As the CEO at architecture, engineering, and planning firm TSP, Jared Nesje is mindful to wrap up the year with gratitude.
“I appreciate that TSP continued to provide leadership this year and that our team members continued to value one another,” Nesje said. “I think our culture is getting stronger by the day.”
Nesje attributes much of that strength to TSP’s status as a 100 percent employee-owned company, which initially removed questions about future business succession but also is key to nurturing an ownership mindset among employees.
Employee-owners often are reminded in an informal and fun way that they all have a meaningful “piece of the pie” at TSP.
The firm’s Christmas messaging, which features a special website landing page, also incorporates the “pieces” theme by noting the unique contributions that result in shared successes.
The site includes TSP team members sharing stories about their favorite piece of the holiday season.
Nesje describes 2023 as a more controlled year than 2022, when favorable interest rates and other financial incentives provided the motivation for projects to proceed after the COVID-19 pandemic.
Von Petersen, an architect and principal who leads TSP’s office in Rochester, Minnesota, was pleased with more cost predictability in 2023 in addition to the benefits of being another year removed from the heights of the pandemic.
“In 2023, I think some of the buyers’ confidence was back,” he said. “Clients were feeling more confident to move forward with things, and they felt they had more certainty.”
Although higher interest rates and other challenges will carry over into the new year, Nesje is upbeat about TSP’s direction.
“We’ve got the work, the staff that we need, and that work is continuing into 2024,” he said.
Reflecting on 2023 includes an awareness of industry challenges but also the knowledge of steady growth in the Sioux Falls metro area, caused largely by strong leadership from the business community, said Tim Jensen, an electrical engineer and principal who also serves as TSP’s Sioux Falls office leader.
“The foreseeable future appears full of opportunities for TSP to contribute to that continued growth in our communities,” he said.
“Our multidisciplinary team is well suited to assist in a wide variety of project scopes for our clients, from infrastructure and systems upgrades to major renovations and new construction.”
Engaging in meaningful project work and fostering innovation has been part of the TSP legacy for more than 90 years. The firm currently is supporting over 350 projects to drive creative client and community solutions.
While some economic forecasts suggest a flat year in 2024, growth in communities across the TSP footprint and the firm’s core market areas of health care, education, and community remains positive.
Nesje believes that demand for healthcare facilities will remain strong as people live longer and spaces are designed with the technology needed to support specialty services.
In an example from the eastern part of TSP’s footprint, Mayo Clinic recently announced a multiyear strategic initiative to reimagine its downtown Rochester campus and introduce new facilities.
And witnessing the economic ripple effect and benefits to communities in the region is energizing for the TSP team, which has worked in dozens of buildings on the Mayo Clinic campus for over 50 years, with 900-plus projects and counting.
One of TSP’s most recent Mayo projects, a new, free-standing logistics facility, was completed in April. Designed for future expansion, the facility is completely enclosed, with six docks, two freight elevators and connects to Methodist Hospital via a tunnel.
“It’s an exciting time,” Petersen said. “There’s a lot coming in the next decade, and we’re trying to set ourselves up to contribute to that and to enjoy the ride.”
Mark Averett, an architect and TSP’s director of marketing and business development, is cautiously optimistic about 2024.
“TSP has a lot of momentum going into the new year because our backlog of work is strong, and the first quarter looks like it is going to bring some new projects that will help springboard us into 2024,” he said.
With reliable core markets and the ability to explore emerging opportunities, Averett said TSP is well positioned.
“Because TSP is a multidisciplinary firm, we can diversify and look at other opportunities that architecture-only or engineering-only firms can’t,” he said.
Principal and structural engineer Tadd Holt, who has been with TSP since 2000, is thankful to have worked on multiple projects this year, including the completion of the new Human Service Agency facility in Watertown.
“They’re a wonderful organization and great partner that provides such an incredible service to the community,” he said.
“In 2024, I am looking forward to continuing to develop lasting relationships with existing and new partners.”
As Nesje continues to see strong engagement, collaboration and shared responsibility among team members, he credits the TSP staff for maintaining momentum.
“We are where we’re today because of our people,” Nesje said. “It’s that simple.”
“There might be ideas that I push or some reorganizations that I see based on what I am learning. But a lot of that initiative comes from our people.”