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March 2011 » Columns » FROM THE PUBLISHER
Mark C. Zweig

Last week, ZweigWhite closed on our acquisition of the engineering assets formerly owned by Stagnito Media. Some of these assets include the print and eMedia versions of CE News (this very publication you are reading now — www.cenews.com), Structural Engineering & Design (www.gostructural.com), and Rebuilding America’s Infrastructure (www.rebuildingamericasinfrastructure.com); eMedia vertical channel HubDOT.net (www.hubdot.net); events and eMedia assets AEC Technology Strategies (www.aectechstrategies.com), Best Firms To Work For (www.bestfirmstoworkfor.com), and IPD Channel (www.ipdchannel.net); and more, including an extensive webcast series and a unique PDH course series available through print and online.

You might be thinking, “So what? This is just another ownership change driven by financial engineers and it probably won’t affect me.” Well, I am here to tell you that it is going to affect you. We are going to change everything at CE News — for the better!

This is not to say we don’t think CE News is or has been a good product that serves a unique niche in the market. To the contrary — Shanon Fauerbach, P.E., has done a wonderful job putting out this magazine month after month and filling it with interesting content on the “business of civil engineering.” We have had some great columnists and some thought-provoking editorials over the years. Shanon announced her retirement to become a full-time mom about a month or so before our transaction. So we welcome Bob Drake — an editor with CE News for seven years now — as our new editor in chief. And of course we’ll still have the outstanding contributions of Associate Editor Stephanie Hildebrandt, and a host of regular and new contributors both.

Going forward, we’ll have a renewed focus on our tagline, “for the business of civil engineering.” We want CE News to be something you — as an owner or manager in an engineering firm — have to have. We should be your invisible partners out there working to help you succeed in business (and in life). And this business is something ZweigWhite knows a lot about. ZweigWhite has been a leader in providing management advice to the A/E/P and environmental consulting industry for nearly 23 years now. We don’t just read about management in the latest buzzword-filled books and articles and then parrot it back to you. We demonstrate our business knowledge every day by running a successful business ourselves. Our firm was founded in 1988 with $1,000 capital and was twice named to the Inc. 500 list of America’s fastest-growing privately held companies. We don’t mind saying that we intend to get back on that list!

This is not the first time CE News has been a part of ZweigWhite. When we sold our firm in 2004 and I retired to be a college professor, real estate developer, and investor/outside director for a number of engineering, design, and construction companies, ZweigWhite was merged with the then-publishers of CE News, Mercor Media. Due to a variety of factors, the former Mercor firm was never really integrated with ZweigWhite (keep in mind I wasn’t there directing the show or it would have been!). It was then split off from ZweigWhite in 2009. After an ownership change occurred at ZweigWhite, once again I was redrafted to run the firm in 2010. I re-upped with a new investment in the company in late 2010 and now am the owner of ZweigWhite along with an amazingly entrepreneurial fellow named Greg Lindberg, founder of Eli Global, and our mezzanine lender, BIA Digital. With a revised capital structure and entrepreneurial spirit, along with a whole host of new team members who are creating and launching unique new product and service offerings, we have solidly turned around ZweigWhite and are entering into our next major growth phase.

I could tell you about all of the wonderful synergies we expect between the former Stagnito Media Engineering Group and the new ZweigWhite, as we expect there to be many. You, however, as a practical, pragmatic, and skeptical engineer, have heard these promises many times before. Maybe you have made them yourselves if your firm went through a merger or acquisition. “There will be synergies. We will bring more capabilities to you — our clients. We will have more resources than we ever had before to better serve you.” But the fact is, it will all be just B.S. and empty promises UNTIL it becomes a reality. So the onus is on us. We look forward to hearing from you about what you want from CE News and ZweigWhite in the days and weeks to come. My e-mail address is mzweig@zweigwhite.com, and my cell phone is 508-380-0469. Please share your thoughts with me, and thanks for reading CE News.

Mark C. Zweig,
mzweig@zweigwhite.com


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