TZL 1392 (web)

T R E N D L I N E S M a y 1 7 , 2 0 2 1 , I s s u e 1 3 9 2 W W W . T H E Z W E I G L E T T E R . C O M

Revenue per employee

Take advantage of the smartphone and internet addiction – make your firm internet famous and reap the rewards! How to become internet famous

I started off writing this article on a completely different subject, but over the course of a couple hours, I accidentally became internet famous and decided to share this story instead. A few weeks ago, I was at a horse trials in Louisiana and had a near accident where I very nearly became detached from my horse while jumping into a cross-country water complex. During this process, my helmet was pushed down over my eyes. Blind and with little control, for some reason my horse continued and even picked out the correct next jump on course. All of this happened in the span of exactly 11 seconds, and a photographer caught it all on camera. The resulting photo series was shared to a Facebook group (with a profane name I will not mention here) designed to promote laughs and levity among equestrians. At the time this article was written, the post had more than 1,500 likes and hundreds of comments. Someone made an audio recording voicing over the series, I received numerous love letters to my horse, and one offer to purchase him (from someone in Australia). I also received two phone calls about people interested in my horse boarding facility/ training program. All of this happened in less than a day! This sounds outlandish – doesn’t it? Unfortunately, in this case, it’s true! The power of the internet is stronger than ever. According to an article on Global Social Media Usage Statistics, the average person spends 145 minutes every day on social media (something that has gone up by almost one full hour since 2012), and people aged 16-24 spend three hours every day on social media. Americans spend 33 minutes on average a day on Facebook (2.74 billion monthly users), and the average visitor spends 41.9 minutes on YouTube. LinkedIn, popular in the AEC and other professional services industries, has 740 million registered users, with 288 million monthly active users, but most users spend less than a minute a day using the network. The AEC industry has been slow to adopt social media, citing a low return on investment and a waste of employee and marketing staff time. Recent (currently unpublished) results of Zweig Group’s Marketing Survey show that almost all firms have a presence on one or more of these outlets – but incorporating them into a marketing plan is very rarely occurring. Less than one-third of AEC firms are using social media to network with current or potential clients or partners/suppliers! The biggest challenge in social media marketing? “Developing an effective media plan for your social media efforts to reach your target market.” Social media has a huge impact on SEO. Google your firm – if you have a Facebook page, I’d bet that page is the second thing to show

Zweig Group’s 2021 Financial Performance Survey of AEC Firms analyzes annual trends for a variety of key financial metrics. Between the 2016 and 2019 fiscal years, net service revenue per full-time equivalent (NSR/FTE) among AEC firms steadily increased year-over-year by two percent. While NSR/FTE increased in 2020, the increase was not as steep as prior years with just under a one percent rise. 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 Architectural Engineers, Inc.....................3 C.A.P. Engineering. ................................. 4 Dewberry................................................ 8 Duffield Associates................................ 10 HKA........................................................3 HSW Consulting. .................................. 10 Hull & Associates.................................. 10 Northern Engineering ............................ 12 Urban Engineers. .................................... 4 Ware Malcomb........................................ 2 MO R E A R T I C L E S xz CARLOS PENIN : FAR’s impact on PPP recipients Page 3 xz Empowering people: Kim Heartwell Page 6 xz MARK ZWEIG : Keep your relationships alive and well! Page 9 xz LINDSAY YOUNG : Don’t be afraid to make mistakes Page 11

Christina Zweig Niehues




ON THE MOVE WARE MALCOMB ANNOUNCES JOSH HUCKLEBERRY HAS BEEN PROMOTED TO STUDIO MANAGER, BRANDING Ware Malcomb , an award-winning international design firm, announced Josh Huckleberry has been promoted to studio manager, branding in the Irvine office. In this role, Huckleberry will focus on operations, staff management, business development and project leadership for the Branding Studio. He brings over 15 years of environmental graphic design experience along with eight years of design-build signage fabrication experience. Huckleberry joined Ware Malcomb in 2017 as a senior project designer. In 2018, he was promoted to operations manager playing a crucial role in management, processes and team training. Along with the new role of studio manager, he will continue to provide his leadership in planning, designing and managing brand identity, signage and branded graphic projects across all Ware Malcomb markets. “Josh’s unique design skills and technical knowledge of the industry makes him a valuable member of our team,” said Debra Bryant, director of branding. “As our Branding Studio continues to expand across North America, we look forward to Josh’s continued growth and success at Ware Malcomb.” Huckleberry is active in various industry organizations and is the co-founder and co- chair of the Orange County, California Society for Experiential Design Chapter.

