RECAP

    Keynote Presentations

    large_steve_burns_593fff4d26788

    STEVEN BURNS
    BQE SOFTWARE

    Is Your Engineering Firm Prepared for the AI Revolution?

    Download Presentation

    Kit Miyamoto

    DR. KIT MIYAMOTO
    CEO, MIYAMOTO INTERNATIONAL

    Z-TALK: Zen, Life, Business: Kaizen/Lean Process in Your Life and Business

    Download Presentation

    Bill McConnell low res

    BILL MCCONNELL, PE, JD, MSCE, CDT
    CEO, VERTEX

    If You’re Not Moving Forward… You’re Moving Backward: A Disciplined Commitment to Sustainable AEC Growth

    Download Presentation

    Jeff Hurt

    JEFF HURT
    CHIEF EPIPHANY OFFICER, EMPOWERED EPIPHANIES

    The Innovator’s DNA

    Download Presentation

    Breakout Session Presentations

    From Turnovers to Touchdowns: Score More Work Through a Strategic Business Development Approach

    Download Presentation

    Jen Newman, Managing Director – Zweig Group

    Joy Guinn, Consultant – Zweig Group

    Elevating Your Employee Recruiting & Retention Strategy Workshop

    Download Handout

    Jen Newman, Managing Director – Zweig Group

    Chad Coldiron, Director, Executive Search – Zweig Group

    To view photos from the conference and awards gala: https://www.glitterlens.com/aec2019-zweiggroup

    WEDNESDAY, October 2, 2019

    7:00 AM – 5:00 PM

    Registration

    Location: Grand Ballroom Foyer

    7:30 AM – 4:30 PM

    M & A Next Symposium

    (Pre-conference event requiring separate registration)

    Location: Del Mar I & Del Mar II

    Full-Day of Educational Content & Networking Focused on the World of Mergers & Acquisitions

    Symposium Facilitators
    Jamie Claire Kiser – Managing Principal, Zweig Group
    Noah Hunt – Director of Mergers and Acquisitions, Zweig Group

    Panelists Include:
    Paul Greenhagen – President, Westwood Professional Services

    Darin Anderson – Chairman & CEO, Salas O’Brien
    George Christodoulo – Lawson & Weitzen
    Scott Wallington – Chief Development Officer, GEI Consultants
    Jose Revuelta – Chief Strategy Officer, Montrose Environmental Group, Inc.
    Peter Devereaux – CEO, HED
    Joe Boyer – CEO, Atlas Technical Consultants

    Reserve your seat at the table as Zweig Group’s M&A thought leaders share insights and valuable context gained from working with firms of all sizes across the country and provide deep learning through an engaging experience focused on current and “next” practices in the world of M&A.

    This highly interactive day-long “conference-in-a-conference” is designed to provide M&A education and practical application through interactive roundtable discussions, expert panel conversations, and focused networking to connect leaders from across the country.

    You will end the day better informed about the opportunities for M&A and better equipped to manage the M&A process with confidence.

    6:00 PM – 8:00 PM

    Welcome Reception

    Location: Opium Terrace

    THURSDAY, October 3, 2019

    7:00 AM – 5:00 PM

    Registration

    Location: Grand Ballroom Foyer

    7:30 AM – 8:00 AM

    Breakfast

    Location: Del Mar I & Del Mar II

    8:30 AM – 9:15 AM

    State of the AEC Industry

    Location: Grand Ballroom

    Chad Clinehens, PE – President & CEO, Zweig Group

    Zweig Group President & CEO welcomes attendees during this opening keynote with an overview of the conference experience, a progress report on the impact in the AEC community as it relates to the firm’s mission – and growing movement – “Elevate The Industry”, and the current state of the industry as it stands today.  During this address, attendees gain insights to practices that drive growth, culture, and award-winning results drawn from Zweig Group’s 2.3 million data points collected annually from industry research including the 2019 Best Firms To Work For and Hot Firm Award winning firms.

    9:15 AM – 10:00 AM

    Keynote Presentation

    Location: Grand Ballroom

    Z-Talk: Zen, Life, Business: Kaizen/LEAN Process in Your Life & Business
    Kit Miyamoto – CEO,
    Miyamoto International

    The Kaizen/LEAN management process was developed in Japanese industry decades ago and adopted by many leading companies such as Nike, Intel, and Toyota. It is often used in the construction process to maximize efficiency and eliminate waste, but it was never widely adopted by AEC businesses. The Kaizen process is not just a system to maximize growth and profit. It’s a value system, and it promotes company culture and shapes how the business sees itself in the community and society.

    Dr. Miyamoto, who leads a global engineering firm with locations in five continents, discusses how he turned around a zero-profit company with flat growth to a high-profit company with rapid growth in 12 months by using the Kaizen system. He will also discuss how an African tribe in remote Ethiopia uses the concept of Kaizen to overcome drought which is caused by the $1.8 billion Gibe III dam system.

    10:00 AM – 10:30 AM

    Break

    10:30 AM – 11:30 AM

    Breakout Learning Sessions

    Session 1: Qualifiers and COAs: Understanding Connections, Mitigating Risks

    Location: Del Fuego

    Christian Haring – Account Executive, Harbor Compliance (Elevate AEC Sponsor)
    John Beck – Director, Harbor Compliance (Elevate AEC Sponsor)

    The relationship between individual PE licenses and engineering firm licenses (COAs) is not widely understood. As a result, firms are often blindsided by regulatory fallout following a change in status of a qualifying engineer. Large and growing firms, with so many moving pieces to manage in each state where they do business, are particularly vulnerable to regulatory gaps and missteps due to staff changes. This webinar will draw those connections, quantify the risks, present resources and tactics for limiting a firm’s exposure, and assess the ROI of various management strategies.


    Session 2: Congress’ Definition of R & D: Why Designers Qualify for Research Tax Credit

    Location: Del Sol

    Dawson Fercho – Co-Founder, CTA (Elevate AEC Sponsor)

    In today’s hyper-competitive AEC business climate, you need every edge that you can get to boost your firm’s after-tax profits. Beyond the usual ways to increase revenue and contain operating expenses, did you know that there is a little-used research and development (R&D) tax credit that you can use to decrease your AEC firm’s federal and state income tax obligations?

    This break-out provides you the latest insight on the R&D tax credit that is designed to reduce the high cost of innovation (U.S. Labor Expense). Unfortunately, too many AEC firm leaders mistakenly believe that this valuable tax credit does not apply to them. Join us for this value-packed break-out session to receive:

    • An overview of the NEW current rules and legislation governing the R&D tax credit.
    • A clear understanding of exactly how this tax credit applies to the AEC industry.
    • Important details on recent law changes and the types of activities and expenses that qualify for the tax credit.
    • Actual examples of how the mechanics of the calculation and statutory exclusions have benefited AEC firms.

    Session 3: Change Management is Vital to Technology Implementation

    Location: Del Mar II

    Chaz Ross-Munro – Professional Services Consultant, Cosential (Elevate AEC Sponsor)
    Courtney Kearney, CPSM – Founder & Owner, CKearney Consulting

    Although change is constant, rolling out a new technology tool or process can really meet a lot of resistance at most organizations. In this session, Chaz and Courtney will leverage experience from more than a hundred CRM implementations to discuss how to successfully roll out a new technology tool and/or process. Change doesn’t have to be painful, but it does require a strategic approach to ensure it’s a success. In this session, you’ll learn why employees may be resistant to change, how to help your employees overcome their fear of a “new” tool or process, and how to effectively implement these types of changes to small, medium, and large firms


    Session 4: How Progressive A&E Leaders Create Higher Profits & Happier Employees

    Location: La Estrella

    June Jewell, President & CEO, AEC Business Solutions (Elevate AEC Sponsor)

    As progressive leaders, we all want a high performing team of employees that are always operating in the best interests of our firm. Our employees are the key to our success, however, they don’t always have the skills, tools, and mindset they need to be on our A-team. As a result, we suffer from projects that go over budget and clients that are not thrilled. It shouldn’t be that hard to get employees to do the right things every day!

    In this session, June reveals 10 keys to lead your employees to high performance and have the greatest opportunity to be superstars. You’ll assess your firm’s approach to leadership and employee development and walk away with new ideas to transform your team’s mindset and daily behaviors to ensure high profits and happy employees.


    Session 5: Compensation in a Tight AEC Labor Market

    Location: Del Mar I

    Will Swearingen – Director, Ownership Transition, Zweig Group
    Wendy Culver – Chief Human Resources Officer: Mead & Hunt
    Laura Nick – Corporate Communications Leader: Garver
    Wendi Prange – Director of Talent Development: Lawrence Group

    This session will explore the challenges and solutions that firm leadership and HR professionals encounter as they try to stay competitive in an increasingly demanding workforce.

    11:30 AM – Noon

    Awards Luncheon

    Location: Grand Ballroom

    Noon – 12:30 PM

    Rising Stars & Top New Venture Award Presentation

    Location: Grand Ballroom

    12:30 PM – 1:00 PM

    Lunch Keynote Presentation

    Location: Grand Ballroom

    Is Your Engineering Firm Prepared for the AI Revolution?

    Steven Burns –  BQE Software (Elevate AEC Sponsor)

    Artificial intelligence (AI) is changing industries across the board. By utilizing tons of data, the computer system can perform behaviors associated with human intelligence, such as speech recognition, decision-making, and learning.

    While enterprise adoption of AI has grown 270% over the past four years, A/E firms have been slow to adopt the new technology. Some fear job insecurity and others simply don’t understand the technology. But it’s through automation that we’re able to save time doing mundane, repetitive tasks. And that time can be reinvested in more important things, like design, development, and creativity.

    Join Steven Burns, FAIA, BQE Software the leading project management and accounting platform for Architects, and Engineers to learn what you must know to fully leverage the AI revolution!

    1:15 PM – 2:15 PM

    Breakout Learning Sessions

    Session 1: After the Ink Dries: An M & A Integration Conversation

    Location: Del Mar I

    Jamie Claire Kiser – Managing Principal, Zweig Group (Moderator)
    John Ozzie Nelson, Jr. – Chairman & Co-CEO, Nelson
    Dickerson Wright – Chairman & CEO, NV5 Global

    Effective integration planning is often overlooked or underestimated in the flurry of activity surrounding a deal. Companies that implement an effective integration plan can significantly improve confidence in the direction of the combined business, minimizing the post-closing disruption and distraction and achieving the goals of the transaction at a faster pace than those companies that fail to plan for integration. Explore lessons learned on integration from two of the fastest-growing firms in the country.


    Session 2: Answers You Should Know to the Top 10 Valuation & Ownership Transition Questions

    Location: Del Fuego

    Tracey D. Eaves – Consultant, Valuation Services, Zweig Group
    Will Swearingen Director, Ownership Transition, Zweig Group

    Pat Stoltz – Sr. VP & Managing Director, Wintrust (Elevate AEC Sponsor)
    James Swabowski – Sr. VP, Wintrust (Elevate AEC Sponsor)

    Zweig Group’s ownership transition planning and valuation experts join ESOP experts from WinTrust to answer questions and discuss the top 10 common questions/issues regularly asked regarding valuation and ownership transition planning. Advanced questions will be asked of Elevate AEC Conference attendees prior to the session.


