joins the firm’s senior leadership team after 14 years with the firm, where she began her career as a summer intern. Working her way up to the interiors practice leader, Duke has led the design on numerous projects including Lake Belton High School, San Antonio College Fletcher Administration Building, Shannon Health, and the Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders. As a leader in the firm, she takes responsibility for all aspects of ‘success’, whether in project acquisition and performance, client relations and management, or industry partner relationships. “As Jayna has developed a dynamic and growing interior design department, she has continued to expand her impact on the firm beyond project design to a role that includes winning work and enhancing client relationships. Her influence on the expansion of our business, as well as design recognition, has been, and will continue to be an important contributor to the Firm’s future success,” said Amy Jones,

president and CEO. “Jayna’s addition to the Principal team at O’Connell Robertson further diversifies the group bringing new dimensions to leadership perspectives and discussion.” O’Connell Robertson’s track record of designing smart, elegant, and effective environments has enabled the firm to thrive for seven decades. From offices in Austin and San Antonio, O’Connell Robertson continues to enrich people’s lives through design by providing comprehensive architectural, MEP engineering, and interior design services throughout the state of Texas. In the early 1960s, William O’Connell, AIA, was asked by a cardiac surgeon to design environments that would support his groundbreaking work. That strengthened the foundation O’Connell had built since starting the firm in 1950. The firm realized the further impact it could have on the communitywhen services were expanded to designing schools in the mid-1960s. Today, O’Connell Robertson continues to concentrate on elevating the design of healthcare and education environments, along with a variety of other building types, which all focus on a single purpose: to enrich people’s lives through design.

PO Box 1528 Fayetteville, AR 72702

KYLE AHERN, from page 1

Chad Clinehens | Publisher Sara Parkman | Senior Editor & Designer Shirley Che | Contributing Editor Liisa Andreassen | Correspondent Tel: 800-466-6275 Fax: 800-842-1560 Email: Online: Twitter: Facebook: Group-1030428053722402 Published continuously since 1992 by Zweig Group, Fayetteville, Arkansas, USA. ISSN 1068-1310. Issued weekly (48 issues/year). Free electronic subscription at © Copyright 2022, Zweig Group. All rights reserved.

The Best Firms To Work For employee survey covers a huge array of topics that are important to employees and firm leaders alike. The employee survey reports offer an in- depth view of employee sentiment that has become a major building block for strategic planning efforts for firms. Zweig Group is continuing our effort to present this data in more meaningful ways as well, creating tools to take deeper dives into the data. Being able to separate the data by demographics without compromising the anonymity of respondents and using our years of experience to offer meaningful insight are a couple of ways we have tried to offer firms even more through the award. We recognize how powerful this data can be for firms just like we recognize what being named a Best Firms To Work For can do for a firm’s brand. Coupling celebration with data-driven change has been an evolution of this award that I am personally very proud of, and one that I hope the industry recognizes and embraces even more than it already has. If we celebrate improving the lives of everyone in our organization while also using the information gathered in the process to make our firms even better, then there is no doubt we are all well on our way to Elevating the Industry. Kyle Ahern is awards manager at Zweig Group. Contact him at

BEST FIRMS TOWORK FOR AWARD The Best Firms To Work For award recognizes the top AEC firms in the U.S. and Canada based on their workplace practices, employee benefits, employee retention rates, and much more. All entries will include the Open Response Report, allowing firms to see all comments and responses to open response questions. The deadline to participate is May 6, 2022. Click here to learn more!

© Copyright 2022. Zweig Group. All rights reserved.




A M King staff collaborating on a project.

Firms with a strongly integrated multigenerational workforce will experience tremendous power and opportunity for success over the next number of years. Adapting to a multigenerational workforce

W hen I began my professional career in 1986, it was a baby boomer’s world. This generation – born between 1946 and 1964 – was impacting everything about business. Within organizations, “boomers” dominated the workforce and were rapidly ascending to upper management. As a consumer base, this group was setting new records for consumption while redefining business offerings and sales models.

