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Value per EBITDA

This approach allows you to create a lean, flexible process that empowers your project managers to focus on maximizing value. Better project deliveryequation

In Zweig Group’s 2022 Valuation Report of AEC Firms , the disparity in value per EBITDA among valuations done internally by formula (4.34) relative to those done by an independent business appraiser (3.36) is shown. Overall, valuations performed by an independent business appraiser resulted in value ratios that were about 18 percent higher than valuations calculated internally by way of formula. Participate in a survey and save 50 percent on the final or pre- publication price of any Zweig Group research publication.

A t the end of the day, all AEC firms rely upon their ability to deliver successful projects as the fuel for all strategic endeavors. Successful projects are the lifeblood of the AEC firm and, without them, nothing else is possible. When it comes to driving project performance, most firms look inward at ways to gain incremental efficiency. This commonly involves looking at the people they have on the team, the processes they use to complete their work, the tools they give their people, and searching for any edge they can find in each of these domains, and there is typically an edge to gain if you look closely enough. The idea for many firms is to look at all the different elements of the project delivery and install best practices for each element to build an overall project delivery system “best practice,” and there can be tangible value in this. I see a lot of firms work through this process and find areas of wasted effort, tasks that add little value to the overall project, or areas where they are unnecessarily “gold-plating” the deliverable. Refining elements of your project delivery system will drive increased project performance, but does it enhance project value? Make no mistake, there is a difference between performance and value, and understanding the difference between the two is the missing link in most project management approaches. Most firms and most project management “best practices” look at project performance as a simple equation:

Justin Smith, P.E.

F I R M I N D E X Lotus Environmental Consulting, LLC.. 8

Martin/Martin.......................................................... 6

NTM Engineering, Inc....................................... 8


Universal Engineering Sciences............. 12




MO R E A R T I C L E S n BRIAN NORDMANN: Meaningfully reduce cyber risks Page 3 n Cultivating balance: Shane McCormick Page 6 n STEPHANIE WARINO: Conversion van Page 9 n MARK ZWEIG: It’s hell getting old – or is it? Page 11

What you do. The skills and competencies of your team.

How you do it. The way you deliver services.

Your project results. The outcome of the project.

The idea is that being good at what you do and delivering your expertise well will create high performance. The problem here is that your clients are not buying performance, they are buying value, or they want to buy value. In an increasingly competitive marketplace, being

See JUSTIN SMITH, page 2



Chad Clinehens | Publisher Sara Parkman | Senior Editor & Designer Shirley Che | Contributing Editor

Liisa Andreassen | Correspondent Tel: 800-466-6275 Fax: 800-842-1560 Email: Online: Twitter: Facebook: Group-1030428053722402

Published continuously since 1992 by Zweig Group, Fayetteville, Arkansas, USA. ISSN 1068-1310. Issued weekly (48 issues/year). Free electronic subscription at zweiggroup. com © Copyright 2022, Zweig Group. All rights reserved.

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JUSTIN SMITH, from page 1

good at what you do and doing it well is expected. They are the current table stakes. These are the things that get you into the room where the decisions are made, but they do not differentiate your firm. There is a missing component of this equation that is where your value is derived. Enter client experience. The key to great project management lies in reorienting the project management function from managing performance to managing experience. When we reconsider the function, the equation might look a little something like this:




about who these key accounts are and develop an understanding of the types of experiences they want to have working with you. ■ ■ Map your success blueprint. Look carefully at your expertise and your execution and map out how you can deliver your services in a way that delivers the successful client experiences, keeping in mind that “success” means the type of experience they want to have, not the experience you want to have. ■ ■ Develop your PM toolkit. Develop the project manager toolkit that allows your project managers to consistently deliver high value projects, which includes performance and experience. The key to doing this well lies in realizing that you do not need many tools, but rather a lean set of the right tools that focus on the key drivers of value. ■ ■ Create your playbook. Look at the key points along the project where you have an opportunity to drive (or diminish) value and develop a set of “plays to call” at those unique opportunities to capitalize on the opportunity. When done well, this approach allows you to create a lean, flexible process that empowers your project managers to focus on maximizing value in project delivery which, after all, is typically the goal in the first place. Justin Smith is an advisor at Zweig Group, specializing in project management and leadership development. He can be reached at

Your project results. Degree to which you achieved desired outcomes.