    Session 3: Dollars for Design: Optimizing Tax Incentives for AEC

    Location: La Estrella

    Bryan Brady – Founder & CEO, BRAYN Consulting LLC (Elevate AEC Sponsor)

    Did you know there are a few powerful ways to decrease your taxes and increase your cash flow? These little known, often misunderstood, and yet highly-powerful tax credits and incentives are available for the AEC industry. BRAYN Consulting CEO, Brady Bryan, will present on the history, background, eligibility requirements, and special issues, as well as provide case studies, of some of these highly lucrative tax incentives. Are you missing out on dollars for design that could give you a competitive advantage?


    Session 4: Elevate Your Employee Recruiting & Retention Strategy Workshop

    Location: Del Sol

    Doug Parker – Managing Principal & CMO, Zweig Group
    Jen Newman – Managing Director, Zweig Group

    Recruiting and retention are the greatest challenges AEC firms face in 2019. With a shortage of design and construction professionals – at all experience levels – the industry is in a talent war. To successfully recruit talent, your firm must develop a multi-tactic strategy to get people in the door.  But, once you’ve landed that new recruit, how do you retain them? This workshop arms firms with a plan to both recruit new talent and also convert new and existing employees into highly-engaged brand ambassadors of your firm by developing an internal employee-experience program to ensure your hard-won team members are with your firm for the long-haul.  Attendees will learn top recruitment strategies successful firms use to attract talent along with tactics best firms to work for employ to retain talent. Together, we’ll create in real time a multi-tactic recruiting strategy and an employee experience program through an interactive workshop experience.


    Session 5: Bring Clarity to Your Key Performance Indicators: Understanding Your Firm’s Metrics and Why They Matter to You

    Location: Del Mar II

    Megan Miller, CPSM – Product Marketing Manager, Deltek  (Elevate AEC Sponsor)

    There is no such thing as too much data, but how can you turn your data into meaningful metrics for every part of your business? Balancing business development, project management, human resources and financial metrics is no easy task, but it can be done in a positive and meaningful way. Join this session to understand the metrics that matter most, how to choose the right metrics for your company and how to leverage your intel to predict and react to challenges before they impact your bottom line. Make your metrics work for you by identifying your strategic goals, what KPIs matter most based on your goals, what the industry benchmarks indicate, how to track progress and share your successes. Attendees will be able to identify critical metrics for not only financial management, but business development, project management and human resources to better understand how they work together and impact your business. It’s time to bring clarity to your key performance indicators so you can stop tracking data for the sake of tracking data, but glean meaningful insight from your data to help drive your business forward. This session is relevant for every role and every level of responsibility in the firm because everyone plays a part in improving the business.

    2:15 PM – 2:45 PM

    Break

    2:45 PM – 3:45 PM

    Breakout Learning Sessions

    Session 1: The Future of Professional Land Surveying Panel Discussion

    Location: Del Mar I

    Jamie Claire Kiser – Managing Principal, Zweig Group (Moderator)
    Bob Hanson – Vice President, WGI

    Paul Greenhagen – President & CEO, Westwood Professional Services
    Jill Souter – Project Manager, Landpoint

    This panel of experts will discuss how the survey profession has changed and what the next five years and beyond may bring for the geospatial profession. The future of professional land surveying is at a unique juncture. Experts will discuss the impact of emerging technologies and how to recruit the next generation of professional land surveyors into an industry with an estimated average national age of about 60 years old.


    Session 2: Preventing and Reversing Burnout in You and Your Organization

    Location: Del Sol

    Pete Atherton, PE – President & Founder, ActionsProve (Elevate AEC Sponsor)
    Chad Coldiron – Director, Executive Search, Zweig Group

    The best leaders and client servers are fully engaged, growing, and excelling in their organizations. This creates both consistency and confidence. Professional services organizations are on the forefront of needing to deal with the growing epidemic of burnout and disengagement. Leaders must understand all the factors that contribute and then design and implement solutions to reverse and prevent them in order to be best positioned to serve and grow in both the marketplace and recruiting space.

    Excelling and achieving success requires commitment. It can take 10, 20, 25 or more years to master our craft, make a name, and build our platform. Although what it takes to excel has not changed over time, the work environment has – particularly over the past two to three decades. During this period, we have also seen major demographic and societal shifts in how top talent views work and life.

    Our industry is not immune to the growing epidemic of burnout and disengagement – especially among its best talent. More and more professionals are feeling overwhelmed and exhausted. Many are also pivoting away or shifting their discretionary efforts… and this is at a time when employee recruitment and retention is the #1 issue facing the A/E/C industry.

     


    Session 3: Organizational Nervous System

    Location: La Estrella

    Delrae Bennett – Senior Technical Consultant, Time Counts, LLC

    The organizational nervous system is the center of your company, the interpreter of your environment, and the origin of decision making. You stub your toe, and your face winces. You bite into a lemon, and your toes curl. Our bodies are amazing in their wiring. What happens in one area is instantaneously communicated to the parts of our body that need to know and we can reflexively react. Can the same be true in your organization? Does information flow seamlessly to the people who need to know? Are you nimble enough to be able to make smart decisions and act on them without a lag for data export, manipulation and distribution? Very few companies are!

    Companies are lacking a well-designed, healthy organizational nervous system. ERPs are not accomplishing what they set out to do 20 years ago!


    Session 4: Using Data to Create Change

    Location: Del Fuego

    Christy Zweig – Director, Research & E-Commerce, Zweig Group

    Learn to use the power of employee surveys and client perception studies to improve your firms polices and operations.  View Zweig Group’s data and benchmarking tools on a variety of subjects including financial performance, marketing, recruiting, and policies/benefits.


    Session 5: Strengthening Our Strategic Thinking Muscles To Become Better Leaders

    Location: Del Mar II

    Jeff Hurt – Chief Epiphany Officer, Empowered Epiphanies

    Becoming a strategic thinker is not as difficult as it sounds. Although if we’re not careful, it may mean running in place twice as hard. It just means practicing different behaviors than what you probably already do.

    When you focus on remembering minutia and details, it adversely affects your ability to engage in strategic thinking. We have to be careful as logistic, detailed technical professionals of falling into the trap of losing sight of the bigger picture. Neuroscience has proven that when we focus and engage in strategic, abstract thinking, we improve our ability to remember the details. Becoming more strategic actually improves our logistics.

    Being more strategic doesn’t mean making decisions that affect your whole company. Nor does it mean allocating scarce budget dollars. And it clearly doesn’t mean scouring the internet for the right response to the problem you face.

    It means forcing your brain to slow down and work smarter.

    4:00 PM – 5:00 PM

    Keynote Presentation

    KEYNOTE: If you’re not moving forward…You’re moving backward. A disciplined commitment to sustainable AEC growth.

    Location: Grand Ballroom

    Bill McConnell, PE, JD, MSCE, CDT – CEO, Vertex

    Growth of AEC companies, or lack thereof, is often dictated by overall market conditions. Corporate expansion through bull- and bear-markets alike requires a culture of growth. Vertex has averaged 20%-plus year-over-year growth for nearly 25 years. Bill McConnell, co-founder and CEO of Vertex, discusses how Vertex makes a continued and concerted effort to grow every 90 days in accordance with a ten-year growth plan; growth is a decision at Vertex, not a side effect. Additionally, Bill reviews how Vertex’s growth plan contemplates a balance of non-cyclical services (to hedge against recessionary cycles) with traditional AEC services (in order to take advantage of expansion cycles). He also covers his firm’s approach to adding services and regional expansion as well as benefits and challenges that accompany a continued growth strategy.

    5:00 PM – 6:30 PM

    Networking Reception

    Location: Exhibit Hall

    FRIDAY, October 4, 2019

    7:30 AM – 2:00 PM

    Registration

    Location: Grand Ballroom Foyer

    7:30 AM – 8:00 AM

    Breakfast

    Location: Del Mar I & Del Mar II

    8:30 AM – 9:45 AM

    Keynote Presentation

    Keynote: Living Your Purpose: Mission Driven Brands

    Location: Grand Ballroom

    Catherine Harris – Chief Purpose Activator, Savage Brands
    Jackie Dryden – Chief Purpose Architect, Savage Brands
    (Elevate AEC Sponsor)

    So, you believe you have uncovered your organization’s purpose and are feeling excited. Now what? Catherine and Jackie provide answers to important questions including: How do you introduce, seed, and live in alignment with your newfound North Star? What are today’s successful brands doing to build organizations based on what they stand for? How are they are sharing their purpose in ways that help them attract the best employees, build lasting relationships, differentiate from competitors, and dramatically outper­form the marketplace? Join Savage Brands to learn how purpose can impact your firm!

    9:45 AM – 10:00 AM

    Break

    10:00 AM – 11:00 AM

    Breakout Learning Sessions

    Session 1: ElevateHer: A Discussion of Diversity in the AEC Industry

    Location: Del Mar I

    Christy Zweig – Director, Research & E-Commerce, Zweig Group
    Jamie Claire Kiser – Managing Principal, Zweig Group
    Sepi Saidi, PE – President & CEO, SEPI Engineering & Construction
    Lisa Kay – President, Alta Environmental

    What does it mean to be both woman and an engineer, architect, consulting, or construction professional? How is this different than it was 10, 20, or 30 years ago?  The role of gender/sex and what it means to be a woman in the AEC Industry is a changing, complex, and controversial topic.  For this session, Zweig Group has gathered a diverse panel of influential AEC Industry leaders to discuss both research and experiences related to the role of gender within the AEC Industry.


    Session 2: Cyber: Is Your Coverage Structurally Sound

    Location: Del Mar II

    Hector Sepulveda – Supervisory Special Agent, FBI
    Lori Wheeler – Managing Director, Marsh Wortham
    Regan Katz – Managing Director/Senior Sales Leader, Marsh Wortham
    Robert Hughes – Senior Vice President, Partner, Ames & Gough

    In today’s evolving world of cyber-crime, social engineering fraud and unauthorized disclosures of information, it’s important for firms to review their insurance coverage often to ensure their policies are keeping up with the change. In this session, we will discuss coverage changes, claims scenarios and best practices for protecting your firm from a cyber loss.


    Session 3: Smart Growth through Knowledge Management     

    Location: La Estrella

    Kara Clower – Business Manager/Integrator, LACO Associates
    Susan Strom – Director of Client Success, Knowledge Architecture

    Organizational growth involves substantial change in a short period of time. When things are changing quickly, easy and timely access to knowledge is what keeps the firm connected. A lack of this same knowledge isolates people and creates fissures.

