TZL 1364 (web)

T R E N D L I N E S O c t o b e r 1 9 , 2 0 2 0 , I s s u e 1 3 6 4 W W W . T H E Z W E I G L E T T E R . C O M

Market research

Bringing new work to your firm now could be the difference between coming out of the pandemic stronger or getting left behind. Effective business development

In Zweig Group’s 2020 Marketing Report of AEC Firms , survey participants were asked if their firm conducts market research. Overall, nearly two-thirds of firm participants said that they conducted market research for one reason or another. When analyzing these results by firm growth rate, we saw that growing firms were much more likely to run market research than stable or declining firms. Orchestrating this research can really make a difference in areas like strategic planning, promotional materials, and understanding the future of the market. Participate in a survey and save 50 percent on the final or pre- publication price of any Zweig Group research publication. F I R M I N D E X Dewberry................................................2

2 020, especially the period from March on, has been rough on everyone. By now most of us have, or at least know someone who has, lost current/former colleagues, friends, or even family members. This in addition to unpredictable school re-opening schedules, self-quarantines, and catastrophic weather striking the Southeast. It is difficult to even wrap your mind around the challenges your business is facing some days. With that being said, it is nearly impossible (and unwise) to lose sight of your business or career completely, especially if you are a shareholder within your firm. Perhaps now more than ever, the ability to compartmentalize your priorities and focus on the task at hand is critical in order to steer the ship. Being able to bring work to your firm right now could be the difference between the firms that come out of the pandemic stronger on the other side and the firms that eventually get left behind. Ninety percent of AEC industry firms say COVID-19 will affect overall business development activities in the next 12 months, according to Zweig Group’s Impact of COVID-19 on the AEC Industry Report . The restrictions on travel, inability to hold meetings face- to-face, low RFP inquiries, and other factors have been primary drivers of these difficulties that a vast majority of firms are experiencing. In this new environment that we are all growing more accustomed to by the day, here are a few ideas to help you create new business development opportunities for your firm: ❚ ❚ Call people just to check in without trying to sell them anything. Current co-workers who you don’t get to see in the office every day anymore, former colleagues, clients, former clients, your lawyer or accountant, the list goes on. Many people are still working from home on a regular basis, and that likely won’t change in the near future. Take advantage of this opportunity. We are all making adjustments right now as well, so not only will they appreciate your interest in their well- being, but they may give you an idea that sparks something special at your firm. You’ll never know unless you call them. ❚ ❚ Make more proactive efforts now than you did before. In the past, some of us used to be able to get away with mediocre contact efforts and lack of thoughtful follow-up. This may be because you wear many hats and don’t have the time to perform outreach very often, or even because you were so involved in local community organizations and events that those leads could fill your pipeline. To see success in this new virtually-driven environment, you may need to sharpen your contact processes and follow-up more often to get your point across. ❚ ❚ Be flexible. The products and services that customers want are different now, in addition to the methods by which they receive them. Do not be a company that is resistant to change right now – adapt to

John Bray


HFA. .....................................................10

Nabholz. .................................................6

PCS Structural Solutions.........................4

Ware Malcomb........................................8

MO R E A R T I C L E S xz TED RYAN: Know thy time Page 3 xz Integrity: Greg Williams Page 6 xz MARK ZWEIG: Those who can should teach! Page 9 xz BRYON MCCARTNEY: Captivate with your LinkedIn headline Page 11

See JOHN BRAY, page 2



BUSINESS NEWS DEWBERRY AWARDED ENGINEERING SERVICES CONTRACT FOR BERKELEY COUNTY INFRASTRUCTURE IMPROVEMENTS Dewberry , a privately held professional services firm, announced that it has been selected to provide engineering services for the Berkeley County Public Service Water District’s water distribution system in Berkeley County, West Virginia. Task orders may include water modeling and capital planning, new groundwater source development, new water booster pumping stations, raw water pumping stations, finished storage tanks, and new water mains. The need for these projects comes from the rapid growth in Berkeley County, which is the fastest growing county in the state with nearly 1,000 new residential connections added to the water distribution system each year. “Dewberry has been serving Berkeley Water and county residents since 1979 under multiple administrations, making them one of our

longest-term clients,” said Dewberry Project Manager Martin Kazmierczak, PE, PMP. “We are both proud and humbled to be selected to serve Berkeley Water for another five years.” Over the last five years, Dewberry has designed extensive water infrastructure to serve both major industrial clients and commercial and residential users while helping Berkeley Water develop a capacity improvement fee to fund new growth and development. Dewberry is a leading, market-facing firm with a proven history of providing professional services to a wide variety of public- and private-sector clients. Recognized for combining unsurpassed commitment to client service with deep subject matter expertise, Dewberry is dedicated to solving clients’ most complex challenges and transforming their communities. Established in 1956, Dewberry is headquartered in Fairfax, Virginia, with more than 50 locations and more than 2,000 professionals nationwide.