Your project experience. Degree to which you delivered desired experiences.

Perception of value.

When we consider value in this light, value is diminished when the experience is diminished, even when you perform well. When clients consider high performance to be table stakes, your primary opportunity to derive value lies in your ability to give them the type of experience they want to have. So how do you do that? It starts by designing your project delivery system around your unique value proposition, which is the intersection between what you do best, how you do it best, and the experience that your clients want to have working with you, as seen in the chart in the next column. What is unique about this notion is that no two firms will have the same expertise or the same process, but every firm needs a system to consistently deliver its value proposition, and your project managers are the ones on the front lines of this effort. If you want to deliver consistently high value experiences, consider the following: ■ ■ Get clarity. Chances are good that the Pareto principle applies in your firm and 20 percent of your clients contribute to 80 percent of your value. Get clear

PROJECT MANAGEMENT FOR AEC PROFESSIONALS This is a modern training for project managers led by a panel of experts, backed by proven research on how to best train project managers to be more effective. This course provides people-focused, science and data driven practical skills to help project leaders harness the power of their team and to create a better client experience. This course provides practical techniques that can be immediately implemented for a positive impact on any AEC team or business. Click here to learn more!

© Copyright 2022. Zweig Group. All rights reserved.




Meaningfully reduce cyber risks

An actionable cybersecurity strategy can be established without significant financial investment, and with measurable results and rewards.

S mall and midsize businesses (SMBs; fewer than 1,000 employees) are often unprepared for cyberattacks because they erroneously believe hackers are only concerned with attacking large enterprises with deep pockets. In fact, 43 percent of all data breaches involve small and medium-sized businesses, according to Verizon. SMBs prove an attractive target for ransomware, financial fraud, and supply chain attacks due to often having less mature cybersecurity practices. According to Coro, a cyber-security platform, unprepared SMBs are a staggering 490 percent more likely to experience a breach in 2022 compared to a year ago.

Brian Nordmann

THE STATE OF SMALL BUSINESS CYBERSECURITY IN 2022. In the last year, cyber intelligence firm 4iQ reported a sobering 424 percent increase in new small business cyber breaches. On average it takes around $200,000 for a small business to recover from a typical cyberattack, according to Hiscox Insurance; 83 percent of SMBs are not financially prepared to recover from an attack, according to InsuranceBee; and 60 percent of impacted SMBs tend to go out of business within six months of a cyberattack, according to the National Cyber Security Alliance. Despite this, a report by InsuranceBee notes that 91 percent of SMBs haven’t purchased cyber insurance,

leaving themselves vulnerable to an ever-looming threat with the potential to topple their business. RISKS OF NOT DOING ENOUGH. Firms not taking precautions against cyberthreats are at risk of significant interruptions to financial and business continuity, and a tarnished reputation. Additionally, breaches may affect client expectations and rights, particularly if compliance requirements are not met. Finally, obtaining cyber insurance may prove more difficult and costly for companies that are unable to prove some level of cyber hygiene.




