A Message from the Chairman and CEO

All of us at ZAPATA welcome this opportunity to introduce the company and highlight our corporate values of Trust, Integrity, and Quality. These values are reflected in our steadfast commitment to earn our clients’ Trust by conducting our business with Integrity and delivering Quality services.

Uncompromising Integrity, honesty, and fairness are at the heart of ZAPATA’s values and are the cornerstone of each employee’s approach to doing business. We set high standards for ourselves and provide an environment where our talented professionals meet the challenges our clients bring to us.

We are committed to delivering products of superior Quality, and of merit, regardless of the task and work conditions, and will exceed our clients’ expectations. We deliver these results while maintaining our unwavering commitment to Safety – people’s lives depend on it.

Let us partner with you to address the challenges your organization is now confronting.

With kindest regards,

Manuel L. Zapata, P.E.
Chairman and CEO



Vision | Goals | Ethics


  • • To be the foremost architecture, engineering, and construction management firm providing our clients innovative solutions with Trust, Integrity, and Quality.
  • • Clients will value our services and respect how we do business. We will support our clients’ goals, fulfill our commitments, and work closely with our clients to anticipate their needs and be responsive to them.
  • • Our employees will be proud to work at ZAPATA. We will create opportunities to excel professionally and personally, and reward success.


Our goals are an extension of our core values: Trust, Integrity, and Quality

Safety: Zero accidents is our unwavering goal.
Ethics: Uncompromising integrity, honesty, and fairness are at the heart of our company.
Excellence: We set high standards and achieve excellent performance ratings as measured by our clients.
Fair Return: We earn a return that fairly rewards the value we deliver.
Mutual Respect: We work by our Code of Ethics which encourages teamwork, sincerity, and support; and we
value an inclusive culture based on diverse backgrounds, viewpoints, and experience.



  • • Treat ZAPATA colleagues with mutual respect, trust, and dignity. Act in the best interest of the company.
  • • Help each other—ask for and give help—welcome it freely. Always provide extra support to fellow employees. Share experiences and lessons learned, both successes and failures.
  • • Communicate early, honestly, and completely with all who have a direct interest in the subject. Listen to each other’s point of view.
  • • Earn trust by accepting and honoring agreements, keeping promises, and discussing needed changes before acting.
  • • Work to understand ZAPATA goals and strategies and proactively support them through discussions, communications, and actions.
  • • Never undermine colleagues directly or indirectly.
  • • Work jointly to resolve disagreements in good faith. If necessary, go to a higher authority together, then accept and support the solution.
  • • Contribute constructively to ZAPATA’s success by behaving professionally and ethically.


ZAPATA is routinely recognized for its outstanding design services and project delivery. Throughout the years, ZAPATA has received recognition for its achievements and award-winning projects, support of the U.S. military, commitment to safety, and for staying true to its Vision, Goals, and Ethics.

Design Awards

ZAPATA received two design-build (D-B) awards from the Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA) – Southeast Region. These awards are for the design and delivery of a new Headquarters Facility for the U.S. Air Force in 2016 and a new Administrative Office Building for the University of North Carolina in 2020.

2020 Winner: Best Office Building Design-Build Project, under $10M

2016 Winner: Best Federal Design-Build Project, under $15M

Administrative Annex Building, University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW)

ZAPATA provided architectural and engineering services to design UNCW a two-story, 35,000-SF Administration building with workspace for 223 personnel. We complied with UNCW’s Design Guidelines to create a “Georgian style” building that replicates other prominent campus buildings. ZAPATA succeeded in designing the steel-framed building with brick veneer exterior and four, 24-ft high columns, top cornice and pediment—without added costs. Challenges included drainage issues, square-footage requirements, and building height and lot size restrictions. The ZAPATA team adjusted the roof slope, removed interior columns, and switched from a traditional mechanical system to a Variable Refrigerant Flow system to meet the restrictions and desires of the University.

93rd Air Ground Operations Wing and 23rd Mission Support Group Headquarters, Moody Air Force Base, GA

ZAPATA provided full architectural and engineering designs for a new, 36,167 SF, highly secure Headquarters Facility. The D-B project consisted of a two-story building situated on a 5.2-acre Lot. The scope of work also included site development, parking areas, and electric vehicle charging stations. Communication systems included SIPR, NIPR, and JWICS capabilities. Other features included AT/FP standards, comprehensive interior design, commissioning, and LEED v3 Certification. ZAPATA designed numerous high-security areas, which incorporated design elements such as 9mm bulletproof glass, emergency power and redundant systems, and CCTV.

ESGR Awards

Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) recognizes employers, such as ZAPATA, for their support and commitment to employees who continue to service in the U.S. Armed Forces. ZAPATA has received several noteworthy Department of Defense awards through ESGR.

Recipient of the Extraordinary Employer Support Award

In 2020, ZAPATA received the Extraordinary Employer Support Award, which recognizes the company’s sustained support of its National Guard and Reserve service members.

Recipient of the 2017 U.S. Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award

ZAPATA was one of 15 companies selected from 3,064 nominations to receive this prestigious award, which was presented during a ceremony held at the Pentagon. The Employer Support Freedom Award is the highest honor presented to employers by the U.S. Government for their support of employees who are Active Guard and Reserve members. It is presented to companies that have proven over time that they go above and beyond Federal requirements in support of their military employees.

Recipient of the Above and Beyond Award

“For outstanding service and continuing support to the national defense.” (Requirements of the USERRA, presented by ESGR State Committees). The Above and Beyond Award recognizes employers at the local level who have gone above and beyond the legal requirements of the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) by providing their Guard and Reserve employees additional, non-mandated benefits such as differential or full pay to offset lost wages, extended health benefits, and other similar benefits.

Recipient of the Pro Patria Award

Recognized in 2016 “for outstanding service to the national defense through continuing support of the National Guard and Reserve.” This is the highest-level award bestowed by each ESGR State Committee.

Recipient of the Patriotic Employer Award

Presented to Manuel Zapata and his management team for: “Contributing to national security and protecting liberty and freedom by supporting employee participation in America’s National Guard and Reserve Force.”

SAME Awards

ZAPATA won its first contracts with Department of Defense in 1993 and became involved with the Society of American Military Engineers (SAME) where we were introduced to many capable and talented professionals who were retired former military personnel. This rich resource of technical and management talent has been a cornerstone of ZAPATA. We invite Veterans and National Guardsmen and Reservists to join our Company; their military experience, discipline, and training continuously influence the culture and success of ZAPATA.

2019: Sustaining Member of the Year, Medium Firm Award,
Atlanta Post
2019: Sustaining Member of the Year, Medium Company Award,
Savannah Post
2018: Winner of SAME Small Business Award
2017: Sustaining Member Firm of the Year, Cape Fear Post

2019: Sustaining Member of the Year, Medium Firm Award,
Atlanta Post
2019: Sustaining Member of the Year, Medium Company Award,
Savannah Post
2018: Winner of SAME Small Business Award
2017: Sustaining Member Firm of the Year, Cape Fear Post

Merit and Recognition Awards

2020: North Carolina Military Business Center (NCMBC) Southeast Region Federal Construction, Infrastructure and Environmental Summit Award for Excellence and Innovation.