    With all this knowledge distributed among your employees, in software applications, and on pieces of paper, managing all of your firm’s knowledge centrally is indeed unrealistic. However, you can transform your organization by prioritizing and intentionally managing the knowledge that matters most.

    Join Kara and Susan as they walk you through: a case study of LACO’s growth from a 40-person firm with ad hoc business processes to a scalable 70-person firm with process-driven leadership; learn how LACO used knowledge management to simplify their knowledge sharing systems and how leaders and employees have reacted to these changes; and see how Knowledge Architecture’s Periodic Table of Knowledge Management for AEC Firms to uncovers an initial understanding of your organization’s knowledge management strengths and opportunities.


    Session 4: From Turnovers to Touchdowns: Score More Work through a Strategic Business Development Approach

    Location: Del Sol

    Jen Newman, CPSM – Managing Director, Zweig Group
    Joy Guinn, FSMPS, CPSM – Consultant, Marketing & BD Services, Zweig Group

    Does your firm employ a “Hail Mary” approach to business development? Are you waiting until the two-minute warning to develop your strategy? Do you find yourself unable to execute a solid offensive game plan? Are you consistently making it to the red zone but unable to cross the goal line? Implementing a strategic business development approach driven by a priority-based client management system allows you to place more focus on specific targets enabling you to convert more of your leads into projects. This session will guide you through the development of your strategic business development playbook and help you win more work!


    Session 5: Elevating Strategic Planning: A Discussion on Leading with Purpose, Next Practices, Recession Proofing, and the Future.

    Location: Del Fuego

    Phil Keil – Director, Strategic Planning, Zweig Group
    Amy Moen – Principal, HOK
    Michael Davis – CSO, WGI
    Jered Morris – SVP, Olsson

     

    The AEC industry and the world are evolving. Technology is rapidly advancing, the next recession is coming, the way we work is changing, and the future seems uncertain along with a myriad of other challenges our firms are facing. Planning is vital for your long-term growth and success, but how do you plan in a seemingly unstable environment? In this session, we will discuss not only best practices but the next practices in planning that will elevate your firm and position you to accomplish your goals by leading with purpose.

    11:00 AM – 11:15 AM

    Break

    11:15 AM – Noon

    Closing Keynote Presentation

    CLOSING KEYNOTE: The Innovator’s DNA

    Location: Grand Ballroom

    Jeff Hurt – Chief Epiphany Officer, Empowered Epiphanies

    Innovation. It’s the heartbeat of today’s economy. It’s also where you as a leader need to focus your attention, time, and resources to compete in today’s marketplace. So how do we become more innovative?

    Is innovation a talent from birth or something that can be learned and acquired? Good news…you can be more innovative and creative. You can change your behaviors and adopt critical innovative strategies.

    What are the traits of today’s innovative professionals? How do they think and behave? Why don’t they let traditional rules and the status quo stand in the way of their vision? What questions do they constantly use to benchmark their thinking? What are the skills needed for innovative thinking and behaviors?

    Innovators think and act differently. They don’t follow the status quo. Let’s talk about it.

    5:00 PM – 6:00 PM

    Red Carpet Reception

    Location: Grand Ballroom Foyer

    6:00 PM – 8:00 PM

    Black Tie Awards Gala & Dinner

    Location: Grand Ballroom (doors open at 5:45)

    9:00 PM – 11:00 PM

    After Party - Beatles Love Show

    CIRQUE DU SOLEIL BEATLES LOVE Ultimate After-Party Experience.

    We will have shuttle busses ready to take all attendees to the show from the hotel.

    SPONSOR: Corporate Tax Advisors

    KEYNOTE SPEAKERS

    Kit Miyamoto

    Dr. Kit Miyamoto
    CEO, Miyamoto International

    Z Talk – Zen, Life, Business:
    Kaizen/Lean Process in Your Life and Business
    Thursday, 10/3/19 • 9:15 – 10:00 AM

    The Kaizen/LEAN management process was developed in Japanese industry decades ago and adopted by many leading companies such as Nike, Intel and Toyota. It is often used in the construction process to maximize efficiency and eliminate waste, but it was never widely adopted by AEC businesses. The Kaizen process is not just a system to maximize growth and profit. It’s a value system, and it promotes company culture and shapes how the business sees itself in the community and society.

    Dr. Miyamoto, who leads a global engineering firm with locations in five continents, discusses how he turned around a zero-profit company with flat growth to a high-profit company with rapid growth in 12 months by using the Kaizen system. He will also discuss how an African tribe in remote Ethiopia uses the concept of Kaizen to overcome drought which is caused by the $1.8 billion Gibe III dam system.

    Bill McConnell low res

    Bill McConnell, PE, JD, MSCE, CDT
    CEO, Vertex

    If You’re Not Moving Forward… You’re Moving Backward.
    A Disciplined Commitment to Sustainable AEC Growth.
    Thursday, 10/3/19 • 4:00 – 5:00 PM

    Growth of AEC companies, or lack thereof, is often dictated by overall market conditions. Corporate expansion through bull and bear markets alike requires a culture of growth. The Vertex Companies, Inc. (“Vertex”) has averaged 20%-plus year-over-year growth for nearly 25 years. The co-founder and CEO of Vertex, William J. McConnell PE, JD, will discuss how Vertex makes a continued and concerted effort to grow every 90 days in accordance with a ten-year growth plan—in other words, growth is a decision at Vertex, not a side effect. Mr. McConnell will review how Vertex’s growth plan contemplates a balance of noncyclical services (to hedge against recessionary cycles) with traditional AEC services (in order to take advantage of expansion cycles). Mr. McConnell will also cover Vertex’s approach to adding services and regional expansion. Lastly, Mr. McConnell will discuss the benefits and challenges that a accompany a continued growth strategy.

    Shafat Qazi
    CEO & Founder, BQE Software

    How to Bridge the Gap Between Technology and Culture
    Thursday, 10/3/19 • 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM

    Few things create more dread to an engineer or architect than having to deal with Project and Office Management. If only we had more time to spend doing what attracted us to the profession in the first place. The BQE talk will look into the latest cloud technologies that are designed specifically for the A/E management firms. We will we look at some of these disruptive tools and discuss strategies for how every firm can easily implement or take advantage of streamlining workflows. Additionally, we will guide you on the principles to improve your firm by igniting internal culture since happy employees means happy customers and increased profits. Join Shafat Qazi, CEO and Founder of BQE Software, former engineer, recipient of Top 50 CEOs in the USA, Top 50 CEOs for Women and Diversity and Best Workplaces by INC Magazine, as he shows you 5 ways to improve culturally improve your firm and 5 ways to implement new technology to increase productivity.

    Jeff Hurt
    Chief Epiphany Officer, Empowered Epiphanies

    The Innovator’s DNA
    Friday, 10/4/19 • 11:15 AM – 12:00 PM

    Innovation. It’s the heartbeat of today’s economy. It’s also where you as a leader need to focus your attention, time and resources to compete in today’s marketplace. So how do we become more innovative?

    Is innovation a talent from birth or something that can be learned and acquired? Good news…you can be more innovative and creative. You can change your behaviors and adopt critical innovative strategies.

    What are the traits of today’s innovative professionals? How do they think and behave? Why don’t they let traditional rules and the status quo stand in the way of their vision? What questions do they constantly use to benchmark their thinking? What are the skills needed for innovative thinking and behaviors?

    Innovators think and act differently. They don’t follow the status quo. Let’s talk about it.

    Catherine Harris
    Chief Purpose Activator, Savage Brands

    Jackie Dryden

    Jackie Dryden
    Chief Purpose Architect, Savage Brands

    Living Your Purpose: Mission Driven Brands
    Friday, 10/4/19 • 8:30 AM – 9:45 AM

    So, you believe you have uncovered your organization’s purpose and are feeling excited. Now what? How do you introduce, seed, and live in alignment with your newfound North Star? What are today’s successful brands doing to build organizations based on what they stand for? How are they are sharing their purpose in ways that help them attract the best employees, build lasting relationships, differentiate from competitors, and dramatically outper­form the marketplace?

    CONFERENCE SPEAKERS

    Chad Clinehens
    President & CEO, Zweig Group

    Thursday • 10/3/19 • 8:30 – 9:15
    STATE OF THE AEC INDUSTRY

    Christian Haring
    Account Executive, Harbor Compliance
    (Elevate AEC Sponsor)

    Thursday • 10/3/19 • 10:30 – 11:30
    QUALIFIERS AND COAS: UNDERSTANDING CONNECTIONS, MITIGATING RISKS

    John Beck
    Director, Harbor Compliance
    (Elevate AEC Sponsor)

    Thursday • 10/3/19 • 10:30 – 11:30
    QUALIFIERS AND COAS: UNDERSTANDING CONNECTIONS, MITIGATING RISKS

    Dawson Fercho
    Co-Founder, Corporate Tax Advisors
    (Elevate AEC Sponsor)

    Thursday • 10/3/19 • 10:30 – 11:30
    CONGRESS’ DEFINITION OF R & D: WHY DESIGNERS QUALIFY FOR RESEARCH TAX CREDIT

    Chaz Ross-Munro
    Professional Services Consultant, Cosential
    (Elevate AEC Sponsor)

    Thursday • 10/3/19 • 10:30 – 11:30
    CHANGE MANAGEMENT IS VITAL TO TECHNOLOGY IMPLEMENTATION

    Courtney Kearney, CPSM
    Founder & Owner, CKearney Consulting

    Thursday • 10/3/19 • 10:30 – 11:30
    CHANGE MANAGEMENT IS VITAL TO TECHNOLOGY IMPLEMENTATION

    June Jewell
    President & CEO, AEC Business Solutions
    (Elevate AEC Sponsor)

    Thursday • 10/3/19 • 10:30 – 11:30
    HOW PROGRESSIVE A&E LEADERS CREATE HIGHER PROFITS & HAPPIER EMPLOYEES

    Will Swearingen
    Director, Ownership Transition, Zweig Group

    Thursday • 10/3/19 • 10:30 – 11:30
    COMPENSATION IN A TIGHT AEC LABOR MARKET: FROM SALARIES TO INCENTIVE TO PERKS

    Wendy Culver
    Chief Human Resources Officer, Mead & Hunt

    Thursday • 10/3/19 • 10:30 – 11:30
    COMPENSATION IN A TIGHT AEC LABOR MARKET

    Laura Nick
    Corporate Communications Leader, Garver

    Thursday • 10/3/19 • 10:30 – 11:30
    COMPENSATION IN A TIGHT AEC LABOR MARKET: FROM SALARIES TO INCENTIVE TO PERKS

    Wendi Prange
    Director of Talent Development, Lawrence Group

    Thursday • 10/3/19 • 10:30 – 11:30
    COMPENSATION IN A TIGHT AEC LABOR MARKET: FROM SALARIES TO INCENTIVE TO PERKS
    Jamie Claire Kiser

