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TRANSACTIONS RTC PARTNERS SELLS ARDURRA GROUP, INC. Round Table Capital Partners, a private equity fund specializing in middle market growth platforms, announced that it sold a significant majority of outstanding shares of its portfolio company Ardurra Group, Inc., to an affiliate of Littlejohn & Co., LLC. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Led by industry veteran Ernesto Aguilar as CEO and an all-star team of executives and entrepreneurs, Ardurra is among the fastest growing players in the Architecture, Engineering and Consulting services industry. With significant exposure to high growth states and attractive end-markets, Ardurra has successfully expanded scale and scope of services across water/wastewater,

transportation and aviation end-markets with more than 70 offices in the United States since the inception. “RTC is incredibly proud of and grateful to the current CEO Ernesto Aguilar and the entire Ardurra team for the outstanding work they have done in building this platform. In addition to executing on an aggressive growth plan, both organic and acquisitive, this team has also managed to build a best-in-class corporate infrastructure and instill a highly- engaged, high-performance culture that is truly differentiated,” commented Christopher Lee, Co-Founder and Co- Managing Partner at RTC. Tony Brindisi, RTC’s other co-founder and co-managing partner, added, “Our goal in building the Ardurra organization was always to build a market-leading

growth platform and to ultimately find a strong partner that was well-positioned to support the organization in achieving its next phase of expansion. We are excited to pass the torch to Littlejohn and look forward to following their success.” “RTC has been an outstanding partner for our organization. They have supported our vision of growing a national professional services firm by committing to our values of being Employee-Centric, Client Focused and Results Driven. RTC’s financial and strategic support has allowed us to establish a strong foundation for continued industry leading growth, and our entire organization is appreciative of their unwavering trust and support over the last five years,” Ernesto added.

they convey their confidence that the organization can overcome all challenges and achieve audacious goals. Each of the three people I mentioned in my introduction to this topic are great examples. Don Humphries started and ran his business on almost no capital, yet he always felt we could be the largest bike dealer in St. Louis and succeed nationally through mail order. Jerry Allen cast his vision for Carter & Burgess to be “2,000 (people) by the year 2000,” with a firm a tenth of that size in the middle of a huge downturn in the economy. Matt Waller pushes for The Walton College to grow in size and reputation, in spite of being part of a state government bureaucracy, our location in Arkansas, and a declining college-age applicant pool. All of these people succeeded in achieving their big goals because of their optimism. ■ Involvement. Once again – and I have said it before – great leaders don’t mind getting themselves dirty doing the work of the organization. This flies in the face of the generally-accepted maxim that we should all be doing what is “the highest and best use“ of our time. But my experience is great leaders know that in order to gain the trust, respect, and acceptance of their people, they need to work alongside of them. Don Humphries, even though he had as many as 10 bike shops at once, wasn’t beyond changing a flat tire. Jerry Allen would manage a big, difficult client relationship if necessary. Matt Waller teaches a class – one that he designed. All of these people get it. Great leaders may be managers – but they are also doers. People who exhibit these qualities are likely to be well-thought of by their people. But perhaps even more importantly, they are able to achieve goals that others deemed impossible. And that’s what leadership is ultimately all about! Mark Zweig is Zweig Group’s chairman and founder. Contact him at

MARK ZWEIG, from page 11

an assistant. And they are nice, open, and good listeners. These people go out of their way to make other people feel comfortable. Jerry Allen always kept his door open and would talk with anyone at any level in the company. He was a big advocate of MBWA – “management by wandering around,” a term coined by management consultant and author, Tom Peters. ■ Authenticity. The best leaders I have worked for or observed all act like the same person in any setting they are put in. They don’t put on an “act” and become a different person in different situations. That means you always know “who” you are dealing with and what their likely reaction is going to be. Their behavior is going to be consistent. People want that out of their leaders. ■ Bravery. The best leaders will confront whatever needs to be confronted, even if it is likely to ruffle some feathers. They can make an unpopular call if it is the right call in their minds. They can make a decision without 100 percent certainty about the outcome That takes a certain amount of bravery that not everyone has, and is the stuff legends are made from that becomes part of the corporate culture for the organization going forward. ■ Thoughtfulness. These people remember your birthday. They remember the names of your family members. They are considerate and polite, and introduce you to other people they know at meetings – because that’s the right thing to do. They have a real interest in people and take the time to show their thoughtfulness daily. It comes naturally to them because that is the kind of person they are. ■ Optimism. I have never met a great leader in the AEC world (or world as a whole) whom I wouldn’t describe as an optimist. No matter how tough the environment is,

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