Ware Malcomb’s in-house WM Branding Studio provides meaningful signage and graphic solutions that connect people to places and build brand identity. Providing expertise in environmental branding strategy, graphic design and visual communication, the team creates engaging environments for a broad spectrum of industries in both corporate and commercial real estate. Established in 1972, Ware Malcomb is a contemporary and expanding full service design firm providing professional architecture, planning, interior design, civil engineering, branding and building measurement services to corporate, commercial/residential developer and public/institutional clients throughout the world. With office locations throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico, Ware Malcomb specializes in the design of commercial office, corporate, industrial, science and technology, healthcare, retail, auto, public/institutional facilities and renovation projects. Ware Malcomb is recognized as an Inc. 5000 fastest-growing private company and a Hot Firm by Zweig Group. The firm is also ranked among the top 15 architecture/engineering firms in Engineering News-Record’s Top 500 Design Firms and the top 25 interior design firms in Interior Design magazine’s Top 100 Giants.

This four week program provides AEC professionals with the skills to become more competent leaders and helps attendees develop and affirm the leadership skills, strategies, and techniques necessary to grow personally and profes- sionally. Zweig Group’s team of management experts deliver practical solutions that tech- nical professionals can put to work immediately to lead their firms to success. Leadership Skills for AEC Professionals Virtual Seminar 6 PDH/LU




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up under your website, and from there – I would bet your reviews (if they exist) are highlighted. From this same Google search, click on images – I’d also bet that the majority of images showing up under that search are from social media sites – LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. I promise if you’re getting new clients – someone at that firm is going to do just what I described above. Check out your own firm and make sure you like what you see. If you don’t (or there’s nothing to see) it’s time for a plan! Social media is about interaction – not just posting! Using social media, firms can respond to clients or potential clients right away. With nearly half of U.S. customers using social media to ask questions about products or services, being present is not enough – you need a strategy and a multi-platform approach that values communication, responsiveness, and quality content. Other things to keep in mind: ❚ ❚ Get that wow factor! If I had crafted a beautifully written post and image explaining my services, there’s no way it would have gone viral. Be different, humorous, share something amazing, scary, or unique! ❚ ❚ Participate in Facebook and LinkedIn groups – this is where the conversations happen. Participating (that means commenting AND sharing) can multiply your exposure by 10 or even 100. People are spending more time on social media than ever – take advantage of the smartphone and internet addiction – make your firm internet famous and reap the rewards! CHRISTINA ZWEIG NIEHUES is director of marketing and media at Zweig Group. Contact her at

Chad Clinehens | Publisher Sara Parkman | Senior Editor & Designer Christina Zweig | Contributing Editor Liisa Andreassen | Correspondent

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It’s important to keep monitoring Congressional action to ensure that the benefits of the PPP loans are equitable across the board. FAR’s impact on PPP recipients

O n March 23, I was one of four witnesses invited to speak before the Congressional Subcommittee on Contracting and Infrastructure to discuss the interpretation given by the Federal Acquisition Rule (FAR) on the Paycheck Protection Program and the impact it would have on government contractors, like myself. I was joined by Robin Greenleaf, CEO of Architectural Engineers, Inc.; Greg Gingham, a partner at HKA; and Susan Moser, a partner at accounting firm Cherry Bekaert.

Carlos Penin

I was invited to participate by Ranking Member Maria Elvira Salazar, the U.S. Representative for Florida’s 27th Congressional District, as I am a long-time business owner and resident of District 27. I started C.A.P. Engineering, Inc. – a small, minority-owned business – 32 years ago to fulfill my American dream of becoming an engineer and starting my own business. It was imperative for me to testify before the Committee and explain the “unintended consequences” for my company and the many other engineering firms that contract with the State and Federal governments. My greatest concern was that should the FAR interpretation stand, it would reverse the benefits

received by the PPP, and it could have a negative impact for additional years for those with multi- year contacts. In the early days of the pandemic, I was one of many business owners who applied for and received assistance from the PPP. We used this assistance to keep our staff employed with the expectation that this loan would be forgiven. However, if we are required to repay the loan, then the loan is not forgiven and the intent of the PPP to assist companies is negated. I shared with the members of Congress that my firm faced a 25 percent reduction in our overhead

See CARLOS PENIN, page 4



BUSINESS NEWS LOCAL LAB SUPERVISOR HAD TO WORK FROM HOME SO HE BUILT A LAB IN HIS GARAGE On March 15 last year, in anticipation of state and local restrictions, Urban Engineers sent out an email informing all employees that they would need to commence working from home until further notice. For some of the company’s 450 employees, the idea of working in sweatpants and snacking in their own kitchens was appealing, but for laboratory supervisor Jeremy Hull the office had one essential thing his home didn’t – a materials testing laboratory. “At first, I hoped it would be a temporary thing, but when it was clear I would be home for a while, I started to think about how I could build a lab at home,” he said. Hull had two big projects on his plate at the time – helping Penn State test soils for a brand-new $26 million building on its Behrend Campus in Erie and helping test soils for a new four-story waterfront project with 116 apartments along the Delaware River in Philadelphia. In other words, two big projects that needed to move forward. So Jeremy began clearing away his dirt bike projects that currently filled his detached two-