Driving Financial Results Webinar


Solid financial management is crucial to the success of any company, and firms in the AEC industry are no exception. This short course provides an overview of business financial management – specifically tailored to our industry – to help firm leaders make informed decisions that drive results.

JOHN BRAY, from page 1

your clients’ changing needs and be able to offer them what they want, or they’ll find it from someone else. ❚ ❚ Be persistent. As noted above, it may require more contact “touches” to have an impact than you were accustomed to before. Dr. Jeffrey Lant’s “Rule of Seven” states that you must contact your buyers a minimum of seven times in an 18-month period for them to remember you, and it can often require more than 10 touches just to get a response. ❚ ❚ Make a list of new people/companies that you would like to work with and reach out to them. What companies do you admire? Where do you have existing connections that could help you gain a foot in the door? Any local companies you’ve always wanted to partner with? Who are the decision-makers within those companies? Make a list, make contacts, and keep following up until you get a chance to show them why you deserve an opportunity to work with them. ❚ ❚ Work with your marketing department to develop new messaging and materials. At the very least, these need to be updated for your company’s latest policies regarding COVID-19 and safety, as appearing tone-deaf will certainly hinder your chances of being effective at winning work. It is also important for you to be able to effectively market and explain your firm’s new products/services, approach, and outlook to people externally, oftentimes without being able to speak to them face-to-face. ❚ ❚ Ask for referrals/introductions from your existing contacts. Far too many people are tentative or even downright afraid to do this for some reason, but it can be one of the most effective ways of building new relationships (and business). If you enjoy working with someone and you know they enjoy working with you, why wouldn’t they want to introduce you to someone in their network that you could also work with? It won’t turn into a contract after the first conversation, but you will never know what that relationship could turn into unless you ask for the referral. ❚ ❚ Make introductions for your co-workers to create new connections and possible cross-selling opportunities. Do you have a good relationship with someone who could benefit from knowing one of your co-workers, or vice versa? Make the introduction, and follow up until it happens. It sounds so simple but I cannot tell you how often we see these opportunities lost within AEC firms, especially right now when everyone is “so busy.” Making these connections will allow your connections to see firsthand how great other areas and people at your firm are. This will present opportunities for you to expand services with a client, participate in speaking/thought leadership engagements, make further connections, and a number of other benefits that can only take place if you make the introduction. JOHN BRAY is an advisor with Zweig Group’s executive search and recruiting team. Contact him at


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Know thy time

To manage time effectively, you need to know – not just believe – you are spending time productively.

R emembering the summer camps from my youth, one particular aspect of those experiences sticks in my memory – the movement of time. At camp, time seemed to stretch out ahead of me, but the days felt as if they were flying by. When Friday and the end of camp rolled around, it simultaneously felt as though I had been there for weeks and that it was over so quickly. How? Could it have been the structure and efficiency of Camp Assurance’s well-organized daily schedule? We ate, slept, and packed a lifetime of exploration and adventure into five short days.

Ted Ryan

I revisit this feeling during a particularly busy and productive week at the office. What is the common denominator? I believe it’s structured time. It happens when I’ve structured my time to do things that matter, purposefully set out to do what matters, and actually accomplish what I’ve set out to do. In one of his many fantastic books, The Effective Executive , Peter Drucker dedicated a chapter to “Know Thy Time.” He recorded countless examples of supervisors, executives, and other knowledge workers – those working with information – spending their time ineffectively.

Drucker quizzed workers about how much time they believed they spent on knowledge work or “primary things.” He had each participant detail their workdays over the course of several weeks and then compared the notes to what they had initially reported. Drucker discovered that there was little correlation between the recorded activity percentages and the time participants believed they were spending on important primary things. Nearly every person had significantly overestimated how much time they spent on primary things. Their time was in fact consumed with less important tasks or “secondary things.”

See TED RYAN, page 4



ON THE MOVE HDR PROMOTES TWO TO CLIENT-FOCUSED TRANSPORTATION LEADERSHIP ROLES HDR has promoted two industry leaders to new roles assisting clients with custom solutions and connecting them with the diversified, global expertise to achieve their infrastructure goals. Christopher LaTuso, P.E., is taking on a dual role as director of our global Transportation Infrastructure Advisory Services practice and East Region transportation market development director. LaTuso will grow HDR’s Infrastructure Advisory practice by developing and offering comprehensive consulting services customized to the unique needs of our global clients and their communities. This advisory assistance will guide clients with executive knowledge that can directly help them with execution of their programs and the successful delivery of needed infrastructure, guiding them through resource agency requirements, complex decision making and risk avoidance. In the East Region, LaTuso will lead strategic planning and growth initiatives for all transportation sectors in collaboration with HDR’s operational and technical leadership. LaTuso has spent the majority of his three-