    Jamie Claire Kiser
    Managing Principal, Zweig Group

    Thursday • 10/3/19 • 1:15 – 2:15
    AFTER THE INK DRIES: AN M&A INTEGRATION CONVERSATION

    John “Ozzie” Nelson, Jr. 
    Chairman and Co-CEO, NELSON

    Thursday • 10/3/19 • 1:15 – 2:15
    AFTER THE INK DRIES: AN M&A INTEGRATION CONVERSATION

    Dickerson Wright, PE
    Chairman & CEO, NV5 Global

    Thursday • 10/3/19 • 1:15 – 2:15
    AFTER THE INK DRIES: AN M&A INTEGRATION CONVERSATION

    Tracey D. Eaves
    Consultant, Valuation Services, Zweig Group

    Thursday • 10/3/19 • 1:15 – 2:15
    Answers You Should Know to the Top 10 Valuation & Ownership Transition Questions

    Will Swearingen
    Director, Ownership Transition, Zweig Group

    Thursday • 10/3/19 • 10:30 – 11:30
    ANSWERS YOU SHOULD KNOW TO THE TOP 10 VALUATION & OWNERSHIP TRANSITION QUESTIONS

    James Swabowski
    Senior VP, Wintrust
    (Elevate AEC Sponsor)

    Thursday • 10/3/19 • 1:15 – 2:15
    ANSWERS YOU SHOULD KNOW TO THE TOP 10 VALUATION & OWNERSHIP TRANSITION QUESTIONS

    Pat Stoltz
    Group Sr. VP & Managing Director, Wintrust
    (Elevate AEC Sponsor)

    Thursday • 10/3/19 • 1:15 – 2:15
    ANSWERS YOU SHOULD KNOW TO THE TOP 10 VALUATION & OWNERSHIP TRANSITION QUESTIONS

    Matt Doucet
    Senior VP, Wintrust
    (Elevate AEC Sponsor)

    Thursday • 10/3/19 • 1:15 – 2:15
    ANSWERS YOU SHOULD KNOW TO THE TOP 10 VALUATION & OWNERSHIP TRANSITION QUESTIONS

    Brady Bryan
    Founder & CEO, BRAYN Consulting LLC
    (Elevate AEC Sponsor)

    Thursday • 10/3/19 • 1:15 – 2:15
    DOLLARS FOR DESIGN: OPTIMIZING TAX INCENTIVES FOR AEC

    Jen Newman, CPSM
    Managing Director, Zweig Group

    Thursday • 10/3/19 • 1:15 – 2:15
    ELEVATE YOUR EMPLOYEE RECRUITING & RETENTION STRATEGY WORKSHOP

    Doug Parker, CPSM
    Principal & CMO, Zweig Group

    Thursday • 10/3/19 • 1:15 – 2:15
    ELEVATE YOUR EMPLOYEE RECRUITING & RETENTION STRATEGY WORKSHOP

    Megan Miller, CPSM
    Product Marketing Manager, Deltek (Elevate AEC Sponsor)

    Thursday • 10/3/19 • 1:15 – 2:15
    BRING CLARITY TO YOUR KEY  PERFORMANCE INDICATORS: UNDERSTANDING YOUR FIRM’S METRICS & WHY THEY MATTER TO YOU

    Bob Hanson
    Vice President, WGI

    Thursday • 10/3/19 • 2:45 – 3:45
    THE FUTURE OF PROFESSIONAL LAND SURVEYING PANEL DISCUSSION

    Paul Greenhagen
    President & CEO, Westwood Professional Services

    Thursday • 10/3/19 • 2:45 – 3:45
    THE FUTURE OF PROFESSIONAL LAND SURVEYING PANEL DISCUSSION

    Jill Souter
    Project Manager, Landpoint

    Thursday • 10/3/19 • 2:45 – 3:45
    THE FUTURE OF PROFESSIONAL LAND SURVEYING PANEL DISCUSSION

    Pete Atherton, PE
    President & Founder, ActionsProve
    (Elevate AEC Sponsor)

    Thursday • 10/3/19 • 2:45 – 3:45
    PREVENTING AND REVERSING BURNOUT IN YOU AND YOUR ORGANIZATION

    Chad Coldiron
    Director, Executive Search, Zweig Group

    Thursday • 10/3/19 • 2:45 – 3:45
    PREVENTING AND REVERSING BURNOUT IN YOU AND YOUR ORGANIZATION

    Delrae Bennett
    Senior Technical Consultant, Time Counts, LLC
    (Elevate AEC Sponsor)

    Thursday • 10/3/19 • 2:45 – 3:45
    ORGANIZATIONAL NERVOUS SYSTEM

     

    Ashley Anne
    Owner, Lotus Healing LLC

    Thursday • 10/3/19 • 2:45 – 3:45
    ORGANIZATIONAL NERVOUS SYSTEM

    Christy Zweig Niehues
    Director, Research & E-Commerce, Zweig Group

    Thursday • 10/4/19 • 2:45 – 3:45
    USING DATA TO CREATE CHANGE

    Jeff Hurt
    Chief Epiphany Officer, Empowered Epiphanies

    Thursday • 10/3/19 • 2:45 – 3:45
    STRENGTHENING OUR STRATEGIC THINKING MUSCLES TO BECOME BETTER LEADERS

    Catherine Harris
    Chief Purpose Activator, Savage Brands
    (Elevate AEC Sponsor)

    Friday • 10/4/19 • 8:30 – 9:45
    LIVING YOUR PURPOSE: MISSION DRIVEN BRANDS

    Jackie Dryden
    Chief Purpose Architect, Savage Brands
    (Elevate AEC Sponsor)

    Friday • 10/4/19 • 8:30 – 9:45
    LIVING YOUR PURPOSE: MISSION DRIVEN BRANDS

    Sepi Saidi, PE
    President & CEO, SEPI, Inc.

    Friday • 10/4/19 • 10:00 – 11:00
    ELEVATE HER: A DISCUSSION ON DIVERSITY IN THE AEC INDUSTRY

    Lisa Kay
    President, Alta Environmental an NV5 Company

    Friday • 10/4/19 • 10:00 – 11:00
    ELEVATE HER: A DISCUSSION ON DIVERSITY IN THE AEC INDUSTRY

    Christy Zweig Niehues
    Director, Research & E-Commerce, Zweig Group

    Friday • 10/4/19 • 10:00 – 11:00
    ELEVATE HER: A DISCUSSION ON DIVERSITY IN THE AEC INDUSTRY
    Robert Hughes Headshot

    Robert Hughes, JD
    Senor Vice President, Partner, Ames & Gough

    Friday • 10/4/19 • 10:00 – 11:00
    CYBER: IS YOUR COVERAGE STRUCTURALLY SOUND

    Lori Wheeler
    Managing Director, Marsh Wortham

    Friday • 10/4/19 • 10:00 – 11:00
    CYBER: IS YOUR COVERAGE STRUCTURALLY SOUND

    Regan Katz
    Managing Director/Senior Sales Leader, Marsh Wortham

    Friday • 10/4/19 • 10:00 – 11:00
    CYBER: IS YOUR COVERAGE STRUCTURALLY SOUND

    Joseph Garin
    Partner, Lipson Neilson, P.C.

    Friday • 10/4/19 • 10:00 – 11:00
    CYBER: IS YOUR COVERAGE STRUCTURALLY SOUND

    Alex Ricardo
    Director of Business Development, Cyber & Executive Risk- Beasley Insurance

    Friday • 10/4/19 • 10:00 – 11:00
    CYBER: IS YOUR COVERAGE STRUCTURALLY SOUND

    KARA CLOWER
    Business Manager/Integrator, LACO Associates

    Friday • 10/4/19 • 10:00 – 11:00
    SMART GROWTH THROUGH KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT

    Susan Strom
    Director of Client Success, Knowledge Architecture

    Friday • 10/4/19 • 10:00 – 11:00
    SMART GROWTH THROUGH KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT

    Jen Newman, CPSM
    Managing Director, Zweig Group

    Friday • 10/4/19 • 10:00 – 11:00
    FROM TURNOVERS TO TOUCHDOWNS
    SCORE MORE WORK THROUGH STRATEGIC
    BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT APPROACH

    Joy Guinn, FSMPS, CPSM
    Consultant, Marketing & BD Services, Zweig Group

    Friday • 10/4/19 • 10:00 – 11:00
    FROM TURNOVERS TO TOUCHDOWNS
    SCORE MORE WORK THROUGH STRATEGIC
    BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT APPROACH

    Phil Keil
    Director, Strategic Planning, Zweig Group

    Friday • 10/4/19 • 10:00 – 11:00
    ELEVATING STRATEGIC PLANNING: RECESSION PROOFING, NEXT PRACTICES AND LEADING WITH PURPOSE

    Amy Moen
    Amy Moen, Principal, HOK

    Friday • 10/4/19 • 10:00 – 11:00
    ELEVATING STRATEGIC PLANNING: RECESSION PROOFING, NEXT PRACTICES AND LEADING WITH PURPOSE

    Michael Davis
    CSO, WGI

    Friday • 10/4/19 • 10:00 – 11:00
    ELEVATING STRATEGIC PLANNING: RECESSION PROOFING, NEXT PRACTICES AND LEADING WITH PURPOSE

    Jered Morris
    Senior Vice President, Olsson

    Friday • 10/4/19 • 10:00 – 11:00
    ELEVATING STRATEGIC PLANNING: RECESSION PROOFING, NEXT PRACTICES AND LEADING WITH PURPOSE
    Clinehens_edited_small

    CHAD CLINEHENS
    PRESIDENT & CEO

    Chad Clinehens is the president and CEO of Zweig Group. Passionate about the business side of design and technical service firms, Chad has built a career on leading them through growth and change. He has worked with AEC firms throughout the U.S. on a variety of needs – strategic business planning, turnarounds, partner separations, organizational restructuring, mergers and acquisitions, marketing and sales, growth campaigns, and more.

    As a registered professional engineer, Chad brings an in-depth knowledge of what makes professional service firms and the people who work for them unique. Working in the industry for more than 20 years, he has been involved in many aspects of the business including design, project management, department management, regional office management, and directional leadership. He holds a MBA and BS in Civil Engineering from the University of Arkansas and is a registered professional engineer in several states.

    Kit Miyamoto

    DR. KIT MIYAMOTO
    CEO, MIYAMOTO INTERNATIONAL

    Dr. Kit Miyamoto, Global CEO of Miyamoto International, built a structural engineering and disaster risk reduction firm from a five-man Sacramento company into 25 locations in five continents with one purpose: make the world a better, safer place. A purpose-driven mission drives growth of the company by attracting equally purpose-driven individuals.

    Miyamoto has won the Engineering News and Record “Best Global Project” award an unprecedented three consecutive times. Major media such as ABC, CNN, LA Times, NY Times and Rolling Stone profiled him. He is featured in the “Designing for Disaster” exhibit at the National Building Museum. He currently travels around the world to make the world a better, safer place.

