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ON THE MOVE CHRIS COOK AND ADAM HAYES JOIN DEWBERRY Dewberry has announced that Chris Cook, PE, and Adam Hayes, PE, have joined the firm’s mechanical, electrical, and plumbing group based in Raleigh, North Carolina. Cook joins the firm as a project engineer with more than 13 years of experience. As a fire protection engineer, he has worked on various facility types, including commercial buildings, K-12 schools, higher education facilities, civil structures, and healthcare facilities. Cook earned his bachelor’s degree in architectural engineering from North Carolina A&T State University and is a member of the American Society of Plumbing Engineers and the Society of Fire Protection Engineers. Hayes joins the firm as a senior project engineer and has more than 13 years of structural

engineering experience in heavy industrial projects. He has a background in various project types, including chemical structures, utility bridges, equipment support, tank support, open structures, warehouses, and structural ductwork. Hayes has a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from North Carolina State University. 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.

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JOHN BRAY, from page 1 to their desire to have a positive impact on the world around them, whether that is from a perspective of mental health, sustainability, or breathtaking beauty. Not all buyers are the big conglomerates looking for a takeover, and there are many active mid-size buyers that put their largest priority on culture and taking care of their people. In professional services businesses like these, the people are often the most important aspect of the deal, so many buyers put an emphasis on making sure the employees of the seller are positioned for success. 2)The current administration’s new infrastructure bill. While there is still uncertainty around the details of the bill, it is clear that our government understands the need for investment in America’s infrastructure. It should not be overlooked that the largest investment in infrastructure in America’s history was one of the first items on President Biden’s agenda. It is only a matter of time until money is poured into these projects across the U.S. 3)Private equity interest in AEC firms. Private equity groups have traditionally avoided professional services firms, specifically architecture and engineering, due to their inability to provide immediate returns in a quarterly profit-driven environment. However, the promising outlook and consistent returns of many AEC firms has driven PEGs to become more active in our space over the last 10 years, and the trend is only going to continue. More qualified buyers and buyout options will only create greater opportunities in this industry. 4)“Baby boomer” bubble. Ninety-two percent of non-tech companies are owned by baby boomers (ages 57-72). These firm owners will inevitably need to identify a transition plan and do not always have an internal plan in place. Even if they do, M&A can offer many benefits for these retiring owners and their employees. 5)This is a very fragmented industry made up of many small companies. More than 90 percent of professional service businesses have fewer than 10 employees. There are many opportunities for synergies, efficiencies of scale, and consolidation through M&A. 6)Labor market struggles. As I noted above and as we are all well aware, it can be difficult, time consuming, and expensive to find the key talent you need to grow organically. With my experience as an advisor within Zweig Group’s executive search and M&A teams, I can assure you that M&A can oftentimes allow you to acquire a like- minded firm with great people, and integrate them into your organization, in a shorter time period than you’d spend looking for one key hire. 7)Provide development and growth opportunities for staff and principals. Whether it is the ability to design bigger and better spaces, work in more diverse market sectors and geographies, or have a higher career ceiling, M&A can provide immense benefits to the staff of a seller at all levels of the organization if you focus on culture fit and properly vet out the other side of the deal. JOHN BRAY is an advisor with Zweig Group’s M&A and executive search teams. Contact him at

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