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ON THE MOVE SENIOR HYDRAULICS EXPERT RANA STANSELL JOINS DEWBERRY Dewberry , a privately held professional services firm, has announced that Rana Stansell, PE, CFM, has joined the firm as a senior project manager in its Raleigh, North Carolina, office. With more than 22 years of experience, Stansell joins the firm’s transportation division to support projects across North Carolina under the firm’s contracts with the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT). Prior to joining Dewberry, she worked for AMT Engineers and WSP where she provided hydraulics expertise for local and state agencies. “We’re very excited to welcome Rana to our team,” says Dewberry Senior Associate Carl Gibilaro, PE. “Rana has a strong background in hydraulics design and has spent her career working across a variety of project types to

strengthen her skills and expand her knowledge base.” Stansell earned a bachelor’s degree in environmental engineering from North Carolina State University (1996). 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 2,000+ professionals nationwide.

This webinar was specifically developed to help design and technical professionals in archi- tecture, engineering, planning, and environmental firms become more comfortable managing cli- ents and promoting the firm and its services. Led by two retired and current CEOs with extensive experience from the design desk to the board room, this one-of-a- kind webinar presents business development techniques proven to drive real growth and value in your AEC firm. Elevating Doer- Sellers Virtual Seminar 6 PDH/LU


According to Zweig Group’s 2020 Policies, Procedures & Benefits Report , on average, AEC firms spend more than $9,000 per new hire. I predict we’ll see that number go down next year as hiring and on-boarding processes become more automated and efficient through technology. Last year’s figures show that 40 percent of AEC firms were willing to pay to relocate both new and existing employees. I think in 2021, we’ll see even less spent on relocation, and this money will be spent in other areas. While many of these shifts may draw individuals to the industry, it’s double edged as they can also cause increased turnover. Will 2021 be a year of job hopping to more desirable opportunities? 3)Paid time off, leave policies, and project management. Last year, 90 percent of firms allowed employees to carry paid time off from one year to the next and the median number of days that could be carried over was 10. In the majority, 68 percent of firms, paid time off earned in excess of the maximum had to be forfeited. These numbers were gathered before the second half of 2020 and do not include last minute end-of-year adjustments. I’ve heard of many firms extending this to allow for greater PTO carryover. What will happen to all this PTO in 2021? Are firms adequately budgeting for this increase in PTO? Are project management and work-load procedures and policies able to handle more frequent or potentially longer periods of employee leave? Will a more flexible or more remote workplace of the future decrease the overall PTO demanded or offered employees? 4)How many firms have downsized or significantly changed their physical workplaces in response to COVID? The amount of space needed to effectively work has changed drastically over the past year. While some firms have had to make investments in an increase in space to allow for more physical distance between employees, other firms have decreased their square footage. I think we’ll see AEC firms spend less on rent/utilities and other related overhead in 2021. 5)If we learned anything from 2021, it’s how important culture and teamwork is. Many firms have had to get very creative to maintain communication and culture in an uncertain environment, through upheaval, remote work, and a multitude of other challenges. I think the industry as a whole will see firms continue through 2021 with a stronger sense of culture – something that will positively impact recruitment and retention. I’ve personally witnessed the culture change at many firms over the past year. I’ll be interested to see how this is reflected in our Best Firms To Work For scores. The events of the past year have undoubtedly altered our industry. As a researcher and advisor, I look forward to tracking the ways in which firms can not only cope with difficulties, but find ways to grow and thrive, using difficulties and changes as an impetus for improvements within their organization. CHRISTINA ZWEIG NIEHUES is Zweig Group’s director of research and e-commerce. She can be reached at



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