The family of Lee Strickland, a PBSJ Corp. engineering manager who was in Haiti during the Jan. 12 earthquake, has turned to the U.S. military for assistance in the recovery effort, according to a company spokeswoman.
Strickland, who is transportation planning group manager for the Tampa-based firm’s Orlando business unit, had been in the Haitian capital staying at the Hotel Montana when the magnitude-7.0 quake struck. According to the company, he was set to provide technical advice on proposed development projects in Haiti at a workshop whose participants were to include top U.S. and Haitian government officials.
“The decision for him to go to the conference was a last-minute thing,” said one PBSJ colleague in a blog post.
The four-star hotel was completely destroyed. According to published reports, at least 200 Hotel Montana guests and staff were killed.
Strickland was in contact with family just before the quake struck, says PBSJ, but there has been no word of his whereabouts since. PBSJ had hired an independent contractor to search for Strickland and his colleagues carried out an aggressive email campaign.
Strickland first joined PBSJ in 1988, but left it six years later for another opportunity, only to rejoin in 2004 as a senior transportation engineer.
Among the PBSJ projects on which Strickland provided leadership was the Palm Bay Parkway in Brevard County, the Florida high-speed rail from Tampa to Orlando and the I-10 Escambia Bay Bridge replacement and roadway improvement in Pensacola. The company says he also worked with its private clients, including The Disney Co.
“Lee embraced the community of PBSJ, and encouraged everyone around him to get involved,” says the company.