The Board of Directors of EYP has appointed Scott Butler to lead the global integrated architecture and engineering firm as its new President & Chief Executive Officer, succeeding Tom Birdsey, who retired from these roles effective December 31, 2018. A 41-year EYP veteran, Birdsey will continue to serve as Chairman of the Board, working closely with Butler, as he has over the past year, to transition the firm to its new leadership structure and position EYP for its next phase of sustained growth.
Butler, an accomplished design professional with more than 30 years of senior executive experience with integrated A/E firms, joined EYP in January 2018 and served as Chief Operating Officer. Prior to joining EYP, Butler served as CEO of CUH2A, an architecture and engineering firm focused on science and technology clients, with 450 employees across seven offices, and annual revenue of $80 million; and, most recently, as Director of International Operations at HDR, overseeing 800 employees in 22 offices, with annual revenue of $120 million. At both firms, Butler was instrumental in leveraging design to drive business growth, creating operational efficiencies to drive profitability, and establishing employee cultures that attracted and retained top talent. Additionally, to accelerate growth in new markets, he identified, led and managed the integrations of key acquisitions and launched first-tomarket technologies that differentiated the firms and enhanced client service.
“I believe strongly in EYP and the impact our multi-disciplined, integrated design teams make on the industry and our clients,” Butler said. “I look forward to building on the strong foundation that Tom established to propel our firm to the next level. Growth is our mantra: Growth in the expertise and service capabilities of our staff; growth in people, purpose, planet our core sectors of healthcare, higher education, government, and science and technology; and growth geographically in areas of strategic importance. I am honored to lead our team of dedicated, visionary professionals as we inspire and partner with our clients toward innovative design solutions that benefit people, purpose and our planet.”
“Scott’s impact as COO was dramatic and key to our current success,” Birdsey said. “In a short amount of time, he immersed himself in all aspects of our operations, identified priority areas for improvement, and built consensus for and implemented change across all 15 offices. He streamlined processes, raised project performance and lowered overhead costs, enabling us to nearly triple our profits in just one year. For the past several months he has been progressively transitioning from operational responsibilities to business development and overall firm leadership, ensuring that the leadership transition in January would go seamlessly for our clients, employees and partners.”
“Scott understands how our profession can make a positive impact on our world. As the A/E industry continues to evolve, I am confident there is no better person to lead EYP into the future and further differentiate our firm in the market,” Birdsey concluded.
As leader of EYP, Butler said, “My focus will be on serving the employee-owners of the firm and our dual mission to make a positive impact on our world and create an enriching workplace culture for our team.”
He said his first priority will be implementing the firms recently developed five-year strategy, which is focused on growth through differentiation and diversification. He is most passionate about the differentiating value of integrated design.
“Everyone talks about it, but in my opinion, no one is really delivering on the true promise of integrated design, incorporating architecture, planning, engineering, interiors and environmental graphics,” Butler said. “EYP will do it. No firm is as well-prepared with talent, or more driven to succeed.”
In looking ahead, Butler said, the successes of EYP’s future would not be possible without the foundational structure built by Birdsey.
An award-winning designer and thought leader, Birdsey played an instrumental role in growing EYP from $20 million in revenue in 2005 to more than $100 million in 2018. In 2011 he spearheaded one of the first private equity investments in architectural firms with Long Point Capital, and subsequently led EYP’s mergers and acquisitions with WHR Architects, Stanley Beaman & Sears, The Weidt Group and BJAC, significantly expanding the firm’s expertise and geographic presence across the healthcare, federal government, higher education, and energy sectors. Today, EYP is consistently ranked among the top firms in the country in each of those areas and recognized as a national leader in sustainable design.
In July 2016, Birdsey led an internal ownership transition, buying out Long Point Capital’s interest in the firm and establishing an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP). “Over my long career at EYP, I witnessed the many benefits of broadening the ownership of the firm from 3 individuals to well over a hundred. As today’s incredibly talented and dedicated group of professionals eagerly anticipated our second 50 years of practice, it was only logical to expand ownership to everyone.
“I speak for everyone at EYP in thanking Tom Birdsey for his vision, leadership, mentorship, and years of dedication to our firm,” Butler said. “I am proud to follow in his footsteps and appreciative that he will continue to be a part of EYP’s very exciting future. Because of the leadership of people like Tom and the passion of my colleagues throughout the firm, possibilities here are limitless. I am truly inspired to lead this firm as we continue to redefine innovative design while creating transformative environments.”