C+S January 2020 Vol. 6 Issue 1 (web)

The Vertex File Affiliated Companies

helped, and will continue to help, with this transition. We also realize that to be a billion-dollar business, we will need to continue to supple- ment and/or rework our team to get to the next level. C+S: What happens to the firm if you leave tomorrow? Bill: If you asked me this question 10 years ago my answer would be “a major setback.” Since then, Vertex has put in place an execu- tive and middle management team that is not dependent on any one person. Our four service areas are each run by Managing Directors, and each service that we offer, 16 in total, is managed by Executive Vice Presidents. Since incorporation in 1995, we have never been in a better position in terms of leadership transition. C+S: Diversity and inclusion is lacking. What steps are you taking to address the issue? Bill: We spend a lot of time thinking about this topic. Several years ago, we recognized that our approach was too “by the numbers” and not well grounded in a philosophy that is supported throughout the organization. We believe that diversity is having a seat at the table, in- clusion is having a voice, and belonging is having that voice be heard. We work to create an environment that supports these beliefs and then work hard to sustain it through our actions. Attracting people of color, women, and other underrepresented groups/protected classes is just one piece of our work. Providing a workplace that fosters the sense of belonging is what engages and retains people. C+S: Are you currently pursuing the R&D tax credit? Bill: We are researching this issue. As an ESOP, I don’t think we would qualify for any further federal tax credits; however, we are consider- ing the potential for state credit opportunities. Based on the number of Vertex employee-owners that are working towards doctorate degrees, via our Lifetime of Learning Program, we conduct significant R&D on numerous AEC topics every year. C+S: Engineers love being engineers, but what are you doing to instill a business-development culture in your firm? Bill: Vertex’s President, Jeff Picard, tackled this challenge head-on several years ago. Our program gives primary responsibility to our dedicated business development team for bringing in new accounts. In contrast, we assigned primary responsibility to expand existing ac- counts to a number of our production team members. To manage these processes, Vertex’s Marketing Director, Lisa Dehner, and our in-house IT group, developed our OneVertex CRM software that is specifically designed for this “new account/existing account” growth initiative. We also understand and embrace the reality that certain production person- nel are simply not cut out for sales interactions, so we require these individuals to participate in business development activities such as authoring white papers and writing blogs; therefore, the entire com- pany is involved in business development.

Compass Project Management, Inc. Optistar Consulting Services, Inc. VTX Consulting Services Inc. Vertex Ingenieros Consultores, S. de R.L. de C.V. VERTEX Tenant Improvement (TI) Accolades 2019: Zweig Group’s Hot Firm # 73, Best Firms To Work For #31 On Zweig Group’s Hot Firm List Since 2014 On Zweig Group’s Best Firms To Work For List since 2015 Multi-year Recognitions for Growth/Excellence by ENR and Inc. Magazine Locations 25 Offices in 18 States, Canada and Mexico Partner Locations: Europe, Central & South America, Asia Pacific

Employees 500-plus

Services Forensic Litigation Engineering Design Construction Environmental

Core Values We Care: We succeed because we care about our clients and employee-owners. This is the lifeblood of VERTEX and is the foundation of our other core values. We Add Value: We look to add value on every assignment. This leads to repeat business and long-term relationships with our client base. We pass on projects where we cannot add value. We Operate with a Constant Sense of Urgency: We respond to client requests quickly and deliver our projects on time because we respect their mission. We treat each assignment as if it’s our most important. We are Growth Focused: Service area expansion and regional growth allows us to better serve our clients around the globe. Continued growth also provides our employee-owners with exciting opportunities for career advancement. We Embrace a Lifetime of Learning: We remain ahead of the curve on industry trends and technological developments based on our continuing education strategy, which provides our employee-owners with a clear roadmap for professional development.

RICHARD MASSEY is managing editor of Zweig Group publications. He can be reached at rmassey@zweiggroup.com.


january 2020


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