Two leaders with a combined 57 years of experience at Bernier, Carr & Associates will retire together at the end of the year.
The company, launched in 1970, announced Tuesday that Bernard H. Bernie Brown Jr., chief executive officer, and Pamela S. Beyor, chairwoman of the board of directors, will finish their final year at the Watertown firm, 327 Mullin St.
Taking over day-to-day operations that previously were managed by Mrs. Beyor will be Kris D. Dimmick, who has been promoted to vice president of operations. Mr. Dimmick, who previously was vice president of municipal engineering, joined the firm in 1991.
The leadership transition was long in the making at the firm, which has 79 employees. Mr. Brown and Mrs. Beyor, who joined the firm in 1984 and 1985, respectively, began planning their retirement together in 2006.
This past year, the firm hired consultants who conducted a study to evaluate the firms strengths and weaknesses. Mr. Brown, 60, said the study will provide guidance for the firms 11 partners.
This last year, we decided it was time to do this, Mr. Brown said. In this industry, the firms that are the most successful do a lot of things during the leadership transition.
Despite making all of the management decisions at the firm for the past 15 years, Mr. Brown and Mrs. Beyor are confident that emerging leaders are ready to take over the helm. Both registered architects in the state of New York, the two executives have established strong relationships with other partners at the firm by working together on projects. Bernier, Carr offers a full range of in-house engineering, architectural, surveying and construction management services.
We realized that it was now the right time for us to pass the torch to new leaders, Mr. Brown said. We both have very strong personalities as leaders, and we thought it would be difficult for one of us to stay and one of us to go. Theyll now be able to rise up as leaders in the firm.
Ongoing educational efforts at the firm also will ease the leadership transition in 2014. Three years ago, Bernier, Carr launched an in-house educational program called BCA University, in which company leaders and guest speakers get the chance to pass on their knowledge. Monthly seminars are hosted in the areas of leadership, project management and construction management.
For example, during the leadership course recently developed, the firm outlines the qualities that make up a successful business leader in the community. The goal is to develop a leadership vision consistently shared by members of the firm.
Well talk about all sorts of things you need to be a leader in any business and in the community, Mr. Brown said. We want to do everything we possibly can to provide stellar service to our clients.
Mrs. Beyor, 51, started the educational programs as a way to ensure the firm has a professional work culture shared by its staff. After she retires, she will continue to develop educational programs at Bernier, Carr.
Theres all sorts of training, Mrs. Beyor said. We do case studies to highlight projects, show how we market projects, and how you present yourself and dress as a professional.
Both avid volunteers in the community, Mr. Brown and Mrs. Beyor plan to remain active. Mr. Brown soon will finish his 10th year as a Northern New York Community Foundation board member when his term expires. He will seek other ways to provide leadership for the nonprofit, and will spend more time leading efforts at the Watertown Urban Mission with his wife, Beverly, who serves as the president of the agency.
During his leisure time, Mr. Brown plans to finish building a studio office above the garage at his Sackets Harbor house, which he designed and built on Black River Bay five years ago.
There are a lot of ideas that I have, and it will be a place to study, he said. I think theres an opportunity to create an elective course at Jefferson Community College that gives students the opportunity to go into the design and engineering field.
As for Mrs. Beyor, shell have enough time to pursue a hobby she couldnt find time for while logging 60-hour weeks at the firm: Im going to plant a vegetable garden, she said.