Brian King

Technically a boomer myself, as a young professional it was critical for me to fully understand this largest living generation on many levels. They were my peers, my bosses, and my customers, and my success depended upon their perceptions of my work. I needed to be clear on their expectations – and their expectations alone – when it came to work ethic, job performance, and quality requirements. Today’s young professionals find themselves in a much different situation. Over the past 40 years, the workforce has undergone a dynamic shift. No longer do we have a single older generation aging out and being replaced by the next generation. We now find ourselves in the midst of the greatest multigenerational workforce in history.

Never has business experienced four distinct and unique generations actively engaged in the workforce at the same time. Baby boomers, the youngest now in their late 50s, will remain active in the workforce for the next 20 years. Generation X, a smaller population group ranging in age from early 40s to 55 will have continued careers extending another 30 or more years. The millennial generation, another large sector of the population – primarily children of the boomers – are turning 40 and assuming greater leadership and management roles. And Gen Z, or zoomers, who were born after 1996, has begun to enter the workforce. The most diverse generation ever, this group was raised solely in the age of the internet and digital interaction.

See BRIAN KING, page 4



BUSINESS NEWS MCTIGUE ARCHITECTS DESIGNS PERMIT-READY FIRE REBUILD HOUSE IN MALIBU MCTIGUE Architects, a conscious architecture, design, and planning firm, has achieved permit- ready status for its design of a single- family home on a site in Malibu, California, previously ravaged in 2018 by the Woolsey Fire. The Woolsey Fire was a wildfire that burned in Los Angeles and Ventura counties of the U.S. state of California. The fire ignited on November 8, 2018, Drew Pedrick, founding principal of MCTIGUE, was invited to design the

replacement home as part of the Malibu Rebuilds program created by the city to help citizens recover from the most catastrophic event and community-wide trauma in its history. Drew notes that the new home seeks to heal the scars of land and residents equally, and to rise fromashes in a natural, resilient, and affirming way. The original home had been completely swept away, leaving concrete foundations and little else but charred earth in place. After an extensive process, including close work with homeowners, city and county staff, and a team of consultants,

the design re-envisions the original home’s program of spaces and overall size in a new and contemporary way. The new home takes advantage of the superb views, light and air, landscape, and neighborhood in ways that connect to the land and create safer conditions. MCTIGUE’s work is conscious architecture, conceived with community, planned with purpose, and framed in nature, a natural way of thinking and designing with life-affirming results. MCTIGUE is an architecture, planning, design, and communication firm founded in a conscious approach to making place.

company, accommodate the workforce, and ultimately retain and develop employees. Long established barriers will be removed, and rules will be changed to accommodate the needs and wants of each generation, all without crossing the lines of age discrimination. Each generation will have differing perspectives on pay structure, benefits, work flexibility, and advancement. This multigenerational workforce will also present tremendous opportunities. Internally, organizations can utilize age diversity to develop valuable mentorships and peer-to-peer training. The open sharing and adoption of new ideas, technologies, and processes may be employed as companies begin to realize the most valuable tools for continuing education come from within the organizations, and not from webinars or training seminars. External benefits may be just as significant. Not only is the workforce intergenerational, but customer bases are as well. The key to developing a business is to understand the wants and needs of the customer. Just as a 27-year-old manager may struggle to understand the quality and service requirements of a 54-year-old customer, that same 50-something manager has little understanding of a 20-something’s product needs and expectations. A strongly integrated multigenerational workforce can collaborate to determine business offerings that are aligned with its customer base, regardless of whether that base is narrow or broad. Today’s vast multigenerational workforce spans seven decades of change, innovations, social norms, personal values, and life experiences. It will be difficult and challenging for organizations to internally manage this workforce. But for those who do so effectively, there will be tremendous power and opportunity for success over the next number of years. Brian T. King is the founder and president of A M King, a design- build firm that provides multiple services required of highly complex facilities in niche markets throughout the United States. To connect with Brian and gain more of his insights, visit This article was originally published on Reprinted with permission.

