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ON THE MOVE BRIAN BZDAWKA NAMED PRESIDENT OF OPERATIONS & MANAGEMENT DIVISION FOR WOODARD & CURRAN Woodard & Curran has appointed Brian Bzdawka president of the firm’s Operations & Management Strategic Business Unit. Bzdawka takes over from Steve Niro, who led the SBU for 14 years, overseeing a period of significant growth. This leadership transition is part of a succession plan that was developed over several years. Bzdawka joined Woodard & Curran in 2008 as a business development leader, working with clients to deploy integrated services solutions for public and private water treatment systems and public works departments. During his tenure in that role, the firm grew substantially, and is now recognized as an industry-leading national O&M provider. “Brian’s efforts working with clients in both the public and private sectors have significantly contributed to our ability to leverage our combined engineering, operations, and funding resources to

serve our clients,” saidWoodard & Curran CEO Alyson Watson. “He understands both the technical and business needs of our clients and is especially adept at fostering a collaborative approach that creates vested partnerships.” “I’m honored and excited to be stepping into this new role,” said Bzdawka. “With the incredible team of managers and operators that Woodard & Curran has built, I’m confident that we are positioned for continued growth.” The firm’s O&M SBU focuses on full contract operations for municipal and industrial water and wastewater treatment plants, water recycling and reuse facilities, public works departments, and private groundwater treatment systems across the country. Currently, Woodard & Curran manages more than 50 facilities and associated infrastructure across 19 states. “One of the biggest challenges in the O&M industry right now,” added Bzdawka, “is finding and retaining

qualified staff. This is another area where we are well-positioned thanks to the support we offer employees, from our award-winning safety programs to tuition reimbursement and help earning professional certifications. Solving staffing issues is one of the best ways for us to support our clients. Our operations team is recognized as best in class within the industry and we look forward to expanding our client and employee base in the coming years.” Throughout the transition, Bzdawka is focused on maintaining the high level of service the firm’s clients expect, expanding initiatives around digital technologies to support operations, and strengthening programs for employee recruiting and retention. Woodard & Curran is an integrated science, engineering, design-build, and operations company specializing in water and environmental projects. With 1,200 employees across 29 offices and more than 50 operations sites, Woodard & Curran serves clients nationwide.

However, as with a lot of projects, our involvement is better served if we are brought on early. Most projects require some sort of storm water management and the days of doing a quick grading plan are long gone. It is standard practice to require room on a project for bioretention and other stormwater quality measures. If we’re not brought on early and allowed to work with the design team up front to properly size and place the required measures, we typically have to ask the design team to go back to the drawing board and allow for the required measures to be designed into the layout. If this happens, the entire design team must reassess their designs to allow for the required measures. Bringing the entire team into the project at the beginning allows for complete collaboration and can help prevent costly and timely redesign. Our motto: Treat all projects as if this were your own project. Give it the care it deserves, do not rush, and get it done right! Getting it right the first time will lead to faster approvals, better plans, and overall project quality. Jim Toby is a principal and civil engineer with Lea & Braze Engineering, Inc. He can be reached at “It is no surprise that the quality firms are the ones that might have greater lead times. Typically, firms that can jump on a project immediately are not the ones that will produce quality results.”

JIM TOBY, from page 3

get out to the site within three days. (Big red flag!) They were lesser in quality than us and ended up missing a fair amount of detailed information required by the town. We then sent a proposal for the civil engineering as well, with the caveat that the surveyor acquire all the necessary missing information. We lost this as well when we were honest with them about the missing information and timing to do the engineering correctly. They wanted our services to be performed in an impossible timeline and did not want the survey updated. Disappointed, but realizing this was not a client we wanted to work with, we moved on to better clients and projects. As time went on, we kept an eye on the town’s planning commission meetings, as is typically required for a project like this. We noted that many of our newer projects, with similar scopes, were on the agenda much earlier than the one we lost out on. Finally the project we lost out on, due to timing, came up for the planning commission’s consideration. I knew the planner well and asked about the project. He said they had about six rounds of plan checks due to the missing information and said he wished we were on the project. The hiring of their design professionals based solely on their timelines (and cost!) ended up costing the client several months of headache! Imagine the interest costs of six to eight month of mortgage payments on a multi-million dollar lot and the frustration of months lost due to inadequate plans! Aside from speed, bringing the engineer onto the team early can also save time and money! We are routinely asked to join a team at the last minute to do a grading and drainage plan.

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