† † Conduct a GAP analysis. Revisit the standards established in your framework and analyze how the firm is meeting, exceeding, or failing against these benchmarks. The GAP analysis should document the firm’s current state via free self-assessment resources or a third party, if the budget allows for it. The analysis should identify the firm’s ideal future state and IT goals based on the established security framework. Periodically, gaps between the firm’s current state and goals should be reviewed and remedies should be prioritized. 2. Start with quick wins. Address the low-hanging fruit and plan for more involved projects and programs. Focus on security solutions that will have the biggest bang for your buck. There are many no- or low-cost solutions that can have a major impact on cybersecurity. 3. Develop a roadmap for constant improvement. Build an annual roadmap outlining initiatives for the year based on perceived risks. Revisit your roadmap annually, adjusting your plan as needed. OPERATIONALIZE SECURITYWITH LIMITED RESOURCES. SMBs can rely on various resources to enact these initiatives in their cybersecurity roadmaps without endless coffers of cash. Managed cybersecurity services offer a variety of security tools and services that scale based on the number of end users/computers in question versus larger, upfront CAPEX expenditures traditionally associated with building a security capability. Additionally, there are many free resources available. As technologies advance and change, it’s critical for businesses to remain vigilant yet flexible. Reducing cyber risks doesn’t have to rely on grandiose IT budgets. An actionable cybersecurity strategy can be established without significant financial investment, and with measurable results and rewards. SMBs can confidently step into 2022 with a solid plan in place to reduce cyber risks this year and well beyond. Brian Nordmann joined Dudek in 2017 and serves as chief information officer. He leverages more than 20 years of experience in information technology and has held various technology leadership roles throughout his career, including roles in environmental services, defense, transportation, and finance industries. Connect with him on LinkedIn .

BRIAN NORDMANN, from page 3

CASE STUDY: DUDEK. When I joined Dudek in 2017, the growing environmental and engineering consulting firm lacked a formal security program. Staff, often at the forefront of cyberattacks, had no security awareness training. The firm relied on a “last generation” antivirus software and an out-of- the-box Office365 email security configuration. Multi-factor authentication was not being used, there were no standards for patching, and the firm lacked visibility into vulnerabilities with unsupported server and desktop software and hardware in use. Under this setup, Dudek was left susceptible to cyberattack. I sought to remedy Dudek’s cyber vulnerabilities by establishing a continually evolving and improving security program and framework. An audit revealed a primary threat of account/email compromise; this and other top risks were methodically addressed. With support from all levels of the firm, annual cyber maturity scores dramatically increased through the introduction of technical, physical, and administrative controls. SETTING UP FOR CYBERSECURITY SUCCESS IN 2022 AND BEYOND. Small and medium-sized businesses need not have Fortune 500-sized IT budgets to protect their data and keep it out of the hands of hackers. In the very wise words of Benjamin Franklin, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” SMBs are encouraged to reduce cyber risks in the workplace by † † Adopt a security framework. Pick a framework to benchmark against – based on industry compliance requirements or, if not required, something like CIS, NIST, or CMMC. † † Create an information security program document. Develop a living document that keeps track of where you are currently and that matures over time. There are a multitude of templates available on the internet. A template will provide a starting point for the security program document which can be modified to fit your organization’s needs. Describe your firm’s approach to risk management, and clearly outline roles and responsibilities, security policies, and controls. employing the following steps: 1. Perform a GAP analysis:

FREE RESOURCES: ■ ■ cheat sheets, checklists, playbooks, policy templates ■ ■ cybersecurity assessments ■ ■ MS Funds: Microsoft and many

NO/LOW-COST SOLUTIONS TO MOVE THE NEEDLE: ■ ■ Patch now! ■ ■ 2FA/MFA ■ ■ Security baseline policies ■ ■ Document what you do when faced

■ ■ Security awareness program/ training ■ ■ Leveraging what you own with Microsoft ■ ■ Pen tests and vulnerability assessments identify risk to infrastructure such as

with security situations – include an incident response plan in your security program document

other vendors offer assessments for working with their cybersecurity partners.

misconfigured BPN/firewalls, cloud services, or web apps

© Copyright 2022. Zweig Group. All rights reserved.




Cultivating balance: Shane McCormick President of Martin/Martin (Denver, CO), a full-service civil and structural engineering and surveying firm founded in the 1940s.


