Jerry Guerra’s AEC Insight

I no longer try to explain to people what I do for a living.

“I’m a writer and a consultant,” is what I say when someone asks.

If the person wants to know more, whether I think they’re feigning interest or not, I may add, “I write books, magazine articles, press releases, marketing copy, web text and other material, usually for architecture, engineering, environmental or construction companies. I also do market research and marketing planning for the industry.”

If one of my two daughters is asking, in case a friend or teacher asks them, I may simplify this a bit. The point is the same – it’s hard to describe and, to most people, probably not that interesting. But what I do serves a purpose and I enjoy it…and I’m paid to do it.

As it relates to this blog, I’m the man behind AEC Insight and The JAGG Group.

The JAGG Group is my company. While it has only one full-time employee – me – it is a “group” because I often partner with experts in other areas of management consulting, including business planning, leadership, HR, ownership transition, recruiting and technology. Most of these consultants are former ZweigWhite partners of mine from the management consulting and publishing firm’s heyday in the 1990s and early 2000s. Some are not.

I joined ZweigWhite in 1993, fresh off a decade in the newspaper business. I was the first editor of The Zweig Letter when it went weekly, and stayed in that role until 1998. Then, as a partner, I joined the consulting practice. I initially focused on market research and marketing, but also managed business planning and ownership transition projects.

In 2002, I left ZweigWhite and started The JAGG Group, a market research, communications, public relations and marketing consulting. In my time as a consultant, both with ZweigWhite and The JAGG Group, I’ve had the privilege to work with some great companies, including

  • USG, the Fortune 500 provider of building products
  • Canada Mortgage Housing Corporation (CMHC), a quasi-government agency in Canada focused on the residential construction market
  • BSB Design, the leading residential architecture firm in the country
  • Malcolm Pirnie, whose legacy includes creating water/wastewater systems for many major cities in the U.S.
  • Design Consultants, Inc. (DCI), a leading civil/transportation/survey firm in Massachusetts
  • Finley Engineering Group, a specialty bridge engineering and construction consulting firm based in Tallahassee
  • England-Thims & Miller, a civil engineering and environmental consulting firm in Jacksonville
  • Landtech, a small, specialty structural/civil firm in San Francisco
  • AEBL, the unbiased professional organization for architects and engineers (formerly PSMA)
  • And many others (HDR, KAA Design, World Trade Center Montreal, RMH Group, Earth Tech, Jacobs Associates, Rowe Associates, WATG, Harris Associates, PBS&J, and more)

I’ve also written and edited more than a dozen books for the AEC industry, including most recently PSMJ’s AEC Issue Brief: The P3 Revolution (published in June 2011). I’m currently working on a new venture, the first in a series of “AEC Firm Market Guide’s” – this one focused on California — that I will self-publish and sell through this web site and other distribution networks. Look elsewhere on this site for more information.

I’ve also written AEC market forecasts for both ZweigWhite (2003 and 2004) and PSMJ (2009-2011), as well as the very-well-received AEC Issue Brief: Integrated Project Deliveryin 2010. (Fred Kramer of architecture firm ADD Inc. said, “This brief is by far the best summary of the IPD/BIM existing condition that I have read to date and draws clear conclusions about the success formulas as well as pitfalls as the traditional adversarial delivery models evolve into something not only more powerful and valuable, but enjoyable!”)

Other AEC-related publications and products I’ve written, edited or contributed to include the A/E Training & Development Cookbook (ZweigWhite, 2006) and Project Collaboration Web Sites, 2nd Edition (ZweigWhite, 2003). And, proving that some products have incredible staying power, ZW is still marketing three videos I did before I left in 2002 – one on publicity and two on better business writing. (They apparently retired a fourth one called “Marketing on a Budget.”)

In my private life, I like to read (I was an English major after all), play hardball with guys way younger than I am (it keeps me young…ish), coach Middle School girls softball and try my hardest to be a good father, husband, and friend/son/sibling. Professionally, I strive to help my clients and readers do what they do more successfully, efficiently, profitably and enjoyably.

This AEC Insight blog is a vehicle to pass along some of what I know and believe is important in the industry. This includes news items, lessons learned, and valuable resources for architecture, engineering, environmental, and construction companies. It’s also a way I hope to promote books I write, the consulting work I do and anything else I create.

Please visit and frequently. Or, if you prefer, contact me via e-mail ([email protected]) or phone (781-718-2403). You can also follow along on Twitter and LinkedIn. — Jerry Guerra, (updated) July 8, 2011