car garage and started a list of equipment he needed to do his job. He sent the list to his supervisor and received permission to borrow a scale, an oven, an Atterberg limits machine and a RO-TAP sieve shaker. Once he set it up in his garage, he was good to go. “I would wake up early and fire up the wood stove I had in the garage, go make some coffee and then get to work,” he said. According to Jennifer Waters, who leads Urban’s Philadelphia office, Hull’s drive to get the job done is part of the company’s DNA. “The pandemic hit our clients hard,” she said. “It became clear that going forward, innovation was going to be a key component to infrastructure projects.” To organize everything the company learned last year, Waters help launch Urban’s Innovation Team in January. “We want to make sure we’re well-informed on tools, technologies and techniques that will impact our clients, future services, and communities,” she said. Another key part of Urban’s DNA is that it is 100 percent employee owned. As an ESOP company, Urban is owned by its employees and governed by a board of directors that is

elected by the staff. Instead of profits going to a group of shareholders – who might not even work for the company – ESOP shares are distributed to all employees of the firm. Everyone is invested in the company and motivated to foster its growth. “Employee-owned businesses are full of people who take ownership of their work instead of merely clocking in. On average, they are 8 percent to 12 percent more productive year-over-year than nonemployee-owned businesses,” said Kevin McPhillips executive director of the Pennsylvania Center for Employee Ownership (PaCEO). Urban is just one of more than 285 Pennsylvania companies who are employee- owned. Other ESOPs based in Pennsylvania include Dansko Shoes, NewAge Industries and NCC Automated Systems. Nationally, more than 5,000 companies have ESOPs. “We ended the year with increased revenue, despite the challenges our firm and companies across the country faced,” Corey Fenwick, Urban’s senior strategic communications specialist, said. “When things got tough, we all remembered we are owners of our firm – and Urban’s reputation – so we did what we had to in order to deliver for our clients.”

CARLOS PENIN, from page 3

As a result of the testimony that we offered the Subcommittee, they determined that, “it will be important to ensure consistency in the application of the credits clause across agencies.” Subsequently, on March 24, 2021, the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration released a memorandum to offer guidance to clarify requirements for architectural and engineering consultants. The DOT FHWA guidance clarified that the reduced indirect cost rate would only be applied until the rate is fully recovered and thus it is not required to reduce indirect rates for the entirety of a multi-year contract. While some consultants may need to repay the PPP loan through the reduced indirect rates, we will not need to pay more than what we received in PPP loans. This is a step in the right direction. Finally, it is important to keep monitoring Congressional action to ensure that the benefits of the PPP loans are equitable across the board. This way, companies like mine that are eager to work for State and Federal agencies can do so. It will take the participation and willingness of the best and the brightest for us to come out of this pandemic and make a full recovery. We cannot allow ourselves to be held back by arbitrary interpretations that have a negative impact on our business and our profession. Stay alert and continue to participate. CARLOS PENIN, PE, is president and CEO of C.A.P. Engineering, which he founded in 1989. Contact him at

rate and if we had multi-year contracts, we could lose more money in the long-term than the original loan value. This was also expressed by Greenleaf, who in addition is the Chair-Elect of the American Council of Engineering Companies. Greenleaf explained that, other businesses on the same infrastructure projects are not affected by FAR and receive the full benefit of the PPP. As I testified to Chairman Kweisi Mfume and the other members of the Committee the easiest way to handle the issue would be to provide clarification of the FAR interpretation and allow us to benefit from the PPP, like many other participating businesses. This is especially critical at a time when Congress and the Biden Administration are working on a major infrastructure bill. These future projects will require the participation of firms like ours to be able to deliver the infrastructure needs. If not corrected, the FAR interpretation could cause many firms to reconsider their participation in government contracts and potentially hinder the economic recovery intended by these projects. “While some consultants may need to repay the PPP loan through the reduced indirect rates, we will not need to pay more than what we received in PPP loans. This is a step in the right direction.”

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An enriching thought leadership experience focusing on executive level issues, this Summit is ideal for those who are ready to travel again and gather with fellow leaders of the AEC industry.


beginning SEPTEMBER 30, 2020 WITH COHORT PRESENTATIONS EACH WEDNESDAY NOVEMBER 3-5, 2021 Denver, CO Focus for C-Suite & AEC Executives



Zweig Group is ready to see you in-person again! Recognizing the slow return of in-person events, Zweig Group is proud to announce a special concept for 2021, the Elevate Leadership Summit - a meticulously curated in-person event of limited capacity in Denver this Winter. This Summit will focus on the networking and learning pillars of our traditional Elevate AEC Conference. Attendees can expect an enriching thought leadership experience that focus on executive-level issues. This experience will be ideal for those who are ready to travel again and gather with fellow leaders of the AEC industry. The Elevate Leadership Summit will be the industry’s top conference of 2021 with new networking and learning opportunities for leaders across the country. Trust us, you will not want to miss this! Register now to guarantee your spot.


