Category: Program Development

HPM Selected as Program Manager for Manor Independent School District’s Capital Projects

We are proud to announce that Manor Independent School District (Manor ISD) has selected HPM to serve as program manager for its capital and facility-based projects. Representing $174 million in new development, these enhancements are the result of a $280 million school bond program approved by voters in Manor, Texas, in November 2019.

HPM will work alongside Manor ISD to provide project management and preconstruction services while ensuring schedule and budget compliance over the next three years. This includes several new classrooms, transportation, and multipurpose facilities.


“Manor has seen tremendous growth over the past decade, underscoring the need for improved educational infrastructure that can support a student body expected to exceed 12,000 students within the next few years,” said Greg Ellis, HPM’s Vice President of Program Development. “We look forward to seeing firsthand the positive impact that this investment will have on the community.”

Redbud Elementary- Round Rock ISD

The partnership is a continuation of HPM’s growth strategy in Central Texas, where it has already built an extensive program management portfolio for K-12 districts including Round Rock Independent School District, Belton Independent School District and Austin Independent School District. HPM’s success is largely attributed to the firm’s full range of services uniquely tailored to meet the demographic and socioeconomic needs of every community it serves.


“Our work is not a one-size-fits-all approach, and HPM is well known for the ability to cater our services to the specific needs of each school district we partner with,” said Derek McSween, Senior Program Development Manager at HPM. “HPM has the expertise to understand the nuances and challenges that come with working in K-12 facility planning and bond implementation, especially as the coronavirus continues to impact regulations. Our team is pleased to play a part in Manor ISD’s growth story by ensuring that its scholars are provided the highest quality academic and recreational facilities possible.”

Greater Austin is one of the fastest-growing major metropolitan areas in the U.S., having increased 34% in population size since 2010 and an impressive 3% in the last year alone. The population of Manor, located just 12 miles northeast of Austin, has grown by more than 160% since 2010, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

“We are grateful to the Manor ISD community for voting to pass the 2019 bond. As we continue to put scholars first, these new state-of-the-art educational facilities will address equity gaps, overcrowding and prepare for the continued population growth,” said Dr. Andre D. Spencer, Manor ISD Superintendent of Schools. “Most importantly, Manor ISD scholars are more than deserving of quality facilities that will enhance their learning environment. We are excited to work alongside HPM for this effort. HPM is truly a remarkable project management partner. It would be almost impossible to complete $280M worth of bond projects without their expertise and dedication to excellence in Manor ISD.”

HPM’s Taylor Thorn Promoted to Program Executive

In our business line, the ability to build strong, impactful relationships is crucial to our success and growth at HPM. Whether these relationships are with owners, design teams or even internally, it takes a true leader to possess the ability to forge meaningful connections with everyone he or she meets. Taylor Thorn is the perfect embodiment of this quality, known for his ability to effortlessly convey that HPM can provide solutions to meet any client’s needs. He has quickly become a go-to resource for clients and colleagues looking for assistance in solving complex challenges. This dedication to maintaining strong relationships both inside and outside of our firm is the driving force behind Taylor’s promotion to Program Executive.

“Taylor lives HPM’s core values every day, through his dedication and care for his clients, his community and his teams,” said Brooks Ballentine, HPM’s Director of the East Region. “Along with his determined work ethic, infectious attitude and can-do approach, Taylor puts relationships at the forefront of all of his actions as he strives to exceed client expectations.”

In his previous role, Taylor provided oversight on more than 10 programs executed out of the Birmingham office, and was responsible for managing client partnerships, program staffing and internal controls and reporting. He joined HPM in 2012 as a project manager on the University of Alabama (UA) account team and has quickly grown in his professional career as a part of our firm. Throughout his nine years here, he has provided oversight and leadership for multiple programs in addition to UA including Regions, the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex, Calhoun Community College, Buffalo Rock, Ole Miss, National Cement and Avanti Polar Lipids.

“Taylor’s passion for his work and for supporting his teammates through any and all challenges is what sets him apart from the rest,” said Frank Marsac, HPM Vice President of Operations. “This is evident through his reliability, drive to be the best in the business and his willingness to lend a hand to anyone in need. This promotion is well deserved, and I look forward to seeing what great things Taylor will accomplish for our company as he grows his impact across our industry.”

Taylor graduated from Auburn University with a B.S. in construction management and is also a graduate of the Hoar Leadership Council. He is a Certified Construction Manager (CCM).

We’ve been named one of the Best Medium-Sized Companies to Work For in America by Great Places to Work multiple years running. Interested in joining our team? Learn more by clicking the button below.

