Photo by Laura Burnett
After Hours: Coe and Van Loo’s Ryan Weed
What started as a hobby for Coe and Van Loo Consultants President Ryan Weed has now become a way to connect with clients and coworkers. Weed has been with the design and engineering firm for 18 years, working his way up from drafter, an entry level position, to president and CEO, having been asked to step up in January of this year.
Part of a long-lasting relationship with APS, Weed has come to spend more than just business hours with some of its employees. Trying to connect with clients with potential mutual hobbies was a habit of Weed’s, and after finding out about the company’s cycling team, he joined.
The rides are often organized races for charity with money raised by employees with a company matching program in place. While rides average between 40 and 50 miles round-trip, the group mixes up its routes to keep the scenery interesting, sometimes meeting with other cycling groups to turn the group ride into a larger event.
These bigger rides offer a chance for Weed and the other riders to catch up with cyclists they don’t see often.
“It’s good to have a client that respects your work, but it’s better to have a client that respects your work and you have some sort of personal connection with,” Weed says.
Having a personal relationship with clients is just as important as having strong relationships with colleagues, he says. Weed appreciates these relationships and CVL fosters them as part of its company culture. With project teams all over the building, employee engagement is important to the company, which encourages team bonding as well as working across teams.
That’s seen in the fact that CVL has both planning and landscape architecture departments within the firm. Allowing engineers to work with the more creative people at the firm allows everyone to learn to see and understand things from another perspective.
“It helps our clients have one firm they can go to for essentially all of their project needs, which was originally the concept. It’s an old adage now: a one- stop shop for clients,” he said.
Having a multi-faceted firm is just one way Weed ensures his company adds the something extra to the work it provides. Weed prefers cycling but realizes everyone has different hobbies.
“They’ll go golfing or they’ll go to lunch or they’ll keep up with their clients in different ways that help strengthen their personal relationships,” Weed says.