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The 2022 Lerch Bates Forum kicked off Oct. 17 in The Woodlands, Texas to a crowd of nearly 230 Lerch Bates employee-owners. A long-standing LB tradition that began in the late 70’s, the Forum is an opportunity for team members to network, learn and celebrate in-person. Click here to watch a recap video.
“This year’s Forum is especially exciting for many reasons,” said Eric Rupe, president of Lerch Bates. “First – we took a hiatus for everyone’s safety during COVID. It’s great to return full force. Second –it’s the largest group we’ve ever hosted. We’re growing rapidly and are so excited to celebrate 40-year veterans alongside newly minted LB employee-owners arriving at Forum for their first day “on the job”. Third – it’s our 75th anniversary year, an exciting time in any company’s history, but especially for Lerch Bates in this incredible time of expansion and evolution.”
Employee-owners presented on a number of topics during general sessions, ranging from Lerch Bates’ new Pedestrian Circulation offering to a comprehensive review of processes and expectations for Lerch Bates multidisciplinary project client delivery. Breakout sessions featured fireside chats with Lerch Bates clients to dive deeper into how Lerch Bates partners with clients for ultimate project success. And, employee-owners amplified their professional development skills with topics like Emergenetics and effective listening.
“In just 16 hours of working time together, we’ve managed to have in-depth discussions and gather insight from one another that will set us on the path for collective success in 2023,” said Bart Stephan, CEO of Lerch Bates. “I’m so impressed with the connections and technical expertise shared here in Houston. Our employee-owners are incredible, which in turn makes Lerch Bates incredible.”
Jack Tornquist was recognized for 40 years of service while Dan Gosswiller, Richard Roberts and Stephen Fall were recognized for 20 years, and Chris Lucchesi was recognized for 10 years. Group Performance Awards were distributed to business units across nine categories, and 15 individuals were named Outstanding Contributors. Of the 15 Outstanding Contributors, Bill Moore and David Borchers were named Co-Contributor of the Year for their tag-team effort in exceptional client delivery.
The prestigious V. Quentin Bates (VQB) Award was bestowed, for the first time ever, on two individuals: Stephen Fall and Jeff Schultz. VQB award winners are nominated by their fellow employee-owners based on specific criteria that exemplifies Lerch Bates founder Quent Bates.
“Congratulations to Steve and Jeff on their VQB honors,” Stephan said. “Without these two incredible individuals, Lerch Bates would without a doubt be in a very different place today. All I can say is congratulations and thank you for all you’ve done.”
In addition to the networking, learning and celebration, Lerch Bates issued a donation to Make-A-Wish America on behalf of the four client companies who participated in the breakout session fireside chats, enabling the organization to provide flights for a family of four to their dream destination.