ACEC-MA Honors VHB with Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Commitment Award

Boston, MA

April 10, 2024

VHBers chatting outside at at table

VHB has won ACEC-MA's inaugural Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Commitment Award, which was accepted by Meredith Avery from our Watertown, MA office. Aimed at advancing DEI within the industry, applicants were evaluated on their commitment and progress to building meaningful partnerships across both their organization and the profession, having an impact in the community, and providing opportunities for advancement of their employees and stakeholders.

Spanning more than four decades, VHB has a deep-seated commitment to community service, industry collaboration, and DEI. This commitment is the cornerstone of our company culture, which is fundamentally centered on people - our employees, clients, partners, and the communities we serve. Some of the ways in which we demonstrate that commitment externally are through:

Community Service

Our commitment to community service is best demonstrated through our employee-led charitable giving program, VHB Cares. Since its inception, we’ve raised $4.7 million for charities across 30+ offices. Our employees select local nonprofit organizations, plan, and participate in creative and engaging fundraising events, like mini-golf tournaments, an online charity auction, and chili cook-offs, that foster a sense of camaraderie, build team spirit, and give back to our communities.


We actively engage in mentoring and outreach activities that promote STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) through several organizations. Additionally, we’ve hosted and planned numerous events, including a summit, with the aim of inspiring young students to consider careers in these fields. These efforts underscore our commitment to advancing STEM education and fostering industry collaboration.


We recognize the need for a cultural shift in a traditionally non-diverse profession and have taken a leadership stance in advancing DEI in the industry. In 2018, we spearheaded a D&I benchmarking survey with the ACEC Design Professionals Coalition, a national industry organization. This survey was the first of its kind in the industry and established a baseline to benchmark DEI program development.

Our commitment to community service, industry collaboration, and DEI is deeply ingrained in our history and culture. We believe in creating a future-focused, equitable, and inclusive environment for our employees, partners, and the communities we serve. We recognize that our efforts have no end date; we’ll always be improving as we continue this journey. Some of the steps we have taken along this journey to date include:

  • Unconscious Bias Awareness Workshops.
  • A Community Conversations series, which offered a safe space that is open to all employees to listen, learn, and connect with the intent of building a stronger, more inclusive community
  • Establishing our DEI employee resource group in 2018 to foster a sense of belonging and enhance our DEI culture.
  • Resource development for leadership to aid in fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace culture.
  • The launch of our Learning Experience Platform designed to provide equitable access to all employees for learning and development to enhance their skills and foster career advancement; it also offers courses on DEI topics, reinforcing our commitment to a diverse and inclusive workplace.
  • Our College Ambassador Program, which helps establish long-term relationships and connections with a diverse group of colleges and universities to attract more diverse candidates into our talent acquisition pipeline.
  • Improving our Supplier Diversity Program, emphasizing the importance of nurturing diversity in our supply chain and launching a business-to-business networking initiative to enhance our relations with MWDBEs and advance DEI efforts.

VHB is also committed to promoting DEI across our scope of work. We believe that integrating DEI into all aspects of our business not only enriches our operational values but also promotes a comprehensive strategy, driving us toward sustained progress and development. Various projects in Massachusetts exemplify our ongoing commitment to community development, emphasizing social, racial, and environmental justice. Some of the approaches we’ve developed to aid in this work are:

  • Community Risk Assessments to identify populations impacted by environmental justice concerns.
  • Healthy Mobility Model to assist planners and decision-makers in conducting health risk assessments and analyzing the relationship between health outcomes and their social and environmental determinants.
  • Climate Justice Action Plan, a collaboration with Northeastern University that aims to attain carbon neutrality across university campuses and embeds social, environmental, and economic justice into its mission and integrates elements like energy consumption, transportation, academia, and research.

Our President and CEO Mike Carragher, who serves as Chair of the ACEC Research Institute's Board of Directors, and Chief People Officer Keri Kocur are advocates for diversity in the workplace.

As part of our partnership with ACEC, these two leaders helped to launch the Diversity Roadmap, a DEIB maturity model that will help firms plot their paths to a more inclusive future.

Learn more about VHB’s DEIB initiatives.