ON THE MOVE DEWBERRY’S DAN PLEASANT NAMED BOARD CHAIR OF THE VIRGINIA ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PARTNERSHIP Dewberry , a privately held professional services firm, has announced that Chief Operating Officer Dan Pleasant, PE, has been named chair of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership’s board of directors. VEDP was created by the Virginia General Assembly in 1995 to encourage, stimulate, and support development and expansion of the Commonwealth’s economy. In his role as board chair, Pleasant will be responsible for overseeing the 17-member board of directors, which works with VEDP staff to develop, implement, and update strategic and marketing plans for the Commonwealth and an operational plan for VEDP. Pleasant has been with Dewberry for more than 40 years and served in a variety of
capacities throughout his career. The firm employs more than 2,000 staff across more than 50 offices nationwide. As COO, Pleasant is responsible for Dewberry’s acquisition strategies, including the firm’s two most recent acquisitions, Dewberry | Hydro and Dewberry | Edmonds. “As a long-time resident of southern Virginia, I have always had a strong interest in supporting our regional clients’ economic development programs,” says Pleasant. “When the opportunity presented itself 10 years ago to be appointed to the VEDP board, I was excited to continue my advocacy for economic development at the state level. In these 10 years, I have seen a lot of changes at VEDP. Today, I am proud to say that the VEDP organization is a high-functioning organization with great leadership. Additionally, we have a very engaged board of directors that supports
VEDP’s leadership and advocates for support of the organization and programs that cover the entire state, including rural Virginia, promoting economic expansion, and maps out successful strategies for businesses to find the resources they need to thrive in Virginia.” 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.
MARK ZWEIG , from page 11
your people and your projects everywhere you are. ALWAYS using huge and prominent project signage is one example. Painting your offices inside and out with a particular color scheme is another. Having all company vehicles painted or wrapped in the exact same color scheme is yet another. I have never been able to understand why any AEC firm would have company vehicles in different color schemes or worse, ones with no company name on them. The company is paying for those vehicles! They can either be a rolling advertisement for the firm or be nothing that promotes recognition of the company. And one more thing – the colors you use should be memorable and recognizable. The introverted design and technical professionals who make up most of the ownership and management of AEC firms gravitate to white and silver vehicles, so when you see a job site with various firms represented, everyone’s vehicle looks pretty much the same. That is crazy. I can tell you with my design/ build/development/construction firm (not Zweig Group), we always had black vehicles, and we had the only black company vehicles in town. We also kept them super clean. I got more comments about our vehicles than you would believe. Ditto for our project signage. Instead of white with black lettering, we had black with white lettering. We also got regularly named the best developers, remodelers, and builders because of that brand recognition that larger companies in our area did not have. Critics of this article will write in and tell me none of this matters, and that corporate values such as a certain level of service, quality, creativity, and other intangibles are far more important than this other stuff when it comes to establishing a brand. No doubt, those things ARE important. The performance of the company has to match the image projected. But those things – as necessary as they are to work on – are not mutually exclusive to the other aspects of creating a brand covered above. Work on what you can control most easily first. That’s usually a good way to go! MARK ZWEIG is Zweig Group’s chairman and founder. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org .
the office manager, is more readable driving by at 50 miles per hour. You get the idea. Before long, everyone uses the name, colors, and font of their choice, and the brand is greatly diluted. I was once an outside director on the BOD of an engineering firm, and when I suggested they order all of their company-branded shirts in their company color scheme, I was laughed at as if that was the craziest idea anyone had ever heard. Anyone could order whatever they wanted. This stuff is important! ❚ ❚ Repetition. With the same name, colors, and logo design, this needs to be used everywhere ALL of the time. Every vehicle, project sign, title block, business card, letterhead, email signature, office sign, website, technical paper, social media post, company “swag” items, and more, needs to be using the same name, logo, and colors. It should be put on everything and used constantly. Look at how consumer product companies do it. This is the only way people outside the company will become super familiar with the company, which reduces the perceived risk of hiring you and creates a “larger than life” image for the firm. ❚ ❚ Brand ambassadors. Every employee of the firm is a “brand ambassador,” for a lack of any better way to describe it. Those of us who are old-timers remember when there was a certain standard of dress for IBM employees. They all had white shirts or blouses. This became the “IBM look.” And today, with social media, the stuff your people post will either enhance the brand of your firm or take away from it. What do they put out there? Are there certain causes they promote? Do they show the work of the company? Or do they get on certain polarizing political topics and complain about their jobs or workplace? Do they promote the awards, accolades, and accomplishments of the company and its people, or do they not talk about their work and company and instead bait controversy? This is far more important than you think – and no doubt not easily managed. But you should constantly be bringing it up and talking about it with all of your people so they understand the importance of putting the right stuff out there. ❚ ❚ Working visibility. This means that the world can spot
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THE ZWEIG LETTER AUGUST 23, 2021, ISSUE 1405
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