home-1  AGENDA  venue  sponsors-2register-2  session_details


Chuck Harrington

Chairman, CEO, President
Parsons Corporation

How Parsons Created an Employee Plan that Benefitted Thousands

Founded in 1944, Parsons Corporation was publicly traded on the New York Stock exchange from 1974 until 1984.  During this time, Parsons achieved year-to-year quarterly earnings increases for 46 consecutive quarters.  This success led in 1984 to Parsons executing a leveraged buy-out and converting to a 100% ESOP-owned company, one of the largest wholly ESOP-owned companies in the U.S.  Employee-owners have a personal stake in the company’s success, and since 1997, the value of their employees’ ESOP shares has increased by more than 300% -- exceeding the S&P 500.  In the process, thousands of Parsons employees have benefitted from this growth.  Chuck Harrington, Parsons’ CEO, recounts the story of how Parsons and its employees achieved this financial success, lessons learned along the way, and shares his thoughts on what leaders considering a similar path can do to apply these lessons to your own firms future path.


BioChuck Harrington is the Chairman, Chief Executive Officer, and President of Parsons Corporation, a global defense/security, industrial, and infrastructure integrated solutions provider headquartered in Pasadena, California with more than 15,000 employees and revenues exceeding $3 billion. Chuck is a graduate of California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo with a bachelor’s degree in engineering and also has a master’s degree in business administration from the Anderson School of Management at the University of California, Los Angeles. Chuck also attended the Advanced Management Program at the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University.

He is a registered professional mechanical engineer. In addition to his responsibilities at Parsons, Chuck serves on the board of AES Corporation, a Fortune 200 company that generates and distributes electrical power on a global basis headquartered in Arlington, VA. Chuck also serves on several university and non-profit boards including the California Science Center Foundation, Business-Higher Education Forum, Cal Poly SLO Foundation, and he is Chairman of the Cal Poly President’s Council of Advisors. He previously served on the boards of Anderson School of Management at UCLA, Blumenthal Performing Arts Center, the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce, the Los Angeles Sports Council, and the Pratt School of Engineering at Duke University. Chuck was also honored by the New York Building Congress with a 2015 Industry Recognition Award.


Bob Kelleher

CEO & Founder
The Employee Engagement Group

 Creativeship – The Evolution from Management to Leadership to Creativeship

We’ve evolved from Management to Leadership, and now need to evolve to Creativeship, defined as the necessity to create an organizational culture that can compete and thrive in this new era. Creativeship will allows a business to compete and thrive in this world of unprecedented technological advances, globalization, shifting economic drivers, government intervention, changing workforce demographics, vastly different motivational drivers with Gen X, and the emergence of corporate social responsibility as a motivational driver.


Bio - Bob Kelleher is the Founder and CEO of The Employee Engagement Group and author of Employee Engagement for Dummies, Creativeship, along with the nation’s top selling employee engagement book Louder Than Words, 10 Practical Employee Engagement Steps… that Drive Results! After spending over 25 years in the A/E/C Industry, Bob has become a recognized thought leader, speaker, and consultant on the subjects of Employee Engagement, Workforce Trends, and Leadership. Before opening his own consulting business, Bob was the Chief Human Capital Officers for a Fortune 500 global professional services firm, with 45,000 employees located in 450 offices around the globe.

Breakout Session :

Leadership Lessons from Shackleton

At the turn of the 20th Century, Ernest Shackleton led an expedition to reach the South Pole.  Using a highly interactive format of videos, slides, and discussion, this session takes you through how Shackleton's leadership skills allowed his entire crew to endure incredible hardships and all reach home safely.  You come away understanding how you can use many of Shackelton's leadership skills to help your A/E/C firm overcome its hardships and still meet its goals.


Dave Burstein, P.E.

Director of Client Services
PSMJ Resources, Inc.

Five Exploding Markets In The Next 5 Years

At our 2007 conference, we correctly predicted the plunge in oil prices that occurred a year later.  At our 2010 conference, we correctly predicted the resurgence of the housing market that most experts said wouldn’t happen for several more years.  At our 2012 conference, we predicted the industrial renaissance that is now occurring in the U.S.  All of these predictions were contrary to the conventional wisdom at the time.  But we were able to use PSMJ’s exclusive Quarterly Market Survey data, along with carefully researched macroeconomic trend data, to see beyond the headlines of the day.  Get ahead of the curve by attending this year’s annual forecast of which A/E/C markets will be hot and which will be cold. 

David Burstein is Director of Client Services for PSMJ Resources, Inc., the nation’s largest provider of management information to the engineering/architectural professions. As part of his responsibilities, he provides consulting and training services on the subjects of strategic planning, marketing, project management, human resources, quality, finance and ownership transition. 

David has over 35 years of experience in the management of engineering companies. As a senior principal for Parsons Corporation (one of the nation’s largest and most respected engineering firms), he has held a variety of responsible positions from 1972 through 1997 including President of Parsons’ 1600-person environmental subsidiary and President of Parsons 120-person planning subsidiary. 

During his 26-year tenure with Parsons Corporation, David was heavily involved in strategic planning at both the subsidiary and corporate levels. He led numerous strategic planning teams to develop long-term strategies as well as annual business and training plans. 

David has also served as a consultant for PSMJ Resources, Inc. (part time from 1979 until 1998 and full time since 1998). During this time, he has facilitated scores of strategic planning sessions for engineering, architectural, and planning firms. In 1997, he served as a principal collaborator for Strategic Planning: Preparing Your Firm for Success in the Future, PSMJ’s definitive guide to strategic planning. In 2005, he authored the 2nd edition to this best-selling book.


Pre-Conference Sessions

John Doehring, CMC

Executive Leader of Advisory Services and Training
PSMJ Resources, Inc.