How Does HPM Help School Districts Like Yours?

By Anna Sullivan, Senior Program Development Manager

When a capital bond program becomes inevitable due to growth or change, school districts seek out an advocate who will work with them, teach them, and support them through the entire process. HPM is ready to assist and, as K-12 advisors and managers, we’re here to help.

Anna Sullivan

Experienced in the various facets of bond measures and planning for such, we understand the complexities and tasks required. We are here to ensure a successful outcome and allow you and your staff to focus on your day job- educating students.

Program Management is the process of managing several related services and projects. The intent and deliverables are to provide transparency with reporting, consistency with processes and performance, and streamline the outcomes.

HPM works as an extension of your internal staff and can be engaged at any time during the process. Some may believe we should be embedded at the time of a bond measure to execute construction and fiduciary oversight, but this is not necessarily the best solution. HPM can provide more valuable input when we are involved earlier in the process for planning and then throughout the program.

Here is a brief summary of how we can help you and your district:

Facility Assessments

Our team will review and document the physical state of all site work, buildings, and systems, and provide cost estimates for repair or replacement. We will make recommendations of life cycle cost and ADA accessible evaluations, as well as provide capacity and utilization analysis of existing spaces. We will assess the educational adequacy of your facilities and whether or not they align with the district’s visions and goals. In the end, we will provide prioritization of facility needs with cost projections of each.

Long-Range Facility Planning

Strategic planning for facilities and operations is an essential component of short and long-term efficiency models. When engaged in the long-range planning stage, we provide demographic analysis of past and current projections, review and recommend potential boundary changes, and offer recommendations of facility use and improvements.

Preconstruction Services

Before construction begins, HPM’s Preconstruction Services team can develop conceptual budgeting and master program budgets for your district. We provide detailed cost estimates for proposed designs or options and program and project schedules. We will also review all design documents for constructability.

Audit and Contract Services

HPM’s Audit and Contract Services provide you with the expertise you need to be confident you haven’t overpaid on your construction projects. We offer contract language preparation and assistance with procurement methods, including pre-bid documentation and vendor RFQ/P. We complete construction audits, delay claims, and change order audits.

Program Management

HPM is dedicated to leading clients to success by managing all the intricacies of capital bond programs. When we manage a district’s construction program, we provide design management and coordination of all proposed projects in the program. We provide project construction management, coordination, and oversight of all project activities in the program. We also provide post-construction management, coordination, and warranty oversight, including coordination of all of the district’s vendors (ie. technology, AV, furniture, and security).

HPM provides an objective and thorough analysis for the district to make efficiently timed and knowledgeable decisions. The details in the data bring the confidence of transparency and reporting for the school board, administration, and community.

We can bring a flexible team of professionals at any time during the life of your program. HPM consistently delivers savings equal to, or in excess of our cost to you, due to our efficiencies and effectiveness. We are your advocate in every step of the process and will work closely with your architects, engineers, and additional vendors in a relationship-driven environment so that we can develop a win-win solution for your district.

To learn more about our services and our K-12 experience, click the button below.

HPM Names Ryan Austin President, Ushering in New Era for the Birmingham-based Firm

After 23 years at HPM, President Mike Lanier to retire this fall

HPM today announces the appointment of Ryan Austin as president of the firm, effective October 1, 2021. Austin, who currently serves as Chief Operations Officer and Executive Vice President of HPM, will succeed the current president, Mike Lanier, upon his retirement.

“It’s truly an honor to be appointed president of HPM and build upon Mike’s leadership, who has led the firm through many stages of growth,” said Austin. “Mike leaves an outstanding legacy at HPM and an indelible mark on my professional career.  Mike has always lived out HPM’s core values and a passion for serving our clients.”

Having served HPM for over 17 years in positions ranging from Vice President of Finance to Chief Financial Officer and, most recently, Chief Operations Officer, Austin possesses more than 20 years of experience in the construction and accounting industries. He is a graduate of Auburn University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree. 

“Over the past nine years as president of HPM, I have worked to establish a strong foundation for growth and continued success on behalf of our clients,” said Lanier. “I have worked closely with Ryan, and I’m at ease in knowing I’m passing the baton to a leader with unwavering commitment to our people, our clients and our core values. In its next evolution, I’m confident HPM will thrive under Ryan’s leadership, as the firm continues to innovate and expand its offerings to better serve clients.”

Rob Burton, CEO of Hoar Holdings and co-founder of HPM with Lanier, said, “I’m grateful for Mike’s service and commitment over the years. I now look forward to Ryan continuing to improve and build on that foundation.”