I n 2021, in the midst of the pandemic, McCormick became president of Martin/Martin. As a result, he’s now largely focused on answering some of the questions brought on by COVID-19: What will our workplaces look like in the future? Howwill we adjust to increased flexibility and remote work while retaining our company’s culture? How do we grow our other offices across the country? How do we take advantage of remote working technologies that allow you to work from anywhere, but also retain focus on specific goals? “In my new role, I have to keep and cultivate an environment where talented people really want to work,” he says. A CONVERSATIONWITH SHANE MCCORMICK. The Zweig Letter: You’ve been with the firm since 2005. Tell me a little about your path to being president? What was your first position and when were you made principal? Shane McCormick: I worked for a large interdisciplinary architectural engineering company in Chicago for seven years prior to starting with Martin/Martin in 2005. My first role here

was as a senior project manager focusing on higher education, health care, commercial, and government projects. Eventually, I also took on the roles of an engineering team leader and structural engineering recruiting manager prior to becoming a principal in 2014. The president selection process is fairly democratic here, based on input from managers, principals, shareholders, and, ultimately, the board of directors. TZL: How has COVID-19 permanently impacted your firm’s policy on telecommuting? SM: We went fully remote during COVID-19. Last August, we started a new hybrid remote work policy, where employees are expected to be in the office Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday, and may work remotelyWednesday and Friday if they prefer (apparently Apple copied us!). We believe this hybrid approach allows us to continue to offer great mentorship, career development, team interaction, collaboration, and internal networking, while also realizing the benefits remote work offers, including personal flexibility and focused time.



TZL: Since being principal, what’s been one of the most difficult decisions you’ve had to make and why? SM: The most difficult decisions are always about people. And the most difficult of these involve behavior or performance issues. Understanding when a line has been crossed, and when it’s in the best interest of the company and employee to separate can be very difficult. “I’ve tried to work with others to cultivate an environment that offers the right incentives, mentoring, development opportunities, and balance between office and remote work.” TZL: Have you had a particular mentor who has guided you – in school, in your career, or in general? Who were they and how did they help? SM: Like many structural engineers (and architects) who started their career in Chicago, I admire the example set by Stan Korista of SOM, who passed several years ago. Stan cared deeply about technical excellence. He cared about serving clients. And though he wasn’t demonstrative, he cared deeply about his employees and their success. I remember, clearly, returning to Chicago after being in lower Manhattan on 9/11. He was the only partner who offered personal support and made sure I was ready to be back. TZL: Who are you admiring right now in the AEC industry? Where do you see thought leadership and excellence? SM: Companies and organizations that are effectively responding to the global warming crisis, and the need to focus on sustainability and a carbon neutral future. These include material suppliers, non-profit organizations, engineers, entrepreneurs, and governments. A great example would be Nucor steel, which has moved beyond decades of industry entrenchment, made substantial investments in renewable energy, and is now offering a line of net-zero steel. TZL: Integrity, service and creativity are all important to Martin/Martin when hiring new staff. How do you ensure you’re getting those qualities in an individual? What helps to determine that during the recruitment/ interview process?

SM: For those qualities, and really any important qualities, you need to look for evidence in their experience that demonstrates they have previously achieved them. You need to look for specific, repeated examples. We often use a behavioral interviewing approach, telegraphing in the questions our values and asking for clear instances when they were demonstrated. TZL: Diversity and inclusion are lacking. What steps are you taking to address the issue? SM: We can always benefit from different perspectives to help us solve problems for our clients. To increase the diversity of backgrounds in our company, we’ve increased the number of schools where we recruit, targeted schools with more diverse student bodies, increased the number of websites where we advertise positions, and included younger engineers in our recruiting and interview process. These efforts have been led by our JEDI (Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion) committee, which is composed of employees across the company. A big part of the problem relates to not enough high school students choosing engineering as a career. Locally, we’ve mentored students from disadvantaged backgrounds and worked with local STEM programs too. TZL: What is one of the greatest accomplishments that Martin/Martin has achieved during your time there? Why? SM: Early in my career at Martin/Martin, the company regained complete employee ownership following decades with an outside investor. There have also been multiple outstanding projects, including rehabilitation of the Colorado Capital Dome, sustainable site design of the National Renewable Energy Lab campus, and ongoing construction of the Colorado Convention Center addition, which involves designing the new upper floor for a 650,000-pound mobile crane so it can erect the new part of the facility. TZL: What type of leader do you consider yourself to be? SM: There’s a book called Turn this Ship Around by David Marquet, a former U.S. Navy Captain who introduced a bold new “We can always benefit from different perspectives to help us solve problems for our clients.”