Strategic & Business Planning Success Secrets of the Top Firms

Does your organization struggle to capture real, meaningful results from your strategic planning and annual business planning initiatives?  Does your team design a good plan but fail to execute, or do you come up short with the planning itself?  If so, you’re not alone.  Our experience indicates that less than a third of A/E/C firms develop a really good plan.  And only a third of those fully execute the plans they’ve made.  Only the Top Firms – the best ten percent of the A/E industry – capture the full power and potential of strategic and business planning.

It’s time for that to change.  With more than three decades of experience (and literally hundreds of strategic and business plans completed), PSMJ has developed a unique, proprietary planning process -- deliberate, disciplined, and comprehensive -- for guiding client organizations through the strategic and business planning effort, and to the successful real outcomes of business growth and improvement.  In this engaging, action-packed, and highly interactive workshop we’ll review the key parts of a successful planning initiative, and unveil the secrets that Top Firms already know, including:

  • Starting with a comprehensive assessment of the firm’s current reality today;
  • Developing a clear set of actionable core values and business principles;
  • Uncovering the power of why, and the worthy mission;
  • Establishing a clear and compelling vision of the firm’s future;
  • Enterprise strategies and business models that really work;
  • Smart goals and actions that are clear, focused, and achievable;
  • Best methods for building responsible and accountable teams;

No matter where you are in your firm’s planning cycle – just starting, starting over, or simply looking for a few tune up ideas for a plan already in place – this preconference workshop is for you, and will provide you with the information, ideas, and initiatives you need now for growth, profit, and sustainable success. Please join us for this entertaining and thought–provoking pre conference session, and begin your journey today to Top Firm success with strategic and business planning.

Bio - John Doehring is Executive Leader of Advisory Services and Training at PSMJ Resources, Inc., and is responsible for the company's consulting and in-house training business worldwide. In addition to leading a diverse team of highly qualified professional consultants, trainers, and experts, John himself advises AEC firms in the areas of business strategy and planning, marketing and growth, organization development, and operations transformation.  John has spoken to client firm and trade association audiences across the nation at the national, regional, state, and local levels –including ACEC, AIA, SMPS, SAME, NSPE, and SEA.John's writings have been published in numerous trade journals and websites. John is the author of two books:Fast Future! Ten Uber-Trends Changing Everything in Business and our World (2015), and The BackPocket! Business Plan: Outrageously Simple Business Planning for Extraordinary Business Results (2014).

Breakout Session: 

Fast Future! Ten Uber-Trends Changing Everything in Our Business and Our World

Our future isn't just coming -- it's here.  Today, the velocity of change is already impressive.  And the pace of change is accelerating.  Grand-scale, highly disruptive and often astonishing innovations will radically reshape virtually everything around us.  Attend this session to find out what the coming transformation means for your A/E/C firm today.

Tim Griffin, P.E., CEM,

Branch Manager
RMF Engineering
PSMJ Resources, Inc.

Finding (and Keeping) the Best Employees in Today's War For Talent

Remember life before the “Great Recession”?  Hiring at what seemed like a frantic pace.  And that nagging concern that you were hiring people who wouldn’t have made the cut in slower times.  But, the work was coming in hot and heavy and you needed staff to get it done.  Then, things changed…quickly. 

In fact, the labor force in the A/E industry contracted by almost 15% between the beginning of 2008 and the middle of 2011. 

Well, times have changed again.  Backlogs are growing and hiring is revving up again.  But instead of just hiring anyone who can fog a mirror, there’s a better way.  A more sustainable way to build your team for lasting success, even when the next downturn inevitably comes.  This interactive and engaging pre-conference session provides you with:

  • The strategies that the smartest A/E firm leaders are using today to attract talented employees of all ages,
  • How to create an environment in which employees want to stay with your firm for their entire careers,
  • Proven strategies for unleashing the power of high-performing employees in our firms,
  • The best ways to leverage the demands of the Millennial generation into improved performance for your firm,
  • And more. 

If you play any part in building or managing teams in your A/E organization, don’t miss this pre-conference session. 

Bio - Tim Griffin, P.E., CEM has a BS degree in Mechanical Engineering, an MBA and over 20 years experience in leadership positions for small and midsize A/E/C firms. Tim is currently Division Manager with a national MEP firm. He has worked in business development, and has developed and led leadership-training programs. He also has cultivated new business units and helped firms expand into international markets. During his "spare time," Tim teaches Principals Bootcamp for PSMJ and is author of a best-selling book, Winning With Millennials.

Breakout Session: 

Cracking the Millennial Code: Unleashing the Power of Today's Generation of Young Professionals

Hiring in the A/E/C industry is on the rise again.  At the same time, a large percentage of industry professionals are beginning to retire en masse.  If you are going to successfully grow your firm in the future, you have to attract and retain talent!  Moving forward, the main source of that talent for growing A/E/C firms is from the Millennial generation.  The challenge is this generation is very different than the ones that preceded them.  


Brad Wilson

Senior M&A Consultant
PSMJ Resources, Inc.

With Guest Speakers

Bjorn Morisbak, MBA

Vice President of Acquisitions & Strategic Planning

Eric Overton

Vice President, Buildings
Sparling, A Stantec Company

Avoiding the Million-Dollar Mistake: Winning Strategies for Today's M&A Climate

To some observers, it may seem that there are two types of firms in the A/E industry – those that have been involved in a merger or acquisition…and those that will be.  Of course, this may not entirely come to fruition but M&A is becoming a much more significant element of growth strategy planning and a more frequent option for firm leaders beginning to plan their exit.

