By Jamie Claire Kiser

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” – John Quincy Adams

This edition of Civil + Structural Engineer proudly celebrates our 2020 Rising Stars of the AEC Industry. Rising Stars are those with a record of exceptional ability and professional accomplishments related to management, leadership, teaching, research, and public service. The Rising Stars featured in this month’s publication are the future role models and leaders who will shape their firms and professions, leading to a more sustainable AEC industry. Or, that’s how the award is described on our website. One point of clarification, by way of the above quote from John Quincy Adams: remove the word “future.” The 2020 Rising Stars are role models and leaders today, though we are eager to see their continued contributions to their firms and the AEC industry.

Zweig Group’s awards program is central to our company’s mission to Elevate the Industry. Recognizing the bright minds who have chosen to devote their professional energy to the AEC industry is an honor. The Rising Stars award is especially powerful to me as a way to showcase leadership that defies experience. Brilliance, tenacity, and the power to influence change and inspire others to greatness are not gifts bestowed on people once they reach a certain age. It’s so important to the future of our industry that we embrace effectiveness and outcomes and reject conflating accomplishments with the quantifiable, like years of experience or hours on a timesheet.

This year has not been generous in providing opportunities to recognize professional success; many of our Rising Stars will not be able to experience the humbling delight of gathering with peers to hear the big announcement made in person at a company event, nor will they be able to shake hands as they accept their award and bask in the accolades. I encourage our readers to fill in the gaps, whether that’s emailing an award winner to congratulate them, posting online, or taking a moment to recognize the Rising Stars in your own organization and network and telling them that their work is valuable, and their contributions are inspiring. Seizing the opportunity that 2020 presents to each one of us to step up and connect personally is an act of leadership in itself, and creatively rising to the occasion and instilling pride in others is precisely the core of the spirit of our Rising Stars award.

With that, it is my pleasure to present the 2020 Rising Stars of the AEC Industry!


Jamie Claire Kiser is managing principal and director of advisory services at Zweig Group. Contact her at jkiser@zweiggroup.com.

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