QUESTIONS? For group discounts or any other inquiries, please contact events@, call 800.466.6275 or visit

Everything we do is in pursuit of elevating the AEC industry, bringing awareness of the incredible impact that engineers, architects, environmental professionals, survey- ors, planners, landscape architects and related professional service providers have on the world. Empowering organizations 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.



© Garrett Rowland

Empowering people: Kim Heartwell President and CEO of CallisonRTKL, a global firm that has created some of the world’s most successful environments for developers, retailers, investors, institutions, and public entities.


A t CallisonRTKL (Baltimore, MD), Heartwell is responsible for the strategic development of innovative workplace environments for companies around the world. She has a genuine affinity for working with complex corporations and agencies to create spaces that unify and exemplify her clients’ mission-focused environments that boost morale, increase efficiency, facilitate communication and collaboration, and incorporate green principles. “We’re a company where people love the culture. We’ve had lots of rebound employees – in fact, I’m one of them,” Heartwell says. “People who work here are really purpose or mission driven. We are always asking ourselves, ‘What do we believe in?’ For me, it’s all about communicating, staying connected, engaging, and empowering people.” A CONVERSATION WITH KIM HEARTWELL. The Zweig Letter: Can you give me a recent example that illustrates how the company was able to solve an

operational problem, effect cultural change, or prepare a client for the future? Kim Heartwell: Well, we’re in the problem-solving business and in order to be able to effectively help clients, we have to be well organized ourselves. It starts at home. So, we recently re-organized our operations. We used to be organized by region – it was very silo-like – and we found that we were practically competing against each other. So, we moved to a stronger-based practice model. We evolved again and as we developed a more global reach, we became somewhat siloed again. About two years ago, we entered into a matrix model. It’s a little messier, but it teams up employees with office leadership. It forced us to collaborate across offices and practices and opened us up to create a stronger external message. Our organization now aligns with our key initiatives – resilience, well- being, and human-centric design. We created a level of collaboration and communication that positioned us well when COVID-19 happened. The transition was smooth and positive and helped to further reinforce the matrix model.



We’ve created stronger relationships and can pivot faster. TZL: How do you anticipate COVID-19 permanently impacting your firm’s policy on telecommuting? KH: Moving forward, we’ll have a blend of virtual and in-person. I do know that 100 percent of the staff is interested in returning to work in some hybrid way. We’ve always had a flex work policy, but many people did not even realize it. My office is in D.C. and even before the pandemic I had remote teams. COVID-19 has allowed us to understand that we can be successful working remotely; it gave us more confidence in being able to manage from afar. In fact, it gives people more control. The policy won’t change, but the practice will. “We listen to staff to find out what’s important to them to maintain top retention. We’ve discovered that environmental and social issues are key for many and we are living and breathing that as a firm.” TZL: How much time do you spend working “in the business” rather than “on the business?” KH: I’ve always been a multi-tasker. I enjoy the strategy side and my primary role is to guide the strategic direction of the firm. However, I can’t do it alone. I have a team to help me handle it all. I cannot manage full-time. I trust and connect with other leaders too. I also stay connected to clients – some key ones. I need to do that to stay in touch with the client experience. I don’t want to lose touch. It’s all about balance. TZL: Artificial intelligence and machine learning are potential accelerators across all industries. Is your firm exploring how to incorporate these technologies into providing improved services for clients? KH: AI is already a primary disruptor. We’re always examining the impact and asking, “How much automation can we bring into the business? How can we use this to make our drawings and evolve documentation?” While it continues to be a challenge, we know AI makes processes easier, often foolproof, and more translatable. We’re currently growing

analytics and doing computational design. Clients want us to not just design, but to analyze performance. We’re making improvements to our data analytics to find out how space can improve performance. We’re also working to speed up process in concept phase and to present clients with a deeper understanding. A visualization tool helps to tie design to operational performance and helps us to think faster and deeper. The analytics and computational design tools that we use for design modeling include Rhino with Grasshopper, SketchUp, 3D Studio, Maya, and TestFit. We use Revit with Dynamo for BIM. For sustainability analysis, we use IES, Sefaira, Diva, and Cove.tool. There are others, but these are the core. TZL: How are you balancing investment in the next generation – which is at an all-time high – with rewards for tenured staff? This has always been a challenge, but seems heightened as investments in developments have increased. KH: We offer a great deal of many of the usual benefits – bonuses, promotions, etc. – but we’re working to balance the younger and older generations. We listen to staff to find out what’s important to them to maintain top retention. We’ve discovered that environmental and social issues are key for many and we are living and breathing that as a firm. CallisonRTKL signed on to the AIA 2030 challenge at its inception. In some areas of our practice, we’ve made significant strides in the right direction – while other areas offer greater opportunities to leapfrog current thinking. We offer our clients and partners the intelligence and opportunity to design all projects to be net zero carbon in operation by 2030. We also aim for all projects to be carbon neutral – including materials – by 2050. Our leadership team is committed to shepherding our four primary initiatives: wellbeing, resiliency, technology and mobility, and human-centric design to drive the change and shape the conversations that bring our world to a healthy balance. We, as a practice, are committed to advancing this agenda, increasing the urgency, and using our global platform to drive the needed change for our planet. We have a Social Action Committee which is led by the younger set but tied to senior leadership, and we’ve also recently received our Just Label certification (for our North America region), which is sponsored by the See EMPOWERING PEOPLE, page 8