Of course, M&A comes with lots of moving parts and opportunities to make that million-dollar mistake.  From the high-level strategy to the nuts and bolts of valuation, deal structure, due diligence, and integration, this pre-conference session gives you an insightful look at exactly where deals can go wrong and where they can go very right.  You get specific guidance to avoid common trouble areas, such as: 

  • Improper strategic preparation at the outset,
  • Failure to understand what really drives the value of A/E/C firms,
  • Failure to deal with ALL the important issues before they become critical problems,
  • Inability to keep the deal on-track in the face of day-to-day responsibilities,
  •  And more.

PSMJ Senior Consultant and M&A expert Brad Wilson provides you with proven insights on exactly what to do when you face these and other M&A ditches. The capstone of this preconference is a presentation from the principals of an actual recent transaction. In February of this year, Stantec announced that it was acquiring Sparling, a 130-person leading electrical engineering and lighting design firm. You’ll hear from Sparling CEO Eric Overton along with Bjorn Morisbak, Stantec’s Senior Vice President of Strategy and Acquisitions, how they overcame the barriers and got to a win-win deal. This is your chance to hear how a successful deal came together.

Bring plenty of questions for Brad, Eric, and Bjorn in this one-of-a-kind session and leave with plenty of notes, ideas, and insight to make your next transaction (as a buyer or seller) a success!

BioBrad Wilson joined PSMJ as a consultant in 2002 as one of the senior M&A consultants. Since, Brad has facilitated both the purchase and sale of A/E/C firms of all types and sizes. Brad’s hands-on assistance with valuation and deal structuring has allowed many PSMJ clients to achieve their strategic growth goals or their ownership transition through a merger or acquisition. His broad-based knowledge of design firms’ cultures and operations has also been invaluable in integration planning and execution resulting in the achievement of financial goals for buyers and sellers. Additionally, Brad regularly facilitates PSMJ’s CEO Roundtables on Mergers & Acquisitions.

Bjorn Morisbak, MBA is Vice President, Acquisitions and Strategic Planning and has been with Stantec since 1999. During his tenure the company has grown from about 2,000 people to over 15,000 employees.
In his current role, Bjorn leads discussions with target companies and their advisors, and directly oversees the many aspects of an acquisition from early discussions and negotiations through closing activities and integration. Experienced in valuations, financing, negotiations, due-diligence, change management and integration, Bjorn has been part of and led project teams overseeing over 60 transactions ranging in size from simple group employee hires of a dozen individuals to several large acquisitions of up to 1,500 staff.
Oversight of the corporation’s strategic planning process and development of its annual strategic plan is also a responsibility Bjorn currently holds and has held at various stages of his tenure at Stantec. During this time he has been involved in and led other activities such as process improvements in various groups, research, modelling, treasury, technology and systems implementation, divestitures and a wide range of other projects in rapidly growing and changing organization.

Eric Overton brings 30 years of experience with Sparling, the nation’s largest electrical engineering and specialty consulting firm.  Eric has been instrumental in the firms strategic growth, brand recognition and reputation as a top tier engineering firm.  He became CEO in 2007 and led the firms geographic growth winning work across the US in several markets, including healthcare, higher education and corporate.  He also led the firm through several acquisitions of their own, before making the strategic decision to merge with Stantec and begin building a much stronger buildings engineering practice in the US West.    

Brad Wilson Breakout Session: 

How Much is an A/E Firm Really Worth?

Whether you are planning to sell internally or externally or even thinking about acquiring another firm, you leave this session with a much better understanding of how to value your firm or a potential acquisition.  You also learn what operational and financial metrics have the greatest impact on the value of A/E firms so that you can focus on the metrics that increase your shareholders’ value.  Specific topics include (1) understanding the concerns of buyers, (2) staying in touch with “the market” and (3) managing your firm for value creation, not just profits.



Donna Gaines

Joy Avery

 VP of Operations
Gaines International

Pre-Conference Lunch Session

The Little Known Power Of Building A Purpose Driven Culture

The amazing, yet esoteric power of core purpose, remains unrecognized in most corporations, despite the fact that purpose driven companies outperform their non-purpose counterparts fifteen to one. Every company on the planet would benefit from discovering, or re-discovering their core purpose. For it is purpose, that fuels powerful and compelling vision, mission and values, along with compelling strategies and meaning beyond financials, which energize and engage the workforce. All forms of compensation eventually become entitlement and culture eats strategy for breakfast. The discovery of purpose is the key to building the only sustainable competitive advantage.

Bio - Donna Gaines is President of Gaines International, an Allen Austin Company. For over 30 years, Donna Gaines has assisted clients in finding key professionals with leadership talent to meet the challenges of modern business. With decades of experience in executive search and candidate placement in the architecture, design, engineering and construction industries, Donna brings a unique sensibility to recruitment and understands the impact of architecture and design on cultures and societies. She has been active in several industry associations, such as the AIA, IIDA and Women in Planning and Development. Donna frequently writes and gives presentations focused on strategic hiring and management practices within the fields of executive search and design.

Joy Avery is the Vice President of Operations at Gaines International | Allen Austin and brings almost 19 years of business experience to the firm. Based out of the Chicago Gaines office, Joy is responsible for leading and managing all aspects of the firm (infrastructure, processes and people) to ensure the firm fulfills its primary purpose, mission and successfully executes its strategy. A boomerang to Gaines, Joy is passionate about the purpose driven and relationship driven culture of Gaines International | Allen Austin. One individual at a time, one company at a time, we are changing the world through enhancing the lives and effectiveness of our associates, clients and leaders of the world.  Joy’s strengths are a value add in key areas including: professional development, mentorship, streamlining processes and procedures, creative problem solving, influencing and bringing people together, drawing out the best in others, effectively communicating strategy and direction, leading change management and advocating the purpose driven culture.



Jared Jamison, P.E.