decade career developing transportation projects in the New York metropolitan area and is experienced in every phase of projects from concept and scoping to construction inspection. Notable projects include the raising of the Bayonne Bridge, and implementation of the Kew Gardens Interchange. “Our communities and states rely on a safe and efficient transportation network and we are there at the local, state and federal level to support our clients in the continued development and management of critical infrastructure,” said LaTuso. Christi Skinner has been named HDR’s transportation client development director. Skinner will be responsible for the creation and application of programs and processes to connect our broad service capabilities and innovative solutions to our clients, helping them achieve their infrastructure goals and strengthen their communities. In addition, she will manage strategic client development and strategic pursuit activities, with a primary focus on client service and custom-fit solutions. Skinner has worked in the AEC industry for three decades. Her career has been focused on business development efforts for major

transportation projects and programs, where she has developed a unique skill in translating organizational dynamics and pursuit intelligence into actionable strategy. “By helping to expand and lead collaboration of our transportation strategies and technical capabilities, I hope to continue to bring to bear our global expertise on infrastructure solutions for our clients around the world,” said Skinner. “Chris and Christi have a talent for bringing out the best from everyone they work with,” said Transportation President Brent Felker. “They quickly grasp the bigger picture and find solutions. I look forward to seeing how they continue to put those talents to work to help our global clients create the infrastructure they need for safer, stronger and better communities.” For over a century, HDR has partnered with clients to shape communities and push the boundaries of what’s possible. HDR has more than 10,000 employees in more than 200 locations around the world. The firm’s engineering, architecture, environmental and construction services bring an impressive breadth of knowledge to every project.

TED RYAN, from page 3

your day is. Laura Vanderkam, author and speaker on time management, has this easy worksheet. ❚ ❚ Build time for that two-hour task you know you must do this week – don’t just hope you’ll figure out where to find the time. You have 168 hours each week to use – 168. Doesn’t that sound a little better than 24 hours a day? I think so. ❚ ❚ Set yourself to the habit of plotting small increments of time to spend on a singular task that adds up to a greater effort over time. Itzhak Perlman, world-renowned violinist and equally gifted teacher, is fond of telling his students “don’t practice so much!” It may seem counterintuitive, but as a violinist of his caliber, his point is don’t sit and practice for hours on end. It’s far more effective to tackle a task by practicing in smaller chunks of time on a regular basis. This works in business too! ❚ ❚ Determine how much discretionary time you actually have. This is time that is in your direct control and not driven by the daily demands from outside yourself. This will help you fit in those self-directed tasks that are necessary to finishing a project, growing your business, improving a skill, or otherwise growing in your professional life. Even with the demands of a complex life, we do have the ability to shape our time more effectively. Take time to measure and test your assumptions about how you spend time. Revisit regularly to make sure you’ve made room to pack exploration and accomplishment into one well- organized week. It’s never too late to start managing that gift and making time for what is most important to you. TED RYAN is an associate principal at PCS Structural Solutions which provides structural engineering services to clients across markets. Ted can be reached at

To manage time effectively and build room for primary things, you need to know, and not just believe, you are spending time productively. It’s too easy to run through a mental list of daily priorities as you head to the office, but you want to compare what you set out to do with what you accomplish. Know thy time. “Take time to measure and test your assumptions about how you spend time. Revisit regularly to make sure you’ve made room to pack exploration and Here are some ideas that may help: ❚ ❚ Bookend your day. Set priorities and “posteriorities,” accomplishment into one well-organized week. It’s never too late to start managing that gift and making time for what is most important to you.” Drucker’s word for the things that should be at the end of our to-do list. These are the things you make a conscious decision not to do in order to leave room for the things you ought to do. Didn’t read that article that seemed so important two days ago? Let it go. ❚ ❚ Schedule your day. As I argued in an earlier article for The Zweig Letter , “Get It Done,” break up your day in half-hour chunks, and plan them out on paper. You’ll be surprised at how much you’ll be able to stay on task. And if you don’t, that’s OK. Perfection is not the goal but taking control of

© Copyright 2020. Zweig Group. All rights reserved.








October 21st. Times have changed and there is no going back. In addition to doing more to en- sure business and client success, leaders must continue to do more to ensure team and orga- nizational success – and this is especially true as we proceed through the COVID-19 crisis and our changing social constructs. This session is specif- ically designed to help leaders focus on what has changed, see the opportunities presented, and learn how to achieve new levels of sustainable, new era success without burning out.




October 20th. With over, 1-Million shows, Podcasting is one of the fastest-growing digital mediums. Learn how to leverage Podcasting, to brand your firm, and tell your story both externally to the world and internal- ly to your team. There has never been a better time to do this. In about an hour, you will learn how to come up with a show theme, decide what type of homegrown talent you have available or how to hire someone to help you get the podcast started.