HEADQUARTERS: Baltimore, MD NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES: 1,200 YEAR FOUNDED: 1946 NUMBER OF OFFICE LOCATIONS: 22 SERVICES: Architecture, brand building, change management, commercial interiors, customer experience, environmental graphic design, health facility planning and transitioning, healthcare technologies and medical equipment planning, historic preservation, interior architecture and design, landscape architecture, lighting design, operational excellence, performance-driven design, planning and urban design, protective planning, store planning and design, surplus properties, technology design and workplace strategy MARKETS: Academic, automotive, aviation/transportation, civic and cultural, corporate workplace, cruise ships, government, headquarters, healthcare, hospital, mission critical, mixed-use, office building and campuses, residential, retail stores, shopping and entertainment districts, tall buildings and transit REGIONS: Australia, China, Latin America, Middle East/Africa, North America, South Asia, and U.K./ Europe

© Copyright 2021. Zweig Group. All rights reserved.

AY 17, 2021, ISSUE 1392


BUSINESS NEWS TOWN OF VIENNA POLICE STATION BREAKS GROUND Dewberry , a privately held professional services firm, has announced that construction has begun on the Town of Vienna’s Police Station in Vienna, Virginia. The firm provided architectural design services for the new 29,441-square-foot building. The existing police building is being demolished, and the site will be redeveloped to include the new headquarters. “We are excited to be able to celebrate this milestone on the project,” says Dewberry Senior Associate Roderick Williams, AIA, CPD, LEED AP BD+C. “Our team has enjoyed the

close relationship we’ve formed with the town and community-at-large and are excited to see this project move forward right here in our own backyard.” Dewberry’s architecture team worked closely with the town of Vienna to understand the neighborhood and site context around the building, as well as the existing architecture in the town to create a design that would maintain the character while enhancing civic pride. Once complete, the new building will allow all divisions of the police department to work out of the same facility and will feature upgraded technology and security measures.

Following project completion, the facility will be submitted for LEED Silver certification. 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.


What started out as a measurement tool is now a concept that resonates across different practice areas. TZL: Does your firm work closely with any higher education institutions to gain access to the latest technology, experience, and innovation and/or recruiting to find qualified resources? KH: The pandemic has made it difficult as of late, but we hope to develop and deepen those relationships in 2021. We’re bringing back a research group and are actively involved in working with Berkley University. We also work with some schools where employees are on boards or work as adjunct professors. We keep our tethers tied and are working to grow that segment. TZL: Is change management a topic that is regularly addressed by the leadership at your firm? If so, elaborate. KH: For each practice area we have, there’s a formal process for looking at succession planning. We ensure that department leaders and principals have identified successors. It’s discussed during the annual performance reviews too. TZL: A firm’s longevity is valuable. What are you doing to encourage your staff to stick around? KH: So far, we’ve been around for 75 years. We’re a company where people love the culture. We’ve had lots of rebound employees – in fact, I’m one of them. People who work here are really purpose or mission driven. We are always asking ourselves, “What do we believe in?” For me, it’s all about communicating, staying connected, engaging, and empowering people. During the pandemic, we’ve had virtual office tours to keep people feeling connected and continue to strive to be “human-centric.” “COVID-19 has allowed us to understand that we can be successful working remotely; it gave us more confidence in being able to manage from afar. In fact, it gives people more control.”

International Living Future Institute. Just is a designation demonstrating commitment to social justice, diversity, and inclusion. It’s really all about engagement. “More and more clients are focused on the experience of not just their customers, but their employees too. They’re getting more human-centric across all sectors and are looking to create an emotional connection between people and spaces.” TZL: Tell me about your “Happiness” initiative. I read your blog and it made me feel, well, “happy.” How did this come about and where is it headed? KH: For the last five years or so, more and more clients are focused on the experience of not just their customers, but their employees too. They’re getting more human-centric across all sectors and are looking to create an emotional connection between people and spaces. It came about as our Environments’ Studio was working with an Egyptian residential developer, Mountain View, whose CEO had created his own company based on the values of happiness. We asked ourselves, do we dare imagine a world where happiness can become the basis for design, a new way to measure value? Together, we agreed to pursue a challenge: To create a movement to design for happiness. Joining our team was Delivering Happiness, a Zappo’s consultancy that specializes in coaching companies, cities, even countries, to create happy cultures. We each brought a unique perspective on happiness to our study, referred to as “The Three Ps”: 1)Place. CRTKL sought to define how places impact happiness. 2)People. DH sought to define how values nurture people’s happiness. 3)Pathways. Mountain View sought to define how companies can build for happiness. A “Happiness Survey” evaluates the metrics of what makes people happy. For example, spaces for mindfulness activities and more natural light were among the feedback.

