The design market has seen its share of ups and down in the last five years. Likewise, the Top 500 Design Firms list has seen players rise and fall.
One of those rising is Garver (No. 106), which has jumped 60 places since 2017, with revenue growing from under $80 million in 2017 to almost $180 million on this year’s list.
Garver’s success is driven by its people, says President and CEO Brock Hoskins. “Our people have a passion for excellence, are driven by the willingness to perform and want to earn and maintain the role of being each client’s most trusted advisor,” he says. Hoskins sees his role as providing the tools to help them succeed. The challenge now is in keeping up with a rapidly changing market.
“[Presidential] executive orders seem to be making changes happen quicker than at any time we have seen in the past,” says Jerry Holder, senior vice president and director of transportation at Garver. “We have been told to slow down on some planning studies because our client is worried that the work we are doing based on today’s requirements may not apply in the near future.”
Similarly, Tower Engineering Professionals (No. 135) empowers its employees to set company growth. Its revenue has grown to $133.5 million on the 2021 list, from $46 million in 2017. The company, started in 1997, found a niche in hiring engineers unafraid to climb 400-ft-tall cell towers. Since then, employees have chased new heights.
“They are competitive as hell and not afraid to take risks. That core culture exists today, and it just exudes,” says CEO and co-founder Andrew T. Haldane. “I am not going to say we weren’t afraid of a pandemic. But, it takes a lot to faze these guys.”
During years of growth, Tower purchased a site acquisition firm in 2017, a fiber company in 2018 and a Canadian engineering firm in 2019.
“Over 20-plus years, we’ve looked to add different service lines to complement those core services in the telecom industries,” says Haldane. Additionally, Tower developed a land surveying business and added two geotechnical labs on opposite coasts to handle telecommunications.