The Principals Academy is Zweig Group’s flagship training program encompassing all aspects of managing a professional AEC service firm. It’s the most impactful two days you can spend learning about principal leadership, financial management, recruiting, marketing, business development, and project management.
The program is presented by a team of speakers—including Zweig Group Founder and Chairman Mark Zweig and President and CEO Chad Clinehens—with extensive experience working with and for A/E firms. The Zweig Group team has a clear understanding of what it takes to lead and grow a firm. The Principals Academy is continuously updated with the latest approaches to leading a successful firm with an expanded focus on business development, strategic planning, and financial management. The Principals Academy is like a two-day MBA for design and technical professionals and is the most impactful two days you can spend learning to build your career and your firm.

Dates and Locations

Charleston, SC.

October 25-26, 2018

Dallas, TX.

April 24-25, 2019

Seattle, WA.

June 5-6, 2019

Minneapolis, MN.

July 17-18, 2019

New York, NY.

October 23-24, 2019

Venue Information

Charleston, SC | October 25-26, 2018

Discounted rooms are available here: DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel and Suites – Charleston-Historic District

Group rate is available until October 3, 2018. To be notified of future dates and locations or for immediate assistance, please email or call our customer support team at 1 800 466 6275

Dallas, TX | April 24-25, 2019

Discounted rooms are available here: Lorenzo Hotel

To be notified of future dates and locations or for immediate assistance, please email or call our customer support team at 1 800 466 6275

Seattle, WA | June 5-6, 2019

Discounted rooms are available here: Hotel Theodore Seattle

To be notified of future dates and locations or for immediate assistance, please email or call our customer support team at 1 800 466 6275

Minneapolis, MN | July 17-18, 2019

Discounted rooms are available here: Hewing Hotel

To be notified of future dates and locations or for immediate assistance, please email or call our customer support team at 1 800 466 6275


The two-day agenda covers several critical areas of business management from the unique perspective of architecture, engineering, and environmental consulting firms, and is presented in tutorial and case study workshop sessions.

Day one

  • What it means to be a principal
  • Business Planning
  • Accounting
  • Recruiting and retention
  • Marketing
  • Firm ownership and transition
  • Cocktail reception

Day two

  • Financial management
  • Project management
  • Management and leadership
  • Business development and sales
  • M&A in an hour
  • How to lead a successful firm
  • Principals roundtable

* Breakfast is provided both days from 7:30-8:30

Meet the Presenters

Mark Zweig

Founder and Chairman
Main: 800.466.6275
Direct: 479.856.6188
Mobile: 508.380.0469

Chad Clinehens

President and CEO
Main: 800.466.6275
Direct: 479.856.6097
Mobile: 501.551.2659

Jamie Claire Kiser

Director of Consulting
Office: 800.466.6275
Direct: 479.435.6521
Mobile: 479.530.4184
Director of Education

Additional Information

Who should attend:

  • Presidents, CEOs, CFOs, and COOs of architecture, engineering, planning, environmental consulting, and construction businesses
  • AEC firm owners
  • Experienced principals looking to enhance their knowledge
  • Legal, accounting, insurance, consulting, and advisors specialized in the AEC industry
  • Associates and recently-named principals
  • Department, division and branch managers
  • Project Managers and senior design and technical staff

Why attend Principals Academy:

  • Learn what it takes to be a successful leader in this business
  • Hear about industry best practices that the most-successful firms use to stay on top
  • Gain a wider perspective on AEC firm management
  • Return armed with leadership and teambuilding strategies to share with other principals, managers, and staff

You will learn about these critical elements of firm performance:

  • How to develop a business plan that will help your firm succeed
  • The fundamentals of sound financial management
  • The keys to managing projects efficiently and profitably
  • How to find and keep top level talent
  • How to ensure the firm’s survival through ownership transition

Your course fee includes:

A comprehensive seminar workbook, breakfast, lunch, and refreshments each day. Plus, you’re invited to join seminar presenters and fellow attendees for an open-bar cocktail and networking reception in the hotel at the conclusion of the first day. *Registration fee does NOT include lodging.

Special Feature: Career and Firm Growth Roundtable

The Principals Academy program includes an extended Q&A session with industry leader Mark Zweig and the panel of speakers. This provides the attendees an opportunity to discuss in-depth the issues facing them at their firms with advice offered from industry leading experts.

Great continuing education credits!
Attendees of The Principals Academy earn 12 PDH / 1.2 CEUs

Zweig Group seminars are eligible for Professional Development Hours credits and Continuing Education Units. All attendees receive a certificate of completion indicating the number of hours earned during each seminar. Zweig Group is a registered provider with the American Institute of Architects.

Refund Policy

  • Cancellations received at least 15 days prior to program date, Zweig Group will issue a full refund.
  • Cancellations received between 14 days and 4 days prior to program date, Zweig Group will issue credit toward any future training event. Credits are valid for 6 months from issue date.
  • Cancellations received 3 days or less before a program date, no refunds or credits will be issued. Refunds or credits will not be issued for “no-shows.” Registrants may choose another event or substitute and attendee without penalty at any time.

Please note locations are subject to change when a meeting space has not yet been finalized. Prior to making flight or hotel arrangements, please contact  or call 800-466-6275 for the latest information on hotels, venues and seminars updates.

All the topics were spot on and hit relevant ideas, issues, concerns and solutions. Everyone was great, mainly because they have real world experience which relate to our pain and struggles.
Lisa Gobrecht
President, Daft-McCune Walker.
Lots of content in 2 days. Very helpful to identify/diagnose issues within our firm. Would recommend this seminar to anyone looking to improve their firm. Zweig Group has a deep bench and can help us refine and institutionalize our process.
Sean Dundon
Principal, Blackstone Consulting LLC.
I learned something valuable from every single module.
Stephen Robinson
President, SKA Consulting Engineers.
Left leaving with the tools and processes to lead a successful firm.
Zam Abdulla
Callidus Engineering.
Understanding the role of a principal from big picture perspective. Strategies for business development and financial management.
Aravind Rangaswamy
Department Manager, ECS Florida.
Each presentation was informative and useful in its own way.
Jason Pisano
Principal, Hom-Pisano Engineering.
This is a very eye-opening seminar and gives me multiple things to think about. Defined our needs to move forward.
Jim Bishoff
Principal, J2 Engineers.
Provided great perspectives on the industry. Developing strategic business and marketing plans need to be a part of the business for success. The tactics discussed at TPA, I plan to implement immediately.
Kathy Stiller
Sr. Project Manager, Brightfields, Inc.
The Principals Academy was exactly what our firm needed to take the next step forward. The broad range of topics gives us a whole firm management approach.
Taryn Erickson
BD Director, Trindera Engineering
This course taught me a lot about properly filling the role of principal.
Adam Haroz
Engineering Manager, Conversion Technology, Inc.
Very good practical examples for real world business problems and ideas for solutions.
 Janelle Lee
Project Manager/Market Sector Lead, Trindera Engineering
Thank you, this was great content for us. Validated some things, and gave us lots to think about going forward!
John Schwarz
Principal/V.P,  David J. Powers & Associates
A lot of good information that I can use to improve my effectiveness as a principal.
Russ Randall
Principal, Carl Walker, Inc.

For immediate assistance
contact us at 800.466.6275.