Defining what fuels Ulteig’s success begins with authentic leadership and a desire to continuously find better ways to solve client problems.

September 28, 2021

Integrity, Trust, Innovation, a Futuristic Mindset, and a Relentless Passion for Helping Clients Succeed

Defining what fuels Ulteig’s success begins with authentic leadership and a desire to continuously find better ways to solve client problems.

What drives us at Ulteig? What gets us up every morning, excited to head to work (or our home offices) and tackle our clients’ problems?

The answer to those questions lies within the deep relationships that Ulteig’s people forge with their clients every day, the culture that Ulteig’s leaders have built and continue to nurture, and the firm’s dedication to, and passion for, innovation, reliability, and a futuristic mindset.

From its start nearly 80 years ago, Ulteig’s culture has been fueled by an authentic approach to working with its clients and working with each other, as well as a continuous desire to help people succeed by working relentlessly to solve their infrastructure challenges.

In other words, it simply boils down to creating a culture where people matter with a focus on bringing out the best in them.

“We’ve built a culture where people know that they matter and what they contribute is for the greater good,” said Doug Jaeger, Ulteig’s President and CEO. “Ours is a high-energy workplace that encourages brilliant, innovative thinking. We’re focused on a common purpose of serving our clients and helping them to become more successful.”

“At the same time, we’re creating a culture that brings balance to the lives of our folks,” added Jaeger. “I love to see our people have fun. I enjoy their laughter. I like to see people truly enjoy doing what they were meant to do. At Ulteig, from the moment you enter our doors (or a virtual meeting), you can sense a culture of learning, curiosity and fresh thinking. That’s what we’re all about.”

Putting People First

At Ulteig, putting people first – employee-owners and clients – has been the foundation of the firm’s business since day one. That emphasis has allowed Ulteig to grow and serve clients across the United States and Canada from 13 offices.

The key to putting people first, according to Jaeger, begins at the top, where the firm’s leaders model an authentic leadership approach.

“We are only as successful as the clients we serve and the employees who serve them,” said Jaeger. “Everything follows from there. It’s important that our leaders set the tone to focus on client success and solving client problems. At the same time, we must make certain to develop our people in a way they can continuously rise to the occasion for our clients.”

A critical component of Ulteig’s people-first culture is encouraging collaboration not only within an office, but throughout the Lifeline Sectors® in which the firm operates.

“While Ulteig is fundamentally a critical infrastructure business, it’s also a ‘people’ and relationship-driven business,” said Hossein “Hoss” Tabrizi, Senior Vice President, Power Technical Services. “Every day, we try to make Ulteig a great place to work, which in turn, drives the long-term relationships we build with our clients. It all begins by nurturing a culture that puts our people first – where we help our folks grow professionally and personally, where we create a collaborative workplace that encourages curiosity and problem-solving, where we create opportunities that challenge our people, and where we extend that culture into our work to create meaningful relationships with our clients.”

Reflecting on a career path that led him to Ulteig, Tabrizi added:

“Twenty years ago, I had the good fortune of landing a summer internship in substation engineering with a local investor-owned electric utility. That experience, coupled with the guidance of a renowned electrical power engineering professor, advisor, and mentor, led me into a career as a substation engineering consultant serving electric utilities and renewable energy companies. The combined academic and professional immersion led me into tight-knit, fun, and ‘small world-like’ industry that makes our world tick.”

Listening to individual voices and valuing both individual and team contributions are at the core of authentic leadership, in the minds of Ulteig’s leaders.

“We are in the business of creating value for our clients. To do that well, and to do that consistently,” added Ava Drayton, Ulteig’s Senior Vice President of Client Solutions, “we must ensure that every person within our organization feels valued, feels heard, and feels they can bring their very best to their work every day.”

Collaborating to Express the Client’s Voice

“In my experience, I see our team and our organization channeling the voice of our clients,” said Drayton, who recently joined Ulteig in a role of fostering closer relationships with Ulteig’s clients. “Each of our clients have a goal they want to achieve. We help our clients achieve their vision by bringing out their voice in solutions we develop and the projects we execute. When our clients see our ability to listen to them, they come to trust us, and that leads to the long-term relationships that we and our clients seek.”

At Ulteig, solving problems is at the heart of what our people do every day. But it goes far beyond that. It’s working closely with clients and allowing our team members to be inspired by their visions of what’s possible. This helps drive Ulteig team members to achieve what they may not have thought possible.

“Back in 2013, during a leadership retreat, I was asked by the facilitator to write about my dream job,” added Jaeger. “I wrote that the perfect job for me is one where I’m leading a team to achieve their best and highest goals. Where I’m pushing that team beyond where they thought they could go. I wanted to lead a team that would work closely with our clients to help define problems and provide solutions in an environment where we’re developing or producing something that is truly client inspired or client driven. I’m living that experience today, helping our clients achieve the success they envision.”

Delivering Reliability

As our world experiences accelerating change, clients in each of the Lifeline Sectors, Power, Renewables, Transportation and Water, are challenged by any number of factors, from obtaining funding for their projects to keeping up with the latest technologies and anticipating disruptions.

Ulteig understands that to effectively help clients navigate the changes ahead, it will require a futuristic mindset focused on helping clients solve their problems in new ways.

“We live and work in a world that is experiencing dramatic change,” said Drayton, “New technological advances, fueled by environmental, political, and economic disruptions make it difficult to keep up with all of the changes that we, as well as our clients, are experiencing.”

“It’s in these times,” Drayton added, “our clients seek those who can help them navigate changes and engineer solutions that deliver more reliability and more resiliency. Our strength is our ability to embrace change, evolve with new technology, and build a collaborative, inclusive culture that partners within and with our clients.”

A fast-changing world requires Ulteig professionals to also be nimble, ready to adapt quickly to new realities, such as the impacts of climate change and global warming.

“The future will require a new level of agility,” said Jaeger, “We and our clients need to be able to flex as the world around us changes and adjust accordingly. In the years to come, all of us are going to face some serious challenges. But I believe our passion and enthusiasm for what we do, our ability to lean on each other’s strengths and pull each other forward, as well as our ability to live and laugh, is what will see us through.”

Want to become an Ulteig client? Ready to join the Ulteig team?

If you’d like to learn more about Ulteig’s services and how we specifically serve our clients, visit our Services page.

Inspired to join Ulteig and work with the best team and the best clients in the world? Check out our Careers page to get started on the next phase in your career journey.

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