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EIP Pledge One Year Later: STV Helps Carve out the Path Forward for Industry Equity

Jun 29, 2023
Patricia Macchi, Athena Ullah and John Porcari

A year ago this month, our organization formally signed the Equity in Infrastructure Project (EIP) Pledge, a landmark partnership that strives to build generational wealth in our industry by growing the equity and access for historically underutilized businesses, or HUBs.

As one of the first architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) firms to sign onto the pledge, we hold a tremendous amount of pride in our role in delivering on the promises we made as part of our pledge:

Industry leaders sign the EIP pledge
  • Create more opportunities for HUBs and streamline administrative processes. STV led the effort to create a a “reciprocity agreement” between two major transit agencies that will allow HUBs to work for both agencies via a single small business enterprise.
  • Support policy reforms that will build generational wealth for these businesses. STV helped launch of the EIP Advisory Council, a key private sector and NGO partner to EIP that provides subject matter expertise, research and development for EIP leadership, and recruits other companies and NGOs to join and provide financial support to the project.
EIP Year One Milestones

Building Momentum

These milestones have been crucial in raising awareness of the pledge’s goals and mission. They also further demonstrate how STV and our leadership have played a key part in creating a model for how to bring public and private sector together to advance equity within the infrastructure sector. This model includes increasing external engagement with the goal of adding more signatories, while gathering and synthesizing data that will more effectively allow our industry to address the procurement challenges that exist for HUBs.

Looking Inward

Internally our advocacy for the EIP has helped facilitate our own professional growth and education. EIP was co-founded and is currently co-chaired by John D. Porcari, a member of STV’s Board of Directors and a nationally recognized leader in public and private sector infrastructure. But in addition to John’s guidance, our decision to sign the EIP is closely aligned with another major internal renewal we initiated over the past year: the creation of our 2023-2025 Strategic Plan and the development of our updated core purpose, values and mark on the industry that looks forward to the next generation of infrastructure investment, specifically that which originated from the IIJA.

Patricia Macchi, Kristen Van Gilst and Athena Ullah at the USDOT Business Forum

The Path Ahead

As a professional services firm, we hold a unique position in bridging the gap between HUBs and our clients, specifically the decision-makers on major infrastructure projects like transit agencies and state DOTs.  Over the next year, our plan is to continue to build on our successes and progress as it relates to internal business practices and our engagement with our core clients serving the infrastructure market sector.

Our renewed purpose: STV makes communities better through innovative solutions that connect people, places and the present to the future, is at the heart of why we have placed such significant value in our role within the EIP. We see our participation as a facilitator to help create a more inclusive, diverse and accessible network that poses solutions to break down decades-old barriers with a shared goal of using infrastructure to benefit all stakeholders in all communities.

Athena Ullah

Athena Ullah is chief of staff to STV’s CEO/President. She plays an integral operational and strategic role for the firm in providing direct assistance to the CEO and senior leadership team in the execution of corporate initiatives. She is a member of the EIP Advisory Council.

Patricia Macchi

Patricia Macchi is STV’s national infrastructure economics practice leader. She has more than 20 years of experience providing benefit-cost analysis, return on investment, economic impact assessments, financial modeling for infrastructure projects and is an avid member of WTS International, Women of EV and STV DEIB Council.

Kristen Van Gilst

Kristen Van Gilst, PMP, CCM, LEED Green Associate is a digital advisory lead within STV’s advisory services group where she leverages AEC industry data to develop digital tools and solutions. She is an active member of WTS International, the CMAA Technology Committee and the ACE Mentor Program.