Every year has its milestones, but this one feels particularly momentous as we celebrated our 40th anniversary in business. Our geographic reach, service lines, and product offerings have expanded considerably in four decades, but our commitment to “Our People, Your Success” remains the same. As we consider all that we accomplished this year, there were four key themes tying everything together: extending our reach, nurturing the whole employee, strengthening leadership, and celebrating client successes. Here’s a closer look:
After flirting with the idea of opening another office in a major North Carolina metro area, we finally made a permanent commitment to the Queen City. Our new home in Suite 800 at 201 S. Tryon St. enables us to provide engineering and planning services, including water, sewer, stormwater, GIS, funding, and asset management to communities throughout Mecklenburg County.
In a collaborative move designed to deliver comprehensive services to our municipal clients, WithersRavenel created a civil engineering group within our Design + Planning practice area. Headed by Curt Blazier, these engineers will bring their design expertise to park, playground, and greenway/trail master plans and designs; system-wide parks, recreation, and open spaces master plans; municipal comprehensive plans; and small area plans.
North Carolina has a strong industrial history, and it remains an attractive place to open a manufacturing business today. We worked with IBT Online with support from the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina to translate portions of our website to meet the needs of French-speaking and German-speaking businesses in the Americas, Europe, and Africa.
WR University is the natural evolution of the many professional development opportunities and resources that WithersRavenel provides to our employee-owners. Encompassing leadership, project management, professional growth, technical/compliance skills, and certification/licensure, WR University is our program for employee onboarding, training, mentoring, and career advancement.
WithersRavenel is committed to serving those who have served—and continue to serve—our country.
We provide veterans, active reservists, and the spouses and families of active-duty military service members with the support they need to thrive at work and plan for their futures. This includes additional time off, accommodation for military leave, and veteran-centered recruiting that communicates the differences between government-provided and private benefits.
During the month of July, WithersRavenel organized a series of six week-night outings to local minor league baseball games. Employees were offered two complimentary tickets to the game of their choice to cheer on the Durham Bulls, Holly Springs Salamanders, Wilmington Sharks, Greensboro Grasshoppers, Charlotte Knights, or Asheville Tourists.
Our history with baseball goes all the way back to our founders, Tony Withers and Sam Ravenel, have been long-time supporters of the Miracle League. In October, we volunteered with Miracle League of the Triangle for the last game of the adult league season, which was celebrated with a Home Run Derby, food and drinks, and a dunk tank.
7. Invested in team-building activities
Owners’ Day remains the centerpiece of our company events, but it was far from the only opportunity for employees to connect, learn, and grow. From educational outings like visits to botanical gardens and zoos to physical activities like the miniature golf and challenge courses to creative activities like learning to drum, we encouraged our teams to strengthen their interpersonal relationships so they can deliver exceptional client experiences.
8. Hosted 4 regional CX Workshops
Following the success of two standalone client experience workshops in 2019 and 2022, we launched a series of regional events in Asheville, Cary, Charlotte, and Wilmington to gain insight from a wider array of clients. Each workshop brought together a mix of government clients, private developers, and economic developers along with members of our company focused on technical and client delivery. The goal was to better understand client pain points and to recognize greater opportunities for tailoring service to specific clients.
9. Partnered with Harold Weinbrecht to promote innovation
With nearly 25 years on the Town of Cary’s Town Council, Mayor Harold Weinbrecht has an undeniable wealth of insight into the workings of local government, and particularly those of a smaller community surrounded by more populous (and rapidly growing) neighbors. Combined with his background as a software engineer, he understands how communities can use technology to achieve their goals. He has joined WithersRavenel part-time and is working with our Asset Management practice area as an ambassador for technology and innovation in public projects.
Celebrating client successes
10. Downtown Cary Park grand opening
The Town of Cary first imagined a downtown park in 2001, and after more than five years of intensive -master planning, design, and construction, we were overjoyed to stand with residents and guests inside this 7-acre oasis in downtown Cary. Under the management of OJB Landscape Architecture, we had the privilege of contributing surveying, civil engineering, and stormwater design to create a one-of-kind destination in the Triangle.
11. Pleasant Park grand opening
Like the Town of Cary, the Town of Apex also celebrated the opening of a showstopping new park. The 92-acre Pleasant Park encompasses sport fields, an open play lawn, playgrounds, and a splash pad. An iconic and inclusive 2+ acre amenity area, dubbed the Enchanted Forest, features nine colorfully themed “villages” inspired by fairy tales, fables, and popular folklore. The park is the culmination of work by more than a dozen consultants and specialty equipment vendors, and more than 10,000 cars passed through the gates during the park’s first official open weekend.
12. $955+ million in local government funding
Our Funding & Finance team helped clients successfully apply for, receive, and administer no-cost/low-cost funding for critical projects. In the past year, they secured more than $56 million dollars in grant funding, bringing their funding total to $955,910,238. Out of the many successful applications, three programs stood out this year as solutions to pervasive and emergent community challenges:
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