Coalition Member Spotlight

 

Member Spotlight Questions:

  • Coalition Contact:     Dickson O'Brien
  • Firm:    GWA, Inc.
  • Location: Columbia, SC
  • What market areas does your firm serve? We are based in South Carolina but are licensed to provide electrical engineering services in ten states. Our firm experience includes healthcare, industry, data center and mission critical, commercial, educational, transportion, water and wastewater, streetscaping, sports lighting and governmental facilities. 
  • Being a member in ACEC / CAMEE, what is one thing you have learned and been able to apply? Learning about firm management tools and techniques that allow smaller firms like ours to share some of the efficiencies and benefits of much larger firms.
  • I am an engineer because… I always had a natural curiosity, always seeking to undersand how things around me worked. Engineering allowed me to channel this curiosity and, I hope use my problem-solving abilities to improve the world around me.
  • If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be? That's a tough one. But I'd like to be a project manager at DARPA for a day, just to be able to have some insight on cutting edge - and likely unconventional - technologies that are being created. 
  • What are the top three things on your bucket list? They're not actually related to engineering: a trip to Ireland, a western elk hunt and an extended Alaskan sea and rail adventure.
  • Where is your favorite vacation spot?  Pawley's Island, SC

 

Member Spotlight Questions:

  • Coalition Contact: Chad Grinsteiner
  • Firm:  White Engineering Associates, Inc.
  • Location: Oklahoma City, OK
  • What market sectors does your firm serve? We provide structural engineering and design services to a variety of sectors. Primarily, we serve the transportation sector with the design of bridges and related items. We also work in the design and investigation of vertical building structures in the institutional and commercial sectors.
  • Being a member in ACEC / CASE, what is one thing you have learned and been able to apply? Through membership in ACEC, I've had exposure to a variety of business topics I didn't experience in engineering school, particularly contract law. I feel I now have a better understanding of what to look for and the ramifications of agreeing to certain contract language.
  • I am an engineer because … My father is an independent contractor who started working in the construction industry before I was born, so building is in my blood. I was always fascinated by the construction drawings he carried with him and what went into their creation. That curiosity led me to engineering, and the passion to build keeps me motivated.
  • If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be? Engineering has always been truly satisifying for me and I cannot see myself doing anything else. However, being a former player, I'm often intrigued by the ability of so many football coaches to bring team players together for a common goal on a routine basis. I would enjoy working alongside a coach at the highest of levels to experience firsthand. I feel many motivational skills in sports transcend well into the business arena and provide a different perspective.
  • What are the top three items on your bucket list? Watch both my sons find their life's passion and turn it into a career; Retire with my wife when we still have the time and health to enjoy it; Visit all 50 states.
  • What is your favorite vacation spot?  Any place that puts a smail on the faces of my family.

 


 

Member Spotlight Questions:

  • Coalition Contact: Jim Purkey
  • Firm: Reid Middleton, Inc
  • Location: Everett, WA
  • What market areas does your firm serve? Reid Middleton provides civil and structural engineering, planning and permitting, and surveying services to public and private sector clients in the western portion of the USA. We specialize in aviation, civic & municipal, commercial, education, federal government, healthcare, industrial, military, recreational, retail & hospitality, state government, transportation, and waterfront projects.
  • Is your firm looking to expand into new markets in 2017? If yes, what is one new area the firm would like to expand into? No expansion is planned for this year.
  • Being a member in ACEC / COPS, what is one thing you have learned and been able to apply? While attending conferences & COPS meetings I’ve learned we can all make better use of the resources available to us. Most firms in the Engineering & Surveying business are facing the same challenges across the country. Reaching out to others in the business to gain some information via “lessons learned” can be a very helpful tool.
  • Most important innovation you have witnessed in your lifetime … Global Positioning Systems (GPS). Every one of us uses GPS in our daily lives on our smart phones, our cars, airplanes, etc. 3D laser scanning may in 10 years or so become a close second.
  • Best non-business book you have recently read …
  • The best advice (career or other) ever received is … Just because you have a degree or a license doesn’t mean you’ve finished your education. With the ongoing changes in technology you can fall behind your competitors and never catch up. Stay involved in continuing education and stay current with the latest ideas within your field.