Senior Vice President
Dir. of Operations

Using the "The Business Model Canvas" as a Strategic Planning Tool to Help Grow Your Business

The "Business Model Canvas" is a recently-developed tool being taught in MBA programs and utilized by businesses as part of the lean startup methodology. It provides a framework to describe how a business creates value and makes money, essential questions to answer as a business plans for growth.  In this session, you learn how the nine building blocks of the Business Model Canvas relate to the A/E/C industry and how they can improve how your business creates and delivers value and is compensated for it. You also learn how to use this framework to analyze and plan growth through new markets and services as the foundation of your business plan.

Bio - Jared is a vice president and director of operations at Hankins & Anderson (H&A), an ENR 500 firm headquartered in Glen Allen, Virginia with completed projects in over 150 countries. In addition to his responsibilities of managing H&A's production functions, Jared also currently serves on H&A’s board of directors as treasurer. Jared is a registered professional engineer and holds Master of Science and Bachelor of Science degrees in civil engineering from Virginia Tech. He also obtained his Master of Business Administration from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) where he is part-time Executive MBA adjunct faculty for business planning.

Bill Koffel, P.E., FSPE

Koffel Associates Inc.

Succession Planning:  What's the Right Choice for You?

Drawing from experience as an acquirer of several firms as part of their succession plans, this small engineering firm owner shares his first-hand experience as he starts defining his own succession plan.  In this session, you learn the three fundamental options to consider as part of your succession plan, the five factors to consider as part of any succession plan, and how to make a better informed decision as to the path that you should take to a successful succession plan.

Bio - Bill Koffel is President of Koffel Associates, a fire protection and life safety engineering design and consulting firm. Headquartered in the Baltimore-Washington metropolitan area, the firm provides consulting; engineering design & construction administration; codes & standards development; seminar development & training; product testing & evaluation / representation; and litigation support to public and private clients worldwide. The firm has acquired several firms as part of those owner's succession plan and is beginning to develop their own plan.  He is a Past President of the SFPE.

Joe Viscuso, P.E., PLS

jviscusoSenior Vice President
Pennoni Associates Inc.

Should We Buy Another Firm or Sell Ours?

With the levels of consolidation taking the A/E/C industry by storm and an increasingly competitive landscape, many firm owners are asking themselves which side of an acquisition they should be on.  Should we build value and strength through acquisitions or is now the time to create some liquidity through a sale?  Then, there are the questions which of the many roads to go down in both of these options.  Through first-hand experience and lessons learned, this session answers these and many other questions.  Attendees learn about the role that age plays in the decision, how to better negotiate and prepare for the transaction, what buyers are looking for, why a cultural match should trump all financial metrics, and more.

Bio - Joe Viscuso, PE, PLS, is a Senior Vice President and directs the Strategic Top Line Growth of Pennoni which includes all Mergers and Acquisitions.  Joe’s M&A experience is based on firsthand knowledge.  He started his own firm in 1979, eventually growing to 50 employees.  This growth was both organic and included his first acquisition before merging with a firm in New York.   While with that firm he assisted with other acquisitions helping to grow that firm to over 650 employees and then selling to a publicly traded firm some 10 years later.  While with the new firm he assisted in the integration of other acquisitions before joining Pennoni in 2012.  Joe earned a bachelor’s degree from Widener University and a master’s degree from Villanova University.

Jennifer McArthur, P.E.

jmacAssistant Professor/ Associate
Arup &
Ryerson University

BIM Tips, Tricks and Traps: Integrating BIM into the Project Planning Process

Building Information Modeling is becoming increasingly central to the delivery of A/E/C projects. Without properly integrating it into project planning, valuable opportunities are lost to streamline project delivery. This session provides insight into the potential pitfalls of poor BIM implementation and guide its effective management. You gain a holistic understanding of the impact of BIM on the lifecycle of a project. After this session, you will be able to identify key milestones when close management of BIM is required, opportunities arising from BIM and how to make best use of these, and pitfalls to avoid in projects using BIM.

Bio - Jenn is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Architectural Science at Ryerson University, specializing in project management. Her research includes a focus on the use of BIM in lifecycle project management and optimizing the planning of BIM execution by multi-disciplinary teams. Prior to joining Ryerson, she was a full-time Associate at Arup where she led design for number of BIM and non-BIM projects totaling over $500M construction value. Jenn continues in this role on a part-time basis.

Wally Hise

whiseVice President

Strategic Client Management: How to Retain and Grow Existing Clients, Build Market Share, and Cross-Sell Your Firm’s Services

Strategic client management is a powerful tool to retain and grow existing clients, build market share, and cross sell your firm’s services. This session takes you through key elements of strategic client management including: the strategic imperative, program elements, metrics, and implementation. We also explore client selection, attributes of client managers, coaching tips, and other ingredients to a successful program.  Examples will draw from personal experiences  and A/E/C industry case studies.  You will learn the foundations to develop a strategic client management program and gain insight into a proven methodology that drives client retention and revenue growth.

Bio - Wally’s 30-year AEC career spans operations, client management, and business development roles for firms ranging in size from $20M to over $1B. His last 15 years focused exclusively on business development, client management, strategic planning, proposal development, and marketing. Over a 10-year period, Wally facilitated sales and client management training for thousands of professionals.AC Using this experience, he helped develop HDR’s Strategic Client Management Program. Wally is an accomplished speaker and writer in the industry.  Examples include: keynote talks at the A/E Marketing Now Summit; presentations for SMPS; more than 20 technical presentations on environmental, engineering and quality topics at national conferences; and monthly articles published in PSMJ’s “AE Marketing Journal” since 2012 on topics of marketing, communications, planning, leadership, and creativity.

Dan Heinfeld, FAIA/LEED AP BD+C

LPA Inc.

