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Expert Program Boosts Employee Confidence and Brings Value to Clients

Let’s break apart this Nave Newell Way Fundamental and see why it’s so important to the company, our employees, and our clients.

“More than anything, our clients are buying our expertise.”

What do you do? The simple answer is that we take projects through the land development process. For those that don’t know, this includes planning, site design, and permitting. What can’t be overlooked are the many technical professionals in our office who are part of the process. It is their experience and knowledge that differentiates us from other firms and that’s what our clients are really buying – our expertise.

“Become an expert and constantly challenge yourself to learn more.”

Company culture is a result of the values and behaviors that characterize an organization. The beliefs established by leadership that are communicated and reinforced each day. With the review of each of our 30 Fundamentals, we communicate their importance and how it defines who we are and how we operate.

While it all sounds great on paper, I’m sure you’re wondering, “How do we ensure that happens?”

Ritual and the Nave Newell Way. Every Monday, we start with a 15 minute, company-wide meeting. This has been a tradition at Nave Newell for 7 years – and has served as an opportunity to gather with co-workers and focus on a Fundamental as we start off the work week!

Our Expert Program offers an opportunity for everyone in the company (especially younger civil engineers and planners) to choose an area they’re passionate about and further develop their expertise.

“The Nave Newell Expert Program has provided me an opportunity to reinvest the unique experience I have gained into improving the company as a whole. Being the “Go-To” Person on a certain topic can be a huge confidence boost for a young engineer. Conversely, I know exactly who I need to ask for help on a given topic thanks to our Expert List.”

Connor – City of Philadelphia Permitting Expert

“Sharing knowledge, strengthens our team.”


While it’s important to have experts, it’s also imperative that there is a baseline knowledge across the company in each of these areas. This is the key to delivering high-quality service and products to our clients.

Over the last two months, we have focused on Nave Newell Way Fundamental #21 – BE AN EXPERT. This gave members of our technical staff the opportunity to present their expertise on Monday mornings – what they know, what others should know, and how they plan to increase their knowledge and keep the entire team in the loop.

Experts covered:

  • Drone operation, mapping, and processing
  • City of Philadelphia permitting process
  • NPDES permitting
  • Sewage Facilities Planning Modules
  • BMP Manual
  • BMP Observations
  • Penn DOT and HOPs
  • Managed Release Concept for SWM
  • Geometry and Lot and Site Grading
  • Adobe Creative Suite (Illustrator and Photoshop Renderings)

“Be curious and become a lifelong learner.”

As you can see when looking at our 30 Fundamentals, we have a culture of continuous improvement and the desire to deliver excellence. This is nothing new. While our Nave Newell Way Fundamentals were developed in 2016, they have been part of our core values and guiding principles since 1992.

So, what does it take to be an EXPERT?

It’s more than just calling yourself one. You must:

  • Always be at the forefront of your topic.
  • Look for opportunities to increase your knowledge and train other staff members.
  • Build relationships with individuals and agencies that can be a resource.
  • Identify new resources and tools to broaden our overall company knowledge of the topic.
  • Ensure the most up-to-date information is available. Maintain a body of knowledge on their topic and ensure our documents, checklists, and forms are up to date on the network.
  • Be the best resource possible for colleagues and clients.

“Share what you learn by coaching, guiding, teaching, and mentoring others.”

The benefits of our expert program are clear. It’s a win-win-win for our clients, employees, and the company. We strive to minimize comments on our land development submissions and eliminate one submission/review letter to save our clients time and money. We make this a priority through a structured expert program and a sharp focus on learning and sharing expertise.

Nave Newell’s Director of Operations, Sherri Daugherty, shares, “Having subject matter experts helps bring diversity amongst the staff, all under one roof. While we’re a smaller firm, we are able to handle large, challenging projects because of our experts. We offer the same expertise as larger firms, with the benefits of being a small firm. There’s a personal touch, you get to know our principals, department managers, and technical staff.”

Q & A with our NPDES Permitting Expert, Christina:

What does the expert program mean to you?

“It is a great experience to learn so much about my topic as it is such an important part of the land development approval process. It has given me the ability to learn not only about NPDES applications, but also see the big picture – how my expertise ties in with other areas of the land development submission.”

How can your expertise help clients?

“Clients want to know how long NPDES permitting will take. They know the process is lengthy and difficult. Anything we can do to shorten it up, saves our clients time and money. Developing an expertise in NPDES permitting allows me to become familiar with the reviewers at DEP and the Conservation District. I can now anticipate a timeline and solutions on projects since I’m familiar the submission process and what reviewers are looking for in a submission.”

Join our team

Are you civil engineer, looking to further develop and share your expertise with a fun, hard-working team?

We’d love to talk to you.

Get to know our experts through the podcasts and expert spotlights on our blog. You can also follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram to stay up to date.