BRIAN KING, from page 3

For the past number of years, the U.S. workforce has been building toward multigenerational diversity. Now that it has arrived, it will certainly alter the world of business. Every organization, large and small, will now be pushed to address two challenges related to the multigenerational workforce: 1. How to effectively manage such a large age-diverse group. 2. How to best harness the opportunities it presents. A recent survey conducted by Deloitte found that while 70 percent of organizations say leading multigenerational workforces is important or very important, only 10 percent are ready to address this trend; and only 6 percent strongly agree that their leaders are equipped to lead a multigenerational workforce effectively. Though each generation is often defined by traits, it would be foolish to assign stereotypical labels to each group. The various life stages of this diverse-aged workforce is what will influence the workplace – not loosely defined generational traits. Members of these four generations bring differing levels of needs and expectations based on the length of their careers and their life stages. For example, it is irrational to think a 62-year-old empty nester will have the same expectations and needs as a single 32-year-old when it comes to work- life-balance, career advancement, or company loyalty. Or that either would have the same perspective as a 45-year-old with two teenage children, even though all three may share the same roles, responsibilities, and pay scales within the same company. The challenge will be to find a balance that can benefit the “This multigenerational workforce will present tremendous opportunities. Internally, organizations can utilize age diversity to develop valuable mentorships and peer-to-peer training.”

© Copyright 2022. Zweig Group. All rights reserved.




Paving the way: Diana Brenner Principal at Brenner Design (Indianapolis, IN), an award-winning, woman owned architectural firm that designs and constructs innovative buildings and interior spaces.


B renner is the first woman architect to design a new building on the campus of Purdue University and Ball State University. She is one of only three female Fellows of the American Institute of Architects in the state of Indiana and the only woman ever to be awarded a Torchbearer Award in Architecture from the Indiana Commission for Women. “When I first started in business and people asked me what I did, I responded, ‘I’m an architect and I own my own firm.’ The next question was always, ‘Do you work out of your home?’ … I felt like they asked that because I was a woman. I don’t believe a man would have been asked that question. I feel proud that I have been able to sustain my practice for 30 years with no partners and have been able to work on high profile projects,” Brenner says. “Hopefully I’ve paved the way for women in this profession.” A CONVERSATIONWITH DIANA BRENNER. The Zweig Letter: You started the firm in 1992. What are some of the most significant changes your firm has experienced over the past 30 years?

Diana Brenner: There are three: 1. Technology. We have had to constantly invest in technology in terms of software and hardware to keep up with changes from CADD to Revit. We started with Revit early on – when it wasn’t fully usable for interior architecture – stopped for a while, then started using it again when it became more prevalent with our clients. We also use billing and procurement software that didn’t exist years ago. 2. Communication. We use email for most communications, and the Zoom, Teams, and Go To Meeting platforms became most useful during COVID. We are to the point where we don’t need a receptionist because the call volume is so low compared to email. 3. Work ethic. We’ve seen a definite decline in the work ethic of new hires. It’s difficult to understand why. I always look to see if the candidate worked during high school and/or college. I feel like that is a better indicator of whether they are reliable and responsible and will show up on time and make their work and career a priority.



TZL: You’ve worked on countless projects throughout the years, but are there one or two that really stand out due to challenging circumstances or unusual requests? Please explain. DB: We have a huge work portfolio. I suppose I’m most proud of the projects that have won design awards. When I first started, I set a goal of winning one per year. We now have 42 awards for our work. When we tell clients that we worked on Mackey Arena, that gives us a great deal of credibility, since most clients have heard of it. Our most recent high-profile project was the design of the Indiana University Football Locker Room. We also worked on the Historic Hoosier Gym renovation, the gym from the movie Hoosiers . TZL: What benefits does your firm offer that your people get most excited about? DB: We pay for disability insurance for all staff. One of my long-term staff needed to make a claim and, fortunately, it was a benefit that she was able to take advantage of. We also pay single coverage health insurance and encourage HSAs and have a 401(k) plan. “I’m most proud of leading the charge for women in architecture. For our first 20 years, we were the largest 100 percent WBE architectural firm in Indiana.” TZL: As a woman-owned firm, are there any unique challenges/benefits that your company has experienced? Please explain. DB: Our greatest challenge as a small firm is also our biggest advantage. Many clients ask for a history of multiple projects in the same project type within the last five years. Clients want to see projects just like the one they are proposing. They don’t care if all of those projects went well or not, they want to see recent quantity, not quality. We may have completed five over our client history, but they are not all recent. As a small firm we are generalists; we specialize in the process of design. It’s the overall design process that determines the outcome; understanding client needs, budgets, and schedule is more important than whether we’ve done five of the same project type in the last five years. Our greatest advantage is that we’re very experienced in all types of design and construction and we use our expertise and variety of experience to lead clients through a project no matter what the project type