Collaborative Integration: Doing More with Less

This program will focus on an architectural firm’s transition to an integrated design firm where traditional disciplines like structural engineering, MEP and landscape architect have been bought in-house become partners in the process in search of appropriate, affordable with real sustainable solutions that create buildings that do more with less. 

Bio - As president of LPA, Dan Heinfeld has been the partner in charge of design for the company since 1986 and is responsible for leading the company’s Design and Sustainable initiatives.  Since 1986, LPA has been recognized with 190 AIA Awards from National, State and Component Chapters including an unprecedented thirty-six years of continuous recognition from the AIAOC Chapter.  Long before it was considered mainstream, Mr. Heinfeld made sustainable design the focus of his career and the focus of the firm.  Recognizing that the traditional practice of separate disciplines cobbled together for a project is not the right model for a sustainable firm, in 2005 LPA begins its transition to a fully integrated design firm where in-house disciplines of Architecture, Interiors, Landscape and Engineering are all working in balance in search of design excellence and real sustainable solutions. 

Dwayne Johnston, P.E.

President & CEO
InfraCor Consulting Ltd.

Jeffery Fuller, AIA, LEED AP

CSDA Design Group

Strategic Alliances:  How They Can Help Your Small or Midsized Firm Compete with the Giants

Strategic alliances among small and midsized A/E/C firms can be far more competitive, innovative, and profitable than any one company might otherwise be on their own. Structured properly, they can enable small to midsized A/E/C firms to generate more business leads, expand their revenue base, increase their geographic reach and create greater opportunities for personal development of their staff. Successful strategic alliances can also allow small to midsized A/E/C firms to, compete equally with the large and mega-firms, while maintaining their individual cultures. 

Jeff will present a case study of how one recently created strategic alliance he helped found, which is comprised of over 2,000 A/E staff. The group established a not-for-profit umbrella organization that brings together professional architects and engineers from its member firms in a multidisciplinary network. The umbrella organization was not designed as a parent company  nor does it have authority over how each firm manages its own business. Rather, the umbrella  organization assists, coordinates and focuses its' member firms as they work together to create synergies and pursue opportunities beyond their individual capabilities. This presentation will demonstrate the key steps to building similar strategic alliances and provide details on dealing with various tax and legislative issues. It will also present support network information that can help you make it happen.

Bios -
Dwayne R. Johnston, P.Eng. is the President and CEO of InfraCor Consulting Ltd., an infrastructure design and project management consulting firm that provides professional engineering services for clients who procure, build, finance, manage, maintain, and plan for private sector and public sector infrastructure.  He is the former VP of a large North American engineering firm, and is now the leader of an SME engineering firm headquartered in Calgary, Alberta.  His understanding in how to compete at both scales will provide for an insightful presentation. 
Jeffery M. Fuller, AIA, LEED AP is the President and CEO of CSDA Design Group, an internationally-recognized architectural and acoustical SME design firm headquartered in San Francisco with offices in Los Angeles and San Diego. He is one of the founders of one such North America wide SME and will elaborate on the steps to creating such alliances. 

Mike Phillips, AIA

President & Founder
Phillips Architecture

Supercharge Your Teams With Smarter Assignments

If there is one problem that our A/E industry shares with the other white-collar service professions, it is that we often do not optimize our most important asset: our people. While we have a sense of what to do intuitively, we often lack the specialized tools and processes to put our people into their optimum roles, or give them the most productive feedback, training and support.

The good news is that a recent set of studies and surveys show that while most managers do not think that current processes and approaches to improving performance of teams are very effective, they still think that approaches that are customized to the specific skill-set of each team member are best.

Attendees of this seminar will see a summary of the latest strategies on creating high performance teams by aligning role with ability to improve performance. This seminar will show specialized approaches to enhance job satisfaction by letting (and helping) each person do what they naturally do best.

Learning Objectives:
1. Understanding the four major skill-sets in the A/E industry
2. How to identify the skill-set profile for each of your team members
3. Setting team member assignments by their profile type
4. Enhancing cooperative interaction between types
5. Fine-tuning feedback for each profile type
6. Identifying the optimum training for each team member

Bio - Mike Phillips AIA, is the president and founder of Phillips Architecture PA, a 26-year-old multidisciplinary design firm in Raleigh, NC. Phillips Architecture has been awarded the “Leading by Example” Premier Award for Client Satisfaction, Best Architectural Workplace and Best Collaborative Firm awards and was named to the PSMJ Circle of Excellence. A registered architect, Phillips has incorporated his more than 30 years of architectural experience into the development of a customized method of collecting and incorporating feedback to benefit architectural and engineering firms and their clients.


Doug Reed, P.E.


Polar Opposites:  Why Some Firms Succeed and Others Fail

Two A/E/C firms are explored: one whose performance is in the Top 10% with metrics similar to the Circle of Excellence firms; the other in the Bottom tier.  As a 10-year owner in both firms, the story teller reveals the causes and effects of these polar opposite outcomes.  Attendees in this session will (1) be able to spot behaviors within their own firm that impact performance; (2) identify the link between values, leadership decisions and firm performance and (3) identify solutions to improve performance, both financial and reputation.This session explores the link between metrics, behaviors and values. 

Bio - Douglas Foster Reed, P.E. helps CEOs secure their future by fine-tuning their company's processes, culture, and systems to achieve safe growth, increased profitability and a comfortable financial position.  Doug spent over 35 with fast growing A/E and environmental firms, mostly as an owner. One firm grew from 30 to 200 employees and another from 130 to 500. He is a registered professional engineer, has a B.S and M.S. in Civil Engineering, serves on many boards/committees in organizations such as ACEC and SMPS, and has presented and published over 100 times in the AEC industry.  Doug is professionally trained as a participative learning program designer and instructor.   