© Copyright 2021. Zweig Group. All rights reserved.




A t 63, I can think back over my long life and one of the best aspects of that life is the relationships that I have built over the years. I am so lucky that I have so many friends and acquaintances! Your ability to establish and maintain relationships over time is essential to your personal and business success in the A/E business or any business. Keep your relationships alive and well!

Whenever the house is empty and it’s just me and our 140 pound Great Pyrenees, “Gambino” (I didn’t name him!), there are always a plethora of options of people I can call who would be glad to have a talk where we can catch up with each other. The same thing applies to business. If I need some help with a problem, I know experts who can help me. If I need money for a business, I have many bankers who will be there with it. If I need to sell something, I will likely know someone who could be interested. If I need to fix something, I will have someone to call. If I need help doing a manual labor task, I have people who will assist me. If I want to help someone find a job, I will have options of who I can call. I have done OK in life but am by no means the most successful person out there. That said, the reason I have all of these friends and resources is because I have been able to establish and keep

long-term relationships. Reflecting over my life and WHY I am in that position, and how I can help others get there, many thoughts come to mind. Some of those include: 1)You can’t be transactional. I said to my wife just the other day that one of the best aspects of being a college professor is all of the relationships I have with my students – some of which go back to my very first class I taught at The Walton College nearly 17 years ago. What makes these relationships so special is they are not at all transactional. I can listen, be helpful, do favors for people, direct them to resources, help them find jobs or whatever, and I expect or want absolutely nothing in return. You have to be willing to put out for other people with zero expectations of reciprocity if you want to have long-term relationships! 2)You have to initiate. I spoke last week to an old

Mark Zweig

See MARK ZWEIG, page 10



ON THE MOVE ANDRA KIDD NAMED COO OF NATIONAL-REACHING ENVIRONMENTAL, ENERGY, WATER AND CIVIL INFRASTRUCTURE PLATFORM Andra Kidd has joined the national-reaching environmental, energy, water, and civil infrastructure platform Round Table Capital Partners launched in July of 2020. Kidd will serve as the company’s COO. The platform currently includes Ohio- based Hull & Associates, LLC , Delaware- based Duffield Associates, LLC and Florida- based HSW Consulting, LLC . As COO, Kidd will be responsible for advancing day to day operations, integrating existing and new acquisitions and enhancing the platform’s financial performance. In this role, she will identify and assimilate the best- of-the-best business and cultural practices from each acquisition to create an industry leading platform. “I’m very excited to welcome Andra to our leadership team. She has an exceptional track record of market and operations experience through her career. We are confident her leadership skills will have a large impact for our company and the execution of our long-term strategy,” said Gerry Salontai, CEO. Kidd brings more than 22 years of progressive leadership, management and marketing experience. Most recently, she was Director of Operations for Environmental Resources Management’s North America region, overseeing more than 2,000 professionals. Previously, she had been in corporate leadership roles for operations and business

development programs at ERM and HDR Engineering. Kidd notes, “I’m excited to join this platform at a time when leadership is looking at such a strong growth trajectory through both organic and acquisitive growth. I have a passion for creating growth opportunities as well as realizing operational efficiencies in organizations and am looking forward to serving on the Executive Leadership Team to evolve this platform. Working alongside consulting industry leads Gerry Salontai and Pat Sheridan, as well as with the RTC investment group, we will develop a group that provides creative solutions for our clients and hosts a strong people-centered culture.” Kidd has a bachelor’s degree in public and environmental affairs from Indiana University, and a master’s degree in environmental science from Alaska Pacific University. She has served on the board of directors of Anchorage Waterways Council and Alaska Resource Education. She has also been an active member in other organizations including Alaska Legislature Fly-In, Water Quality Committee for Colorado Mining Association, Alaska Miners Association, Association for Mineral Exploration British Columbia, and Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada. RTC Partners is a private equity firm that focuses on investing in and building strong businesses with committed management teams in the professional, business, and healthcare services industries. The firm’s

