TZL 1425 (web)


all of which have file formats that seamlessly transition to contractors for their machine control grading systems. Studies have shown machine control grading systems reduce the time spent on the process as well as greenhouse emissions. ELEMENT is also investing in expanding our drone capabilities and working with clients to develop scope language that encompasses technology advancements such as UAV in an intentional manner. Advances are emerging regularly for technology, especially in surveying. As early adopters of these advances, ELEMENT is able to expedite our data collection, reduce safety concerns for pedestrians, motorists, and field associates and increase efficiency which translates into cost-savings for clients on their projects. “We offer solutions, not problems, and ELEMENT associates are transparent and communicative. At the end of the day, ELEMENT earns our clients’ trust because we consistently demonstrate we will not let them down.” TZL: What skills are required to run a successful practice? What do you wish you knew starting out that you know now? DG: There’s an entire gamut of skills required to run a successful firm and, believe it or not, being a talented engineer is low on that list. In my mind, understanding people is essential. What motivates them, keeps them up at night, and what truly defines success for each person not only on my team, but for clients is at the foundation of ELEMENT’s success. Fifteen years ago, when ELEMENT was realized, I wish I had known that much of my day would be spent listening to people – staff, clients, partners, and even my competition. TZL: What benefits does your firm offer that your people get most excited about? DG: To attract and retain our talented team, ELEMENT established a culture of mutual trust, deep collaboration, and work-life balance. A few things ELEMENT employees say make us unique: ■ ■ Ability to work closely with management to better develop leadership skills. ■ ■ Opportunities to become more involved in organizations that build better working

relationships and network connections.

■ ■ Routinely given challenges and opportunities to develop new skills and learn new processes. ■ ■ An atmosphere of patience and understanding. ■ ■ Learning to communicate with different people on different levels. ■ ■ Encouraged to attend and participate in seminars, trainings, and small group forums on topics important to ELEMENT. ■ ■ 401(k) contribution, whether the associate contributes or not. ■ ■ Medical benefits include 100 percent employee-covered plans. ■ ■ ELEMENT pauses to celebrate wins and hosts firm-wide events, year round. TZL: It is often said that people leave managers, not companies. What are you doing to ensure that your line leadership are great people managers? DG: ELEMENT’s leadership team fosters an environment of development and mentorship for staff at all levels. Along those same lines, ELEMENT leadership strives to provide training and guidance to associates who have management responsibilities so they can do the same within their internal teams. TZL: Since you’ve acquired OMNI, what changes or new services has ELEMENT added to its roster? DG: In addition to our transportation, surveying, and civil and structure engineering services, we have added subsurface utility engineering and utility coordination. “To attract and retain our talented team, ELEMENT established a culture of mutual trust, deep collaboration, and work-life balance.” TZL: How are you balancing investment in the next generation – which is at an all-time high – with rewards for tenured staff? This has always been a challenge but seems heightened as investments in development have increased.


Tampa, FL







■ ■ Transportation design

■ ■ Traffic engineering

and operations

■ ■ Structure design

■ ■ Stormwater design

■ ■ Civil/site design

■ ■ Utilities

■ ■ Subsurface utility


■ ■ Survey and mapping


ELEMENT is an award-

winning, certified

Disadvantaged Business

Enterprise and Minority

Business Enterprise,


consulting firm.

© Copyright 2022. Zweig Group. All rights reserved.

UARY 24, 2022, ISSUE 1425

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