Call for Proposals

If you are interested in speaking at the 2019 Growth & Ownership Strategies Conference, please contact Ashley Cristman at acristman@rog-partners.com. Enclose a title and brief description of your session and why it would appeal to senior level executives in the A/E Industry.

 Wednesday, November 7
12:30 p.m. ROG+ Golf Outing | Sponsored by DGC
Tiburón Golf Club next to The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort
1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Pre-Conference Ownership Transition and Merger & Acquisition Workshop
Led by Ian Rusk and Michael O’Brien, Principals, Rusk O’Brien Gido + Partners
This intensive four-hour workshop will cover the various internal and external options for transitioning ownership in an A/E or environmental consulting firm. It will cover: 1.) The pros and cons of the various transition options; 2.) How a firm’s valuation will differ under different transition scenarios; 3.) Basic elements of an internal transition plan; 4.) How ESOPs can augment an internal transition; 5.) The basics of merging with or selling your firm to an outside entity.
6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. Welcome Reception | Sponsored by Ames & Gough
Tiburón Golf Club next to The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort
 Thursday, November 8
7:30 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. Registration and Networking Breakfast  | Sponsored by Planifi
8:30 a.m. – 8:45 a.m. Welcome & Sponsor Introductions
8:45 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. Program Overview for Day 1
9:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. State of the A/E Industry – At the Mountain’s Peak or Room to Climb?
Steve Gido, Principal, Rusk O’Brien Gido + Partners
The A/E industry continues to benefit from a strong national economy, steady demand from both the private and public sectors, robust executive confidence, promising tax reform, and solid financial performance. But have we seen this story before? With the current economic expansion the second longest on record, the ramifications of a mature industry cycle are increasingly evident.  Executives in 2018 have to navigate through a range of risks that potentially stand to curb future growth including rising interest rates, tight labor markets, higher material costs and disruptive technologies and consolidation. Steve Gido will break down the industry landscape, assess ROG’s latest financial metrics, and discuss various growth and exit strategy paths for A/E leaders today.
9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Keynote Session
Trident Fundamentals: Navy SEAL Maxims for Business and Life
Dave Sears, Co-Founder & Managing Partner, Xundis Global, LLC
Using three popular Navy SEAL maxims, this presentation provides universal principles that everyone, regardless of position or industry, can use to improve their business and life. Dynamic stories from combat and training illustrate the key topics of deliberate thinking, cutting through noise, teamwork, contingency planning, diversity of experience, and avoiding burn out. 
10:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. Networking Break
10:45 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Keynote Session
How A/E Leaders Overcome 7 Silent Growth Killers
Robert Sher, Founding Principal, CEO to CEO
sher-bookFor an executive team, the excitement of leading a steadily or rapidly growing midsized firm can be exhilarating – that is, until growth grinds down to a halt.  In this presentation, Robert Sher explores how seven silent growth killers have derailed midsized firms based on his years of research on more than 100 companies.  Illustrating the seven silent growth killers through real examples, Robert explains how leaders can protect their companies from them or avoid them altogether.
12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. Lunch | Sponsored by alliantgroup
Court of Palms
1:30 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. Keynote Session
Enjoy the Ride
Steve Gilliland, Hall of Fame Speaker and Best Selling Author
A blueprint for getting the most out of life, this session invites attendees to examine where they are personally and professionally. Attendees will leave lifted and inspired to evolve and appreciate, rather than simply maintain and exist. Steve will challenge attendees to: 1. Check your passions: Love what you do and never forget why you do it; 2. Cure your destination disease: Live more for today, less for tomorrow and never about yesterday; and 3. Refocus your attention: Decide what’s important and never take it for granted. To achieve true success and fulfillment, you must first discover an enthusiasm for your work and personal life. Decide where you are heading, get on the bus, choose the right seat and Enjoy The Ride™!
2:45 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Networking Break | Sponsored by Clearview
3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. First Breakout Sessions
Breakout Session 1
Are You Ready for Tax Reform and Your Exit Strategy?
David M. Sullivan, Jr, CPA, Partner, DGC
We will provide an overview of the tax reform act, recent technical guidance in “laymans” terms, and discuss the opportunities contained in the new law which your firm should be evaluating. We will also cover popular tax strategies such as tax incentives and credits, S- Corp / LLC vs C-Corp decisions and implications in an exit strategy, and the impact of a stock vs asset / 338(h)10 sale structure when selling your firm. Open discussion and Q&A encouraged.
Breakout Session 2
Score More Work through a Strategic Business Development Approach
Jen Newman, CPSM, CEO, Ignite Coaching & Consulting, LLC
Does your firm employ a “Hail Mary” approach to business development? Are you waiting until the two-minute warning to develop your strategy? Do you find yourself unable to execute a solid offensive game plan? Are you consistently making it to the red zone but unable to cross the goal line? Implementing a strategic business development approach driven by a priority based client management system allows you to place more focus on specific targets enabling you to convert more of your leads into projects. This session will guide you through the development of your strategic business development playbook and help you win more work!
Breakout Session 3
What Is Corporate Governance and Why Is It So Important?
