What is your background?

For more than 20 years, I have worked in the environmental consulting field and progressed from entry-level technician to project manager, environmental department manager, and director of business development. I have been educated in environmental science with a BS from the University of Vermont and an MS from Indiana University. I have been fortunate to use my education and employment experience to succeed in various client development roles in environmental consulting.

What do you think are the most important qualities for success in client relations?

Effective and prompt responsiveness to clients’ communication is essential for good client relations. Even a brief and simple response that “I received your message and am working on it” can go a long way to calibrate expectations. Also, do not be afraid to pick up the phone and have a conversation, set up an MS Team call, or meet in person if possible. In my opinion, verbal communication can often be the most effective method to gather or share information.

Look for opportunities to build trust- Trust is earned over many repeatable acts yet can be easily lost. All our clients need to trust and rely on the project team we assemble to do what we say we will do, as our work is often a cog in the wheel of the larger overall project. A project might deviate from a planned path due to circumstances beyond our control and communicating continually with the client to evaluate options together is an essential part of maintaining trust.

What are three career lessons you have learned?

You are only as good as your network. A professional network is not built overnight, it follows you from the initial days of your career to the present and beyond. Your network is your personal brand, and anyone in your network can go from a non-client to a client in the future. I make a point to never burn a bridge. Great business development professionals are relationship builders who provide value and help their customers win.

Face project setbacks or challenges head-on and communicate them to the client in a timely manner.  Be willing to fall on the sword if you or your team makes a mistake. If you do not disclose changing information, small items can easily snowball into a much larger problem that can have long-lasting consequences for a project and client relationship. I am a believer in facing project challenges with solutions instead of excuses. This makes you a problem solver which is a fundamental element of being an effective consultant to our clients.

Be humble and never stop learning. No matter your title or successes, be willing to learn new skills and understand different perspectives. The environmental consulting industry is always changing and expanding into new areas. It is important to stay aware of the dynamics of this industry and to adjust appropriately.

How do you measure the success of a client relationship?

A successful client relationship is someone who works with you routinely on projects or remembers you many years later and contacts you when a need arises. A client that feels like they are your only client even though you may be working with a dozen at a given time. The ultimate measure of success is a client willing to put their name on the line to refer you to their network or a specific project.

What professional values are most important to you?

Respect, integrity, honesty, collaboration, creativity, communication, reliability, and excellence are the most important professional values to me.

I am happiest when…

When I see someone push themselves to new levels personally and professionally from a perceived comfort zone. Outside of work, I am happiest when I am with my wife, two kids, and with my dog. I love spending time in nature, pushing myself physically and mentally at the gym, and seeking to slow down the rapid pace of our world. I try to appreciate the small things around me that can be easily taken for granted.

What can our clients expect when working with you?

I take the necessary time to understand my client’s needs and expectations. I ensure our team understands the project, provides a unique approach, and works to meet the project goals while exceeding client expectations. I am very responsive and promptly answer emails, text messages, and phone calls. I am willing to listen and advocate for clients if something goes astray or we do not hit the mark. Beyond project quality, the client experience is how I like to set us apart from our competition. I put immense value in how the client experiences our collaboration and the final result of a project.