is. Many facilities are a blending of different types of spaces and uses. We have seen that happen over time in higher education, hospitality, sports, and housing. “I feel proud that I have been able to sustain my practice for 30 years with no partners and have been able to work on high profile projects. Hopefully I’ve paved the way for women in this profession.”

HEADQUARTERS: Indianapolis, IN


TZL: In one word or phrase, what do you describe as your number one job responsibility?



DB: Finding newwork and closing the deal. I have to maintain a constant flow of newwork to keep everyone busy. TZL: Since the firm’s founding, what are some of the accomplishments that you’re most proud of? DB: When I became licensed, it was always my personal goal to be elevated to the College of Fellows. Most architects don’t get elevated based on their first application. Sometimes it takes three tries. I was elevated based on my first application in 2008 and it was a great honor. I’m most proud of leading the charge for women in architecture. For our first 20 years, we were the largest 100 percent WBE architectural firm in Indiana. I was the first woman architect to design a building at Purdue University (which was named Mann Hall) and the first woman architect to design a building at Ball State University (Ron & Joan Venderly Football Complex). I also went on to be associate architect on the Mackey Arena Expansion, a $98 million project where we did 45 percent of the work. Why am I most proud of these things? When I first started in business and people asked me what I did, I responded, “I’m an architect and I own my own firm.” The next question was always, “Do you work out of your home?” I would respond, “No, I have a real office downtown with real employees.” I felt like they asked that because I was a woman. I don’t believe a man would have been asked that question. I feel proud that I have been able to sustain my practice for 30 years with no partners and See PAVING THE WAY, page 8


■ ■ Arts and culture

■ ■ Business

■ ■ Healthcare

■ ■ Historic preservation

■ ■ Hospitality

■ ■ Housing

■ ■ Sports


■ ■ Architecture

■ ■ Interior architecture

■ ■ Interior design

■ ■ FF&E procurement

■ ■ Branding

■ ■ Owners’ rep services

LOOKING TO THE FUTURE: Currently looking for the next generation of owners.

© Copyright 2022. Zweig Group. All rights reserved.

ARCH 14, 2022, ISSUE 1432


Mann Hall at Purdue University.

such collaborative disciplines that I think our staff didn’t want to work from home. TZL: What role does your family play in your career? Are work and family separate, or is there overlap? DB: I worked for five years before I hired my husband as office manager. He is now COO and a key person in the firm. I have another business that shares his services. My two sons are involved in that business, which is extremely successful. I’d like to think everything I learned running Brenner Design has helped lead to the success of the second venture. TZL: What skills are required to run a successful practice? What do you wish you knew starting out that you know now? DB: I didn’t knowwhat I didn’t know. I wish I would have taken bookkeeping or accounting in college. That would have been helpful. Also, I should have taken marketing classes. Luckily, I’m a fairly good writer and very visual so I’ve been able to create successful marketing materials and proposals. TZL: What type of leader do you consider yourself to be? DB: I’m very detail oriented. I can multitask and am able to keep on top of a large number of projects and clients. I believe I am fair. I care about our staff and have several who have been with the firm for more than 20 years. I care about my clients and about doing the right thing. Some say I should have been a lawyer when it comes to negotiation.