QUESTIONS? For group discounts or if you have any questions, contact Olivia Thomas at 479-713-0429, or visit

Everything we do is in pursuit of elevating the AEC industry, bringing awareness of the incredible impact that engineers, architects, environmental professionals, surveyors, planners, landscape architects and related professional service providers have on the world. Empowering organiza- tions with the resources they need to perform better, grow and add jobs, pay better wages and to expand their impact on the community, Zweig Group exists to advance the profession.




Integrity: Greg Williams Chairman and CEO of Nabholz (Conway, AR), a 1,200 person multi-discipline, employee- owned firms whose name has been synonymous with integrity since its founding in 1949.


T hrough the decades, Nabholz has grown into a national, multi-service contractor offering a full range of construction, industrial, civil, and environmental services. Williams joined Nabholz in 1991 and says that his greatest accomplishment as CEO has been establishing its wellness program in conjunction with its self-funded health insurance program. “We grow our people, serve our clients, and build our communities with integrity. That’s the Nabholz way,” Williams says. A CONVERSATION WITH GREG WILLIAMS. The Zweig Letter: Your wellness program is impressive. Please tell me about the impetus for this program and how long it’s been around. Can you share some information about results the program has seen and benefits to company as well as employees? Greg Williams: In 2007, Nabholz shifted to self-funded health insurance to reduce rising health care costs. Nabholz

leaders hired Jayme Mayo, PA-C (Certified Physician Assistant), Wellness Director. She decided she needed to create a program that provided individual support for employees and spouses to make lifestyle changes. The program brings health care into the workplace with on- site wellness testing, a medical clinic at headquarters, and a dedicated medical team. Nabholz provides on-site wellness testing twice a year for employees and spouses on its health insurance plan. The medical team screens employees and spouses for cholesterol, blood sugar, blood pressure, obesity, and nicotine – all major drivers of health insurance costs. They recently added screening for thyroid levels and prostate cancer. Nabholz pays 100 percent of the employee-only health insurance premium if employees and their spouses take part in the health survey and wellness testing. If the employee or spouse does not participate, the employee pays 30 percent of the employee-only insurance premium. For each outcome that meets or exceeds Nabholz targets, employees can earn an annual gift card. More importantly,



the wellness testing results are the starting point for personal support from Nabholz’s wellness team. Almost all eligible employees take part in wellness testing: 99 percent completed testing each year between 2010 and 2017. Nabholz employees’ health also has improved. In 2011, 34 percent of employees who completed testing had biometric outcomes that met Nabholz targets in four or more categories. By 2017, this increased to 82 percent of employees. And, since 2010, Nabholz saw its annual health insurance premiums increase an average of 1.6 percent, lower than the national average of 3.7 percent annual increases from 2010 to 2017. “We work hard to have a strong balance sheet to make it through tough times. We expect periodic downturns in our industry and we plan accordingly.” TZL: What measures are you taking to protect your employees during the COVID-19 crisis? GW: Disinfecting offices and taking additional hygiene precautions on job sites. All group meetings are postponed or conducted online. We’ve also limited travel. TZL: How far into the future are you able to reliably predict your workload and cashflow? GW: About two months on average. TZL: Your company focuses on implementing the Lean principles. Can you give me a specific example of how this has been implemented on a recent project? GW: Recently, the Nabholz team at the Ozark Mill project applied Lean principles to drive waste out of their project. In preparation for the busy phase ahead, Superintendent James McElhaney challenged his team to anticipate bottlenecks and devise creative solutions to maintain workflow. “Nothing Hits the Floor” is a Lean practice that keeps materials and debris off the floor. Using palettes or wheeled carts for material staging promotes better housekeeping and improves traffic flow. It makes moving materials easier, quicker, and safer. Using wheeled containers for cutoffs

prevents debris piles from accumulating in work areas. It saves cleanup time and helps get debris to the trash containers quicker. “Nothing Hits the Floor” eliminates wasted transportation and wasted motion, spoiled inventory, extra processing, and the deadly waste of waiting. The Ozark Mill team combined “Nothing Hits the Floor” with the some of the “5S” principles – sort, straighten, shine, standardize, and sustain. Josh Johnson, a Nabholz carpenter, created temporary battery charging stations to promote standard common spaces on the jobsite to recharge cordless tools, creating a tidier jobsite and eliminating the time it takes for other workers to locate charging cords and outlets. Josh also created a temporary lift charging station to promote a standard common space on the jobsite for recharging man lifts, making it easier for workers to locate this vital piece of machinery and eliminating wait time while the lift would need to charge. Josh also put what he calls his “spider box” on wheels so workers can quickly move the cluster of electrical receptacles to wherever work tasks require it. Though not one of the 5S principles, safety stays top of mind with any activity on the jobsite, and these innovations all improved safety conditions. The tool charging stations will eliminate the trip hazard from cords being scattered across work areas. The charging and “parking lot” for lifts keeps these bulky pieces of equipment from creating tight points on the jobsite that could cause workers to hurt themselves. “We invest in education and training every year. We strive to maintain our culture of caring about our team members.” TZL: What, if anything, are you doing to protect your firm from a potential economic slowdown in the future? GW: We work hard to have a strong balance sheet to make it through tough times. We expect periodic downturns in our industry and we plan accordingly. 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?