Lanier began his career at HPM in 1994 and became president in 2012. During his time as president, Lanier helped establish and strengthen HPM’s commitment to servant leadership and adding value to our clients and the communities we work in. Under Lanier’s leadership, HPM has emerged as a leader in program management on a national scale, and Lanier will serve as an advisor and consultant until the end of the year to HPM and some of its clients. 

HPM Ranks Among Top 30 on ENR’S Program Management Firm List

HPM was named one of the top 30 program management firms in the U.S. by Engineering News-Record (ENR), ranking No. 27 on the annual list. This is the 6th year in a row we have landed among the top 50.

“We have continued to strengthen our capabilities while growing our reach and our team over the past year, enabling us to better serve the clients who entrust us to lead their capital projects,” said Ryan Austin, HPM chief operations officer.

HPM attributes this success to its clients and the recent expansion of staff and service offerings. Our planning services division is led by facilities planning expert Tracy Richter and is focused on providing a comprehensive approach to capital and operational building programs. Joining HPM as vice president of planning services, Richter launched the division in July 2020 to expand HPM’s business lines to better serve clients at every stage of development. This move strengthened client engagements through a variety of new offerings, including demographic analysis, standards and specifications development, GIS services, strategic planning, stakeholder engagement, client facilitation, and facility master planning.

This year, HPM bolstered its planning services division with the hiring of Gary Rademacher as director of planning services and Tim Kelleher as GIS analyst. Rademacher is a 30-year veteran of architectural planning and design, with specialized expertise in K-12 education. His deep relationships throughout North and Central Texas also strengthen our Texas footprint, as we continue to strategically grow our presence throughout the south. Kelleher has worked to incorporate the GIS framework into HPM’s planning efforts through geographic data analysis, 3D mapping, and GPS development, helping more of HPM’s clients leverage technology and data to make smarter business decisions.

“This recognition by ENR demonstrates our relentless pursuit of improvement and excellence, despite the challenges our industry has faced throughout the pandemic,” Austin said. “We’re proud to rank among the top program management providers in the country and celebrate the exceptional performance of all of our team members.”

Built to Lead: Matt Ernst

Our expertise and knowledge of construction, development, and management, combined with our dedication and passion for excellent customer service, sets us apart as industry leaders. Over the past five years, HPM Project Manager Matt Ernst has led clients to success on projects in multiple industries, including higher education and manufacturing. Keep reading to learn more about Matt and what makes him a leader.

HPM: What is the best part of your job?

Two things: being a part of a team and being involved in the full life cycle of a project. It’s really fulfilling seeing something go from a napkin sketch idea to a fully functioning facility, especially when you know how much work went into it along the way.

HPM: What does a typical day at HPM look like for you?

I think there are multiple types of “typical” days at HPM. Some days are spent in the office on emails, meetings, or reviewing plans/estimates/etc. Some days are spent completely in the field. Some days are a mixture of both. It really just depends on where the project is at that time.

HPM: What is your proudest accomplishment?

I’ve been lucky to be a part of a lot of projects in my time at HPM so it’s hard to pick specifics, but I’d say generally any time we turn a project over to the end-user and get to see that satisfaction first-hand.

HPM: What are the characteristics of a great leader?

To me, a great leader is someone who gets results. That might seem vague, but there are a lot of different ways to lead and a lot of different ways to get results. A great leader always understands how success is defined and what it’s going to take to get there.

HPM Talks Webinar: Emerging Leaders

HPM’s Emerging Leaders Program offers undergraduate students a unique perspective of the planning, design, and construction process through hands-on experience at our projects across the country. Medora Gaddes oversees the program and, as a former HPM co-op herself, recognizes the immense value of experiential learning. During this HPM Talks webinar, Gaddes and co-ops Iriana Molusky and Ben Smith discuss their experience in the program and what they’ve learned along the way.

Webinar Details:

July 29, 2021 at 11AM CST


Medora Gaddes, Assistant Project Manager and Talent Development Coordinator at HPM
Medora is not only an Assistant Project Manager at HPM, but also our Talent Development Coordinator and heads up the Emerging Leaders Program. She herself was a co-op with HPM before becoming a full-time employee. After graduating from Auburn University with a degree in civil engineering, she joined HPM as a project engineer and as a full-time HPM team member in the Huntsville office.