PAVING THE WAY, from page 7

have been able to work on high profile projects. Hopefully I’ve paved the way for women in this profession. TZL: What advice would you give to a woman who wants to start an AEC firm today? DB: Make sure you love what you do. Being a business owner is hard and you must have the support of your family. Hire slowly and fire fast. Continually learn. Get involved in the community. Don’t take no for an answer. Market constantly and celebrate your successes! TZL: How has COVID-19 permanently impacted your firm’s policy on telecommuting? DB: We only had one staff member who worked from home. Everyone else stayed in the office the entire time. Our workstations are more than eight feet apart and we kept the office clean. We did modify computers, so that if we needed remote access, it was available. Architecture and interiors are (which was named Mann Hall) and the first woman architect to design a building at Ball State University (Ron & Joan Venderly Football Complex).” “I was the first woman architect to design a building at Purdue University

© Copyright 2022. Zweig Group. All rights reserved.




The MVP on your project team

It’s in your project’s best interest for you to pay special attention to this person and find ways to get to know them better.

O n most any design and construction project team, there’s always one person who consistently contributes the most to the team’s overall success and, to make an analogy to the sports world, they would typically be considered the team’s most valuable player. Although often overshadowed by others on the project, it’s the site superintendent, or site super, who gets the job done, day-in and day-out, from project kick-off to close-out, and sees to it that the project finishes within the specified time, budget, and design parameters.

Roger Marquis

For an architect, interior designer, or property owner or manager who is selecting and assembling a project team, for the reasons above and below, it might be in their best interest to pay special attention to the role of site superintendent and find ways to get to know this person better. From a general contractor’s perspective, when it comes time to submit a project proposal, it might serve them well to make certain the site superintendent is included on the list of staff members who will be involved with the project, and highlight their level of experience, expertise, and the role they play on the team. As an employee of the general contractor, the site superintendent is responsible for planning and

scheduling, organizing, directing, and managing just about every activity on the construction site. As much as a site superintendent needs to be adept in these areas, they also need to be able to communicate and collaborate well with others, and know various project management and/or collaboration applications or technologies. And, as if all of that wasn’t enough, the site superintendent is responsible for having a working knowledge of each trade on the project, and making certain the desired level of quality is maintained as the work gets completed. Also under the site superintendent’s purview is the management and enforcement of site safety policies and procedures. Because site superintendents possess such a great

See ROGER MARQUIS, page 10



BUSINESS NEWS ARCHITECTS, ENGINEERS FACE ECONOMIC HEADWINDS IN 2022; STEEPER HIKES IN PROFESSIONAL LIABILITY INSURANCE RATES Even as the U.S. navigated a second year of the pandemic, most insurers providing AEC professional liability insurance remain concerned about their deteriorating claims experience and issues related to the pandemic. These factors are leading many insurers to seek more extensive and sizable rate increases, according to a new survey by Ames & Gough. As they look ahead in 2022, 81 percent of insurers in the Ames & Gough survey of 16 leading insurance companies are planning to raise rates with the remaining insurers seeking to hold rates steady. This year, insurers planning to raise rates are divided between those seeking modest increases of up to 5 percent and those planning increases of 6 percent or more. “Along with worsening claims experience, insurers have become increasingly concerned about the impacts of the pandemic both on their design firm clients and on the economy,” said Jared Maxwell, vice president and partner, Ames & Gough. “Besides worker shortages at AEC firms and supply chain disruptions affecting building materials, insurers are focused on how COVID-19 has elevated cyber risks and the potential for rising claim costs due to economic and social inflation, and prolonged litigation due to case backlogs in courts.”

Among insurers surveyed, 63 percent saw an increase in claim severity in 2021 and 31 percent experienced greater claim frequency. The majority of insurers surveyed also reported paying multimillion dollar claims in 2021, with one in four paying a claim of $5 million or more, including 13 percent of the insurers surveyed paying claims between $10 million to $19.9 million. Given the significant number of large losses, insurers surveyed shared lessons learned to help AEC firms avoid these outsized claims. Several pointed to the need for appropriate contractual scrutiny, including having a clearly defined scope of service, meaningful limits of liability protection, and a careful review of indemnification provisions. “In the current economic environment, project owners and their legal counsel are inserting onerous contractual language to transfer as much risk as possible to design firms,” said Cady Sinks, assistant vice president, Ames & Gough. “Besides carefully reviewing their potential contractual obligations before signing, AEC firms need to be thorough in their selection of projects, clients, and subconsultants. They also should stay focused on maintaining high standards for quality control and assurance.” Among insurers surveyed, 63 percent expressed concern about the impact of the “great resignation” on design firms

