TZL 1407 (web)




BILL MCCONNELL, CEO, THE VERTEX COMPANIES McConnell rose through the ranks from a union construction worker during high school and college summers, to a project engineer at a top 50 construction company, to a senior executive at VERTEX. Since the inception of VERTEX in 1995, McConnell has led the organization by example. Under his leadership, VERTEX has seen consistent year-over-year growth of more than 20 percent.

SANDRA PARÉT, AIA, IIDA, CEO, STG DESIGN Parét leads the largest integrated architecture, interiors, and planning firm headquartered in Austin, Texas, serving the world’s most innovative companies. As an innovator in effective project delivery, Parét has refined the way companies design excellence and establishing efficiencies and consistencies through team composition and ideal delivery approaches. work with design firms by elevating

JAMIE CLAIRE KISER, MANAGING PRINCIPAL & DIRECTOR OF ADVISORY SERVICES, ZWEIG GROUP Kiser is experienced in financial analysis, evaluating transactions, and providing clear solutions to the financial and operational needs of businesses. She is also the founder and author of the platform ElevateHER as part of Zweig Group’s mission to Elevate the Industry. Prior to joining Zweig Group, Kiser practiced law and worked in commercial banking.

RICHARD WORSHAM, CO-FOUNDER & DESIGNER, JANUS MOTORCYCLES From an early age Worsham has been fascinated with drawing and design as well as architecture, urbanism, and vehicles of all types. He continues to pursue architecture and urban design through professional projects, design competitions, and conferences, with an ongoing interest in the way tradition informs technology, design, and the way we live.

KYLE AHERN, from page 9

demographics, those in the 46 years of age or older group had overall higher scores than those 45 years or younger. Effective communication was the biggest difference between these two groups. The 46 years of age and older group scored communication way higher than those 45 and younger. The biggest difference the other way around, and one of the only questions where 45 and younger scored higher than 46 and older, was opportunities for career growth at their firm. Those aged 18-25 actually scored the highest on this question. It’s good to see that the youngest generation feels positively about being able to grow their careers with their current firm. Getting to look at this data really helps me get a feel for what is going on industry-wide. Being able to see different demographic breakdowns creates a unique tool to pinpoint specific areas that need attention and where things are going the best. That is something I really enjoy helping firms do as well! Firms adapted well during the pandemic; that is evident by the growth across the board. We need to get back to communicating effectively with all employees, but I know the foundation is now set to keep making each AEC firm a Best Firm To Work For. KYLE AHERN is awards manager at Zweig Group. Contact him at

is always one of the biggest challenges firms face, but when the pandemic started everyone had to adjust very quickly and communication was at an all-time high. In fact, in 2020, effective communication was at its highest point over the four-year data set. It actually trended positively from 2019 to 2020. Unfortunately, that did not last. Effective communication saw the biggest year over year difference from 2020 to 2021 and it was in the wrong direction. There was an almost 10 percent decrease in employee sentiment when it came to communication. Just because we are adjusting to the COVID-19 pandemic, that doesn’t mean firms should let up on communicating with their employees. Sure, there may have been over-communication in 2020, but firms seem to have lost too much steam and are no longer communicating effectively. ❚ ❚ Employees’ sense of job security had a huge bounce back after 2020. There were a lot of unknowns when this survey was conducted back in 2020, so job security took a big hit. Firms seem to have weathered that storm and emerged actually stronger than their position in 2019. This is great to see and I think shows fantastic leadership by those running AEC firms. Employees feel secure in their jobs and trust in firm leadership is at an all-time high. ❚ ❚ Taking a look at some age range

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