    Bill McConnell low res

    BILL MCCONNELL, PE, JD, MSCE, CDT
    CEO, VERTEX

    Bill McConnell is a co-founder and CEO of The Vertex Companies, Inc. Bill has a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Maine, a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Denver, a Master of Science degree from Columbia University, and he is working towards his Doctor of Philosophy degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Colorado (anticipated graduation in May-2019). Bill also completed a part-time three-year business program at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Bill has worked in the construction industry for nearly his entire life. He 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. In addition, Bill is a top expert witness for construction disputes as he has testified over 150 times, most notably for cost and/or standard of care opinions. In addition, many construction, engineering, and law organizations have published his articles and reports over the past two decades. As the CEO of VERTEX, Bill sets the strategy for VERTEX’s future.

    Shafat Qazi

    SHAFAT QAZI
    CEO & FOUNDER, BQE SOFTWARE

    Shafat Qazi is the CEO and Founder of BQE Software Inc. An engineer by profession, he was acutely aware of the pain professional service firms endure when it comes to billing, accounting, time tracking, and project management. Shafat developed his first business software at the age of 22 and has since been involved in designing and developing intuitive business software and solving customer pain points.

    Jeff Hurt (1)

    JEFF HURT
    CHIEF EPIPHANY OFFICER, EMPOWERED EPIPHANIES

    Noted engagement, learning, strategic and governance thought leader and consultant, Jeff Hurt is an expert in applying human behavior and neuroscience to customer experiences. After nine years as executive vice president of education and engagement at Velvet Chainsaw Consulting and more than 20+ years facilitating high-performing, strategic, future-focused experiences and events, from small to large, Hurt is now “Empowering Epiphanies” across the globe.

    Catherine-Harris-1000x1000

    CATHERINE HARRIS 
    CHIEF PURPOSE ACTIVATORSAVAGE BRANDS

    Catherine has seen it all. In-house marketer? Been there. Entrepreneur? Done that. Account manager, brand strategist and digitally adept? She’s all over it. She’s worked at large and small agencies, and she’s worn as many hats as they make. As Director of Account Services, Brand Strategist at Savage, she works as an extension of our clients’ teams, offering expertise, efficiency and a little tough love when needed. Catherine’s excellence has been evident since childhood – just ask her about her Walter Cronkite award-winning, hand-drawn yearbook layout from middle school. These days, she’s more likely to be dealing out highly effective strategy and execution to clients, but we imagine her middle school teachers are still impressed. Catherine is a skilled hula hooper, a masterful bowler and an Indiana University of Bloomington alumna.

    Jackie-Dryden_1000X1000

    JACKIE DRYDEN
    CHIEF PURPOSE ARCHITECTSAVAGE BRANDS

    Need inspiration? You found it. With a passion for helping others discover “why” and “what for,” Jackie Dryden leads companies to uncover and align with their purpose. But don’t be fooled. Her purpose development strategy packs a punch and will shake the core of your foundation. Serving as the Chief Purpose Architect at Savage, Jackie thrives on creating design and communications strategy to support corporate purpose. A proud veteran of the advertising industry, Jackie has spent the bulk of her career at local and international advertising agencies as a creative director. For the last several years, Jackie served as the Director of Marketing and Creative Strategy for UTHealth. Her work has been recognized with hundreds of awards for creativity and she’s also a recipient of the American Advertising Federation’s Silver Medal Award.

    Christian Haring

    CHRISTIAN HARING
    Account Executive, Harbor Compliance

    Christian Haring is an Account Executive at Harbor Compliance specializing in professional licensing for engineering, architecture, and construction firms. With a focus on mid-sized and large firms, Christian understands the need for precision and clarity in managing multi-jurisdictional licensing. Christian’s core focus is providing compliance as a growth enabler for his clients. He is available to answer your questions at 717-298-8128 or charing@harborcompliance.com.

    John Beck

    JOHN BECK
    Director, Harbor Compliance

    John Beck, M.B.A., is the Director of Market Strategy at Harbor Compliance, a leading provider of compliance solutions for the A/E/C industry. John brings 14 years of corporate legal industry experience to his role, including business development and executive leadership positions for companies ranging from global Fortune 500 enterprises to small businesses. John is focused on partnership development and business development strategy. He is available to answer your questions or brainstorm ideas at 717-431-9134 or jbeck@harborcompliance.com.

    Dawson Fercho

    DAWSON FERCHO
    Co-Founder, Corporate Tax Advisors

    Dawson Fercho is the partner-founder of Corporate Tax Advisors, Inc. He brings over 20 years of consulting experience, 15 years exclusively focused on the Federal Research Tax Credit, working with the accounting industry and small to mid-size manufacturing, technology, engineering, architecture and construction clients. In his current role for Corporate Tax Advisors, Inc., Dawson is responsible for all areas of client service and overseeing CTA’s marketing and business development. Dawson is also a tax professional licensed by the U.S. Treasury Department, allowing representation of tax clients in all 50 states. Prior to CTA, Dawson held numerous senior level management roles with some of the largest technology and communication firms in the country.

    Chaz Ross-Munro (1)

    CHAZ ROSS-MUNRO
    Professional Services Consultant, Cosential

    As Professional Services Consultant of Cosential, Chaz is responsible for providing comprehensive CRM and Proposal Automation solutions for some of the world’s best AEC firms. She brings 12 years of AEC marketing experience and helped secure more than $700 million in contracts for Burns & McDonnell, Lend Lease, and HOK. Most recently, Chaz wrote Sink or Swim Faster! Making a Splash in Marketing Professional Services to help onboard new AEC marketers. She is a Certified Professional Services Marketer (CPSM), holds a CF APMP through the Association of Professional Management Professionals, and is a Certified Scrum Master (CSM). Chaz is also a contributor to the SMPS Marketer publication, has co-presented a national SMPS webinar on Proposal Automation, frequently presents at SMPS regional conferences, and served as President of her local SMPS chapter in 2015. Chaz obtained her M.S. in Entrepreneurship in Applied Technologies from the University of South Florida in 2013.

    CourtneyKearney

    COURTNEY KEARNEY, CPSM
    Founder & Owner, CKearney Consulting

    Known for her love of data, Courtney Kearney brings her marketing skills, education and 18 years of experience to a technical world of databases, processes and numbers. She is the founder and owner of CKearney Consulting (CKC) and a CRM thought leader; writing white papers, leading roundtables and giving presentations at local and national conferences. CKC is proud to provide CRM system evaluation, implementation, support, training, proposal automation, data analytics and API integration services.

    In March of 2018, Courtney launched a second business, Collaborative Coalition, providing quality consultants, small business owners and micropreneurs a trusted place to collaborate while also providing companies a place to find high quality people to meet their needs from design, proposal production, coaching, interview prep, etc.

    Courtney has served in several leadership roles in SMPS Fort Worth including the role of President. She enjoys spending time with her firefighter husband and two amazing daughters.

    June Jewell

    JUNE JEWELL
    President & CEO, AEC Business Solutions

    June R. Jewell, CPA, is a business management consultant to the Architecture and Engineering industry and author of the best-selling book, Find The Lost Dollars: 6 Steps to Increase Profits in Architecture, Engineering, and Environmental Firms. For over 25 years she ran a successful business and Deltek consulting practice and is now focused on working with A&E firm leaders to help them improve their processes and systems, and give them the tools they need to be able to hold their employees and managers accountable to increase profitability. June is President of AEC Business Solutions, offering business assessment tools and business management training programs designed to help A&E firms increase profits and groom their project managers and future leaders for success.

    Will Swearingen

    WILL SWEARINGEN
    Director, Ownership Transition, Zweig Group

    Will leads Zweig Group’s research team and ownership transition consulting group. He received his BS in Biology from the University of North Carolina at Asheville and his MBA from the University of Arkansas with a focus on entrepreneurship. During that time, Will developed financial models and aided in the fundraising for a startup that has raised over 20 million dollars in capital.

    Will has worked closely with management teams across the US to develop ownership transition plans, ranging from simple one-to-one transactions to complex projects that require a great deal of modeling and stakeholder education. Will analyzes and reports on the data AEC managers need to run successful firms. From developing benchmarking tools to compensation programs for transition planning, Will builds resources for decision makers. Prior to joining Zweig Group, Will provided navigation and telemetry services for oil exploration projects, conducting data analysis for the integration of GPS and seismic readouts. Will comes from a long line of architects and has a passion for the industry that is unmatched.

    wendy-culver

    WENDY CULVER
    Chief Human Resources Officer, Mead & Hunt

    Wendy Culver, an HR veteran, leads our Human Resources team in making Mead & Hunt a great place to work. Satisfaction surveys and a healthy tenure among employees demonstrate their focus is working. “Not surprisingly, doing what’s right and what makes sense almost always equates to what’s best for both the employees and the company,” Wendy says. “At Mead & Hunt, we value relationships above all, and realize that starts from within.”

    Wendy oversees the programs that foster a family feel across the company. Frequent, company-sponsored opportunities to have fun and to give back to the community create this environment. Flexible schedules, telecommuting when appropriate, and dedicated recruitment efforts have led to a more diverse workforce and greater job satisfaction each year. “We support employees’ growth and professional interests through a robust professional development and training program called MHU,” she says. “When our employees thrive, our clients do, too.”

    Laura Nick

    LAURA NICK
    Corporate Communications Leader, Garver

    As Garver’s Corporate Communications Leader, Laura Nick leads the in-house communications team charged with all facets of branding, strategic marketing, and internal communications. Since joining the firm in 2011, she created the firm’s competitive recruitment program; developed GarverGives, the company’s employee-driven charitable giving program that prioritizes STEM partnerships; and is currently spearheading Garver’s centennial year celebration, which includes hosting all of Garver’s 650 employees in its founding city of Little Rock in October 2019. 

     

    Wendi Prange

    WENDI PRANGE
    Director of Talent Development, Lawrence Group

    Wendi Prange spent the majority of her career in human resources and organizational development.  She previously served in a dual role as the Director of Human Resources at HSHS St. Francis Hospital in Litchfield, Illinois while overseeing the learning/organizational development functions for the Central Illinois Division.  In this capacity, she planned, coordinated and led the OD initiatives across four hospitals.  

    In addition, she served on the senior leadership team at HSHS St. Francis Hospital where they scored top decile in employee engagement, culture of safety, and physician satisfaction three years consecutively.  During her time, HSHS was also the recipient of the 2017 Workplace of the Year Award from the Advisory Board (best practices firm helping health care organizations worldwide to improve performance).   

    Prange currently works as the director of talent development for Lawrence Group.  Wendi’s role was created to help the organization grow and advance by providing additional resource and structure around training, mentoring, and individual growth opportunities. 

    JC_edited

    JAMIE CLAIRE KISER
    Managing Principal, Zweig Group

    Jamie Claire is experienced in financial analysis, evaluating transactions, and providing clear solutions to the financial and operational needs of businesses. Prior to joining Zweig Group in 2015 as Director of Merger & Acquisition Services, Jamie Claire practiced law and also worked in commercial banking.