– in particular, the potential for worker shortages and increased claims. Insurers saw this trend exacerbating risks of design and technical errors, and project delays. They also pointed out the loss of institutional knowledge at AEC firms needed to keep projects on track and flag potential issues. With respect to their underwriting discipline and plans for rate increases, 77 percent of the insurers surveyed plan to target increases on what they consider higher risk projects, such as condominiums and schools; the same percentage will target higher risk disciplines, including structural engineering, architecture, and geotechnical engineering. Meanwhile, 38 percent plan to apply increases to firms operating in states considered high-risk or with generally adverse loss experience, including California, Florida, New Jersey, and Texas. Furthermore, 69 percent of the insurers surveyed are planning increases across their entire book of business. With design firms involved in more than 400 mergers and acquisitions in 2021, insurers cautioned those making acquisitions to practice careful due diligence, particularly in assessing the target firm’s legacy exposures. They also noted the need to focus on addressing employee concerns and conducting a thorough insurance program review.

personality and ability to communicate, collaborate, and to be responsive. To some, it might seem as though a site superintendent and project manager are responsible for many of the same things (i.e., planning, management, quality, reporting, etc.), but they aren’t. The site super is on-site from day to day, interacting with people across the trades, while the project manager is usually in an off-site office, handling more of the administrative matters which pertain to the project. Although a site super isn’t typically the first person thought of when it comes to a design and construction project team, there is little doubt they often contribute the most on an individual and continual basis and, for this reason, they earn the distinction of MVP. Roger Marquis is business development director at Liebhaber Company, a full-service New York City-based general contracting, construction management, and architectural millwork firm focused on high-end residential and hospitality projects. Connect with him on LinkedIn.

ROGER MARQUIS, from page 9

depth and breadth of knowledge and are involved with just about everyone on the project team throughout the project’s life span, more than most, superintendents are able to anticipate potential issues that might arise and know how best to navigate them to keep the project from being derailed. “Although a site super isn’t typically the first person thought of when it comes to a design and construction project team, there is little doubt they often contribute the most on an individual and continual basis.” Another characteristic which serves to differentiate site supers from others on the project team is their ability to instill a greater sense of harmony between all of those working on the construction site. This is where their knowledge and experience of the various trades comes into play, as does their

© Copyright 2022. Zweig Group. All rights reserved.




Trying to stay positive

If you are a leader in an AEC firm, it’s crucial that you stay positive in spite of all the bad news we’re seeing these days.

I ’m trying to stay positive right now in spite of all the bad news constantly coming in. After paying $4.39 a gallon to fill up my very large and thirsty car this morning, I stopped in Walgreens on the way to dropping my 15 year-old off at high school. There I grabbed some 9-volt batteries for our metal detector (what fun we had with that this weekend!) and was blown away by the $22.95 price. That’s crazy!

Mark Zweig

Then there’s the war in Ukraine, which is just awful. My heart goes out to those people who were living completely normal lives like the rest of us just a few weeks ago and are now huddled in basements with no heat, no power, and maybe even no food. Terrible situation and I’m worried it could spread. But in spite of all these things that are well beyond my control, I have so many other things to be thankful for in my life and I don’t want to take anything for granted. My highest aspiration is to appreciate every single day for the good it brings. If you are in business, it’s crucial that you stay positive. Yes, COVID-19 showed us that you must be prepared for the unexpected, yet you should also always hope for and expect the best. To the extent you can do this will determine your willingness to invest in your

business, invest in your people, and keep everyone motivated. So it is super important! Here are some strategies I have learned that can really help you stay positive: 1. Lower personal overhead. You may not think this is crucial, but it is. Keeping your personal overhead as low as possible and having some cash in the bank is going to reduce your stress and help you keep a positive state of mind. Simplify, sell off unneeded assets, and don’t buy anything at all on time if you can avoid it. 2. Surround yourself with positive people. Some people are basically negative, and some positive.

