New year, new roles! At Cleary Zimmermann, the beginning of the new year is a time to celebrate the promotions of our team. We had the opportunity to sit down with Anthony Medina, Principal of Business Development, to learn more about his personal history, experience at CZ, and his plans for the first year in his new role.
With over a dozen years of sales and business development experience with the PGA TOUR and Texas A&M San Antonio, Anthony came to CZ five years ago with a wealth of knowledge under his belt. Since the start, Anthony has shown to be an experienced and dynamic relationship builder with a proven ability to cultivate relationships, secure commitments, build rapport and gain trust with a diverse group of stakeholders to achieve strategic objectives. From our famous CZ BBQs, staff events, and networking opportunities, Anthony continues to be a shining example of our core values here at Cleary Zimmermann.
In the new year, Anthony achieved a significant milestone, stepping into the role of Principal of Business Development. We had the pleasure of sitting down with Anthony, diving deeper into his experience at Cleary Zimmermann Engineers.
Hi Anthony, first off, congratulations on your promotion! Could you share more about your background at Cleary Zimmermann?
“I first started at CZ in 2019. This is my first job in the A/E/C [industry]. I’ve never worked for an engineering firm or design firm, so that was all new to me.
But, I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. [Early on], I had several opportunities to get acclimated to the A/E/C industry and I really have a lot of appreciation for [Danny and Wade] for giving me the opportunity.
I started off as the Director of Business Development and our marketing team really helped me get comfortable and established. When I first started, there wasn’t a BD person here. A lot of leaning on the marketing team and team leads to understand what we do, how we do it, and what our secret sauce is. I got involved in many different organizations like AIA, SMPS, ULI, and got to know a lot of industry people. Relationships are key and the foundation for what we do. [The firm’s] core values of communication, service, and humility has stuck with me throughout the entire time I’ve been here. This will continue to be what I evaluate every time I come into the office and make sure that I am achieving these core values for myself and the firm.”
What responsibilities will be encompassed in your new role?
“Externally, we will continue to focus our efforts on our core sectors and growing our markets in Austin and Houston, our two newest offices. Internally, I also see this as an opportunity to mentor and grow our business development initiatives and team members, whether that’s engineers, engineers in training (EIT), or other business development/marketing folks. This is really an opportunity to not only grow and challenge myself, but to really help our firm scale up.”
Before you came to CZ, you had 10+ years of experience in the sales and business development world. Can you give us a timeline of your previous experiences, and how you found CZ?
“I spent nearly a dozen years with the PGA TOUR, which is ironic because growing up, I never played golf. While attending UTSA, I worked at the La Cantera Golf Club which annually hosted the PGA TOUR event called the Valero Texas Open. Over the years, I got to know several PGA TOUR staff members and build a relationship with them.
When I needed an internship my senior year, the Valero Texas Open hired me as an intern for sales, marketing, and operations…a little bit of everything!
That led to a full-time job with the PGA Tour, traveling to 36 states [for nearly a year]. We traveled from tournament to tournament, setting up local marketing units, and conducting services with patrons and [attendees].
Two years later, I got a full-time job with the Valero Texas Open, whom I had my original internship with. I was doing primarily sales with them for about seven years. I handled the sponsorships, advertising, ticket sales, and more. This is where I really developed my relationship building skills. Professionally, this is where I hit my crossroads. I knew I could do [relationship building] as a career.
A new opportunity came to me at Texas A&M San Antonio, and I served as the Director of Development for two and a half years. I worked with the president, the alumni, donors, fundraising, and raising money for scholarships for institutional programs for the university.
I really enjoyed working there, and this is where I met Danny Zimmermann. He served on the Texas A&M University San Antonio Foundation Board. Danny and I worked on several campaigns together and got to know one another well.”
How did your previous experiences with the PGA Tour and Texas A&M support your role at CZ?
Throughout your career at CZ, has there been a specific skill you really focused on improving? How will you use this skill in your new role?
“Overall, trying to involve more of our team members.
For our projects, firms are hiring our engineers and commissioners – they aren’t just hiring myself. So, there is a whole lot more communication that I’m trying to get better at internally to involve more of our leadership and team members so that when we win a project, it’s a team effort.”
Have there been specific mentors who influenced your career growth?
“[My former coworker and] Senior Sales Director at the Valero Texas Open, Craig Smith, has been a mentor of mine. He has a great sense of humor and always has a smile on his face.
One thing I’ve learned from Craig is that he is silly and has a great sense of humor, but he takes sales and his profession seriously. That is something I want to emulate and put my spin on.
I’m pretty light-hearted and try to have fun, but at the same time I take what we do at CZ very seriously.
Craig and I haven’t worked together in over eight years, but we talk almost weekly.”
What advice would you give other people aspiring to advance their careers and secure a promotion?
“Find ways to continually improve each day. Try to build a relationship with a new entity, whether that’s a new relationship with an owner, client or organization. Bring value to something that has been overlooked. In addition, invest not only in your firm, but in yourself.”
Looking forward, what do you hope to accomplish in your new role? What are your goals for the first year?
“A big goal of mine is to grow the business development team. I’m really looking forward to becoming a mentor to up and coming professionals internally and helping them succeed.
I was fortunate to have a mentor when I first started in sales, so I definitely want to pay that forward and help other folks grow.
Overall, I want to help our entire team win.”
As we reflect on new year promotions, we can’t help but notice the ambition that radiates amongst all our CZers. From effective communication, resource allocation, and team-building, our crew continues to bring new talents and new abilities to the firm. We are eager to step foot into the new year, with ambitious plans for growth!