Coalition Member Spotlight

 

Member Spotlight Questions:

  • Coalition Contact: Jeff McBride
  • Firm: EBL Engineers, LLC
  • Location: Baltimore, MD
  • What market areas does your firm serve?? Our firm offers HVAC, Electrical, Power Generation, Plumbing, Fire Protection and Building Code Consultation services. Our clients are in the federal buildings, institutional and healthcare markets.
  • 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 are looking to solidify our current markets and expand, where possible, in those existing areas. Onsite power generation and healthcare are two areas we are focusing on at the present time.
  • Being a member in ACEC / Land Development, what is one thing you have learned and been able to apply? I am always listening to my peers in the industry and how they approach common problems. Every ACEC or CAMEE event or meeting I have attend has always, without fail, resulted in me walking away with notes about how to improve our processes based on discussions with my peers.
  • Most important innovation you have witnessed in your lifetime … The evolution of the smart phone over the last decade has resulted in significant changes about how we communicate and collaborate. Some good and some bad consequences, but no doubt the most significant innovation I have witnessed.
  • Best non-business book you have recently read … A Matter of Honor – Pearl Harbor: Betrayal, Blame, and a Family’s Quest for Justice.
  • The best advice (career or other) ever received is … Being a leader is about how you deal with aggravation, not how smart you are. I was once told by my first boss that it was likely half or more of the professional staff in our firm were as smart or smarter than I was, but only 1 in 20 of them can deal with the challenges of actually running a successful firm.

 


 

Member Spotlight Questions:

  • Coalition Contact: Cassie McNames
  • Firm: KLJ
  • Location: West Fargo, ND
  • What market areas does your firm serve? We serve a diverse client base, ranging from public sector municipalities, departments of transportation and airports to large private sector developers, architects, contractors, energy utilities and oil and gas companies. Structure types include buildings, bridges, heavy civil, specialty foundations and retaining structures.
  • 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 have several market goals for 2017, and healthcare facilities is one of our main points of emphasis.
  • Being a member in ACEC / Land Development, what is one thing you have learned and been able to apply? I attended nearly all of the CASE tracks at the ASCE Structures Conference in Portland, OR in April 2015. The biggest thing I took away from that conference was related to “standard of care”, and how some of the buzz words we use to promote ourselves in proposals and other marketing material can inadvertently imply a higher standard of care.
  • Most important innovation you have witnessed in your lifetime … This is a tough one. I would probably have to say the continually expanding use of the computer. They can be found in everything from our phones to our vehicles and televisions. There isn’t much in today’s world that would function without it.
  • Best non-business book you have recently read … Johnny Cash: The Life by Robert Hilburn
  • The best advice (career or other) ever received is … Just be yourself.

 


 

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 / Land Development, 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 / Land Development, 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.
 

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