HEADQUARTERS: Conway, AR NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES: 1,200 YEAR FOUNDED: 1949 NUMBER OF OFFICE LOCATIONS: 17 SERVICES: ❚ ❚ Construction ❚ ❚ Industrial ❚ ❚ Civil ❚ ❚ Environmental ❚ ❚ Specialty services ❚ ❚ Concrete ❚ ❚ Crane and equipment rental and operation ❚ ❚ Custom millwork and cabinetry ❚ ❚ Machinery moving and installation ❚ ❚ Mission critical ❚ ❚ Energy savings performance contracting ❚ ❚ Fleet equipment and services ❚ ❚ Railroad services ❚ ❚ Safe rooms and storm shelters ❚ ❚ Virtual design and construction ❚ ❚ Specialty services SECTORS: ❚ ❚ Automotive ❚ ❚ Civil ❚ ❚ Commercial office and retail ❚ ❚ Community and nonprofit ❚ ❚ Government ❚ ❚ Healthcare ❚ ❚ Higher education ❚ ❚ Industrial and manufacturing, ❚ ❚ K-12 education ❚ ❚ Museum ❚ ❚ Culture and entertainment ❚ ❚ Religious and senior living

See INTEGRITY, page 8

© Copyright 2020. Zweig Group. All rights reserved.

OBER 19, 2020, ISSUE 1364


ON THE MOVE WARE MALCOMB ANNOUNCES PROMOTION OF DOUGLAS GULLO TO Ware Malcomb , an award- winning international design firm, announced Douglas Gullo has been promoted to director, architecture in the Phoenix office. In this role, Gullo leads the growth and management of the architecture studio and oversees all architecture projects for the Phoenix office. “Douglas has done an excellent job managing our architecture practice with teamwork, positivity and talent,” said Kevin Evernham, principal of Ware Malcomb’s Phoenix office. “His commitment to our clients and delivering a quality product, along with his leadership and business development efforts, have resulted in

new opportunities with numerous clients both locally and nationally.” Gullo joined Ware Malcomb in 2018 as studio manager, architecture in the Phoenix office. He brings more than 25 years of architecture and business development experience to the Ware Malcomb team, including work on many notable Greater Phoenix-area projects spanning office, retail, industrial, medical office, and resort and entertainment sectors. Utilizing his architectural design and project management skills, Gullo manages the design process from initial concept and ideas through successful project completion. Gullo has a bachelor’s degree in architecture

from the University of Arizona and is the design author on many award winning office, retail, industrial, and medical buildings in the Greater Phoenix market. Ware Malcomb has been operating in the Phoenix market since 2006, providing architecture, interior design, and civil engineering services. Recent projects include interior architecture and design services for the 17,000 square foot offices of the Professional Beauty Association in Scottsdale; and architectural design services for the 56,000 square foot, three-story Mercy Medical Commons II medical office building in Gilbert.

INTEGRITY, from page 7

Friday nights, you’ll find us working at the concession stand at the local high school. On Saturdays, we’re at Tulsa Tough, or the Tulsa City Marathon, as both sponsors and participants. We have fun. We temper the hard work we do with employee gatherings, gumbo and crawfish boils, and parties. TZL: When you identify a part of your business that is not pulling its weight in terms of profitability or alignment with the firm’s mission, what steps do you take, and what’s the timeline, to address the issue while minimizing impacts to the rest of the company? GW: We typically do a thorough analysis of the underperforming group and develop an action plan to get things back on track. Normally, it takes one to two years to get things on track. “It’s a lesson we’ve learned again and again after 70 years in business – there’s no one factor that determines our success more than the people we employ, and we try to treat them fairly, like family.” TZL: How many years of experience – or large enough book of business – is enough to become a principal in your firm? Are you naming principals in their 20s or 30s? GW: There are no hard and fast rules. Yes, we have people in ownership in their 20s and 30s. Performance and their role in the company are the drivers. TZL: How has COVID-19 impacted your firm’s policy on telecommuting/working remotely? GW: If an employee can work from home, they have that option if their manager approves. TZL: In one word or phrase, what do you describe as your number one job responsibility as CEO? GW: Keep our team members and their families safe and healthy in all aspects. Don’t be the person that damages a great company!

