I have been part of the A/E industry for 32 years now – since I got out of graduate school in 1980. We started ZweigWhite (originally Mark Zweig & Associates) in 1988. From time to time, people ask me why I do it – why I like working with engineers so much.
It's pretty simple. You are the best group of people one could work with anywhere! A perfect example is Ferdi Fourie, P.E., a civil engineer who sublets some space from us here in our Fayetteville, Ark., office. He has a small practice – works with his wife, Yume, an architect, and a couple of technicians. He and Yume are working with us through another of my businesses, Mark Zweig Inc., on our new Summit Place development.
I was talking with Ferdi yesterday about ZweigWhite and the magazines. He told me he really liked CE News. – so much that he paid us $38 in our "pay what you think we're worth" subscriber campaign. He said that was about half of what ENR cost him and he thought that even though we're a monthly publication and they're weekly, we really address the business he's in. "Wow – there is a good guy," I thought. (Thanks to all of you, by the way, who sent us something for your subscription. We really appreciate it because you didn't have to.)
When I know the care, conscientiousness, and integrity civil engineers like Ferdi have, it really tears me up to see them abused by clients. A good example is another principal of a firm I was speaking to the other day. He was telling me how he had been browbeaten by his developer clients to burn the midnight oil on a big project for them, devoting a large percentage of their staff to meeting an impossible deadline – which they did – only to still be waiting six months later to get paid for all their hard work and commitment. Meanwhile, the developer has purchased a new Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet and taken several vacations to exotic places.
I cannot stand to see someone take advantage of another's good will. It just bugs me! That's why you need people like us – and your professional societies – to be your advocates. We're here to help you be more successful – as engineers, managers, and in some cases, business owners. Let us know what you want to see in these pages and we will try to bring it to you. How can we help? Let me know with an email message. And meanwhile, enjoy the rest of your summer and this August issue of CE News!
Mark C. Zweig