TZL 1474 (web)



Making a difference: Chad Nixon President and chairman of the board at McFarland Johnson, a national consultancy providing program management, planning, environmental, engineering, and construction phase services.


N ixon became president and chairman of McFarland Johnson in January 2020, and in his role he brings tremendous energy to the firm and is consistently sought out for his innovative problem-solving skills. He leads the strategic growth of MJ’s transportation, aviation, environmental, and civil/facilities divisions and provides oversight relative to new services, growth opportunities, and industry trends. He’s been with the firm for more than 20 years, and during this time, he’s worked as an airport planner, planning manager, aviation division director, and director of business development. So, why has he stayed there over the years? He says it’s because MJ is such a dynamic company. “You have the ability to make a difference here. It’s very rewarding. I was given a great deal of rope in my various positions and now I guess I’m the one handing out the rope,” he says.

A CONVERSATION WITH CHAD NIXON. The Zweig Letter: What do you find to be the most important part of your job? Why? Chad Nixon: Hiring and retaining top talent. A company is nothing without its people. We’ve done a fantastic job of recruiting and retaining a staff of some of the best in the industry. In fact, we’ve grown dramatically over the past year – 20 percent. Employee referrals are a large part of how we find new people. Last year we spent zero dollars on recruitment services. That says a lot. We also effectively engage with people’s alma maters. TZL: How did COVID-19 permanently impact your firm’s policy on telecommuting? CN: We’ve always had flexible policies. While we may have more people working a hybrid schedule now than compared to pre-pandemic, it has not really had much of an impact on the policies per se. Hybrid scheduling just makes sense. It’s


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