HEADQUARTERS: Denver, CO NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES: 300 YEAR FOUNDED: 1988 (M/M), 1945 (KKBNA, predecessor firm) OFFICE LOCATIONS: ■ ■ Albuquerque, NM ■ ■ Avon, CO ■ ■ Bentonville, AR ■ ■ Cheyenne, WY ■ ■ San Francisco, CA MARKETS:

■ ■ Infrastructure ■ ■ Transportation ■ ■ Sports and entertainment

■ ■ Commercial ■ ■ Multifamily ■ ■ Residential ■ ■ Office ■ ■ Industrial ■ ■ Advanced industries ■ ■ Healthcare ■ ■ Hospitality ■ ■ Education ■ ■ Government ■ ■ Historic preservation


© Copyright 2022. Zweig Group. All rights reserved.

MAY 2, 2022, ISSUE 1439


TRANSACTIONS NTM ENGINEERING ACQUIRES LOTUS ENVIRONMENTAL NTM Engineering, Inc. is proud to announce that it has expanded its services by acquiring Lotus Environmental Consulting, LLC. Lotus, a women-owned, small business based out of Wayne, Pennsylvania, brings their full range of environmental consulting expertise to complement NTM’s well-established civil engineering services. Lotus specializes in environmental investigations and regulatorycompliance services. Lotus employees will now be part of NTM, and any future contracts will be structured under the NTM name. “Lotus’s experience and regional knowledge is an asset to our clients. We are confident that this acquisition

will lead to a natural progression of continued services and growth. NTM is excited to have an environmental division, with Kate Farrow leading as Director of Environmental Services. As we celebrate our 15th anniversary, NTM is eager to collaborate with Lotus on opportunities that lie ahead and work together to improve our communities together,” stated Donna Newell, MS, PE, CFM, president of NTM. “The combination of NTM and Lotus is a marriage of not only our company’s services, but also our cultures. By joining forces, we are certain that our teams will combine to provide an expansion of services and a quality standard of work that both teams are synonymous for providing to our clients,” stated Katherine M. Farrow, president and founder of Lotus.

Established in 2006 and headquartered in Dillsburg, Pennsylvania, Newell, Tereska & MacKay Engineering, Inc. employs more than 60 professionals and is a registered Disadvantaged Business Enterprise in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Delaware and a Women- Owned Small Business with the federal government. NTM has locations in State College and Philadelphia. The firm’s four principals – Donna Newell, MS, CFM, PE; John Newell, MEng, PE, CBSI; Rachel Tereska, MS, PE; and Jeffrey MacKay, MS, PE, CPESC – are all licensed professional engineers with master’s degrees in civil engineering and offer a combined more than 90 years of engineering experience.

The Martin/Martin team.

TZL: What benefits does your firm offer that your people get most excited about? SM: Barista service is definitely number one! We also have food trucks, countless in-house lunches, drive-in movie nights, and intramural sports. We work hard and play hard. “We believe this hybrid approach allows us to continue to offer great mentorship, career development, team interaction, collaboration, and internal networking, while also realizing the benefits remote work offers, including personal flexibility and focused time.”


approach to leadership, based on his experiences of turning around a troubled submarine crew. He gave up the traditional command-and-control model and instead inspired every member of his crew to embrace accountability, foster talent, provide clarity of intent, and encourage others to solve problems. Through his approach, the ship becomes a top performer in the fleet. TZL: What’s top priority on your current to-do list? Why? SM: Like most companies, we’re dealing with an incredibility tight labor market, resulting in challenges in recruiting and retention. We’re also feeling pressure for more remote work for some employees, which may not be in their long-term interest or that of the company. I’ve tried to work with others to cultivate an environment that offers the right incentives, mentoring, development opportunities, and balance between office and remote work.

© Copyright 2022. Zweig Group. All rights reserved.




