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“Thrive is the most valuable conference that our firm attends each year. Keynotes and speakers provide varied, real-world information and advice that always enables us to improve our operations and results.”
Jim Kleingers, P.E., P.S. | President | The Kleingers Group

"Absolutely amazing, blew my mind. This will absolutely turn Evergreen around in terms of pricing, marketing and negotiation. This is stuff we can use. Great conference!"
Aaron Edwards | Director of Business Development | Evergreen Engineering

"All sessions, including the pre-conference information, were exceptional."
Lauri Alty | General Manager | Efficiency Engineering Inc

"Fantastic conference!"
Edgar Hillsman | Principal | Hillsman Inc.

"Inspirational and educational to take the business to the next level."
Richard Peckham | Principal | CSArch

"I always leave the THRIVE conference with a multitude of ideas we can implement for our firm. It's the best conference I attend each year."
Brad Beck | President | Beck Engineering, Inc.


Welcome to the architecture, engineering, and construction industry’s leading growth and profitability conference. A/E/C THRIVE brings together key decision makers for powerful connection and collaboration on the business and management strategies that drive lasting success.

This is your unique opportunity to learn what other A/E/C firms are doing right now to THRIVE, and plan how to vault your firm to the next level of growth, profit and performance.

Who should attend:

  • CEOs
  • Principals
  • CFOs
  • Directors Business Development Professionals
  • HR and Talent Managers
  • Emerging Leaders
  • Project Managers and Principals Who Manage Projects


We all know that sustainable success is a team effort. That’s why A/E/C THRIVE is built to provide your entire leadership team with action-oriented and proven strategies to tackle the issues that matter most in every aspect of your firm, with multiple breakout session tracks, each targeting a key management responsibility:

Track 1:

Lead your firm into a brighter 2020 with strategic growth initiatives that maximize opportunities

Track 2:

Drive better top and bottom line performance with new metrics, reporting, and financial resources

Track 3:

Realize maximum return on Human Capital investment and keep your best performers engaged

Track 4:

Win more profitable work and focus resources on BD activity that delivers superior results

New for 2020!
Track 5: 

A curated set of breakout sessions on becoming even more effective at client service, budget discipline, resource allocation, and more

Plus, general sessions featuring keynote addresses from inspiring and experienced leaders ready to share proven insights, real-world case studies, and practical steps for taking your firm to new heights. And for 2020, a value-rich pre-conference workshop day for MAXIMIZING THE VALUE of your time away from the office.

A/E/C THRIVE Keynotes

  • Phil_Bernstein-320x320-1

    Innovation versus Integration: Can Technology Really Change the Business of Building?

    Thursday, October 15, 3:45 P.M.
    Phil Bernstein, AIA
    Associate Dean, Yale School of Architecture
    Autodesk Fellow

    After thirty years of tech innovation, A/E/C leaders might assume that revolutionary improvements in process and results are just around the corner. From CAD to BIM to the emerging machine learning age, there’s always been something “just ready” to transform the way we design and build. Despite “innovation” and “integration”, and new digital tools and provocative delivery models touted as keys to reaching a new nirvana, many promised benefits remain elusive. Leading AEC tech researcher and futurist Phil Bernstein, AIA, examines the structural challenges and new opportunities of using technology to refactor the value propositions at the heart of project delivery, and suggest strategies big and small that current practices should explore toward more productive and profitable ends.
  • Cheng_SM BW

    Innovation, Integration and Equity:
    What's Missing When We Talk About Change in the Industry?

    Friday, October 16, 8:30 A.M.
    Renée Cheng, FAIA, DPACSA
    Dean of the College of Built Environments, University of Washington
    Project Manager, AIA Guides to Equitable Practice

    Resistance to change in the AEC industry has been blamed on many sources and there are an equal number of silver bullets proposed to overcome the inertia. We've seen some limited success: new technology accelerates processes, alternative delivery shows the potential for new value propositions and deepening levels of integration change the discussion. In spite of this, widespread positive change is missing. The premise of this talk is that culture change is required in order for the industry to truly benefit from these positive forces. Understanding collaboration as fundamentally an issue of equity and inclusion, AEC culture needs to value, appreciate and bridge across our disciplinary differences. This talk imagines a future where fluency in equitable practices fosters trust, respect, and psychological safety. In this future, innovation thrives.
  • Hohlbein and LaFreniereBW-1

    YIMBY: How Facing Homelessness is Transforming Lives and Engaging A/E/C Employees

    Friday, October 16, 1:00 P.M.
    Rex Hohlbein, Founder + Creative Director, Facing Homelessness and Principal, BLOCK Architects
    Jenn LaFreniere, Principal, BLOCK Architects

    Today’s engaged A/E employee demands more from a career than projects and paychecks. She wants to be involved in something that has a directly positive impact on the community. Hear Seattle high-end residential architect explain how he came face to face with people experiencing homelessness and couldn't turn away, applying his compassion and skills to launch the grassroots organization Facing Homelessness. Later, he and his daughter Jenn LaFreniere, also an architect, designed a single-person habitation solution called The BLOCK Project. More than moved, you’ll be inspired and motivated to implement your own community impact programs at your firm and reap the rewards of a more productive workforce and a stronger community. Rex and Jenn will be joined by principals from Arch Nexus, an architecture firm that is replicating BLOCK Project designs in their own city.

View Past Speakers



Pre-Conference Day

9:00 AM - 10:00 AM

Registration Open

10:00 AM - 1:00 PM

Pre-Conference Day Morning Workshops

1:00 PM - 2:00 PM


2:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Pre-Conference Day Afternoon Workshops

5:00 PM - 7:30 PM

Welcome Cocktail Reception and Casino Night

(open to all A/E/C THRIVE registrants)




Full Conference Day 1

7:00 AM - 8:00 AM

Registration and Networking Breakfast

8:00 AM - 12:15 PM

A/E/C THRIVE Keynotes and Breakout Sessions

12:15 PM - 1:00 PM

Lunch and Awards Presentation

1:00 PM - 5:00 PM

A/E/C THRIVE Keynotes and Breakout Sessions

5:00 PM - 6:30 PM

Networking Reception




Full Conference Day 2

7:30 AM - 8:15 AM

Networking Breakfast

8:15 AM - 12:30 PM

A/E/C THRIVE Keynotes and Breakout Sessions

12:30 PM - 1:00 PM


1:00 PM - 3:30 PM

A/E/C THRIVE Keynotes and Breakout Sessions

3:30 PM - 6:00 PM

One-on-One Consulting Sessions


Take advantage of our Early-Bird rate by registering for A/E/C THRIVE today. This offer won't last long!

Register Now