See MARK ZWEIG, page 12



ON THE MOVE CHARLES S. HOCKING, PE, JOINS CHA BOARD CHA Holdings, Inc. announced today that Charles S. Hocking, PE, has joined the CHA board of directors. Charlie is the founder and president of CSH Strategies, LLC, an executive management and strategy consulting firm, focused on helping engineering companies create and realize value for their stakeholders. Prior to founding his own firm, Charlie was CEO with Hazen and Sawyer, a leading national water engineering firm with over 1,300 employees. Charlie brings more than 30 years of progressive executive management and strategy development expertise to the CHA Board. “Charlie is a proven leader and strategist who will help take CHA to the next level,” said Michael Carroll, chairman. “His deep experience in executing strategies that lead to value creation will be a

great asset to the Company and Board alike.” “Charlie is a great addition to the Board, bringing decades of proven and relevant leadership in the AEC industry. He will bring tremendous value, and I look forward to working alongside him to achieve our vision and to advance our strategic growth initiatives,” said Jim Stephenson, CEO. “I’m honored to be joining CHA as an Independent Director,” said Charlie Hocking. “CHA is one of the premier engineering firms in the industry, and I’m excited for this opportunity to meaningfully contribute to CHA’s continued success.” Prior to founding CSH Strategies, LLC, Charlie spent 24 years at Hazen and Sawyer, DPC, the last 10 years serving as President, CEO and Chairman. He earned civil engineering degrees from the University of Washington and

Northeastern University and is a licensed professional engineer in New York and Washington. CHAHoldings, Inc. is theholdingcompany for CHA Consulting, Inc., an innovative, full-service engineering consulting and construction management firm providing a wide range of technology-enhanced planning and design services to public, private and institutional clients. CHA was ranked the No. 53 largest engineering firm in the United States in 2021 by Engineering News-Record. With technical personnel and offices throughout the United States and Canada, CHA offers engineering, architecture, survey, asset, construction and project management, and other services necessary to complete projects on time and within budget.

you when you need to go to bed and gives you all kinds of information about the quality of your sleep. I highly recommend both. 5. Limit your intake of negative information. That means you may want to shut off the news, spend (a lot) less time on social media, and, as I stated earlier, watch who you spend time with. The more negativity that goes in, the more likely it is that you will become negative yourself. 6. Input positive information. That means watching movies and TV shows that are inspirational or make you feel good, reading books about people who have succeeded at trying whatever it was they were trying to accomplish, and seeking out positive information wherever you can find it. 7. Do something tangible. We were stuck in the house with bad weather for a few days recently and I focused on doing things that needed to be done inside the house. I went out to my shop and grabbed my bench grinder with a new fine brass wheel and put it in the dungeon- like basement of our Victorian-era house. Then I took off painted over door hardware – knobs, latches, strikers, lock covers, and more, one door at a time – in our more than 120-year-old house, cleaned them up on the wheel, and reinstalled them. It was very gratifying to see everything working and looking so much better. None of these things in itself is enough. I think they are each important and each crucial to maintaining a positive mental state. And THAT – if you are a leader – is essential for you to do your job! Mark Zweig is Zweig Group’s chairman and founder. Contact him at

MARK ZWEIG, from page 11

Don’t spend too much time with the negative ones if you want to keep yourself positive. We just visited with a neighbor yesterday who is super negative about some of the improvements planned for our town. My wife said it affected her for hours afterward. 3. Go for little victories every day. Set yourself up for success with small goals that you can achieve. Break up big overwhelming projects into small tasks that you know you can complete. You will be more likely to feel like you are making progress. It’s more gratifying. And that will help keep you positive. “In spite of all these things that are well beyond my control, I have so many other things to be thankful for in my life and I don’t want to take anything for granted. My highest aspiration is to appreciate every single day for the good it brings.” 4. Diet, sleep, activity. There is nothing new about the importance of these three things. Technology helps. I have found the Apple Watch my wife gave me as a present a couple years ago has been invaluable when it comes to keeping me moving. It tracks my exercise, steps, and how much I stand every day. My wife and I compete with each other to complete our activity “rings.” The Oura ring she got me more recently is fantastic for tracking sleep. It tells

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