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The Principals Academy Fall 2024 in Scottsdale

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The Principals Academy is Zweig Group’s flagship training program encompassing all aspects of managing a professional AEC service firm. Elevate your ability to lead and grow your firm with this program designed to inspire and inform existing and emerging AEC firm leaders in key areas of firm management leadership, financial management, recruiting, marketing, business development, and project management. Learning and networking at this premiere event challenges traditional seminar formats and integrates participatory idea exchange led by Chad ClinehensZweig Group's President & CEO, Tom Godin, Director of Strategic Planning Services, as well as the firm’s top line up of advisors.

Zweig Group’s leadership team draws from our 35+ year history working with AEC firms to teach the latest approaches to managing and operating successful firms – using our comprehensive data set of industry benchmarks and best practices. The Principals Academy is like a mini-MBA for design and technical professionals and is an impactful way to learn how to build your career and your firm. 

Who should attend?

  •  AEC C-suite & firm owners
  •  Experienced principals looking to enhance their knowledge
  •  Legal, accounting, insurance, consulting, and advisors specialized in the AEC industry
  •  Emerging firm leaders
  •  Department, division, and branch managers
  •  Project Managers and senior design/technical staff

    Module 1: What It Means to Be a Principal
    Facts about the role of Principal

    What it means to be a Principal in an AEC firm
    Qualities & expectations of Principals

    Module 2: Business and Strategic Planning
    Why strategic plans are critical to success
    Building & executing a business plan
    How to get staff to embrace a growth culture and to work toward long-term growth

    Module 3: Marketing
    Marketing principles to drive firm success
    Critical elements of marketing & branding
    How to market and sell a service as a product
    The unique challenges of marketing in a professional services firm

    Module 4: Business Development & Sales
    Differences in marketing, sales, and business development
    Strategic business development approaches
    Maximizing the client relationship and client experience
    The role of the doer-seller

    Module 5: Recruiting & Retention
    Hiring and keeping talent in a tight market
    Mentorship, accountability, and career development
    Driving a “Best Firm to Work For” culture and employee experience
    How to measure recruitment process effectiveness: key data points to track

    Module 6: Financial Performance
    How to read and interpret financial statements to drive results
    Key performance metrics and drivers of these metrics
    Working capital and improving the cycle of how a project becomes cash through billing and collections processes
    Connecting metrics to firm strategy

    Module 7: Firm Ownership, Transition, and M&A
    Developing and executing an ownership and leadership transition strategy

    Common methods, best practices, and attributes for effective internal and external transitions
    Demystifying the M&A process

    Module 8: Management & Leadership
    Techniques to improve project management
    Effectively managing clients and project partners
    How to lead teams and communicate effectively

    Module 9: Principals Roundtable
    Expanded discussion with attendees
    Recommendations to address attendee challenges

    Upon completion, attendees will receive a certificate of completion electronically for self-reporting. This seminar offers 12 CE credits.


    Venue Information:

    Hotel Valley Ho

    6850 East Main Street
    ScottsdaleAZ 85251


    Brief Agenda for Travel Accommodations

    Tuesday, November 12
    Breakfast - 7:30am
    First Module - 8:30am
    Last Module - 2:45pm
    Optional Happy Hour will conclude at 6:00pm

    Wednesday, November 13
    Breakfast - 7:30am
    Round Table Discussion will conclude at 2:00pm

    Survey Participation: 

    Participants in Zweig Group’s Principals, Partners, & Owners Survey will receive a discount of 15% on a registration to this event. Click here to participate.

    To be notified of future dates and locations, inquire about group pricing or for immediate assistance, please email events@zweiggroup.com or call the Zweig Group team at 800.466.6275.

    Get to know our Principals Academy sponsor, CTA, and let them help you find solutions to fund your future. They are here to help guide you through this tax season and provide you with expert advice and accurate results.