BUSINESS NEWS ARTBA HONORS AMT WOMEN LEADERS WITH GLASS HAMMER AWARD A. Morton Thomas and Associates, Inc. received the Glass Hammer award during the American Road & Transportation Builders Association National Convention. The award was presented virtually with Janice Gary, AMT’s vice president and director of human resources, accepting the award of the firm’s behalf. “It is a very important honor for AMT to secure this prestigious national award from ARTBA. I am proud that AMT has helped so many women to succeed in the transportation industry,” says Murphy Tuomey, chief administrative officer and board member. The Glass Hammer award is given annually to a company in the transportation industry that has innovative programs and activities directed toward promoting women leaders within the firm as well as promoting women leadership within associations and community organizations. Women have held influential leadership positions with AMT throughout the 65 years that the firm has existed. AMT was co- founded by A. Morton Thomas and his wife Georgia Thomas, who served as chief financial officer until 1983 when Christine Teates
became president. As one of the first female presidents of a civil engineering firm in the Mid-Atlantic region, Teates worked to continue elevating female presence in the AEC industry. A formerly woman-owned firm, AMT is also a proud graduate of the DBE program. Due to the firm’s dedication to supporting DBE firms, AMT was awarded “The Prime Consultant Firm of the Year” in 2016 by Virginia’s Division of Civil Rights. The objective of empowering female employees remains firmly embedded in AMT’s culture and is reflected in the diverse roles and contributions of women across all divisions. With 15 female licensed professional engineers and surveyors, more than 80 female staff within marketing and operations, and representation on the board of directors, AMT boasts more female management and visibility than ever before. AMT has been awarded more than 140 awards in the last decade, with female project managers and marketing managers at the helm of many of the projects recognized for engineering excellence and innovation. A couple of these award-winning projects include the Southgate Drive/US 460 Bypass Interchange, which won an ACEC National Recognition Award and the Maryland 4/ Suitland Parkway project, which won the
Innovative Transportation Solution Award for an Innovative Project Managed by a Woman from WTS Baltimore. In addition to achieving accolades and recognition for excellence within the industry, AMT women have served on the board of directors for organizations including the Society of American Military Engineers, the Society for Marketing Professional Services, the American Council of Engineering Companies, the Virginia Transportation Construction Alliance, and the Design-Build Institute of America, and Women’s Transportation Seminar. A. Morton Thomas and Associates, Inc. has a deep appreciation for establishing vision and achieving goals. Client-focused since the firm’s 1955 inception, AMT has evolved into a multidisciplinary engineering and design consultancy with more than 20 offices throughout the eastern United States. As an ESOP managed and 100 percent employee-owned firm, AMT employs highly qualified individuals who are experts in their respective fields to oversee, perform and manage our business practices. These team members are driven to positively impact the communities where they live, work, and play.
POSITIVE IMPACT, from page 7
big-name national clients, but could only do that on a regionally limited basis. We wanted to be their go-to national resource, and growth was the only way to get there. We’ve learned many lessons along the way, but the most important is: pursue growth only when character, values, and firm culture align, whether it’s in hiring or M&A. Do that and everything else follows. TZL: Diversity and inclusion are lacking. What steps are you taking to address the issue? DA: This is obviously a huge issue that can’t be solved with a brief answer. My passion from the very beginning of my time with Salas O’Brien has been to raise up people from all backgrounds and give them amazing opportunity to grow and thrive. I think we have done that. However, good intentions and passion alone can’t carry this. That’s why we are in the process of creating a diversity and inclusion team to do more outreach, and invest more time in high schools and colleges to get all kids excited about STEM and what we do, and show them anybody can do it. We want them to see us as models and provide them support. TZL: A firm’s longevity is valuable. What are you doing to encourage your staff to stick around? DA: Two things primarily: First, we empower the team to make decisions and do not encumber them with a top- down bureaucracy. Second, we offer growth opportunities to any who seek them. We never want people to feel they have to leave the firm in order to grow, and with only a small number of exceptions, our mid-level and senior leaders have all stuck around for the long-term.
widely with the firm, and during the recent pandemic, we started creating weekly updates. TZL: In one word or phrase, what do you describe as your number one job responsibility as CEO? DA: Grow leaders – both short- and long-term – and to have a positive impact on the world. That is the path to success. “People often don’t believe me when I say that we have no corporate headquarters. Both our executive and technical TZL: Founded in 1975, your firm has seen many changes. To date, what’s been the most challenging obstacle and how was it handled? Lesson learned? DA: I don’t know if “challenging” is the word I’d pick, but the most significant pivot for us came about 10 years ago when we began pursuing part of our current growth strategy through mergers. We were already working with leadership are spread across the country and are highly comfortable working virtually. That’s why it was not a huge cultural shift for us to move essentially all employees to remote work.”
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THE ZWEIG LETTER DECEMBER 28, 2020, ISSUE 1372
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