30 Dec 2020 Year in Review
Despite the challenges of 2020, WithersRavenel has a lot to be proud of and even more to be thankful for. In fact, we celebrated 12 major achievements in the last 12 months!
1. Adapted to Fully Remote Work
Like many companies, WithersRavenel had to switch from a primarily office-based operation to a fully remote setup. Our Leadership Team, with particular help from our IT and Human Resources departments, made sure that every staff member has access to the equipment, supplies, and programs they need to succeed from home. Our employee-owners also rose to the occasion, sharing their tips and strategies for staying connected while working remotely.
2. Added the Collaboration Core Value
Collaboration has always been part of the way WithersRavenel works, so it only made sense to add it to our Core Values. Collaboration joins the ranks of Integrity, Respect, Quality, Sustainability, and Community. The decision reflected our focus on both client experience (CX) and employee experience (EX) initiatives throughout the year.
3. Contracted with 150 New Clients
We can think of no greater testament to the quality of one’s work than to have new clients entrust their most important and aspirational projects to you. We’re honored by all of the public agencies, private companies, and ordinary citizens who relied on us to transform their concepts into concrete.
4. Secured $640 Million in Grant Funding for Clients
With the power of grant and loan funding, we help clients ignite economic growth, promote sustainability, and build communities that can accommodate a vibrant quality of life. To date, our dedicated funding team—which now includes Ken Orie and Melissa Cardinali—has helped local governments secure more than $640 million in funding from regional, state, and federal sources.
5. Partnered with Brightly Software and Launched Innovative Service Offering
Brightly Software (formerly Dude Solutions) is a leading software-as-a-service (SaaS) provider. They deliver operations management solutions to education, government, healthcare, senior living, manufacturing and membership-based organizations. WithersRavenel led the implementation of Brightly’s Capital Predictor™ in the City of Sanford to integrate the City’s sewer model and land use plan and chart a financial course through the 2045 planning horizon. As a result of this work, Brightly named WithersRavenel a strategic alliance services partner. Our companies are now working together to offer innovative infrastructure asset management solutions to other local governments.
6. Established a New Transportation Department
Previously under the umbrella of our Land Development & Planning Department, our Transportation team is now a fully fledged and independent Transportation Department. This small but mighty—and growing!—department includes Ted Kallam, Steve Lander, and Rob Holland. They provide ADA compliance evaluations and transition plans, roadway design, greenway/multi-use trail design, NEPA documentation, streetscape design, pedestrian & bicycle facilities, and pavement evaluations.
7. Moved Up 23 Spots in the ENR Top 500
Engineering News-Record’s Top 500 Design Firm is a who’s who of engineering talent. This year, WithersRavenel was ranked number 428 overall, climbing 23 spaces from 2019. We remain the #1 North Carolina-based, North Carolina-focused firm on the list.
8. Received 6 Awards
It’s no secret we think our employee-owners and the work they do is pretty great. But we would be lying if we said that being recognized by our peers and industry isn’t satisfying too. This year, we were proud to bring home the following awards:
- 2020 APWA-NC Stormwater Project of the Year Award
- TBJ Fast 50 Award Winner
- 2020 PSMJ Premier Award for Client Satisfaction
- 2020 State of Downtown Imprint Award
- 2020 CX-cellence Award for Purposeful Leadership
- ESOP Company of the Year Award from Carolinas Chapter of The ESOP Association
9. Onboarded 67 New Hires
When we reflected on hiring for sustainability in 2019, we stressed the importance of “creating a company that can weather economic swings, changing technology, and everything that life throws at us.” We had no idea how true that would turn out to be! Despite this year’s hardships, we have been fortunate to expand our team in every office and discipline and at every level of experience. Check out the New Hire tag for stories about our newest employee-owners, and visit our Careers portal to learn more about the benefits of 100% employee-ownership and see open positions.
10. Increased Remote Team Building Events
With nearly all of our staff engaged in some percentage of remote work, team building events have never been more important. From weekly happy hours and monthly town-hall-style meetings to holiday whodunnits in December, we’ve made an effort to stay connected on a personal as well as professional level.
11. Launched Diversity + Inclusion, Remarkable Women, and Mentoring Committees
Respect is one of our Core Values, and we’re continually striving to enrich and broaden our ownership community. With that goal in mind, we’ve launched three important committees this year:
- The President’s Task Force for Inclusion, Diversity and Equity is a 20-member volunteer committee focused on recognizing implicit biases, counteracting them with education, and developing meaningful diversity goals for the company.
- Remarkable Women of WithersRavenel provides leadership and professional development opportunities, offers a forum for members to seek advice on a variety of issues, and creates opportunities for the remarkable women of the firm to network with one another.
- The goal of our Mentoring Program is to provide new and existing WithersRavenel teammates with the incredibly valuable resource of WithersRavenel mentors who can offer many aspects of knowledge, support, and professional development. We’ll be sharing more about this program in January in honor of National Mentoring Month.
12. Added New Service Offerings in Our Asheville & Wilmington Offices
As a full-service engineering, planning, and surveying firm with offices in seven cities, we’ve always been able to deliver solutions to clients from the Mountains to the Sea. But with the relocation of Rose Tanksley to Asheville to provide landscape architecture and planning services and the hiring of Owen Gidlow and Connor Lee in Wilmington to provide surveying, we can now offer an even greater depth of service with local personnel.