Allen & Shariff – More Than a Decade in the Chamber

Allen & Shariff was a much smaller company when it joined the Howard County Chamber of Commerce in 2002. Now celebrating 20 years of being in business — and 11 years of chamber membership — the company has come a long way since starting out in its founder’s basement.

“We first started as a mechanical, electrical and plumbing design firm,” said Dave Jackson, COO of Allen & Shariff Corporation. “By the time we joined the chamber in 2002, we had added construction as a capability.”

Allen & Shariff - Zack Shariff and Mary Cannon

Zack Shariff, CEO (center), Mary Cannon, President (right) and Wassim Awada, Managing Partner (left);  at Al Mafraq Hospital, UAE

Now Allen & Shariff designs, builds and manages construction projects around the world. A client-focused service provider, the firm’s leaders believe that creating strategic partnerships with their clients enables them to provide the right solution for each project. Allen & Shariff has built its reputation on the skills of its people, its sub-consultants and its commitment to quality service and client satisfaction.

In the category of design, Allen & Shariff Engineering LLC provides mechanical, electrical, plumbing, fire protection, technology and energy design and engineering services.

In building, Allen & Shariff Construction Services LLC manages multi-disciplined construction and design/build projects.

And in management, Allen & Shariff Corporation has experience in all phases of the pre-construction, construction and commissioning processes.

A New Entrepreneurial Endeavor

Allen & Shariff is also making a foray into a new entrepreneurial endeavor: health care consulting.

“We expanded in this whole new direction about two months ago,” said Jackson. “We started a health care consulting business, providing support to clients who want to be compliant with the Affordable Care Act.”

Services include billing and coding reviews compliance, interim management, litigation support, operational efficiencies, revenue improvement and risk assessment. Already, Allen & Shariff’s clients and potential clients include academic medical centers, diagnostic centers, hospitals, physician practices, post-acute facilities and wellness centers.

Irene Torino, president of Allen & Shariff Healthcare Consulting, is a Registered Nurse with more than 28 years of health care experience in operations, compliance, quality control and litigation support. Torino has served in both clinical and administrative capacities within large academic and urban community hospitals. Her experience in the health care industry has focused on improving operational and financial performance in diverse environments.

Wide-Reaching Chamber Involvement

Mary Cannon, president of Allen & Shariff Corporation, said the company benefits from its involvement in the Howard County Chamber of Commerce.

“The chamber offers many good speaker programs, including luncheons and breakfasts that provide beneficial information and resources to facilitate connections in the business community,” she said.

Allen & Shariff is also a member of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), where the company has managed the construction of 12 health care projects with a total construction cost of approximately $4 billion. “The U.S. is now exporting more goods to the UAE than India,” said Jackson. “Chamber branches in different countries help U.S. businesses feel comfortable and understand the laws while they’re in overseas markets.”

Cannon participated in a trip to China with members of the Howard County Chamber last year. “It was wonderful,” she said. “The trip was very well organized, and it offered a great overview of China. We were able to coordinate with other people in our industry.”

In October, Cannon plans to travel to Italy, again with fellow members of the chamber.

Environmental Priorities

Over the last decade, Allen & Shariff has completed increasing numbers of high-performance building projects. The company defines a high-performance building as a building with energy, economic and environmental performance that is substantially better than standard practice and can be measured and verified to continuously operate at its optimal performance level.

Allen & Shariff’s staff includes LEED APs, High Performance Building Design professionals and research engineers who are experts at assessing and implementing energy reduction and green programs.

In addition to increasing its “green” project portfolio, Allen & Shariff adopts environmentally conscious practices in its day-to-day office environments. “As a company, we have a strong environmental policy,” explained Cannon. “As part of our energy commitment to the environment, we have reduced our electric energy purchase by installing a 30-kilowatt solar photovoltaic array on our roof this year. The remainder of our electric energy purchase comes from 100% wind energy sources.”

Last year, Zack Shariff, CEO of Allen & Shariff was invited to become a fellow at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, a U.S. Department of Energy initiative that serves as a laboratory for energy efficiency, as well as renewable energy research and development.

“We definitely have an environmental mindset at every level of the company,” said Cannon.


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