Conversion van

Improve your win rate by listening to what your clients say they want, instead of pushing the services you want to sell the most.

G rowth, scaling, and optimization within organizations is a process that requires strategic planning, deliberate execution, and buy-in from all levels of the org chart. Skipping steps, failing to include the right people, or failing to exclude the wrong people, can create chaos and waste valuable resources, both internal and external. Active scaling involves coordination of resources, which is a very broad term that encompasses both the tangible and intangible. The ultimate goal is to create a successful environment in which people, skill sets, external relationships with stakeholders and clients, financial resources, and company resources are aligned to capitalize on the economic conditions and market need.

Stephanie Warino, P.G., WV LRS, PMP

So what does this have to do with a conversion van? Active scaling is all about getting everyone in your organization to understand their unique role and how crucial it is to growing the business. And that is all about putting the right people in the right position. If you recall the movie Napoleon Dynamite , you might remember that Kip, Napoleon’s brother, joins Uncle Rico in his ill-fated business venture selling plastic storage containers throughout southeastern Idaho. Kip then proceeds to take a perfectly good sales opportunity, place it under the back wheel of Uncle Rico’s orange conversion van, and shatter it to pieces. He finishes up his sales call by moaning and driving away.

Silly analogy? Yes. Does this happen every day in AEC? Yes. Just as an example, we all know people who approach every single proposal and every single project in exactly the same way, every time. Their proposals have exactly the same language and scope elements for every single client, regardless of what the client has stated about their needs. But by changing the way you approach proposals and scope elements, there are efficiencies to be gained for both you and for your clients. For you, that efficiency nets your firm the client’s trust and repeat business, and for the client, that efficiency helps them on total




BUSINESS NEWS TYLIN LAUNCHES NEW BRAND TO UNIFY GLOBAL OPERATIONS UNDER ONENAME T.Y. Lin International, aglobally recognized full-service infrastructure consulting firm, has unveiled a newbrand strategy to unify its global operations. The unified brand will connect clients more effectively with TYLin’s multi- discipline global engineering resources to solve infrastructure challenges with innovative and technically advanced solutions at the regional and local levels. Effective immediately, the company formerly known as T.Y. Lin International will go to market as TYLin. A redesigned logo, also part of the new brand strategy, represents the concept of “Connections” which is at the heart of the TYLin brand story. As a global engineering firm, TYLin connects clients with innovative thinking and global resources to solve their most important infrastructure challenges and enhance how people, places, and communities connect. The story behind the development of the new TYLin brand and logo can be seen on the company’s newwebsite Historically, TYLin has been recognized for its expertise in designing iconic bridges. Over the years, the company has established itself as a global leader providing engineering services and

thought leadership to all segments of the built environment, including aviation, buildings, rail and transit, roads and highways, and water, in addition to bridges. TYLin’s strategic brand positioning highlights the company’s extensive knowledge and experience across all these sectors. “The refreshed TYLin brand builds on the legacy of innovation created by our founder, Professor Tung-Yen Lin, and the long-standing relationships we have with our clients around the world,” said Matthew Cummings, PE, TYLin president and CEO. “The rebranding signals our renewed commitment to connect our clients with the technical expertise, innovative thinking, and resources they need so that together we can continue to elevate the lives of people in the communities we serve. It will also foster unity within our firm, streamlining the processes for our employees to connect and collaborate with their global colleagues.” The new TYLin brand is based on three key pillars: Approachable People who understand clients’ objectives and collaborate to provide seamless delivery of technological solutions through a lifecycle approach; Proven Capabilities and technical excellence;

and access to Global Experience with innovative designs in advanced mobility infrastructure, smart buildings, and sustainable water solutions. Since 1989, TYLin has been part of Dar Group, an international network of professional services firms comprising more than 17,000 staff in over 100 countries. TYLin, the lead brand within Dar’s Global Infrastructure Pillar, has 3,200 employees in 11 countries. The strategy to unify the TYLin global brand is part of a phased, multi-year approach that will more closely align all TYLin offices and GI Pillar companies worldwide and facilitate access to global resources to support clients and provide enhanced career development opportunities for employees. Founded in 1954, TYLin is a globally recognized, full-service infrastructure consulting firm committed to providing innovative, cost-effective, constructible designs for the global infrastructure market. With 3,200 employees working in 65 offices throughout the Americas, Asia, and Europe, the firm provides support on projects of varying size and complexity. TYLin is a member of Dar Group, a global, privately-owned professional services group, and its industry-leading family of Global Infrastructure companies.