GW: We invest in education and training every year. We strive to maintain our culture of caring about our team members. TZL: Founded as a small construction company more than 70 years ago, now with 1,100 employees, how do you work to maintain a culture that still feels like family? GW: Nabholz’ company culture is about growth, but not in the typical sense of the word. We work to grow our people, and from that point on, work to grow our business. It’s a lesson we’ve learned again and again after 70 years in business – there’s no one factor that determines our success more than the people we employ, and we try to treat them fairly, like family. This culture didn’t just form by accident; it started by putting the health, well-being, and safety of employees and their families above all else, and it will soon crumble if we abandon this as our primary and most important value. This manifests itself in several ways. We’ve built an award-winning wellness program with one mission: give our employees and families all the tools they need to become healthier. Second, we make safety an individual responsibility for all Nabholz team members. Third, we provide employees with the best benefits in the industry, including a choice of health plans in which Nabholz pays 100 percent of the premiums for employee coverage, and a 401(k) program with employer match allows employees to be fully vested after a year of employment. We also aim to give employees the tools they need to advance at Nabholz. We’ve developed apprenticeship classes open to all employees and community members; we’ve established two in-house leadership training programs; and we promote continuing education through our tuition reimbursement program. Simply put, if our employees stop developing and growing, our business will too. We focus on building the communities we work in, as well. We want our employees to be proud of the money and time their company invests in their communities. On

© Copyright 2020. Zweig Group. All rights reserved.




Those who can should teach!

“Being allowed to teach what I’ve learned over my long career about entrepreneurship and business to my students has been one of my greatest honors and privileges.”

I am almost done with my 16th year of teaching at The Sam M. Walton College of Business at The University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. And while currently – thanks to COVID-19 – we are struggling (with some successes!) to give our students all they are paying for, being allowed to teach what I’ve learned over my long career about entrepreneurship and business to my students has been one of my greatest honors and privileges.

Mark Zweig

Many of those working in architecture and engineering firms have the opportunity to teach. The typical principal, according to Zweig Group research, travelled only two days a month prior to COVID-19. I would guess that is even less now. I haven’t been on a plane once since February. But my point is that if you did want to teach, odds are that you could fit it into your schedule. I teach my classes at 6 p.m. on Monday and Tuesday nights. If you have an advanced or terminal degree and have a chance to teach at the university level, I highly encourage you to try it. There are so many benefits of doing so. Here are some of them: 1)It makes you relearn the basics of your discipline. I can’t tell you enough how going back

to some of the basics I learned in college and grad school has been good for me. Everything has so much more relevance than it did way back when I was in school – and let me add that I had much more work experience by that point than most people my age, having worked since I was 12 or 13 for multiple businesses and in my own small businesses. Organization theory, finance, accounting, marketing, and more – there’s so much relevance and value in re-exploring these subjects that you would have to get a lot out of it you can apply to your own business. Teaching makes you go back to the fundamentals of whatever your discipline is. 2)It forces you to stay current. Students expect you to know what is going on in your field so you

See MARK ZWEIG, page 10



ON THE MOVE HFA ANNOUNCES NEW EXECUTIVE LEADERSHIP HFA believes in the importance of promoting talent from within. That commitment was recently highlighted after the announcement of three new vice presidents joining the HFA executive leadership team, effective October 14, 2020. Bo Ebbrecht, Greg Schluterman, and James Owens have officially joined the ranks of HFA senior leadership to continue growing and leading the company to continued success in the future. By adding more talented professionals to the executive leadership team, HFA believes the benefits will be quickly realized by both employees and current and future clients. “The whole point of adding more executives is so that we, as a company, can better support our clients and our people. Our top priority will always be that we are working well together and exceeding our client’s expectations,” said Dave Wilgus, president, and CEO of HFA. Wilgus continues, “What we’re pushing for in the future is going from just being project

managers into being leaders of people. So, we need to help people evolve and develop, rather than solely focusing on getting tasks done. All three of these vice presidents [Bo, Greg, and James] exemplify that sort of culture and direction.” Bo Ebbrecht, AIA, NCARB, started his career at HFA 15 years ago, hired on to lead the Walmart Special Projects team. Since that time, he’s worked with large and small retail clients, learning vital project management skills. With a passion for mentorship, Ebbrecht hopes to use his position as vice president to pass along important lessons learned throughout his time in the industry. Greg Schluterman is a registered Professional Mechanical Engineer in 36 states and is responsible for overseeing the mechanical, electrical, commissioning, and refrigeration teams at HFA. Schluterman has been with the HFA engineering department since its inception in 2004. James Owens AIA, NCARB, brings more than

19 years of architectural experience to his role at HFA, Owens has what it takes to lead a team well. Owens believes that being able to provide success for clients will also bring about success for HFA. Founded in 1990, HFA is a full-service, multi- disciplined architecture and engineering firm licensed in all 50 states. The firm has office locations in Bentonville, Arkansas; Boston, Massachusetts; Fort Worth, Texas; and Mexico City, Mexico. Focused on designing for the customer experience, HFA works coast to coast with retail, real estate development, office, industrial, fueling, restaurant, and education clients. The firm’s design and engineering experience includes office design, national retail store design, shopping and mixed use center development, national and local specialty restaurants, grocery and convenience stores, educational facilities, multifamily residential developments, industrial facilities, lifestyle centers, assisted living facilities, and medical clinics.

