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ON THE MOVE ERIC VENABLE JOINS HDR AS FEDERAL TRANSPORTATION DIRECTOR Eric Venable recently joined HDR as the new federal transportation director. Working closely with leaders of other HDR practices that provide services to the U.S. federal government, Venable will lead business and staff development for transportation. He will collaborate frequently with diverse HDR experts to maximize opportunities in transportation technology and equitable transit- oriented development, among other fields. HDR has a long history of providing key transportation expertise to the federal government, whether federal highways, coastal ports, defense installations or more. “Developing infrastructure to support the livelihood, lifestyle and safety of our national community is of ever-increasing

importance as our population continues to grow,” Venable said. “As an industry, we must be proactive in promoting the planning, funding and delivery of transportation-related projects that most responsibly use federal tax dollars.” Venable brings more than 25 years of experience in operations, finance, strategic marketing, business expansion, client and subcontractor relations, and contract negotiations for federal, public, and private maritime and industrial clients. He most recently served as the director of ports and maritime for another firm, where he managed and enhanced a multimillion-dollar national practice serving private industrial shipyards, federal Navy facilities and regional ports authorities. “Amidst new guidance at the federal level combined with changing client and community needs, Eric will use

his proven, adaptive leadership to develop tailored solutions,” said HDR Transportation Business Development Director Rick Pilgrim. “He will provide holistic, full life cycle guidance from planning and funding to procurement, design and maintenance to streamline the delivery and resiliency of federal transportation-related projects.” For more than a century, HDR has partnered with clients to shape communities and push the boundaries of what’s possible. The firm’s expertise spans more than 10,000 employees in more than 200 locations around the world — and counting. HDR’s engineering, architecture, environmental and construction services bring an impressive breadth of knowledge to every project. The firm’s optimistic approach to finding innovative solutions defined our past and drives our future.

abilities and connections. We have encouraged staff to take on leadership and board positions with these organizations so they are able to gain even more insight in the industry, and become more visible and influential among their peers. In the switch to more remote interaction, participation in professional societies has not slowed down as meetings and seminars are able to be held virtually. Women who take on leadership positions in originations like Women’s Transportation Seminar or the Society of Women Engineers gain valuable experience that will set them up for future professional success. It is important that employees have a positive work-life balance, and anecdotally, women in leadership positions at my firm say working remotely is helping them improve the balance. Some employees are more productive working from home, and productive staff benefit the company. It is a win-win scenario, as long as the employees and work are managed appropriately, and individuals are not overlooked. We need to celebrate all of our staff more than ever. Our communications have to be stronger – from co-worker to co-worker and from supervisor to employee – in a remote work environment so that we’re all visible, given the same opportunities, and celebrated for our successes. There is still work to be done, but acknowledging that remote-work can disproportionally affect the career advancement of women in the workplace is a start. The next step is to take action to counteract this effect to maintain an inclusive and equitable workplace. Kenneth Fulmer is the president and CEO of Urban Engineers. He can be reached at

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accomplishments. When nominating staff for awards programs, it is important to ensure that female employees are considered for nomination as often as their male counterparts. Internal employee resource groups are also a great way to provide critical support to women and other diverse groups – and this is even more important in a remote-work environment. In the switch to remote-work, it is important that AEC firms continue to invest in them. Our firm supports several different groups for different audiences, including a younger members’ forum, an LGBTQ+ alliance, and a women’s professional network that has been active for almost 15 years. These groups keep employees engaged with the firm and provide a venue for them to advocate for issues relating to their direct concerns. They also allow for mentor-mentee relationships to build so employees can advocate for each other, allowing them to be seen and develop a professional support system that will assist in maintaining an individual’s desired career path. Many professional societies and associations are specifically targeted to empower and promote women in the industry, while others have ally groups to support them. Our firm has always seen employee participation in professional organizations as an investment. They offer educational seminars and networking opportunities to enhance one’s remote workplace is to highlight their accomplishments wherever possible.” “A key way to make sure women are not being overlooked in the

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