Q&A from Webinar

  1. We heard about precon and program management. What is field coordination like as a co-op?

Ben Smith: During the field rotation as a co-op, a day usually consists of walking with the Field Coordinator (FC) as he makes his rounds around the job site to track the progress of construction and look for items that might need to be addressed with the owner/general contractor. For me, this was a time to pick the brain of the FC and ask as many questions as possible about what is happening on the job site and why/how they are doing it. You can be given miscellaneous tasks that help the FC with his job. For instance, one of the tasks I was given was keeping track of the progression of concrete pours and ceiling paint in a large warehouse. The FC used this information to update the weekly report that was sent to the owner. Other things I experienced were on-site meetings with the general contractor and the owner, taking meeting minutes to send to the HPM team on your specific project, site walks with the general contractor and owner about issues that need resolving, and much more. The field rotation is a good way to get a feel for what a construction site looks like and how things are run during construction both from the Construction Management side and the General Contractor side of things.

2. My major is Architectural Engineering. I have learned that very few companies are hiring ArchEs or understand what ArchE is. Does HPM recruit ArchE’s and how are they used?

Medora Gaddes: HPM is less focused on your specific major and more focused on what you are interested in doing upon graduation. Obviously your major plays a role in that, but I’ll give you an example. I have a bachelor’s in civil engineering and if I wanted to do structural design as a career path, HPM would likely not be the best fit for my interests because HPM does not have engineers designing and stamping drawings. HPM has been a good fit for me since I was interested in the management of design and construction upon graduation. My civil engineering degree has supported my ability to manage, understand, and communicate the civil aspects of design and construction. So ask yourself if you want to work for a company that will utilize the technical skills of architectural engineering and likely the skills you’ve learned in school? Or do you see your architectural engineering degree as a foundation or launching pad into a different career path? I think every engineer can ask themselves this question and it will help you be intentional with your job search. Does HPM hire architectural engineers who are going to use their technical engineering skills? Not at this time. Does HPM hire architectural engineers interested in the management of design and construction? Absolutely!

Co-Ops Learn to Lead Through Summer Seminar

HPM’s Emerging Leaders program provides undergraduate and graduate students the opportunity to explore a career in program management while gaining real world experience. As they work alongside industry experts, these students discover the business fundamentals needed to accelerate their careers. Last week, our co-ops gathered at our Birmingham office for the Emerging Leaders Summer Seminar, a two-day learning-to-lead workshop.

Assistant Project Manager Medora Gaddes oversees HPM’s talent recruiting process and the Emerging Leaders program. As a former co-op herself, Gaddes recognized that student employees are not only interested in their role or assignment, but in the company’s leadership and goals, as well.

Medora Gaddes

“When you go to work anywhere, there is always a learning curve of figuring out what a company does, who runs the company and how they run it, and figuring out how that aligns with you as an individual,” she said. “I want our Emerging Leaders to get ahead of this while they are still in school and completing their internship or co-op rotation with us. This is important as they navigate the big questions of what do I want to do and what type of company do I want to work for when I graduate.”

During the Summer Seminar, attendees gained invaluable insight from members of our leadership team and sharpened their own leadership skills through team activities and goal planning.

“I had a lot of takeaways from the Summer Seminar, but my biggest take away was the art of leadership,” said Ben Smith, an HPM co-op from the University of Alabama. “We were not only taught what it means to be a leader, but how we can be leaders in the workplace and in our everyday lives. This seminar taught us a lot about ourselves and how we can utilize our skills and personalities to lead in a way that puts our team and others ahead of ourselves.”

HPM has offices and projects across the country, so the seminar also provides the co-ops with an opportunity to network with students who might not be assigned to a project in their area.

“I would encourage all co-op students to attend the summer seminar as it is a professional development opportunity that is relevant to our co-op and our academic success,” said UA student Iriana Molusky. “Spending time with other co-ops was a one-time opportunity to meet and learn from each other.”

Gaddes hopes seminar attendees will continue to build on what they learned and use their new leadership skills no matter what career path they choose.

“I think we all can look back on our early leadership growth and identify both people that invested in us and skills that we wish we had developed earlier,” Gaddes said. “I hope that through the seminar, the Emerging Leaders start connecting with like-minded individuals, build relationships with leaders in the industry, and sharpen leadership skills that will kickstart their personal growth.”

Interested in HPM’s co-op and internship program? Learn more on our Emerging Leaders page.

Choosing the Right Program Manager for Your Aviation Project

The right program manager offers many benefits to aerospace companies and projects, including clear timelines, streamlined communication, and, perhaps best of all, peace of mind. With the right program manager in place, you can focus on and achieve overall project success and maintain a strategic approach for your investment without having to dig into the details.

