ENR Midwest is proud to honor its fourth Legacy Award Winner, Timothy J. Faerber, Senior Vice President at HNTB Corporation. Tim joins a list of pioneers and previous winners that includes Matthew Walsh of the Walsh Group, Bob Bowen of Bowen Engineering and Joel M. Carlins of the Magellan Group.
What set Faerber apart was his leadership in engineering associations, executive working groups, government relations and his participation in school and youth mentorship. Whether as the president and COO of HNTB Advantage (HNTB’s innovative delivery business unit), the company’s Great Lakes division president, or taking such an active role with the Illinois Road and Transportation Builders Association (IRTBA) that he received a recognition award as “Honorary Staff Member” in 2004, Faerber has championed the efforts of engineering and construction firms over a career spanning 34 years. He has helped more than 90 IRTBA member consultant firms become members of the National Association – ARTBA, where he has served as the Chairman of the planning and design division and as a member of ARTBA’s Board of Directors.
Faerber has built relationships with elected officials, engineers and contractors that has been essential to HNTB’s growth. He has been recognized by peers and clients as an industry leader in architecture and engineering, design-build and contracting. His industry contacts range from Chicago area professionals to government officials in Washington, D.C., where he worked as HNTB’s government relations officer from 2005-2007. In addition, Faerber was instrumental in reestablishing the Construction Management Association of America’s Chicago Chapter from 1999 to 2001.
It was in his time leading HNTB’s Illinois operations that Faerber began to stand out as a business leader. From 2005 to 2010 he served as the officer-in-charge to develop and grow HNTB’s Chicago practice. His vision was to become a full state of Illinois practice by expanding both the client base and HNTB’s services. This strategy led the office to double in size. At the start of 2005 it employed 65 staff and by the end of 2009 the office grew to 135 employees. Over this period, the Chicago office added services, including program management, land acquisition, city infrastructure management services and created a new rail engineering group. Faerber’s leadership tripled the Chicago revenue and earnings and firm leaders saw a bigger opportunity for HNTB’s Great Lakes Division.
Faerber became president of the 10-state geographical division in 2010 and was responsible for all strategic planning, sales, and operations. The division grew 25% over his three years at the helm and his vision to strategically advance client relationships with select targeted clients across multiple states led to those improved sales and earnings. It also helped create program management services and other in-client office professional services in addition to customary planning, design, and construction engineering.
In 2013, when HNTB created a new business unit to deliver innovative delivery contracts, Faerber served as the new business unit president and COO. The unit focused on developing structure, principles, and policies to improve performance in this market. Faerber’s focus was centered on effectively managing change in the design-build process, resolving outstanding issues on previous contracts, improving selection processes and improving contract structures.
In 2015, Faerber moved on to lead key strategic initiatives for the firm. He has been in charge of positioning the firm for success on the largest and most complex transportation infrastructure projects in the U.S. In doing so, HNTB has recently begun work on the I-74 Mississippi River Bridge connecting Illinois to Iowa and the South Capitol Street Bridge Program in Washington, D.C.
All along, Faerber has educated and mentored hundreds of HNTB employees during his tenure with the firm. He facilitated and led HNTB training programs at the firm between 2002 and 2010. This included training and mentorship in: Project management, leadership skills, sophisticated contracting and sophisticated negotiating. By special request of Marquette University, Faerber provided recommendations and support for the development of a new degree that is now offered by Marquette, the Bachelor of Science Degree in Construction Engineering.
ENR Midwest is proud to present its fourth annual Legacy Award to Faerber, who we will be writing about in our January issue and who will receive the award at our regional best projects awards breakfast November 29 at the Westin Chicago River North.