 


 

Member Spotlight Questions:

  • Coalition Contact: Ted Williams
  • Firm: Landmark Engineering, Inc.
  • Location: New Castle, DE
  • What market areas does your firm serve? Delaware, southeastern Pennsylvania and northeast Maryland
  • Is your firm looking to expand into new markets in 2017? If yes, what is one new area the firm would like to expand into? Yes, we are expanding our presence in northeast Maryland with a push into the area around Baltimore and the eastern shore
  • Being a member in ACEC / Land Development, what is one thing you have learned and been able to apply? The collaboration of our group on National environmental issues such as wetland regulations that impact our clients and businesses.
  • Most important innovation you have witnessed in your lifetime … I believe that the computer is the most important innovation that I have seen in my career. It was allowed us to complete complex designs and calculations faster and more efficiently.
  • Best non-business book you have recently read … “The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft and The Golden Age of Journalism” by Doris Kerns Goodwin
  • The best advice (career or other) ever received is … Continue to set goals both personally and career that are higher than your previous goals and strive to achieve that goal while continuing to remember where you started and those that helped you achieve your goals by helping the next generations to achieve their goals.

 


 

Member Spotlight Questions:

  • Coalition Contact: Karen Friese
  • Firm: K. Friese & Associates, Inc.
  • Location: Austin, TX
  • What market areas does your firm serve? Based in Austin, with branch offices in Williamson County and San Antonio, we provide civil engineering analysis, design, and construction management services to public sector clients throughout the State of Texas. Those include water and wastewater, transportation, and drainage consulting services.
  • Is your firm looking to expand into new markets in 2017? If yes, what is one new area the firm would like to expand into? We recently added planning capabilities and opened our San Antonio office, so we expect significant growth in both of those arenas in the coming year.
  • Being a member in ACEC / Small Firm Council, what is one thing you have learned and been able to apply? Honestly, there have been many lessons learned through my relationships developed in SFC. Small firms face many of the same problems that our larger, more established counterparts do, but developing and implementing solutions can be much more challenging when you don’t have the same resources. For everything from training your staff and developing your culture to competing in the marketplace, SFC has provided a level of shared expertise and counsel that I have found to be invaluable over the years.
  • Most important innovation you have witnessed in your lifetime … Hands down, the Internet. It has forever altered communication patterns and human connections, for better and worse.
  • Best non-business book you have recently read … I am happy to say that I finally finished reading Steve Jobs by Walter Issacson last year, which I thought was a great read of a fascinating man. I’m just starting Lab Girl, which one of my friends strongly recommended.
  • The best advice (career or other) ever received is … When I started my firm, I methodically identified and met with half a dozen founders of successful engineering firms. I interviewed them, one by one, asking what still kept them up at night, what they’d do differently if given the chance and much more. They were all gracious, supportive and incredibly generous with their time and advice, leading to many lasting friendships and informing many of my early decisions or hiring, firm culture, growth strategy and financial planning. From that combined experience, I saw first-hand the impact that “paying it forward” can have, so today, no matter how busy I am – or might become – I live by the advice gleaned from the example set by those leaders and aim to always Pay It Forward.
 

EDUCATION

Click the video above to learn why ACEC Business Education will help your firm thrive.

FULL CALENDAR >

ONLINE CLASS

How to Lead Without Authority (Even When You’re the Boss)
June 20, 2018
1:30-3:00 pm (ET)
Register Today >

ONLINE CLASS

Identifying and Developing Your Future Business Development Leaders
June 21, 2018
1:30-3:00 pm (ET)
Register Today >

NEW RESOURCE

Public-Private Partnerships and Design-Build: Opportunities and Risks for Consulting Engineers

Public-Private Partnerships and Design-Build: Opportunities and Risks for Consulting Engineers provides new industry information and experience on P3 and Design-Build approaches, and offers timely recommendations about the rewards, challenges, and risk exposures for engineering firms looking to succeed in today's still evolving project work environment.Details

2017 Bundle of Salary Surveys of Engineering Firms (ZweigWhite)

The 2017 Engineering Firm Salary Surveys are the most up-to-date and comprehensive compensation survey reports for engineering firms operating in each region of the U.S. Details

TRUSTS

Insurance and Retirement Trusts

ACEC's Trust Programs are designed to enhance your membership investment by helping to control your firm's costs. More Info

MORE NEWS

 

ADVERTISING SPONSORS

HDR UPS Lenovo

Pinterest Twitter Facebook

Copyright 2018 American Council of Engineering Companies
1015 15th Street NW, 8th Floor, Washington DC 20005-2605  -  P: 202.347.7474  -  F: 202.898.0068  -  E-mail: acec@acec.org
About ACEC   -   Contact Us   -   Terms of Use   -   Privacy Policy