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Company: HKS, Inc.
Company Description: HKS, Inc. is the nation's top-four ranked architectural firm. HKS has completed over $39 billion in construction in 758 cities in 46 states and 41 countries from its Dallas headquarters and Atlanta, Denver, Detroit, Ft. Worth, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Orange County, Orlando, Phoenix, Richmond, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, Tampa, Washington DC, Mexico City, and London offices.
Nomination Category: Management Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Best Executive - Computer Services

Nomination Title: H. Ralph Hawkins, FAIA, FACHA

   1. Tell the story about what this nominee achieved since January 1 2007 (up to 500 words). Focus on specific accomplishments, and relate these accomplishments to past performance or industry norms. Be sure to mention obstacles overcome, innovations or discoveries made, and outcomes:

          Since Ralph Hawkins transitioned to his role as President and CEO of HKS, Inc.
          in 2001, the firm has grown from 450 employees to its current count of 1,200-
          plus.  The firm?s ranking also continues to rise.  In the past six years, HKS
          went from the number 13 spot on the Building Design & Construction Top 500 list
          to being named the top four architectural/engineering firm in the United States.

          However, soon after he began serving in his new capacity, the unthinkable
          happened: 9/11.  As with many industries, architecture was affected by the
          recession.  However, Ralph persevered with the firm?s long- and short-term
          strategic plan.  Instead of massive layoffs, he worked to further strategize
          its architectural, business development, marketing, IT, and financial practices
          while promoting market and geographic growth as well as best place practices. 
          The result: HKS continued to increase in market share and profit,
          respectively, even in a down economy.

          Under his direction, the firm has successfully expanded its services into new
          markets and 10 new locations (including international offices in London and
          Mexico City) as well as continually developing its seven existing U.S. offices.
          The firm?s profits also continue to grow ? up 100 percent from 2000.

          He has furthered the firm?s open-door, employee-involved management practices -
          focused on becoming a ?best place to work.?  In 2006, the firm?s turnover rate
          was less than half of the national average for similar firms. 

          In addition to introducing the HKS-developed, firm-wide training program
          DoubleCheck, Ralph hired Peter Braun to join HKS as Vice President of People
          and Organizational Development in 2006.  A first in the industry, Peter?s role
          is to expand the firm's leadership development programs, manage employee career
          development, and more. 

          During his time as President and CEO, the firm has been recognized with a
          number of top honors.  A listing of recent awards is included in the attachment.

          Ralph's next step for the firm has to do with further globalization.  The firm,
          which began through a solid base of local clientele, expanded regionally and
          then globally with its London and Mexico City offices.  In the next five years,
          the firm plans to further expand with offices in India, China, the Middle East,
          and Europe.  Its expansion strategy is based on two things: existing clients
          taking the firm into the global market (which is already taking place with two
          clients expanding into India and China) and collaborating with staff with
          origins in these respective countries (which will allow them to continue
          employment with HKS in their native countries).

   2. List hyperlinks to any online news stories, press releases, or other documents that support the claims made in the section above. IMPORTANT: Begin each link with http://, and enclose each link in square brackets; for example, []:

          For a list of PDF articles, please go to

   3. Provide a brief (up to 100 words) biography about the nominee:

          H. Ralph Hawkins, FAIA, FACHA, is president and CEO of HKS, Inc., one of the
          top-five architectural/engineering firms in the United States.  His
          responsibilities include directing the 1,200-person firm's administration,
          finances, project management, and strategic planning.  Ralph?s management
          philosophy is exemplified through HKS's values.  He is an avid supporter of the
          architectural industry and community, introducing a number of first-time
          industry-wide programs including the Topping Out awards, the ACE Mentor
          Program, and Business of Design for M/WBE firms.  He also pledged one percent
          of the firm?s billable hours to serve the public good through the newly
          introduced 1% Solution program.