you’ve got your best listeners at the front end of your efforts in all aspects of your business. It’s really not that hard to avoid running over your project with a conversion van. Stephanie Warino, P.G., WV LRS, PMP is a licensed professional and an advisor with Zweig Group. Contact her for systems- level thinking evaluations of compensation and performance programs at “One very easy way to improve your win rate and overall company success is to really hear what the other party is saying, not only the thing you want to sell the most. This is one of the biggest hurdles to get past.”


project costs. It sounds like a win-win – and it can be, except when you’ve got the Kips of the world driving those orange conversion vans over your projects. One very easy way to improve your win rate and overall company success is to really hear what the other party is saying, not only the thing you want to sell the most. Sometimes, that may not be your department. This is one of the biggest hurdles to get past, and we see this all the time. Zweig Group even has a course that can get people to look past their P&Ls and see the benefits of cross selling. A big part of the solution to this is just being a good listener and someone who enjoys problem solving and providing a solution to clients, both internal and external. At the end of the day, that’s really what the AEC industry does. So, make sure

ELEVATING DOER-SELLERS This course equips professionals in architecture, engineering, planning, and environmental firms to grow the business while serving clients. Elevating Doer-Seller 2022 is hosted by three industry leaders: Chad Clinehens, PE, and Dan Williams, PE. This interactive seminar presents business development techniques proven to drive value in your firm. Rooted in data and case studies, Elevating Doer- Sellers focuses on what works in today’s AEC firm utilizing practical and proven techniques that resonate across your organizational chart. Click here to learn more!

© Copyright 2022. Zweig Group. All rights reserved.




It’s hell getting old – or is it?

Older folks bring perspective, patience, and gratitude to your firm, so think twice before you run them off from your company.

W e are visiting my mom in Kirkwood, Missouri, this weekend as I write this. My mother, Evelyn Zweig, is 101 years old. And right now she is taking a nap. She will be 102 in September. And, thanks to my older sister who lives nearby, my mom is still able to live in her own house – the one my siblings and I all grew up in – in Kirkwood. She can enjoy her own kitchen and eat what she wants when she wants. She can sit in her sunroom with the windows cranked open and enjoy a breeze if she feels like it. And she can tend to her yard and gardens when the seasons call for that.

Mark Zweig

My mom was a super hard worker her entire life and she took care of all of us – including my dad (and he needed a lot of taking care of, not because of any particular physical disabilities but because of his personality!). He was a handful by any standard, and liked to have things his way. He passed away nearly six years ago. It’s commonly accepted that getting old stinks, but as the expression goes, it beats the alternative. Yes, your energy does slowly wane. And yes, provided your mental faculties are still intact (and my mother’s are), it’s difficult to go though having your vision and hearing deteriorate. But that said, some things get better with age. One of those things is your perspective. Little things

don’t upset you like they may once have. You can learn how to better distinguish between what’s really important and what isn’t. And you also know that no matter what bad things are happening that they, too, will eventually pass. That perspective helps make you calmer. Another positive aspect of aging is you tend to become more patient. Patience was never one of my strengths as a young person but I’m much more patient today. Enjoy the journey (process), because the destination (end result) is rarely as good as you think it will be. Being patient allows you to be less frustrated, and less agitated.

