Chad Kennedy
Served as a "rainmaker" during the recession's business drought
35, Director of Landscape Engineering
O'Dell Engineering

Chad Kennedy isn't shy about his success: He describes his job at O'Dell Engineering as "designer and rainmaker." In addition to overseeing the landscape architecture branch of O'Dell Engineering, he has worked on the firm's marketing efforts. His branding plan has led to 10% to 15% increases in existing and new client hit rates. He was chosen to lead O'Dell's landscape architecture unit after joining the firm in 2005 and in recent years pushed to keep the firm successful during the recession. Kennedy also strives to provide educational opportunities for architects in the region. Since 2008 he has written monthly articles for O'Dell's LAND Connections newsletter about connecting design professionals and the public. He spends many hours on pro bono projects, including work with the Mancini Park master plan and design report, Modesto Dog Park construction, Heller Park master plan and outreach, River Park Wayfinding design competition and Fremont Elementary School outdoor stage.



Todd Kohli
Making a mark in the firm's landscape architecture practice
38, Vice President
San Francisco

Since joining AECOM, Todd Kohli has worked on several of the firm's landmark projects, including landscaping on Tokyo Midtown, a 25-acre, $3.2-billion mixed-use development. As project manager and landscape architect, Kohli led his team in creating an environment that AECOM says is reverent and relevant to Japanese culture. More than half of the site is open space, and the project won the Urban Land Institute Global Award of Excellence in 2008. The following year, Kohli became AECOM's youngest vice president. In 2009 he also became co-managing principal of the AECOM San Francisco office. Now in the landscape architecture studio, he oversees 22 designers and more than 80 projects. Kohli has been an active member in the Urban Land Institute and is now a member of the institute's San Francisco District executive committee. He also recently won a Pennsylvania State University Distinguished Alumni Award.



Justin Mikecz
Led sustainable strategies from California to New Orleans
33, Project Leader
HMC Architects
San Francisco

Justin Mikecz is equipping the construction industry with tools to advance the green building revolution, according to HMC. As an intermediate designer at Beverly Prior Architects (BPA), Mikecz pursued sustainable material and systems research. When BPA and HMC Architects merged, he was promoted to project leader and continues to work on innovations that can be integrated into the firm's work. He drove sustainable strategies on such projects as the 35,000-sq-ft Los Banos Community Center, San Diego County Women's Detention Facility and the 26,400-sq-ft Gompers High School/Leadership Public School in Richmond. Mikecz also has been a dedicated participant in Green for All, Oakland, which builds new coalitions to combine public and private investment and create green jobs. In 2010 he received first prize in the Northern California Region in the 2010 USGBC Emerging Professional's Natural Talent Design Competition, which focused on building LEED homes in New Orleans.



Neil Nehmens
Streamlined submittals process and promoted company growth
35, Vice President
SSC Construction Inc.

When Neil Nehmens joined SSC Construction Inc. in 2000, he was given a daunting task: Create a new submittals and billings process to streamline duties and remove the paperwork burden from superintendents. The resulting system is a critical tool in how the company bids, manages and constructs larger and more complex projects, according to SSC. The company has grown since the program was implemented. When Nehmens joined SSC, the firm had one estimator and one field engineer. Today it employs 22 engineers. He has had a role in 38 of the company's key jobs, including the $19-million Charnock Well Field restoration project in Santa Monica and the $80-million Powell Butee Reservoir No. 2 project in Portland, Ore. Nehmens also is on an SSC community-involvement committee, which organizes food drives for local shelters and delivers packaged food for the Riverside City Mission.