David Lecours

Consultant & Speaker

Josh Miles


Turning Your Firm's Website into a Marketing Machine


A/E/C firms used to get by with brochure-style websites. Today, the waves are bigger and the opportunities greater. Your website should be a business development tool that shreds competitors.  Real-life surfer David Lecours joins Midwesterner Josh Miles for a surf session about the latest in A/E/C firm websites and digital marketing.  Attendees gain insight on best practices and latest trends for A/E/C firm websites and digital marketing, better understand what your website should be doing, learn what differentiates a brochure website from a lead generating website, learn best practices for integrating social media within your website, understand why content marketing is essential for search engine optimization, thought leadership, and firm differentiation.  You come away knowing whether to fix your existing site or develop an entire new site. 


David Lecours is on a mission to help A/E/C firms fight commoditization to win new business. As Creative Director at brand strategy firm LecoursDesign, David helps firms attract great clients and talent. David graduated from USC intending to enroll in architecture school. After an internship in an architecture firm, he found marketing more enticing. David launched LecoursDesign in 1995 and achieved his CPSM designation in 2004. Mr. Lecours has served on the Boards of SMPS and USGBC, San Diego Chapters. In 2013, David was named Marketer-of-the-Year at the SMPS-SD Awards. David is a two-time TEDx presenter. More at  

Josh Miles is a caffeine and Twitter addict, and principal of MilesHerndon. Josh’s role at MilesHerndon consists of driving brand strategy, business development, and firm-wide marketing. Josh was honored as one of the Indianapolis Business Journal’s 40 Under 40. His expertise is highly sought after by professional service firms including architecture firms, legal practices, engineering offices and software companies. Josh is the author of the new Content Marketing Institute book, Bold Brand: The New Rules for Differentiating, Branding, and Marketing Your Professional Services Firm. More at

Steve Burns, FAIA

Chief Creative Officer
BQE Software

Lean (Financial) Management for A/E Firms

Lean management is the long-term approach where you seek small, systematic, incremental changes in your process in order to improve your efficiency and quality. While most successful manufacturers have been following a Lean approach for decades, only recently have design professionals begun to explore Lean management.

Successful implementation is achieved not by the management team but instead from the workers themselves. The front-line staff, those who actually perform the work are the ones charged with innovating ways to speed the process, minimize risk and provide higher client satisfaction.

This seminar explores how a Lean approach to financial management can be implemented in A/E firms. Most firms are very protective of financial information so the Lean approach will require a cultural shift. Best practices for sharing financial information with the staff will be discussed. These methods will bring your firm greater efficiency and profitability.

Your staff will love their jobs when they have greater control over it and can actually create change rather than having it thrust upon them.

In addition, we will dig into the fundamental financial elements for any A/E firm. We’re going to review the Profit Plan and Efficiency Ratios. We’ll look at how to set Ideal Billing Rates for your staff and monitor their productivity. We’ll explore why budgeting is one of the most important financial exercises you can do. Finally, we’ll discuss ways to easily monitor project Profitability, Earned Value as well as ways to easily Forecast Revenue.

Bio - Steve founded Burns + Beyerl Architects in 1993 after spending 7 years with SOM. In 2007, he sold his firm, which had grown at an average annual rate of 24% over 14 years, to focus on developing ArchiOffice®, the project management software he built to run his own firm. In 2009, Steve sold ArchiOffice to BQE Software and joined as Director of Product Strategies and Innovations. Today, as BQE’s Chief Creative Officer, Steve is responsible for refining their products’ user interface and experience, as well as helping with the company’s branding efforts.

Robert Lewis Bostwick, AIA

President & CEO
Bostwick Design Partnership

Driving Accountability and Transparency into Your Project Teams

Architects, engineers, construction managers, contractors and owners typically embark on a project with individual motivations, goals and objectives. Too often these goals are misaligned. This session provides a model for engaging a diverse project team around a project purpose to drive accountability and transparency, thus increasing your value to the client and your project's profitability.

Bio - Robert Lewis Bostwick, AIA is President and Director of Design at Bostwick Design Partnership, an architecture firm based in Cleveland, OH and Erie, PA. The firm specializes in the design of medical, educational, and library projects, creating facilities having a fine sense of detail and a unique sense of identity. Robert is responsible for establishing the firm’s design direction and setting overall strategy. The firm emphasizes continuous innovation in design and project delivery. 


Karen Compton

A3K Consulting

Bob Kain, AIA + ACHA

Healthcare Strategist
A3K Consulting

Leadership Transition: Before, During, and After

As today's Baby Boomers near retirement, leadership transition is becoming increasingly important in the growth and development of A/E/C firms.  With the leadership transitions taking from five to ten years, firm owners are often faced with the issues and challenges associated with defining a course of action before, during and after transition.  In this session, we examine the key elements of leadership transition and understanding the fundamentals associated with planning for it through an actual case study and hear perspectives from the former leader of a national architectural practice.

Bio - Karen Compton has over 15 years of experience in the architecture/ engineering and construction (A/E/C) industry, and has served as Director of Business Development and Director of Marketing for small companies, mid-sized, multi-office firms and national and international corporations. Ms. Compton’s expertise includes: Business development and strategic planning Operational and Financial Impact analysis Market analysis Trend analysis Client identification and development Marketing/business development budgeting A/E/C selection.

Bob Kain, AIA has over 35 years of experience in the practice of architectural design, construction management, urban planning and public service. He was the managing principal who was responsible for overall management of several one Million SF California replacement Medical Centers while a senior partner and President/CEO of HMC Architects (32 years). He also served as a Board member of the Office of State Wide Hospital Planning & Design (OSHPD) Hospital Building Safety Board. He was the founding member of the American College of Healthcare Architects (ACHA) He is the architectural lecturer for the School of Architecture of Cal Poly Pomona and California Baptist University. He is currently the Commissioner of the City of Riverside Planning Commission

Arnon Garonzik

agaronzikSenior Consultant
PSMJ Resources, Inc.