    She holds an MBA, JD, and BA in History all from the University of Arkansas. She is a managing principal at Zweig Group and serves on the firm’s board of directors. Additionally, she is an outside board member to Miyamoto International, a 180-person earthquake structural engineering firm based in Sacramento, California; and is on the board of the Buffalo River Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to conserving the Buffalo National River.

    Ozzie Nelson (1)

    JOHN “OZZIE” NELSON, JR. 
    Chairman and Co-CEO, NELSON

    John “Ozzie” Nelson Jr. is Chairman and Co-CEO of NELSON, a design, architecture, branding, and consulting services organization operating across the country and globe. Under Ozzie’s direction, the firm expanded from a one-office, traditional design firm with a single core competency to its current state of 22 locations, 10 different practice areas, and multiple fully integrated service lines. Since Ozzie became CEO of NELSON in 2003, the firm has executed 28 merger/acquisitions, taking NELSON from the rank of #37 in the industry to “Top 10” with a growth of more than 500 percent. His innovative approach to the design business has put Ozzie in high demand as a speaker for organizations including Design Colloquium, InterPlan, CoreNet, the AEC convention, NeoCon, and the annual conference for the Internal Society of Facilities Executives.

    Dickerson_Wright_t940

    DICKERSON WRIGHT, PE
    Chairman & CEO, NV5 Global

    With over 35 years of uninterrupted experience in managing and developing engineering companies, Dickerson Wright has made NV5 a major international player since its inception in 2009. Prior to NV5, Mr. Wright served as the Chief Executive Officer of Nova Group Services, Inc., a private equity sponsored engineering and consulting services company. He has Bachelor of Science Degree in Engineering from Pacific Western University and is a board certified engineer in California and Wisconsin.

    tracey square

    TRACEY D. EAVES
    Consultant, Valuation Services, Zweig Group

    Over the last 19 years, Tracey has completed valuations ranging from small businesses to multi-million-dollar operating companies to holding companies with a variety of assets.  She has worked in the AEC industry since 2010.  Assignments include companies in the United States, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Spain.  Additionally, Tracey serves as an expert witness on business valuation litigation matters.

    Tracey holds the senior-level Certified Business Appraiser (CBA) designation conferred by The Institute of Business Appraisers, the Certified Valuation Analyst (CVA) designation conferred by the National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts, the Business Certified Appraiser (BCA) designation conferred by the International Society of Business Appraisers, and the Certified Machinery and Equipment Appraiser (CMEA) designation conferred by the NEBB Institute.  Tracey currently serves as the co-chair of the International Society of Business Appraisers’ Board of Governors.  She earned a BS from Louisiana Tech University and an MBA from the University of Arkansas, Sam M. Walton College of Business.  Tracey is a member of the Institute of Business Appraisers, NACVA, the NEBB Institute, and the International Society of Business Appraisers.

    Patrick Stoltz

    PAT STOLTZ
    Group Sr. VP & Managing Director, Wintrust

    Pat leads the Wintrust national ESOP lending practice, providing competitive financing solutions to ESOP-owned companies. Pat has 27 years of commercial banking experience and a proven track record of developing and building relationships, financial analysis and risk management, and development of his staff. Throughout his career, Pat has been responsible for leading a team of bankers tasked with generating Middle Market opportunities in the Chicagoland area, and new and mature ESOP opportunities across the country.  He is a member of the Illinois and National ESOP Association and the National Center for Employee Ownership (NCEO).  Pat holds a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Ball State University and a M.B.A. from Loyola University Chicago.

    James Swabowski

    JAMES SWABOWSKI
    Senior VP, Wintrust

    Jim is responsible for managing a portfolio of national, ESOP-owned and closely held, privately-owned companies. Jim also supports new business growth by developing creative and competitive financing structures, as well as for providing counsel to existing and potential clients on a range of business decisions, including succession planning and other M&A activity. Jim is a member of the Illinois and National ESOP Association and the National Center for Employee Ownership (NCEO) and holds his Bachelor of Science in Finance from University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

    Matt_Doucet_IMG_1024_PRINT

    MATT DOUCET
    Senior VP, Wintrust

    Matt is Managing Director of Wintrust Construction, Engineering & Architecture (CE&A) Group. Mr. Doucet leads the Bank’s national CE&A lending practice, providing competitive financing solutions to the firms who support the Construction Industry.

    Matt has spent the last 28 years working with CE&A firms in the Surety and Banking Industry. He spent the first 15 years in the Surety Bonding Industry working with CE&A firms of all specialties and sizes, covering the Midwest, West and Southeast territories of the country. Over the last 13 years Matt has been in the Banking Industry partnering exclusively with CE&A firms regionally and nationally providing financing solutions to help achieve their operational goals and objectives. Matt is an active member of the CFMA, Illinois Road Transportation & Business Association, Surety Association and has been the Treasurer of the Chicago Building Congress for the past 6 years.

    Mr. Doucet holds a bachelor’s degree in Management from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

    Brady Bryan

    BRADY BRYAN
    Founder & CEO, BRAYN Consulting LLC

    Brady is the founder and CEO of BRAYN Consulting LLC. His mantra is, “How can I make my clients’ lives easier?” This fundamental question directs his constant efforts and the direction of BRAYN. Through vision and heavy investment into technology and infrastructure, he has made BRAYN a sleek, technology-driven, quality focused organization that brings optimal value to clients. Brady is a staunch advocate of adding value to clients through tax credits and incentives, and through supporting businesses in continuous process and quality improvement initiatives.

    Starting off in Houston roughnecking in the oilfield, Brady worked his way through college and promoted through various positions at the oil & gas company where he worked for 10 years. He achieved his BBA in Management from Sam Houston State University, his Juris Doctor of Laws from Southwestern Law School, and is licensed to practice law in California and Texas. After law school, Brady worked at Deloitte for several years in the R&D tax group before founding BRAYN in 2010.

    Under Brady’s direction, BRAYN now serves clients nationwide in industries such as architecture, construction, engineering, software, manufacturing, biomedical and pharmaceutical, food and beverage, real estate, and energy. He has brought together a team of professionals with a wealth of experience. The BRAYNiacs are lawyers, engineers, and accountants with extensive industry experience hailing from Big-4 and other national consulting firms. Brady lives in Valencia, CA, with his wife and three children, and has two French Bulldogs.

    Jen Newman Headshot

    JEN NEWMAN, CPSM
    Managing Director, Zweig Group

    Jen draws from her 20 + years of AEC-industry experience to help firms grow their people and profits. To Jen, there is no greater satisfaction than helping others achieve their goals. She has developed a reputation for helping organizations improve processes, create better leaders, train and retain talent, convert doers into successful doer-sellers, differentiate through client experience, create award winning campaigns, increase brand loyalty and develop winning strategies that lead to successful firm growth. She works with every client to develop recommendations for customized programs and services specific to their needs. With an energetic and enthusiastic style, she makes growth fun.

    Jen has assisted TEAM Florida and the Fort Worth YMCA with the development of member engagement strategies. Jen was given the Meritorious Service Award by the American Public Works Association (APWA) for her work leading the Florida chapter Re-Brand as well as serving as Florida conference chair. As the 2015 National Presidents Award Winner, she founded the first Texas section of the American Society of Highway Engineers (ASHE) in Dallas / Fort Worth after helping to invigorate a struggling Central Florida chapter and served on the national strategic planning committee. She was recognized as WTS NE FL Woman of the Year for her involvement in starting a non-profit to support the Port of Jacksonville in their efforts to gain deep water and her mentoring of women in transportation.

    Jen has served on the organizations national business development committee, as N. Florida President, Fort Worth formation committee, as programs and sponsorship chair for numerous regional conferences and regional conference summit facilitator. She has won numerous SMPS national marketing communications awards. Jen holds a BS in Organizational Management and Development.

    Doug Parker, dparker@zweiggroup.com

    DOUG PARKER, FSMPS, CPSM
    Managing Principal & CMO, Zweig Group

    Doug has over 23 years of experience in professional services marketing and firm management serving as CMO & COO for firms where he managed all aspects of operations including human resources, accounting, marketing, IT, and administration. He began his career in the AEC industry in 1996 and has served in leadership positions for firms ranging from a 30-person sole proprietorship to a 250-person national firm with nine offices.

    Doug has deep involvement in the AEC industry and is an active member of the Society for Marketing Professional Services (SMPS) where he is the President-Elect of the Society’s National Board of Directors; is a two-time Chair of the SMPS Southern Regional Conference; is a past president of the SMPS Houston Chapter; and recently served as co-chair for the Society’s annual conference, Build Business. Doug holds a BA double major in Communications and Psychology.

    Megan Miller_Deltek

    MEGAN MILLER, CPSM
    Product Marketing Manager, Deltek

    Megan Miller, CPSM is an experienced marketing professional with a passion for helping AEC firms know more about their business and do more for the clients. She leads the Deltek Clarity A&E Industry Report, providing key insights, benchmarks and trends to A&E firms throughout the U.S. and Canada. Prior to joining Deltek, Megan spent more than 10 years in the A/E industry and continues to work with firms around the world to help them improve their businesses through better processes and better solutions so they can win more, manage more, deliver more and measure more. Megan is currently serving as the president of SMPS Greater Cincinnati.

    Bob Hanson Low Res

    BOB HANSON
    Vice President, WGI

    Robert (Bob) Hanson is a Vice President leading WGI’s Geospatial Division. Bob possesses a background in national intelligence analysis and products, senior leadership roles for the delivery of extensive federal geospatial programs for the missions of DoD, USACE, DOI – Census Bureau and NITA, FEMA, FCC, NOAA, PHSMA, and numerous state and municipal departments and agencies. Private clients included major telecommunications and broadband providers. He is currently on the Board of Directors and is the President-Elect for MAPPS (Management Association of Private Photogrammetric Surveyors). Hanson has led significant engineering and infrastructure-related geospatial programs throughout his 38-year career. He has substantial international experience working in Egypt, Panama, and Russia on USAID, USACE, and DoE sponsored programs. Bob has a Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of South Florida and a GISP Certified Professional. He leads WGI’s Geospatial Division that offers professional technical services and products using a very diverse set of advanced technologies. The Division is comprised of specialists performing field collection and processing of survey or other remotely sensed data for infrastructure, landforms and land ownership; subsurface utility engineering, and the Division employs advanced sensors. The Division specializes in Unmanned Aircraft Systems, Autonomous Hydrographic Vessels and Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) for spatial data collection and data analytics.

    Paul Greenhagen

    PAUL GREENHAGEN
    President & CEO, Westwood Professional Services

    Paul was appointed Westwood’s president in 2010. He is an executive principal and licensed professional surveyor with over 30 years of experience practicing his profession, building client relationships, developing new business opportunities, and creating strong teams. As CEO and President, Paul is focused on corporate development, strategic alignment, risk management, and sustainable and scalable growth. His strong leadership and character has led Westwood through difficult economic conditions to emerge strong and positioned for continued success. Paul emphasizes a culture of integrity and enabling staff to achieve success through client satisfaction and personal and professional growth.