MARK ZWEIG, from page 9

critical of the next generations coming up from behind them and get a new appreciation for what these younger people have to offer. I really draw on this energy and it gives me a new personal sense of possibility – something that is very important to maintain if you are an owner in any kind of business enterprise, but especially an A/E firm. 6)It’s a recruiters’ dream. I have most of my students for both of the classes I teach. That gives you two semesters to see how studious they are, how disciplined and reliable they are, how well they can present, and perhaps most importantly, how well they can work in a group setting. What a great opportunity that is for you to identify strong entry-level talent for your business! 7)You will learn from your students. Hearing all of their stories, seeing their projects, reading their papers, and forming relationships that outlast the college experience with your students is a great opportunity for you to learn from them. Some of my students stay in touch with me for years after graduation. One of my former students started a business that one of my sons-in-law works for. Another former student who owns his own business lives right next door to me. We regularly talk shop about what he is going through. There are many others who keep me learning. 8)You are giving back. As you get older, giving back gets more important to you. I was the beneficiary of a great public university education that cost me a lot less than it cost the State of Illinois to provide it to me. Being able to give back so others have the same (or better) opportunities than you yourself had is very rewarding psychically. So what are you waiting for? Is it time to contact the deans of your local architecture, engineering, science, or business schools to see how you may be able to teach a class or two? I can assure you that even if the monetary compensation seems low, the other benefits of doing so will make it all well worth your time! MARK ZWEIG is Zweig Group’s chairman and founder. Contact him at

have to keep up. That means you need to constantly study what is happening in your field so you can bring the latest information to your students and are prepared to talk about it when asked to do so. 3)It makes you organize your thinking. Getting ready to lecture for two and a half hours really makes you think about how you will communicate the stuff you feel is important for your students to know. The logical sequencing of topics so the knowledge you are trying to impart makes the most sense will force you to organize your thinking, and that will make you better at everything else you do. “Is it time to contact the deans of your local architecture, engineering, science, or business schools to see how you may be able to teach a class or two? I can assure you that even if the monetary compensation seems low, the other benefits of doing so will make it all well worth your time!” 4)It makes you a better presenter. One thing I have certainly learned is you can’t be boring if you want to maintain the attention and interest of your students. I always try to introduce drama or humor into my talks to keep my students engaged. I also think very carefully about who I will introduce to them as guest speakers and try to only bring in people who not only have a lot to offer but whom can also maintain the attention of their audiences. 5)It is energizing. There is something about spending time with younger, positive, motivated people who have the bulk of their lives ahead of them that gives you an energy boost. Maybe if more older people taught they would be less

© Copyright 2020. Zweig Group. All rights reserved.




Make a great first impression, showcase your experience and expertise, and stand out as a top architect in your market. Captivate with your LinkedIn headline

A ttracting new architecture clients is all about nurturing relationships with prospects and referrers. Unlike some other industries, there is no magic button you can press to build those relationships. You can’t simply run a few Facebook ads and expect people to suddenly hire you. Creating meaningful, trusting relationships with prospective clients takes time and effort.

Bryon McCartney

WHAT MAKES LINKEDIN SO GREAT? We asked a group of 76 architects to Google their own names. An overwhelming majority, 82 percent, reported that a link to their LinkedIn profile appeared on the first page of search results. You really can’t argue with results like that. Clearly, LinkedIn is a powerful tool when it comes to online search.

But where do you start? ❚ ❚ Cold calling? ❚ ❚ Zoom meetings? ❚ ❚ Local networking events? ❚ ❚ Virtual trade events?

❚ ❚ Sponsorships? ❚ ❚ Social media?

The truth is, you are probably doing one or more of these already, but your results may be hit or miss. In this article, I’ll show you how LinkedIn can play a role in helping you to make a great first impression with ideal prospects and referrers you meet in real life and online. WHY LINKEDIN? According to Omnicore, 167 million people, nearly half of the United States population, are on LinkedIn. Savvy architecture, engineering, and construction firm owners already know that LinkedIn is a proven platform for finding, attracting, connecting to, and nurturing beneficial relationships with potential clients and referrers. It’s also a go-to resource your prospects use to research and learn about firms and the people behind them.