How Effective is Your Performance Bonus Plan?

This session evaluates the most critical ingredients for an effective incentive compensation plan as well as the details of a unique project team award plan.  Drawing from an actual bonus plan being used at a successful A/E/C firm to effectively drive improved project profitability and performance, this session gives you a clear understanding of the different business parameters to consider in preparing your firm's individual plan(s).  You also walk away with a template (in Word format) that you can edit to prepare a bonus plan and a project team award plan tailored for your company.

Bio - Arnon Garonzik became a PSMJ consultant in 2014 following a lengthy career in the A/E/C industry with a primary focus on strategic and operational planning, ownership transition, and mergers and acquisitions.  Arnon served as the Chief Legal Officer of several A/E/C firms during the first 25 years of his career, including 10 years as a partner and in-house General Counsel of the Environmental Resources Management (ERM) Group, one of the world’s largest environmental engineering and consulting firms.

Bill Sorrentino, P.E., PMP, DBIA

PSMJ Resources, Inc.

What it Really Means to be a Strategic Leader

In this session, we explore the critical differences between just managing your team and truly leading your team to accomplish great things.  You get tangible and action-oriented insight on how to become a strategic leader to empower, inspire, and engage your employees.  If you have ever been frustrated that your team members aren’t really taking ownership of their tasks or taking the initiative to go above and beyond what is expected, you cannot miss this session.  Being a strategic leader means being able to define success and motivating individuals to really deliver results.  This means being able to articulate a clear mission and a vision for your team and letting them become a part of the collective energy to get there.  Now more than ever, effective strategic leaders can deliver increased profitability and better retention of your top performers.  Don’t just manage…lead!

Bio - Bill Sorrentino is a registered Professional Engineer in the Commonwealth of Virginia, a certified Project Management Professional and a Design Build Professional with over 35 years of exceptional design and construction experience. He consults and teaches project management best practices to the A/E/C industry and public sector. Bill travels around the United States talking in-depth with A/E/C firms and government agencies and is in the unique position to observe trends and influence best practices in our industry.

June Jewell, CPA

AEC Business Solutions

Holding Employees Accountable to Improve Business Results

Many firms fail to reach their stated goals and objectives because of a lack of accountability across the organization. While this is often recognized, it is difficult to change because of entrenched cultural traps and behaviors. This interactive session looks at why strategic initiatives often fail in A/E/C firms, and how accountability is at the core of most failures. We explore the challenges that most firms face in holding their teams accountable, and some real world actions that can be implemented to drive desired behavior and compliance.  Attendees come away with a better understanding of the cultural barriers to holding staff accountable the three main types of resistance to change and the best practices to ensuring change initiatives are successful.  

Bio - June R. Jewell, CPA, is a business management consultant to the Architecture & Engineering industry and best-selling author of Find The Lost Dollars: 6 Steps to Increase Profits in Architecture, Engineering, and Environmental Firms. For over 28 years she has worked with hundreds of A&E Firms 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 a sought after speaker at industry focused events providing best practices guidance and innovative ideas for business growth.

Brent Gabby, P.E.

Senior Principal

The Road from 3 to 500 Employees…and still growing.  

In 1956, three MIT professors of Civil Engineering, Dr. Howard Simpson, Mr. Werner Gumpertz and Dr. Frank Heger decided to pool their outside consulting activities and loosely form their own firm, Simpson Gumpertz & Heger Inc. (SGH) in Cambridge, MA. As their consulting practices began to grow, their teaching and administrative duties at MIT became more of a burden, and in 1963, they all three devoted their efforts full time to their company.

The three founders of SGH had three distinct interests in the field of Civil Engineering, which still carries through our practice today. Dr. Simpson’s were in the area applied mechanics and structural analysis, seismic engineering and failure investigations. Mr. Gumpertz’s were in the technology of building materials, especially roofing materials, and building construction methods. Dr. Heger’s were in buried pipe and tank design combined with soil-structure interaction, and structural plastics.

The founder’s interests have led to three distinct groups within SGH, structural mechanics, building technology and structural engineering. Each one of these original groups has evolved into several practice areas that fall under these overarching engineering specialties.

This presentation will provide a brief history of SGH and how the diversity of our staff and our work has led us to steady and level growth even in times of economic down turns. In addition, this presentation will conclude with some thoughts on the future of the A/E/C industry.


Bio - Brent Gabby, P.E., is a senior principal at national engineering firm Simpson Gumpertz & Heger Inc. (SGH).  He is a professional structural engineer with more than 20 yrs of experience in building investigation, design, repair, and mediation support.  He has performed building investigations, designs, and repairs on museums, educational facilities, and public and religious structures.  Brent has authored dozens of articles, including “Monitoring and Repair of the Milwaukee City Hall Masonry Tower,” the Most Outstanding Paper of the Year, 2008 to 2009, ASCE Journal of Performance of Constructed Facilities, July/August 2008.  He has been a guest lecturer at the University of Texas at Austin, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Northeastern University.  He has lectured for associations such as the International Concrete Repair Institute, the Association of Preservation Technology, and the American Arbitration Association. 

Michael Ellegood, P.E.

PSMJ Resources, Inc.

Consultants are from Mars, Clients are from Venus – Why Your Public-Sector Clients Act the Way They Do

The world of your public-sector client is vastly different from your own. From the business model to the work environment to the accounting system, the public-sector operates completely differently. This presentation explains those differences and describes why public-sector clients select and manage their consultants the way they do. By attending this program, you gain a better understanding of the client’s world and operating environment, are better prepared to respond to proposals, and are better able to manage your public-sector clients.