dedicated emphasis on human capital, combined with its thoughtful approach to both organic and inorganic opportunities, allows organizations to unlock the next stage of growth while enabling sustainable and long- term value creation for all stakeholders. RTC is actively seeking additional platform and add- on acquisitions in its targeted markets. Hull & Associates, LLC offers a broad spectrum of services for the environment, energy, and infrastructure markets. Now in its 41st year of operation, the firm strive to provide informed, efficient, and sustainable solutions for its clients across all market areas. Duffield Associates, LLC are specialists in civil and environmental engineering projects serving Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, and Delaware. The firm’s services also include civil, environmental, and geotechnical engineering, water and wastewater engineering, marine engineering and dredge material management, transportation, natural resources, structural engineering, landscape architecture, and materials testing with an emphasis on person- to-person collaboration across its diverse range of engineering disciplines. HSW Consulting, LLC is a Florida based environmental science and engineering company that provides comprehensive engineering and scientific expertise for our clients nationwide. The firm specializes in tailored and collaborative design solutions for the full range of services it offers, including environmental, water resources, military and federal, and quality assurance capabilities.

MARK ZWEIG, from page 9

share certain information about yourself. You can’t be fake. You can’t only give the positive aspects of your day or your life and expect anyone to believe that you are real. Share your mistakes. Share your screw ups. Share your struggles. Then other people will do the same with you. And knowing those things about each other will lead to your liking each other and trusting each other. 4)You have to be trustworthy. That means if someone tells you not to say anything about something they are sharing with you, you must keep their confidence. If you won’t or can’t do that, it will damage your relationships – not just with the person whose confidence you are betraying, but also with everyone else. The reason is because the people you share information with (info you shouldn’t be sharing) have just learned you can’t be trusted. So keep secrets when asked to! There is much more to this subject, and I have written on it before and will undoubtedly do so again. But the fact is your ability to establish and maintain relationships over time (and that same ability of your people) is essential to your personal and business success in the A/E business or any business. Talk about it. Work on it. Practice it. Be selfless, be real, and be trustworthy. And train other people to do it. You cannot put a price on the value of the relationships you will build from doing so! MARK ZWEIG is Zweig Group’s chairman and founder. Contact him at

client of mine on the West Coast. Although he started out in the engineering business, today he is a very successful large-scale land developer. In this case it was he who picked up the phone and gave me a call out of the blue and we spent about an hour going over the past 10 years or so and what’s happening today. But the point is it would not have happened had he not done what he did. We didn’t go back and forth in a half-dozen emails and schedule a call a week out in the future – instead, he just called. Sometimes you need to do that. What’s the worst that can happen? The person you are calling can’t talk then and they call you back later. “Be selfless, be real, and be trustworthy. And train other people to do it. You cannot put a price on the value of the relationships you will build from doing so!” 3)You have to be real. While I believe having long-term relationships is fundamental to having a satisfying life, it also helps tremendously in business. As my friend Matt Lewis, general manager of Lewis Automotive says, people need to first know you so they can like you, and if they like you they may be able to trust you. A pre-condition of liking you is KNOWING you. To know you requires that you be willing to

© Copyright 2021. Zweig Group. All rights reserved.




Making mistakes is an essential part of running a successful firm, so stop waiting around and start taking action. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes

Y ou’ve probably heard the quote, “Successful people fail 10 times more than unsuccessful people.” The reason this is true is because successful people are willing to try new things until they find something that works. They are determined to find a solution and aren’t afraid to explore different or unconventional ideas in the process.

Lindsay Young

might be something big, but you’ve got to break that down into small, actionable steps. It might be implementing a new accounting software, investing in training your employees, or putting together a marketing plan and implementing it. Those are all big projects that can feel overwhelming, but breaking it down helps you visualize each step. Regardless of what the idea “As a business owner and leader, you can’t be afraid to try new things and figure out what works in your firm. The companies moving forward are making mistakes.”

There is a huge opportunity in today’s marketplace to make changes and propel your firm forward. Many businesses are putting things on pause and “waiting.” Waiting is not advisable. You are consciously choosing to not do anything – and that in and of itself is a decision. As a business owner and leader, you can’t be afraid to try new things and figure out what works in your firm. The companies moving forward are making mistakes – nothing that is losing them a great deal of money or hurting their staff, but rather helping them to progress. They are taking small steps every day to improve production, enhance customer experience, or engage their employees. Has there been something you’ve been wanting to try in your business, but you aren’t sure where to start? Just jump in and start today. It