Michael O’Brien, Principal, Rusk O’Brien Gido + Partners
Whether your firm is large or small, understanding corporate governance is essential to creating a well-lead organization. A firm with strong corporate governance will be better prepared for leadership succession than a firm that simply has a strong culture. Furthermore, shareholders of well-governed firms are more likely to successfully monetize their investments when it comes time to retire. Come hear how firms that focus on corporate governance are creating “leadership-lead” organizations.
4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Second Breakout Sessions
Breakout Session 4
Tax Breaks for Architects & Engineers
Brian Aumueller, Managing Director, alliantgroup
Join alliantgroup for an educational session on the latest updates to powerful tax credits, incentives and deductions for architectural and engineering firms. Hear from alliantgroup’s Managing Director Brian Aumueller as he walks you through the Research and Development (R&D) Tax Credit and how it’s rewarding businesses like yours; the latest changes to the tax code from the IRS; and how you can qualify for these credits and incentives. To date, alliantgroup has helped architects and engineers uncover over $430 million in credits and incentives.
Breakout Session 5
P3 Opportunities for Design Professionals
Michael Herlihy, ARM, CRIS, Executive Vice President & Partner, Ames & Gough
The current proposed Federal infrastructure plan, with its focus on Public Private Partnerships will lead to greater opportunities for design professionals.  This session will examine the roles that engineers and architects can play on P3 projects.  We will assess the risks associated with each role and provide advice on ways to manage and mitigate these risks.  The goal is to prepare firms considering P3 work so that their opportunities will be profitable.
Breakout Session 6
Designing Incentive Compensation Plans that Attract, Motivate and Retain Employees
Joseph Sorrentino, Principal, FW Cook
Executive compensation consultant, Joe Sorrentino will help unravel the secrets of successful incentive compensation structures including designing incentive compensation plans that are aligned with company goals and value creation.  Essential annual and long-term incentive considerations will be addressed including recent trends, goal setting challenges, payout curves, prevalence and mix of vehicles, length of performance periods, and use of relative vs. absolute performance measures.
5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. Program Break: Check in with the home front, stretch your legs, enjoy a workout at the fitness center
6:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. ROG+ Reception with hors d’oeurves and carving stations | Sponsored by Newforma
The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort Poolside
 Friday, November 9
7:30 a.m. – 8:15 a.m. Networking Breakfast | Sponsored by Central Consulting Group
8:15 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. Welcome to Day Two
8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. Panel Discussion
The Perfect Storm – A/E M&A and Strategic Growth Panel
Moderated by Steve Gido, Principal, Rusk O’Brien Gido + Partners
Panelists: Kristi Tahmasiyan, Senior Associate/M&A Integration Manager, Terracon; Gene Murray, Managing Partner, W&M Environmental, a division of Braun Intertec; Kevin Haney, President & COO, Maser Consulting; and Eric Wolf, Partner and Co-Founder, Bow River Capital Partners
Panelists will cover a range of issues including industry and market sector observations as well as specific growth options and tactics. Steve will lead Q&A on topics such as organic pursuits, recruiting methods, private equity, M&A, and succession planning.
9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Keynote Session
Brown Sugar: Deriving Satisfaction through Data Analysis
Anirban Basu, Chairman & CEO, Sage Policy Group, Inc.
This presentation provides detailed discussions of global, national and regional economies using the most up-to-date data available.  Special attention is invested in critical elements of economic life, including the performance of financial, labor, and real estate markets.
10:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Program Closing – Final Conclusions and Sentiments
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Third Breakout Sessions
Breakout Session 7
Business by Design
Jane Walton, President, Jane Walton Consulting
Beautifully designed organizations are meaningful for employees, memorable for customers and impactful to the bottom line. We take inspiration from the art world to teach you how to design your organization. Utilizing the basic principles of design organization – focal point, contrast, scale, unity, movement, and rhythm – you will learn to refine your company’s vision, organize your internal efforts and achieve business results.
Breakout Session 8
Solve the People Puzzle
Kathleen Quinn Votaw, Founder & CEO, TalenTrust
Companies are clearly struggling with how to recruit and retain top talent, but each company has a unique People Puzzle™. If you’re an A/E executive experiencing any of these headaches, you can relate:  Are you frustrated because critical positions are open too long or never filled? Have you experienced a high cost of turnover because of bad hiring decisions? Are you struggling to find talented people as the market gets more competitive? Are you concerned about attracting the next generation of employees? Are you trying to understand and improve your reputation as an employer? While the people puzzle isn’t easy to solve, Kathleen will offer specific personal and client stories as well as key perspectives that will you find, grow and keep the best employees.
Breakout Session 9
How “Disruption” is Redefining Leadership
Jim Nevada, CEO, Nevada Group
nevada-bookwebWhat makes a great leader in this age of disruption? How do firms thrive in our highly dynamic business environment? Successful leaders understand that to succeed in the future, they must become disruptive in how they lead. Being disruptive is an internal mindset that seeks continual improvement and recognizes that the world is evolving quickly, and that’s it’s far better to lead in that evolution than to follow. Jim Nevada will show you what success looks like in leading firms, why human capital is the key to success, and how you and your teams can lead in this new era.
1:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. ROG + Grand Slam Fishing Tournament
Port-o-Call Marina