    Paul joined Westwood’s land surveying team in 1986 as a field crew leader and eventually managed and led the team to grow to 90 staff and 30 survey crews. His relentless drive to deliver top-quality services to his clients resulted in his expertise in all aspects of land, renewables, power delivery, and oil and gas project development including project management, business development, and corporate operations. Paul is a registered land surveyor in six states and has served as the licensed professional surveyor on substantial projects across the nation and within each of Westwood’s six markets. Paul serves as the chair on Westwood’s board of directors.

    Jill Souter_Image

    JILL SOUTER
    Project Manager, Landpoint

    Jill Souter is a Project Manager and co-owner of Landpoint, a technology oriented land surveying business – and a past recipient of Zweig Group’s Hot Firm Award (#3 – 2014). Jill has worked on many demanding projects during her career, from facility layouts requiring sub-1mm precision, to multi-state pipelines.

    Jill was born into a family of land surveyors, and became interested in the profession during high school and throughout college where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from Louisiana Tech University. She began working as an office assistant during her school breaks and studied the subject during school sessions. In 2006, she started working as a rodman, quickly working her way up to crew chief – and eventually, Project Manager. During her time in the field, Jill learned the challenges of accurate data collection that could only be discovered through hands on experience.

    In her current role as a Project Manager and L.S.I.T at Landpoint, Jill is fortunate to work with innovative technology on a day-to-day basis. In the past few years, she has utilized many methods of field collection including total stations, robotics, laser scanners, and more recently – LiDAR and photogrammetric data from UAV’s. Jill embraces the fact that these technologies are changing the way surveyors think about collecting, storing, analyzing, and distributing data on a massive scale.

    Pete Atherton

    PETE ATHERTON, PE
    President & Founder, ActionsProve

    Peter C. Atherton, P.E. is an A/E/C industry insider having spent more than 20 years as a successful professional civil engineer, principal, major owner, and member of the board of directors for a high-achieving firm. Pete is now the President and Founder of ActionsProve, LLC (www.actionsprove.com), author of Reversing Burnout. How to Immediately Engage Top Talent and Grow! A Blueprint for Professionals and Business Owners, and the creator of the I.M.P.A.C.T. process.

    Pete works with A/E/C firms to grow and advance their success through better strategic planning implementation, executive coaching, performance-based employee engagement, and corporate impact design.

    Chad Coldiron

    CHAD COLDIRON
    Director, Executive Search, Zweig Group

    Chad Coldiron is Zweig Group’s Director of Executive Search. Passionate about team building and working along side design firms to enhance their team’s overall presence in the AEC industry. His professional background has included experience in the areas of leadership, retention, recruiting, sales, risk management, social behaviors and contract negotiation.

    Prior to joining Zweig Group, Chad developed and directed the client retention department for one of the fastest growing independent insurance brokerages in the U.S. Since joining Zweig Group as a consultant he has worked with AEC firms throughout the U.S. on a variety of strategic hiring initiatives as well as organizational restructuring, ownership transition, employee training, marketing, and growth campaigns. He brings a unique approach to building the right teams in order maximize the client’s growth potential while driving down their overall cost per hire.

    Chad launched his career by developing strong and valuable relationships in the local and professional communities around Northwest Arkansas. He holds a BS in Financial Management from the University of Arkansas’ Walton College of Business. Outside of his work at Zweig Group, he enjoys live music, sports, bonsai, antiques, cooking for his friends and family, and playing fetch with his dog until his arm gives out.

    Delrae-Bennett-1

    DELRAE BENNETT
    Senior Technical Consultant, Time Counts, LLC

    I’m a farm girl from Iowa and everything I do today reflects that upbringing. You can take the girl out of the country but not the country from the girl. You didn’t take a tractor and wagon to the back 40 acres and forget something! Equipment made work easier if used properly and safely. Every step was carefully considered. Fast forward 30 some years and it still holds true.

    Just as any entrepreneur, I’m a self-starter & self-taught to get the job done. I was the oldest and put in charge all the time. With three younger brothers you had to be fearless! How I got them from Point A to Point B was never given… or questioned!

    I entered engineering college as the only female in classes. I parked cars in my cheerleading uniform before football games. I had to run the chains sometimes. I worked from 4 to midnight as a student engineer in a utility company. I worked hard just as I had learned on the farm.

    I’m never afraid to explore new technology that makes our life easier. My grandfather would’ve loved to tell Siri to open the barn door for the cows! Today’s farms & businesses, digitalizing refers to enabling, improving and/or transforming business operations, functions, business models/processes and/or activities. Voice control, Bots, AI, Machine learning, uses these as components on the right technology.

    Working smarter not harder has always been my mantra. If you got this far…ask me about my new farm client!

    Dr. Ashley Anne_headshot

    ASHLEY ANNE
    Owner, Lotus Healing LLC

    Dr. Ashley Anne is a licensed neurocounselor and founder of Lotus Healing, an online coaching, consulting, and health education company that educates humans on how to create healthy, happy lives. Dr. Ashley’s 14-year journey as a researcher enabled her to translate findings from the fields of Communication, Interpersonal Neurobiology, Physics, and more to create easy-to-apply tools and practices for individuals, communities, and corporations.

    Through one-on-one coaching, executive consulting, and self-guided online education through Lotus Healing Academy, she empowers her clients to optimize the five dimensions of being human – body, mind, relationships, energy, and consciousness – to resolve disease and disorder, stimulate innovation, and elevate their personal and professional lives.

    Christy

    CHRISTY ZWEIG NIEHUES
    DIRECTOR, RESEARCH & E-COMMERCE, ZWEIG GROUP

    Christy Zweig Niehues has a long history of involvement with management consulting and the AEC industry. She has held a number of roles at Zweig Group, including writing and researching for The Zweig Letter, and civil + structural ENGINEER magazine.  She currently is the firm’s marketing director as well as the leader of the marketing consulting division.

    Christy has a passion for online marketing and has worked with many AEC Firms to find the best processes and methods to drive new and repeat business for their individual organizations. Her marketing experience also includes work at The Sustainability Consortium, as a licensed Real Estate Agent, and she runs a horse boarding and training operation for off the track thoroughbreds.  She holds a master’s degree in business administration and a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Arkansas.

    sepi

    SEPI SAIDI, PE
    President & CEO, SEPI, Inc.

    Sepi Saidi is a visionary leader who founded SEPI Engineering & Construction, Inc. (SEPI, Inc.) in 2001 and has led the company to become a premier, full-service consultancy firm offering concept to completion services, technical solutions, and inspired design for the built environment. With more than 350 employees, SEPI is an ENR Top 500 ranked firm and has earned eight consecutive Zweig Group Hot Firm List Awards with $39.3 million in revenue in 2018.

    Incorporating the firm’s core values, SEPI is dedicated to providing a unique work space and environment for its employees to plan, design, build, and give back to the communities in which we serve. With a dedicated passion to support organizations that align with the health, safety, and well-being of the families in our communities, Sepi and the firm are proud to be champions of community service through our SEPI Spirit volunteer program.

    A Professional Engineer and alumna of North Carolina State University, with degrees in Civil and Agricultural Engineering, Sepi has been named by the Triangle Business Journal as the 2018 Businessperson of the Year, was selected as a Charlotte Business Journal 2018 Women in Business Achievement Award winner, and has been inducted into the North Carolina Business Hall of Fame

    Lisa Kay

    LISA KAY
    President, Alta Enviornmental an NV5 Company

    Lisa is the President of Alta Environmental where she leads a team of high performing environmental, health, and safety consultants with the mission of making businesses and communities cleaner, stronger, and safer. Alta provides compliance and strategic solutions to meet regulatory requirements for the largest agencies and companies in the world.

    Lisa joined Alta as a partner and its President in 2014, building and growing the firm to win 3 consecutive The Best Firm to Work For Awards and 2 consecutive Hot Firm Awards. On June 2 of this year Alta was acquired by NV5 and is now an NV5 Company.

    Lisa has spent much of her career building and growing environmental firms. She has successfully turned around and grew three underperforming companies leading to their ultimate acquisition. Prior to joining Alta, Lisa spent a decade in leadership positions at Weston Solutions after the sale of MEC Analytical Systems, Inc. to Weston.

    Lisa’s technical work has been in support of municipal government, federal government, port district, and industrial clients with policy and strategy support on environmental quality issues. She was recently appointed to the EPA Environmental Finance Advisory Board Technical Expert Working Group on Stormwater Infrastructure

    Lori Wheeler - Wortham Ins-009 HR

    LORI WHEELER
    Managing Director, Marsh Wortham

    Lori is responsible for developing program design, implementation, daily service and claims management on Professional Indemnity / Management Liability coverages.  She has cultivated numerous relationships with key insurers during her career and utilizes her home office level relationships with carriers and intimate understanding of the underwriting and claims processes to now benefit the insureds she represents.  Lori works with insureds from all industry groups and corporate structures: private, public and non-profit companies.

    Lori has 29 years experience in the insurance industry, beginning her insurance career in 1990.  She has spent her career specializing in Directors & Officers Liability (nonprofit, private and public), Employment Practices Liability, Fiduciary Liability, Crime Coverage, Cyber Liability, Kidnap & Ransom, and Errors & Omissions Liability coverages.  She has worked as a senior level broker / technician for several brokerage firms and as a Texas based regional underwriting manager for AIG, Kemper, and Ace.  In October 2011, Lori joined Wortham Insurance’s Professional Indemnity Practice, becoming a Wortham Managing Director in January 2013

    Regan Katz - Wortham Ins-066 LR

    REGAN KATZ
    Managing Director/Senior Sales Leader, Marsh Wortham

    Over the course of her insurance career, Regan Katz has focused on professional service clients, providing risk management advice and designing strategic programs for law firms and other legal service providers. She has been a managing director of Wortham Insurance since 2014, and she co-chairs the company’s national law practice group.

    An expert on professional liability, Katz regularly speaks on cyber and privacy topics at national events such as the Claims & Litigation Management Alliance Annual Conference, the Professional Risk Symposium and Hinshaw’s Legal Malpractice & Risk Management Conference. Prior to joining Wortham, Katz worked for a public accounting firm and for Marsh & McLennan, and participated in a year-long development program for top producers in New York.

    Robert Hughes Headshot

    ROBERT HUGHES
    Senior Vice President, Partner, Ames & Gough

    Rob Hughes is a SVP and equity partner with Ames & Gough.  He joined Ames & Gough in 2007 and is the founder of our Philadelphia, PA office. Rob has specialized in the insurance placement, risk management and claims consulting to architects, engineers, environmental consultants, construction managers and law firms for over 20 years.