See LINDSAY YOUNG, page 12



ON THE MOVE NORTHERN ENGINEERING ADDS STAFF TO SUPPORT STRATEGIC PLAN In support of a multi- year strategic plan set in motion in late 2019, leading Front Range civil engineering and land surveying firm Northern Engineering bolstered its staff with seven new employees. “Even during the pandemic, we kept our commitments to our employees and our clients,” says Northern Engineering President and CEO Nick Haws, P.E., LEED AP. “I attribute much of this positive outcome to the improvements we made in our outlook and operations, including revisiting our mission, vision, and values. We’re now building on this achievement by adding seven extremely competent and purpose-driven individuals to our growing staff.” Haws adds that the new hires not only provide deeper technical resources for the firm, but some bring experience in markets and disciplines that Northern Engineering has typically not served. This includes expanded capabilities in water and wastewater engineering. “Our region is growing, the needs of our clients are growing, and we’re growing to meet these needs,” says Haws. A major component of the new strategy was establishing director-level positions overseeing Land Development, Municipal Services, Land Surveying and Employee Engagement. Five of the new hires are in the Land Development group, with two others in Municipal Services. Land development: The following employees were hired to serve in the group headed by Vice President Andy Reese, who joined the firm in 2003 and was named Director of Engineering/Land Development in early 2020: ❚ ❚ Robbie Lauer – Project Manager. A graduate of Northwest Kansas College, Robbie has 20 years of experience in civil engineering. He has worked on a variety of commercial and residential projects throughout the Front Range, including some of the fastest- paced subdivisions in Northern Colorado.

❚ ❚ Austin Snow, PE – Civil Engineer. A Colorado State University graduate in Environmental Engineering, Austin’s experience combines land development and public works. His recent projects include waterline improvements for a local water district and residential development for a regional builder/developer. ❚ ❚ Christian Fierro – Civil Engineer. After serving for almost five years in the U.S. Army and attending Technical Engineer School, Christian worked as a Civil3D Drafter for a firm in Fort Collins before joining Northern Engineering. ❚ ❚ Cody Pape – Civil Engineer. With a degree in Civil Engineering from Iowa State University, Cody has worked as a survey technician and design engineer in his six-year engineering career. He is a certified Engineering Intern (EI) from the State of Iowa. ❚ ❚ Sterling Hallauer – Civil Engineer. A graduate of Colorado School of Mines with a Bachelor of Science degree in Petroleum Engineering, Sterling has worked as a geotechnical engineering technician, as well as a quality assurance inspector for Denver International Airport Infrastructure Management. He is an EI and holds certifications for soils testing and concrete inspection. Municipal Services: ❚ ❚ Bradley Curtis, PE, helms the new Municipal Services group, which welcomes two new hires. A registered Professional Engineer in five states, as well as a LEED accredited professional, Brad spent more than 10 years in municipal government before joining Northern Engineering in late 2019. ❚ ❚ Leah Santiago – Civil Engineer. Leah holds a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Engineering from Syracuse University, and a Master of Science in Environmental/ Water Engineering from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Prior to joining Northern Engineering, Leah served as a

process engineer for a global engineering- construction company serving water/ wastewater treatment facilities, as well as for a treatment technology company and Boulder’s Wastewater Treatment Facility. ❚ ❚ Michael Castillo – Civil Engineer. With a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Colorado at Boulder and working to complete a Master of Engineering from Colorado State University, Michael has more than four years of experience in water conveyance, conventional water and wastewater treatment, membrane treatment systems and stormwater management systems. Michael is a member of the Water Environment Federation (WEF) and American Water Works Association (AWWA). Land Surveying: ❚ ❚ Matt Lockwood, who has been with Northern Engineering since 2002, was elevated to the position of Director of Land Surveying in early 2020. Also a Vice President, he is part of sixteen-person surveying team with physical presence in both Larimer and Weld Counties. Matt’s group recently promoted two employees to the Associate Surveyor position, Travis Kish in the Fort Collins office and Josh Pepek in the Greeley office. Employee Engagement: ❚ ❚ Once the co-founder and principal of her own engineering firm, Jodee Hinton, PE, serves in the role of Director of Employee Engagement. A blend of human resources, wellness, development and corporate strategy, her role is ultimately to help all employees be their best and reach their highest potential. Founded in 1987, Northern Engineering is the largest locally owned civil engineering and land surveying firm in the region. The firm has offices in Fort Collins and Greeley, Colorado.

Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. It will take your firm to the next level. I challenge you to write down one thing you want to try and take one small step to making that change happen today. Don’t wait. You are losing precious time. Take action and make mistakes! LINDSAY YOUNG is president and founder of nu marketing. She can be reached at “Write down one thing you want to try and take one small step to making that change happen today. Don’t wait. You are losing precious time. Take action and make mistakes!”

LINDSAY YOUNG, from page 11

is, take action. Surround yourself with others who’ve tried it or are also working toward creating positive change in their firms. Peer groups are great for support and help in navigating through these changes. Mistakes are inevitable and will occur. I make mistakes all the time, but it doesn’t stop me. It fuels me to keep trying until I find something that works. I learn from them, adjust the process, and continue moving forward. None of us are perfect, but we can instill change in ourselves and our teams. As crazy as it sounds, making mistakes can also be fun. You learn something about yourself, your firm, and your team.

© Copyright 2021. Zweig Group. All rights reserved.


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