By Tom Godin 

“You walked into that club and it smelled like show business” – Jerry Seinfeld

In this issue, we feature and celebrate 2021’s Rising Stars. They are our industry colleagues under the age of 40 who have distinguished themselves technically, led teams, delivered great projects, and given back to their professions and communities. All were nominated by the firms in which they work. Please take a few minutes to read their amazing stories.

Catch a Rising Star (CaRS) was one of the first comedy clubs in New York City. Founded in 1972 by Rick Newman, it launched the careers of an astounding number of comics. Many turned into stars and then exploded into supernova – including Robin Williams, Billy Crystal, Elayne Boozler, Chris Rock – and Jerry Seinfeld. 

The early history of CaRS is a case study in creating and nurturing talent.

  1. Be a place that is of its time. CaRS vibrated on a different frequency. It ran one continuous show that lasted late into the night. And in the words of Newman “You weren’t watching your father’s comedians on the Ed Sullivan Show.” The club spoke to a new generation. Does your firm do the same? Are you maximizing the potential of technology? Do you offer contemporary benefits like flexible work options, parental leave, and wellness benefits? Does your firm “give back” and do you encourage your staff to do the same?
  2. Offer opportunities to try new material. Mondays – the slowest day of the week at CaRS – became Audition Night. Up and comers performed their sets during the week. It was a safe place to try new material and learn from a live audience. Are you offering your team similar opportunities to innovate and learn?
  3. Coach and Mentor. David Brenner was an established comic when he walked through CaRS’s door in 1972. He gave the club legitimacy and star power. He was also generous with his time. Brenner coached up the comics who were going to perform on The Tonight Show for the first time. And he and other veteran comics held late night sessions with the younger talent where career advice, lessons learned, and war stories were served up.

At Zweig Group, our mission is to Elevate the Industry.  The profession of engineering is no joke, and we don’t advise clients on scent.   But when you elevate your firm and its culture, you create space above for your own rising stars to shine. 


Tom Godin is advisor of Strategic Planning at Zweig Group. Contact him at tgodin@zweiggroup.com.

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