Behind the Excellence in Acquisitive Growth Awards Series

Industry consolidation continues at a transformational pace of more than 450 transactions a year. Over the past decade, better than 3,500 design and environmental firms have sold or merged in the United States. This wave of consolidation has created thousands of millionaires and multi-millionaires out of those selling shareholders who have seen their equity unlocked in the transaction. Concurrently, those acquisitions have resulted in step-function increases in profits, revenues, backlogs and employee engagement for the acquiring firms as they achieve their strategic goals through acquisition.

Industry consolidation will continue to increase over the next decade, fueled by the two trends of industry recapitalization by private equity and Boomer and Gen X owners unable to transition ownership or leadership internally. The next decade will see the creation of even more millionaires as sellers exit and the realization of even more strategic objectives by acquirers through another 5,000 or so acquisitions.

Recognizing that this wave of consolidation will impact all domestic design and environmental firms, we believe that it’s in the best interests of all industry stakeholders—project owners, firm shareholders, managers, and employees—that consolidation takes place in a manner that creates greater value, more stability, enhanced client service, and improved resource allocation.

And that is why this year we created the Excellence in Acquisitive Growth Awards series. In doing so we wanted to recognize those acquirers that are in the vanguard, improving how consolidation happens in our industry. And we wanted to create a forum to share M&A best practices so that collectively the industry achieves better outcomes in terms of client satisfaction, employee engagement, and value for investors.

We owe a debt of gratitude to the CEOs, corporate development officers, and investors who collaborated with us in January and February to help us take this concept and make it a reality.

Awards

The Excellence in Acquisitive Growth Awards Series consists of three distinct annual awards, as follows:

Most Prolific and Proficient Acquirer Award

The recipient of this Award is recognized for having made the most acquisitions of U.S. based firms in the prior calendar year.

This Award is presented annually in March at our Southeast States M&A and Business Symposium in Miami, FL.

Recipients

2024     Bowman Consulting Group (Reston, VA) ENR #58

2023     IMEG (Rock Island, IL) ENR #52

The 2024 Most Prolific and Proficient Acquirer Award presented to Bowman Consulting Group
From left to right: Gary Bowman (Bowman Consulting Group), Nick Belitz, Tim Vaughn (Bowman Consulting Group)

The 2023 Most Prolific and Proficient Acquirer Award presented to IMEG
From left to right: Jon Escobar, Nick Belitz, Robin Greenleaf (IMEG), Dan Huntington (IMEG),Bill Zink (IMEG), Mark Goodale, Brendon Cussio

M&A Best Practices Award

The recipient of this award is recognized for advancing best practices in acquisitive growth.  This Award is presented annually in June at our Western States M&A and Business Symposium in Las Vegas, NV.

Recipients

2024     Trinity Consultants (Dallas, TX)

2023     Terracon Consultants (Olathe, KS) ENR #18

The 2023 Most Innovative Acquirer Award presented to Terracon
From left to right: Nick Belitz, Mick Morrissey, Joe Aldern (Terracon), Kristi Tahmasiyan (Terracon), Mark Goodale, Jon Escobar, Brendon Cussio

Best Post-Transaction Performance Award

The recipient of this Award is recognized for achieving outstanding post-transaction performance in the areas of profits, revenues, backlog, and employee retention.  This Award is presented annually in October at our Texas and Southern States M&A and Business Symposium in Houston, TX. 

Recipients

2023    

  • $50 million-plus category               TRC Companies (Windsor, CT) ENR #16 
  • $10 to $50 million category           Salas O’Brien (Irvine, CA) ENR #39
  • Under $10 million category            Englobe (Montreal, Canada)

The 2023 Best Post-Transaction Performance Awards presented to TRC, Salas O’Brien, Englobe
From left to right: Daniel Powers (TRC), Nathan Rust (Salas O’Brien), Marc Trudell (Englobe)

With each award, we make a $1,000 donation to an AE industry-related 501(c)(3) organization chosen by the winning firm.  Organizations that have directly benefitted include ACE Mentor ProgramSociety of American Military Engineers, and Canadian Women in STEM Scholarship.