Your LinkedIn profile is like a personal billboard.

YOUR LINKEDIN PROFILE IS LIKE A PERSONAL BILLBOARD. Because LinkedIn is so well known and widely used, anytime you meet someone or they are referred to your firm, it’s very likely they will end up on your LinkedIn profile page. This makes




BRYON MCCARTNEY, from page 11

❚ ❚ What do they search for? ❚ ❚ What are they looking for help with? The more specific you are, the easier it will be for your ideal clients to find you. ❚ ❚ Target audience. Mention your target audience so they know that you work with them specifically. For example, if you want to design eco-friendly homes, include the words “eco homes” or “green homes” in your headline. ❚ ❚ Benefit. Outlining the benefits you provide your clients will grab their attention. If you consistently save restaurants tens of thousands of dollars in build-out costs, include that. Make it clear why your ideal connections would want to connect with you. Three important tips for your LinkedIn profile headline: 1) Keep your most important info in the first 80 characters of your headline. When you appear in viewers’ news feeds, those 80 characters are what will show up in the abbreviated preview. 2) When editing your headline on a desktop computer, LinkedIn only allows about 120 total characters of text. However, if you edit it using the LinkedIn app on your mobile device, you’ll have nearly double that amount of text to work with. 3) Adding relevant hashtags to your profile headline will help you get found by people looking for your services. But don’t go overboard, three hashtags are enough. USE YOUR LINKEDIN PROFILE TO ATTRACT PROSPECTIVE CLIENTS AND MAKE A GREAT FIRST IMPRESSION. LinkedIn makes it easy to find, connect with, and communicate with the people you want to meet. It’s the first place to go when prospects are researching contacts they may be thinking about doing business with. Think of your headline as a key element in communicating how you and your firm are different. By putting some time and effort into writing a great LinkedIn profile headline, you can elevate yourself above every other architect. The more you can fine-tune your headline, the more you’ll find that your target audience finds and connects with you. But, if your profile is incomplete or out of date, if it’s not clear what kind of value you can provide, or if there are major gaps in your work history, what kind of impression will that make? For more in-depth tips and techniques, check out our article “Perfect Your LinkedIn Profile to Attract Your Best Clients & Prospects.” You’ll find detailed insights and step- by-step advice to improve every section of your LinkedIn profile. Make a great first impression, showcase your experience and expertise, and stand out as a top architect in your market. Get started today! BRYON MCCARTNEY is a managing partner and the Chief Idea Guy at Archmark Architect Branding and Marketing, in Estero, Florida. Bryon and the Archmark team are committed to the goal of providing value to 100,000 architects by 2030 by helping firms to leverage branding, marketing, and virtual networking to build resilient and sustainable firms. Bryon is a featured author, podcast guest, and speaker for AIA, ASLA, Entrearchitect, Inside the Firm, and SMPS. For further information, visit ARCHMARK | Architect Branding & Marketing at To connect with Bryon on LinkedIn or visit

your profile a key component for helping you make a great impression with prospective clients. And, when you get your LinkedIn profile right, it plays a key role in helping busy people to quickly understand why you are someone worth getting to know more about. You have to think of it like your own personal billboard. Knowing how busy people are, you want to make sure viewers get a great first impression of you, otherwise they are likely to pass you by. WHY YOUR LINKEDIN PROFILE HEADLINE IS SO IMPORTANT. Your profile headline, just like the headline on a billboard, needs to quickly convey the important details that will convince someone to learn more about you. In our recent in-depth article about LinkedIn, you’ll find detailed insights, and proven tips and techniques to use on every section of your LinkedIn profile. But, for this article, let’s focus on your LinkedIn profile headline, as it’s a very important part of the puzzle.

Your LinkedIn profile headline.

WHAT IS A LINKEDIN PROFILE HEADLINE? When someone visits your profile, they’ll first see your photo, name, and your headline. Many people simply use a job title as their profile headline. This is a huge lost opportunity and it results in being ignored and overlooked. When a prospect is scanning the top of your profile, what they really want to know is what you do and why they should care. “Founding architect” or “studio principal” makes you sound ordinary. They are not looking for “just an architect” they are looking for someone who can solve their unique problems. Grab your visitor’s attention with something like “Award- winning modern luxury home designer for select clients who want to enjoy the coastal Florida lifestyle.” Much more compelling and informative, right? Give them a taste of what you have to offer. Tell them exactly what you do, who you do it for, why you’re different, and, ideally, what you provide as a benefit. HOW TO WRITE AN EFFECTIVE LINKEDIN PROFILE HEADLINE. Here is a simple formula to help you get it right: Keyword(s) + Target Audience + Benefit = Awesome Profile Headline ❚ ❚ Keywords. Use keywords in your headline to make it easier for your target audience to find you:

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