Bio - Michael S. Ellegood, PE is a former consulting engineer who held senior management positions with major consulting firms and a former public works director with a major urban county.  He has been a consultant with PSMJ Resources for over ten years and specializes in working with public agencies on project delivery strategies.


Chris Martersteck, AIA, LEED AP, DBIA

PSMJ Resources, Inc.

How to be a Successful Designer in an Increasingly Design-Build World

Trends in public- and private-sectors are moving toward design-build project delivery.  But, the trouble is that many designers are bleeding red ink on these projects.  In this session, you learn how to turn those losses into high profit margins when you participate in the growing design-build market.  This session tells you exactly what to look for when selecting a contractor as a partner on a design-build project, how to establish a relationship with the contractor that balances both parties’ risks and rewards, and how to document this arrangement in a Teaming Agreement.

Bio - Christopher P. Martersteck, AIA, LEED AP, DBIA has spent 35 years in the A/E/C profession.  Chris has served as Senior Vice President and Corporate Project Management Director for several international architecture, engineering, and construction services firms, guiding project teams in project and construction management, as well as Integrated Project Delivery/Design-Build projects. Chris has successfully managed technically complex and highly accelerated award-winning design-build projects, as well as a full-range of conventional A/E/C projects. He has created customized tools and courses and helped thousands of project managers to better achieve their client and firm goals in his role as a PSMJ project delivery consultant.


Brian Lamee

Senior Director of Product Marketing

Hire People Faster and Keep People Longer

PSMJ forecasts that recruiting and retaining talent will be among the biggest challenges for A/E/C firms in the next decade.  This session details exactly how you can re-engineer your hiring process to better forecast resource needs, to hire and onboard the best people faster, and to reduce expensive and resource-draining attrition.  You leave with action-oriented insight to make your business more successful and to position for long-term sustainable success in any hiring market.  

Bio - Brian LaMee has been working with project focused firms helping understand trends, best practices and tools through the industry that help people and organizations leverage technology to streamline their business and processes for the last 18 years.  With a passion for software and technology, mixed with his business background, Brian serves as the Senior Director for Product Marketing with Deltek, the leading provider of solutions for Project focused businesses.


Mike Woeber, CPA

Corporate Tax Advisors, Inc.

How to Use Federal and State R&D Tax Credits to Reduce Your Firm's Tax Burden

This session provides an up-to-date overview of current rules and legislation governing the research and development (R&D) tax credit and how it applies to the A/E/C industry.  Attendees learn about recent law changes and  types of activities and expenses which now qualify for the R&D tax credit and may be included within your firm's tax credit calculation. This session includes actual examples of how the mechanics of the calculation and statutory exclusions have been used to benefit A/E/C firms by lowering their federal and state income tax obligations. 

Bio - In 2014, Mike and a group of associates formed Corporate Tax Advisors, Inc. Mike was named President of CTA. The company is not a traditional CPA firm, but a specialty tax consulting firm. Mike focuses solely on assisting companies in identifying potential tax credits and unique tax strategies.   These include Federal Research Tax Credit, Cost Segregation, 179D  Mike and his wife Marnie have four children and live in Huntsville, AL. Mike enjoys golf, water sports, and outdoor activities. He is a member of the AICPA and ASCPA since 1993. Additionally, Mike is an Eagle Scout and an assistant scoutmaster with his Boy Scout Troop. 

Scott Hursh, CPA, CCIFP, CDA

Managing Shareholder, AEC Industry Group
Stambaugh Ness, PC

Using Executive Scorecards to Elevate Your Firm's Success

 Many A/E/C firms are seeing their profits fall short of expectations but they aren’t able to pinpoint exactly why this is happening.  This session leads attendees through the process of identifying the most common barriers to A/E/C firm profitability and the key steps to breaking them down for sustainable growth and increased profitability.  You learn why it's critical to align your firm’s strategic goals and objectives with the individual goals of your executive management. You also learn how to design a scorecard program that identifies compensation criteria and the metrics to measure success.

Bio - Scott is a leading professional in financial management, tax and government contract consulting for AE firms. He is highly experienced in the application and interpretation of the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), AASHTO Audit Guide and Cost Accounting Standards (CAS), and helps companies minimize tax obligations using often overlooked credits and deductions. Scott founded the firm’s AEC Industry Group comprised of professionals focused on the unique accounting and consulting needs of the industry.   Current involvement includes: ACEC Tax & Regulatory Affairs Committee and the AASHTO Audit Subcommittee of the Transportation Committee; ACEC/PA CFO roundtable vice-chair; and ACEC/MD Business and Finance Committee. 

Andy Yeomans

Director of BD
Mircrosoft -SAGlobal

Leveraging the Cloud to Drive Agility in A/E/C Firms

This session is targeted at A/E/C firm leaders who are interested in understanding how today's shifting technology landscape will impact their firm’s ability to deliver services, build a competitive advantage, and differentiate themselves in the market.  This session explores how deploying key business processes and systems in “the cloud” can help A/E/C firms become more agile and build a competitive advantage. 

Bio - Andy Yeomans is U.S. Director of Business Development for SAGlobal, a Microsoft consultancy focused on helping A/E/C firms optimize their performance through the implementation of the Microsoft Dynamics AX ERP system.  Andy has 20 years of IT industry experience in a variety of sales, marketing, corporate development, and leadership roles.  Over the course of his career, Andy has helped hundreds of organizations evaluate and implement enterprise software applications.  Andy was instrumental in the creation of SAGlobal’s industry strategy, and since 2008 has worked exclusively with A/E/C firms and other project-driven organizations to help drive performance improvement initiatives through the implementation of Microsoft Dynamics AX.