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Zweig Group

The Principals Academy


The Principals Academy is Zweig Group’s flagship training program encompassing all aspects of managing a professional AEC service firm.

This impactful two-day seminar provides AEC firm leaders – and aspiring principals – a comprehensive learning opportunity in key areas of firm management leadership, financial management, recruiting, marketing, business development, and project management.

Learning and networking at this premiere event challenge traditional seminar formats and integrate participatory idea exchange led by Zweig Group’s CEO Chad Clinehens, PE, and the firm’s top line up of advisors. Zweig Group’s leadership team draws from our 30+ year history working with AEC firms to teach the latest approaches to managing and operating successful firms – using our comprehensive data set of industry benchmarks and best practices. 

The Principals Academy is like a two-day mini-MBA for design and technical professionals and is the most impactful two days you can spend learning to build your career and your firm. 


Day 1:

  • What It Means To Be A Principal
  • Business Planning
  • Financial Operations Part I (Accounting) 
  • Financial Operations Part II (Financial Mgmt.)
  • Marketing Fundamentals 
  • Recruiting And Retention 
  • Leadership for Principals 

Day 2:

  • Firm Ownership and Transition
  • Basics of Business Development
  • Mergers and Acquisitions 
  • How to Lead a Successful Firm 
  • Principals Roundtable 

Who should attend:

  • Presidents, CEOs, CFOs, and COOs of architecture, engineering, planning, environmental consulting, and construction businesses
  • AEC firm owners
  • Experienced principals looking to enhance their knowledge
  • Legal, accounting, insurance, consulting, and advisors specialized in the AEC industry
  • Associates and recently-named principals
  • Department, division and branch managers
  • Project Managers and senior design and technical staff

Why attend Principals Academy:

  • Learn what it takes to be a successful leader in this business
  • Hear about industry best practices that the most-successful firms use to stay on top
  • Gain a broader perspective on AEC firm management
  • Return armed with leadership and teambuilding strategies to share with other principals, managers, and staff

You will learn about these critical elements of firm performance:

  • How to develop a business plan that will help your firm succeed
  • The fundamentals of sound financial management
  • The keys to managing projects efficiently and profitably
  • How to find and keep top-level talent
  • How to ensure the firm’s survival through an ownership transition

Unique Feature: Career and Firm Growth Roundtable

The Principals Academy program includes an extended Q&A session with industry leader Chad Clinehens and the panel of speakers. The Principals Academy provides the attendees with an opportunity to discuss in-depth the issues facing them at their firms with advice offered from industry-leading experts.

Your course fee includes:

  • A comprehensive seminar workbook
  • Special discount on all Zweig Group survey and publications
  • Breakfast, lunch, and refreshments
  • Open-bar cocktail and networking reception at the conclusion of the first day
  • Access to a discounted rate on hotel lodging once registered for the event (NYC at Kimpton Eventi: $229)
  • *Registration fee does NOT include hotel lodging.

Continuing education credits!

Attendees of The Principals Academy earn 12 PDH / 1.2 CEUs

Zweig Group seminars are eligible for Professional Development Hours credits and Continuing Education Units. All attendees receive a certificate of completion indicating the number of hours earned during each seminar. Zweig Group is a registered provider with the American Institute of Architects.

To be notified of future dates and locations or for immediate assistance, please email: or call our customer support team at 1 800 466 6275

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