Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Odds and ends

Just a few quick hitters for a late Wednesday afternoon:
  • Johnson, Mirmiran & Thompson (JMT), a 710-person engineering firm in Sparks, Maryland, has acquired the assets of 52-person engineering consulting firm Kupper Associates of Piscataway, New Jersey. JMT is the third-largest engineering firm in Greater Baltimore when ranked by annual billings, according to the Baltimore Business Journal. The firm reported $56 million in local billing and $82 million in company-wide billing in 2007. It has offices in Maryland, Delaware, Florida, New Jersey, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington, D.C.
  • This one's kind of cool. Dallas architecture firm t. howard + associates (THA) has acquired Wells Janousek Architects. Mike Wells, principal with Wells Janousek, and Todd Howard, principal with THA, met years ago when Howard took a course from Wells at the Harvard Graduate School of Design Child Care Design Institute. Now, as a result of the acquisition, the teacher (Wells) will be working for the student (Howard). I thought that was kind of neat. Clearly, the teacher did his job, but does the learning ever stop?
  • Another fun story here. CSO Architects, Inc. of Indianapolis announced that James Schellinger had been elected chairman and CEO of the firm by its shareholders. Schellinger recently returned to the firm after spending 15 months running for governor of Indiana. Not only was it neat that Schellinger had taken the time off to run for governor, but it was equally nice to see the firm take him back as its leader. Would your A/E firm do something like this if you took time to run for office?
  • Finally, according to the Pacific Business News, Hawaii employers and state government are looking at four-day work weeks to cut costs, save energy, and get their workers off the roads one day a week. Hawaii isn't alone, either, as many cities and towns across the United States are looking at similar measures, but this was the first article I'd seen that said an entire state government was considering something so drastic. I thought this was an interesting tactic for A/E firms to pursue, except many of them were so hung up on work/life balance a few years ago that you are already giving employees at least a half-day on Fridays in the summer. Is it worth making it a year-round habit? Consider that gas prices are likely to moderate over the next several months and that you'd be essentially cutting back your work week by 20% and I would say not.


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