See MARK ZWEIG , page 12



ON THE MOVE UNIVERSAL ENGINEERING SCIENCES NAMES DAVID WITSKEN AS CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER Universal Engineering Sciences, a leading national engineering and consulting company, has appointed David Witsken to the role of chief executive officer. UES, recognized as the fastest-growing AEC firm in the U.S., continues to expand its operations nationally, with 67 branches in nearly 20 states and more than 3,100 professionals today. Witsken will be located at UES’ headquarters in Orlando and will begin later this month. Most recently, Witsken served as the president of BrandSafway’s Industrial, Energy, and Commercial business for the United States, Canada, and Mexico. BrandSafway is a provider of services and products to the industrial, commercial and infrastructure end markets worldwide. Witsken worked in various global executive leadership roles throughout his 17 years at the company, including M&A, sales, and general management. During his tenure, BrandSafway completed 30 successful acquisitions and grew from $300 million in revenue in 2005 to $5 billion today. Previously, Witsken spent 18 years at General Electric in various leadership positions. Witsken received a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Cincinnati and an MBA from Westminster College, where he

currently serves as an Advisory Board member. “Dave’s strong track record of leadership in the industry and extensive experience driving growth positions him exceptionally well to lead UES in its next exciting chapter,” said UES Chairman Michael Burke. “In the past 18 months, UES has tripled in size through both organic growth and acquisitions. This includes notable project wins, as well as the successful completion of 13 strategic acquisitions. Looking ahead, we are excited to continue UES’ expansion across high growth geographies in the United States. I look forward to working closely with Dave and our talented leadership team to seize the incredible opportunity ahead of us.” “I’m excited to join UES at this moment of its journey,” said newly appointed UES CEO Dave Witsken. “UES is poised to make a tremendous impact nationally. Between the national commitment to infrastructure spending and the increased population shift to the Sun Belt, there is a significant opportunity for UES to build stronger communities, serve more clients and create exciting career paths for our people.” Universal Engineering Sciences, headquartered in Orlando, is a rapidly growing engineering and consulting firm with nearly six decades of experience in geotechnical engineering, construction materials testing, building code compliance, threshold inspections

and consulting. UES is considered a pioneer of the industry and stands at the forefront of emerging technology, best practices, and influential legislature. Projects include both public and private clients, ranging from transportation and healthcare to commercial and education. UES engineers, geologists, certified inspectors, and scientists offer an unwavering commitment to excellence, approaching each project as an opportunity to cultivate enduring relationships with clients. BDT Capital Partners is the primary investor in the company. environmental UES has made a commitment to growing through strategic acquisition and organic growth. UES’ presence includes locations throughout the high growth markets in the South, Midwest and West, including Texas, Florida, Georgia, Alabama, North and South Carolina, Metro DC, California, Utah, Nevada, Missouri, Illinois, Kansas, Nebraska, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Arkansas. UES was named number one on the Zweig Group Hot Firm List which honors the fastest-growing firms in the architecture, engineering, planning, environmental and construction industry. With nearly 3,100 professionals across 67 branches in nearly 20 states nationwide, UES consults on projects of all sizes to help deliver needed infrastructure and build safe and successful communities.

before you run off all the older people from your company. Maybe those mandatory sell-back clauses in your shareholder agreements that kick in at certain ages aren’t in your best interest. Having some more grey-haired folks could be helpful to your entire team. Think about it! Mark Zweig is Zweig Group’s chairman and founder. Contact him at “Wouldn’t it be nice to have more people working in your business who are calm and have a broad perspective, who are patient, who aren’t so egocentric, and who are happy and glad for what they have?”

MARK ZWEIG , from page 11

Yet another positive aspect of aging is you become less egocentric. It sure helps you win friends and followers if you don’t always have to be the star of the show. I have really become conscious of how much my ego hampered me when I was younger. At some point, we have nothing to prove. That is liberating, and makes you more likable. Gratitude is the last thing I want to mention, and a major benefit of aging. You can learn to appreciate what you have instead of always wanting something more or something different. That gratitude helps you maintain a positive attitude even when there are problems all around and your body is failing. Gratitude makes you happier and easier to be around. So when you put it all together, wouldn’t it be nice to have more people working in your business who are calm and have a broad perspective, who are patient, who aren’t so egocentric, and who are happy and glad for what they have? Think twice

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