Zweig Group, a leading provider of advisory services, research, and education for the AEC industry, announces Brian Bowers of Bowers + Kubota Consulting as the recipient of the 2023 Jerry Allen Courage in Leadership Award, which recognizes outstanding accomplishments through leadership in the AEC industry.
Bowers + Kubota Consulting, a 100 percent employee-owned firm based in Hawaii, specializes in construction management, architectural, and engineering design. Brian has led the firm for 26 years and has been an industry leader for more than three decades. Under his visionary leadership, the firm has grown from 12 employees in 1997 to more than 270 in 2023, making it the largest architectural and engineering firm in Hawaii.
As president and CEO, Brian oversees daily operations, strategic planning, and initiatives for growth. He is known for his exceptional leadership, driving the firm's expansion by acquiring two design firms and transitioning to an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) company. Brian also holds leadership roles in industry organizations, including the Hawaii ESOP Chapter and the National ESOP Board.
Throughout his career, Brian has demonstrated courage in leadership by navigating challenges. In the early 1990s, after the firm had to layoff two-thirds of its employees during a recession, Brian made strides to diversify the firm's client base, ensuring the firm would never have to take that kind of action again. In 1997, he took charge after the sudden passing of the firm's president, implementing a strategic plan that fueled exponential growth.
Brian's courageous leadership shone during the COVID-19 pandemic. While many firms struggled, he ensured Bowers + Kubota thrived, with a 16 percent increase in ESOP stock value and 30 percent higher profitability in 2019-2020. The firm prioritized employee safety, embracing remote work and providing support during quarantine. Under Brian’s leadership the firm was also able to make a difference in the community during this challenging time by sponsoring and donating more than 300 man hours for five different events to pack and distribute food to those in need around Oahu. The Bowers + Kubota team also generously donated from their own pockets a little over $70,000 to Aloha United Way, Institute for Human Services, and Hawaii Foodbank.
Brian's impact on the AEC community extends beyond his firm. He played a pivotal role in establishing the Certified Construction Manager designation in Hawaii, elevating industry standards. He is a past president of several key industry organizations and has received accolades, including State Small Businessperson of the Year in 2011 and Engineer of the Year in Hawaii in 2013.
The Jerry Allen Courage in Leadership Award is given each year to someone working in an architecture, engineering, planning, or environmental firm who has made tremendous impacts on the company through courageous leadership. The award winner is one who has overcome obstacles to advance their firm to a new level of success. Nominees can be in any role and come from architecture, engineering, planning, and environmental firms of all sizes and types.
For more information on the Jerry Allen Courage in Leadership Award, click here.