Build Business Experiences: Wally Hise

May 11, 2021

Wally Hise, P.E., senior vice president of HDR, recently chatted with the Society about his role at HDR and his experience attending Build Business in 2020.

What’s a usual day like for you at your job? My work life predominantly consists of major pursuits and proposals. Most of my days are spent on the phone (or on video calls) with clients, teaming partners, or internal colleagues getting information and strategizing on how to win new contracts for HDR.

What’s your favorite part of the job? There are a few notable favorites. First, no two pursuits or proposals are the same, so I can’t possibly get bored. Second, my role spans all of our federal clients and all HDR services. I get to touch on so many different project types, which keeps me learning all the time. And finally, I work with some incredible people and meet new people all the time.

What made you decide to attend Build Business 2020? I didn’t have a choice; I was the Conference Committee Chair 😊. Seriously, who would intentionally miss out on such a great event?!

Was 2020 the first time you attended Build Business? If not, how many times have you been? My first Build Business was in New Orleans in 2005. I attended a few after that, and then took a hiatus for several years. I’ve attended every year since Philadelphia in 2016, and it’s been a real boost for my professional growth and networking.

What did you think of the conference? Build Business 2020 far exceeded my expectations. As Conference Committee Chair, I was really nervous in the weeks leading up to the conference given all of the chaos and change last year due to COVID-19, and the fact that we planned the event three times. It was incredible when all of our loyal SMPS members engaged in the virtual environment. The energy and positive vibes everyone brought to the conference were uplifting.

What did you think of the virtual experience? It was far better than I ever expected. And 2021 will top that!

Did you have a favorite part of the conference? The opening keynote and hack-a-thons were superb. I also loved being able to move in and out of sessions as much as I wanted. In some ways, that mirrored a live experience.


Do you have a Build Business Experience you’d like to share? If so, please reach out to