Something in the Water

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By Chad Clinehens

Three years ago, Zweig Group launched our “experience” themed leadership roundtables. The first two were held in Kentucky around tours of the various bourbon distilleries that produce 95 percent of the world’s bourbon. The rich family history and how these distilleries approach their business combined with the explosion of demand for bourbon was an inspirational backdrop for these events.  

The story of Kentucky bourbon and its distilleries is largely also a story of the area’s water.  Made from the limestone-rich water that flows in abundance through its streams and rivers, Kentucky bourbon is geographically unique, producing a taste that cannot be replicated anywhere else in the world.   

As luck would have it, something about the water in Kentucky also made these two experiences special, getting together a group of leaders of AEC firms who were willing to share their struggles and successes.  The environment was rich, and it fostered both the giving and receiving of advice. 

Over my 25 plus years in this industry, I’ve witnessed the evolution of leaders in AEC becoming not only open to sharing their challenges but their magic bullets as well. We’ve become comfortable helping each other as we realize there is plenty of work to go around, and elevating our firms as well as the industry requires us to work together.  

This is why I am delighted that after two years of being unable to conduct these events, we are hosting our first in-person roundtable next month in Dallas. Unlike previous roundtables, this event is like two events in one. We are hosting a number of industry experts who will share powerful insight through short talks and panel discussions, with the roundtable sessions in between and themed around the areas of discussion. Each attendee will be able to choose 18 topics they want to discuss over the day and a half event. It really will be an innovative event with a unique structure that allows attendees a lot of time to discuss exactly what they want to learn more about while getting access to industry experts on some of the industry’s greatest challenges. Roundtable topics will cover every area of the business including recruiting, retention, scalable growth, succession planning, cybersecurity and IT, the role of the CEO, risk management, M&A, private equity, flexible work policies, training and development, compensation and incentive structures, arbitration versus litigation, corporate giving programs, the role of the CSO, building a motivated and aligned leadership team, creating a positive and productive culture, leadership transition, getting more done with less people, the economic outlook, and more.

This will be a powerful day and a half to focus on you and your firm as you learn and collaborate with industry peers. It will also provide a great connection to be able to keep the conversation going at Elevate AEC in September where we will have some follow-up activities for this group. I hope to see you in Dallas June 23-24, so we can continue to create special environments that foster change and growth in the AEC industry..

 Click here to register or to find out more info.


Chad Clinehens, P.E. is Zweig Group’s president and CEO. Contact him at cclinehens@zweiggroup.com.

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