But how do you choose the right program manager for your project? To help you navigate through the noise, here are the top six questions to ask when hiring a firm so you can find that right fit.

Do you understand U.S. and local building codes and regulations for permitting?
Why it’s important: National and local codes and regulations are complex. While they are designed to specify minimum requirements related to health, safety, and the welfare of building occupants, they can be challenging to comprehend fully. An experienced program manager will help you navigate these requirements through careful planning, ultimately allowing you to avoid common pitfalls.

Do you have a thorough understanding of the factors that will drive the budget, such as labor and materials?

Why it’s important: U.S. labor forces remain stretched, forcing the cost of labor to increase. The same is true with materials pricing, as across the board we are seeing a rise in the cost of materials (e.g., steel). An established program manager should know the market trends and local workforce, thereby helping you mitigate the impacts to your budget and realize success.

Do you keep up with U.S. construction industry trends and understand innovations and newly available solutions?

Why it’s important: As we see material and labor costs rising, innovative solutions like AI/machine learning or virtual reality/augmentation can offset the strain on workforce and budget. The best program managers will know that keeping up with emerging trends and tools is important to maximizing your ROI.

Do you have an advocate that can be your boots-on-the-ground resource?

Why it’s important: There is great value in engaging an experienced partner with trained eyes and ears who understands the local design and construction community as well as the aerospace industry. A program manager who already has established relationships can more easily act as a facilitator throughout the project, providing you with the confidence you need to ensure you are safeguarding your investment. By hiring the right program manager, you can maximize your attention to other endeavors and responsibilities and remove any barriers that may come between you and success.

Do you understand the various delivery models?

Why it’s important: An effective program manager will help you consider your options (CM-at-Risk, Design-Build, Integrated Project Delivery, etc.). Choosing the option that is best suited for how you do business is paramount to managing risk and creating a cohesive team approach. Plus, understanding the terms and conditions of your contracts helps ensure the project is delivered without an interruption in expectations.

Do you have the capacity for this project?

Why it’s important: You need to know if the PM team has time to take on a capital project and manage the day-to-day details. This direct question gives firms an opportunity to recognize their potential distractions and request help in adopting a speed-to-market mentality. Through clear communication from the beginning, you can find a program manager who will study the way you work, help you manage decision-making through the chain of command, and put pressure at given points so you can meet your goals and mitigate your risk in the process.

HPM is a nationally ranked program management firm with a track record of success providing value to giants in the aviation industry. Over and over again, we help our clients complete their projects faster and for a lower price.


Is it Time to Update Your Facility Plan?

Our complimentary Weighted Check-Up Guide can help you decide.

When you’re in the thick of day-to-day business operations, it’s difficult to pinpoint specific areas that need improvement. However, there are a few basic questions that will steer you towards answering whether it’s time to update your facility plan or not.

  • – Is my company/organization using its available space as proficiently as possible?
  • – Is there excess or unnecessary waste within the facility that can be offset or minimized?
  • – Is the facility design providing an environment that cultivates optimal productivity from the individuals it serves?


Whether the facility is a hospital, school, sports complex, or corporate office, all components of the business or organization are linked through the facility itself. As the foundation on which everything else is built, it is imperative that the facility is performing at the highest level. If your facility is not operating with optimal efficiency and supporting the organization’s success, it’s time to update your plan.

Since the onslaught of COVID-19, businesses have started to completely re-evaluate their facilities. Virtual operations and the need for social distancing means fewer people inhabiting facilities, and plans should change to match these changing needs. If you have not adopted an updated facility plan that accommodates social distancing measures, now is the time to act. Organizations that are not proactive about the evolution of their facilities will suffer in the long-term, as there is no indication of a return to normal anytime soon.

So, what data do you need to make an informed decision? We have put together this weighted checklist to help companies identify whether it’s time for an update. If your total score is less than 20, it’s time to put a new or updated plan in motion.

While the numbers provide an effective measuring tool to gauge your facility’s status, it’s important to remember the people at the heart of your organization. Simply looking at data and ignoring the community sentiment can result in a partial outlook in terms of where your facility stands. Connecting with the individuals who work, learn, or consume in your buildings is an essential component of accurate reporting. Maintaining a balance between the numbers and the people will help you achieve more thoughtful, well-rounded, and lasting solutions that improve more than just your bottom line.

HPM’s diverse portfolio in facilities planning attributes our experts a unique understanding of what works best for various businesses. If you recognize that it’s time to update your facility plan or would like more information on how to do so, let’s work together on a customized approach.



Ready to discuss your next project?