    Prior to Ames & Gough, he was with XL Insurance for more than 10 years and served in a variety of capacities, including his last position as senior counsel and vice president.  Prior to that position, Rob was the Executive in charge of XL’s Claims Group responsible for the handling and oversight of A/E/CM professional liability claims throughout the United States and Worldwide.

    He started his carrier in the industry as a practicing attorney in Philadelphia with a focus on design firms; transactional and professional liability defense. He holds a B.S. degree in Civil Engineering and a law degree.

    Joe Garin high res

    JOSEPH GARIN
    Partner, Lipson Neilson, P.C.

    A dedicated advocate, Joseph P. Garin maintains a national practice, focusing on defense of professional liability claims, insurance coverage disputes, directors and officers claims, risk management, commercial litigation and employer/employee disputes. He regularly consults with insurers and businesses of all sizes to manage their risks and reduce litigation expenses, and is frequently consulted as an expert witness. Throughout his career, Mr. Garin has defended more than 400 lawyers and law firms across Michigan, Illinois, Nevada and Colorado. He is experienced in complex and commercial litigation matters, including cases involving breach of contract and unfair business practices. He has successfully pursued and resisted claims for extraordinary relief, such as temporary restraining orders and preliminary and permanent injunctions.

    Mr. Garin is a former Chair and current member of the Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility to the Nevada State Bar. A Certified Litigation Management Professional, Mr. Garin serves as Co-Chair on the Professional Liability Committee of The Claims and Litigation Management (CLM) Alliance. Mr. Garin has served as a court-appointed special master and settlement facilitator. He is an SCAO-trained Mediator. He has been a featured speaker at continuing education conferences on a national and state level. He teaches continuing legal education seminars locally and nationally in cooperation with various local bar associations. Mr. Garin serves on the Board of Directors of ENSURE Children’s Hospital of Michigan and the Advisory Board of Think Detroit.

    Alex_Ricardo2

    ALEX RICARDO
    Director of Business Development, Cyber & Executive Risk- Beasley Insurance

    Alex joined Beazley in April 2011 and is based in Beazley’s New York City office. He is responsible for assuring BBR insureds take full advantage of the professional services made available to them to reduce their risk & liability profile prior to or in the event of a privacy breach incident. Alex graduated from the Stevens Institute of Technology with a Bachelor of Engineering degree. He has been in the privacy sector for fifteen years and is a Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP/US).

    KaraClowerweb

    KARA CLOWER
    Business Manager/Integrator, LACO Associates

    As the Business Manager and Integrator for LACO Associates, Kara Clower leads the company through execution of the business plan, while maintaining the human element. She unites teams to heighten employee engagement and to strengthen focus, accountability, and results. She ensures everyone in the organization is moving forward in the same direction, so all functions of the business are working harmoniously together.

    Through her passion for people, education, and experience, Ms. Clower knows how to communicate information in a way the audience can relate. She is now focused “in” the business and using technology to share company communications to drive employee engagement.

    In 2018, LACO received an award for Marketing Excellence ranking #1 in Social Media for a marketing campaign she designed and led. In addition, she led the firm in improving the employee experience and LACO was awarded with Best Firm to Work For in 2018 and 2019.

    Susan Stromweb

    SUSAN STROM
    Director of Client Success, Knowledge Architecture

    Susan is responsible for serving Knowledge Architecture clients through account, project, and community management. Susan has helped over 100 AEC firms launch their Synthesis intranets and is a key contributor to Knowledge Architecture’s intranet management best practices. In addition to working directly with our clients, you’ll also find Susan curating case studies for Knowledge Architecture’s webinars and workshops.

    Susan has spoken on knowledge management for organizations including Deltek and SMPS and has taught knowledge management strategy at Columbia University. Her previous roles in organizational design, project management, and engineering systems at Mazzetti and Gilbane Building Company allow her to draw upon a broad range of experiences to meet the needs of our clients.

    Outside of work, you can always find Susan learning something new. (Right now it’s freestyle swimming and crochet.)

    Joy Guinn_Headshot

    JOY GUINN, FSMPS, CPSM
    Consultant, Marketing & BD Services, Zweig Group

    Joy brings over 20 years of experience as a management, marketing and communications professional.  She has a strong ability to conceptualize and implement strategic ideas and solutions and is skilled in effective interpersonal relationships and clearly communicating information to develop consensus.

    Joy is a Fellow of the Society for Marketing Professional Services (SMPS) and has served in volunteer leadership positions for the American Public Works Association (APWA) and Business Networking International (BNI). Through this experience, she understands the challenges of professional associations to recruit, retain and recognize members, educate and advocate for the profession, and connect members in a meaningful way. In addition, her skills include writing, designing, and producing documents that highlight key messages and themes.

    Joy has also led and actively participated in strategic planning, capture planning, and internal staff training for firms ranging in employee size from 25 to more than 14,000 and multiple organizations such as APWA and SMPS.  She holds a BBA from West Virginia University.

    phil square

    PHIL KEIL
    Director, Strategic Planning, Zweig Group

    Phil has a background in a diverse range of competencies including sales, M&A, strategy, engineering, supply chain, physics, government, and R&D. He holds BS degrees in Chemical Engineering and Physics as well as an MBA with a focus on entrepreneurship, innovation, and strategy from the University of Arkansas. 

    Prior to joining Zweig Group, Phil worked for a Fortune 100 chemical company managing multi-million dollar projects as an improvement engineer in various manufacturing capacities, helped develop sales and supply chain strategies with a large innovative company for the world’s largest retailer, and has served in the U.S. Air Force practicing leadership, organizational management, training, and standardization procedures for hundreds of aircraft armament systems troops. In 2017, Phil was recognized by the Northwest Arkansas Business Journal as a member of the “Fast 15” for his business and leadership accomplishments. 

     Phil’s diverse background allows him to provide unique and innovative solutions to grow the value of Zweig Group’s clients. 

    Moen_Amy_sq

    AMY MOEN
    Principal, HOK

    Amy’s professional journey began in academics and art: she holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in printmaking from The University of Texas at Austin. In 1996, after a friend talked her into helping him market his architecture practice, she found a profession where her art-making processes were a fit: discovering, creating, problem-solving and contributing. Amy finds inspiration in connecting with people and their work in the built environment. 

    With over 22 years of experience, Amy specializes in marketing and business development for architecture and engineering firms. In 2003, she earned the Certified Professional Services Marketer designation. The Society for Marketing Professional Services (SMPS) Houston Chapter recognized her with the Hall of Fame Award in 2017 and the Marketing Excellence Award in 2011. Amy serves on the Construction Owners Association of America (COAA) Texas Chapter leadership team. She is a member of the board of directors for two non-profit organizations: The Hines Center for Spirituality and Every Shelter. 

    In her role as Marketing Principal for HOK’s south central region, Amy directs a strategic, proactive business development program and related marketing and business development activities, staff, and resources. She is a member of the region’s senior leadership team who work together to build and implement the business unit’s strategic business plan. Amy is a member of HOK’s Marketing Board, a group of marketing principals and firm-wide directors who work together on marketing, business development and PR initiatives focused on building client-centered relationships and promoting HOK. 

    Michael Davis Headshot

    MICHAEL DAVIS
    CSO, WGI

    Michael is a Senior Vice President, and Chief Strategy Officer of WGI.  He is responsible for the firm’s strategic planning initiatives and annual business plan formulation – – helping facilitate WGI’s substantial growth.  This also includes leading WGI’s M&A initiatives. As part of the executive leadership team Michael is actively involved in WGI policy.  

    Michael provides support to WGI divisions and high-priority projects.  With four decades of high level experience in strategic planning, water resources, environmental policy, legislation, and governmental relations, including NEPA and Army Corps of Engineers planning and regulatory processes, Michael’s reputation and recognition provides WGI clients a profound resource for resolving strategic planning, water resources and environmental issues, as well as policy and legislative consulting services. He served in a senior capacity in the Army Corps of Engineers, White House Council on Environmental Quality, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and U.S. Department of the Interior. This included serving as Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works, Associate Director of the White House CEQ, and federal Director of Everglades Restoration during eight years of the Clinton Administration. 

    Jered Morris 2018 (2)

    JARED MORRIS
    Senior Vice President, Olsson

    Jered is the Senior Vice President of Sales & Growth for Olsson.  He also serves on the Senior Leadership Team guiding the firm’s overall growth strategy.  His responsibilities include oversight of the firm’s marketing, business development and client experience teams along with leading the firm’s focused growth initiatives.  He also leads efforts in the firm’s M&A and key recruiting strategy.   

    When he began his nearly 20-year tenure with the firm as a design engineer, 250 employees called Olsson home.  As the firm successfully grew and transitioned to a matrix structure in 2008, he began service as one of the firm’s first Market Sector Leaders.  In 2016, and with over 1,000 employee owners, he advanced into serving as the firm’s first Director of Business Development, where he created a team and internal structure to support the firm’s growing client base.   

    As the firm has eclipsed 1,300 employee owners in 2019, he continues to provide leadership in how to grow business unit’s profitability with satisfied clients, where over 90% of the firm’s revenue is with repeat clientele.  He brings significant experience in strategic leadership and growth strategy for entering new geographies/markets. 

    Jered prides himself on service; to clients, to those he serves within the firm and in the community at large.  He’s very active in his local community, with emphasis on economic development efforts through prior service as President of the Sarpy County Economic Development Corporation (suburban Omaha) along with recent appointments to the Lincoln, Nebraska EDC.  He’s also served on local Sanitary and Improvement District boards in Omaha along with various appointments throughout greater Lincoln and Omaha.  In addition, he’s heavily involved in his local church community. 

    His number one priority is to his family, where he and his wife, Jamie will be celebrating 20-years of marriage this January.  They are the proud parents of five children and reside in Lincoln, Nebraska.   

    The Evolution of the Hot Firm & A/E Industry Awards to Elevate AEC

    “We really do need to celebrate more… we see Elevate AEC – and especially the awards component – as an essential celebration of what we do.”

    — Chad Clinehens, PE
    President & CEO, Zweig Group

    Our 2019 Sponsors

    CTA Logo
    NAP_CircleLogo web

    SPECIAL THANKS TO THE M&A NEXT SYMPOSIUM PRESENTING SPONSOR

    Become a Sponsor

    Investing in an Elevate AEC bundled sponsorship offers the most value for your marketing dollars. Your company’s brand will be firmly positioned across one of the leading and most recognized events in the AEC industry.

    Enter Our Awards

    Is your firm a Hot Firm?  Are you a Best Firm To Work For? Are you a Top New Venture? Do you have a Rising Star? Found out now by entering Zweig Group’s awards programs which recognizes outstanding firm performance in the AEC Industry.

    CANCELLATION POLICY

    Registrations cancelled more than 60 days before the event are eligible for an 80% refund of the registration fees paid. Registrations cancelled less than 60 days, but more than 30 days before the event are eligible for a 50% refund of the registration fees paid. Registrations cancelled less than 30 days before the event are not eligible for a refund.