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Mark T. Perry took a company that was shrinking in revenue and staff and, in the midst of the recession, turned the decreasing numbers upward by 40 percent.
The resurgence of Tetra Tech NUS Inc., a consulting, engineering and technical services company, began when Perry was named regional manager of NUS’ central region in 2006. The company’s growth and stability has continued since he was named president in January.
Perry’s vision to transform NUS from a government contractor into a diverse company that provides an array of environmental services to the public and private sector has spurred much of the organization’s growth.
For years, NUS primarily supported the U.S. Navy throughout the eastern portion of the United States. And Perry understood the importance of that relationship. Before being named regional manager, he was a technical coordinator and deputy program manager for one of NUS’ largest Navy contracts. But he knew there were untapped opportunities for NUS in the market.
Perry’s vision for expansion began with pursuing work from the private sector, an area in which NUS had little to no prior experience. Plus, he saw that there were significant markets in the Pittsburgh area that NUS could address to help the company gain momentum toward stability and growth.
After Perry identified ways to diversify NUS’ services and add clients, he needed to make sure NUS could support the needs of new customers. He began with multiple acquisitions and mergers.
First, Perry began talks with a group from a Tetra Tech sister organization that had strengths in the market areas Perry was interested in entering. The group had contacts and contracts with local steel companies that could benefit NUS, while NUS offered a large staff and resource base that would benefit the other group’s clients. Perry presented the organization with an outlined planned. Shortly after, the two merged into NUS.
The second acquisition came with Quattro Engineering, a Pittsburgh company offering manufacturing engineering design services to local chemical and steel companies. The acquisition was complete in 2007, with NUS generating new revenue and gaining nearly two dozen employees.
Perry’s vision for a growing, full-service environmental engineering firm still wasn’t complete. His next move was to hire strategic people to run new departments within NUS’ Pittsburgh office. By adding specific departments, such as water and wastewater, energy and natural resources, and nuclear services, the company could provide complete support to all environmental engineering projects.
The departmental divisions have allowed NUS to successfully bid for and implement larger-scale projects, such as the Marcellus Shale Natural Gas exploration. Other opportunities have come with working in the commercial sector, working with NASA at the Kennedy Space Center, and working with the U.S. Army and U.S. Coast Guard.
The expansion that has come with Perry’s vision for NUS has created more than just a difference to the company’s bottom line. NUS, which just a few years ago was cutting employees, has become a highly desirable place to work in the Pittsburgh area. One reason is its sustainability in a difficult economic time.
Perry’s leadership has allowed NUS to retain employees who have been with the company for more than 20 years, while also hiring new staff with fresh ideas and skills that contribute to growth in existing and emerging markets.
NUS’ revenue growth, long-term stability and stream of new projects have resulted in high employee morale.
In the last three years, NUS has grown from 346 employees to 509. The company has added four offices in four states and has plans to open four more in 2011.
The scale in locations has not only created new jobs in this recession but has added to employee drive as new career opportunities have been created for staff members to pursue.
While the company has seen expansion nationally, Perry has fostered local growth and, with it, employment.
In the last two years, more than 50 people have been hired by NUS in Pittsburgh to fill engineering, scientist and administrative positions. An additional 30 jobs are expected to be created in 2011.
In efforts to keep young talent in the Pittsburgh area, NUS has also created a co-op program with the University of Pittsburgh’s civil engineering department. The partnership allows students to gain experience working on real projects while attending college. Many of the co-op’s participants are then hired by NUS upon graduation.
Along the same efforts of being connected to the community, Perry also is a big supporter in Engineers Week. During the dedicated week, NUS provides staff and demonstrations at the Carnegie Science Center to teach aspiring scientists and engineers different elements of the industry.