AECOM, Parsons, KBR Tap Outsiders For C-Suite Posts
New acquisitions also change AEC executive roles
John Swallow has joined Thornton Tomasetti (TT) as a principal of the New York City-based design firm. The new role follows its acquisition in December of Swallow Acoustic Consultants Ltd., a Mississauga, Ont,-based specialist in acoustics, noise and vibration control engineering, of which he was president. About 13 employees now join TT. The deal is set to close in early 2017. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Swallow is a global specialist in design of tuned mass dampers, a device used to help stabilize tall buildings and long-span structures against wind sway and other kinds of motion, says TT, adding that this capability "will dovetail with Thornton Tomasetti’s efforts in the field, which include development of a fluid harmonic disruptor based on NASA technology."
Parsons Corp., Pasadena, Calif., has named Carey A. Smith as president of its federal business unit. She is formerly president of defense and space at Honeywell, a business unit that Parsons says ranked at No.15 among worldwide defense companies with an annual revenue of $4.7 billion in 2015 as ranked in sector publication Defense News. With this appointment, Smith becomes the highest-ranking female business unit executive in Parsons, the company contends. Thomas L. Roell, who has been serving as interim federal unit president, resume his role as vice chairman.
Larson Design Group, Williamsport, Pa., has named David Martin as chief operating officer. He was a senior vice president at Michael Baker Inc. Martin also is a board member of the Pittsburgh-based Carnegie Science Center. Employee-owned Larson ranks at No. 324 on ENR’s list of The Top 500 Design Firms.
Patrick Bartorillo has been elevated to president of Branch Civil Inc., the newly created unit of Roanoke, Va,-based contractor The Branch Group Inc. that combines its former units Branch Highways Inc., and E.V. Williams Inc. Jay Openshaw also is promoted to senior vice president and Brian Evans to vice president. They have been with the parent firm since 2013 and 2000, respectively. The Branch Group Inc. ranks at No. 182 on ENR’s list of The Top 400 Contractors, with $392 million in 2015 revenue and about 900 employees. The firm says it is Virginia’s fourth largest construction firm.
Hilti North America, the Plano, Texas-based power toolmaker and software developer, has elevated Avi Kahn to president and CEO, effective on Jan. 1. He succeeds Cary Evert, who will retire on March 31. Kahn, currently general manager of Hilti Canada, joined the firm in 2004. Martina McIsaac, currently division manager in Toronto, will succeed Kahn and now joins the Hilti North America executive management team. The firm is a unit of Europe-based Hilti Inc., which has ranked among the Top 100 best places to work for millennials this year and last, in a survey of 88,000 millennials published by Fortune magazine. Hilti North America has 2,700 employees.
Mark Sopp has joined KBR as chief financial officer, the firm announced on Dec. 13. He succeeds Brian Ferraioli who was CFO since October 2013 and previously held the same role and was executive vice president at The Shaw Group, which was acquired by CBI. Sopp had been CFO and EVP for Leidos -SAIC from 2005 to 2015. Credit Suisse industry sector analyst Jamie Cook says his appointment "is consistent with KBR's strategy to reposition its business toward the more recurring, reimbursable government services end market." About 41% of its revenue is in government services after two recent acquisitions, up from 20%. Backlog in that sector now is at 70%, up from 58%.
Chantal Sorel, managing director of capital at SNC-Lavalin Group Inc., was named to the board of the Canadian Council of Public-Private Partnerships, which promotes infrastructure development through P3 financial and management arrangements with all levels of government in Canada. She supervises the investment and asset management arm of the Montreal-based design-builder and had been senior vice-president of business development in its infrastructure group. Sorel also is a former president of the Montreal chapter of the Project Management Institute.
AECOM has named Andy Sallis, formerly a unit president at AMEC Foster Wheeler, as Houston-based president of its global oil and gas construction services division.The firm also elevated Robert W. Leonetti to president and general manager of its civil construction and mining business unit in the AECOM’s construction services group. He had been a senior vice president and alternative delivery leader for design and consulting services, and prevoiusly was a vice president and director of business development and marketing at Granite Construction Inc.
Alyson Watson has joined Maine-based design firm Woodard & Curran as business unit leader following the Nov. 21 acquisition of RMC Water and Environmental, a San Francisco consultant of which she had been president. W&C says the deal expands the firm’s national footprint to 26 offices in 12 states, creating a firm of about 1,000 employees. W&C ranks at No. 80 on ENR’s list of the Top 500 Design Firms, reporting about $160.5 million in 2015 revenue. RMC is ranked at no. 456. Its recent projects include preliminary design of the Santa Clara Valley Water District's potable reuse program and design of wastewater treatment plant upgrades for the Cities of Brentwood and Yuba City, says W&C. Watson had been president since 2005. W&C says RMC will operate under a co-branded identity through 2017 and then transition to operating as Woodard & Curran in 2018.
Pat Copeland, former senior engineering director at Google, has joined San Franciso-based construction software developer PlanGrid as vice president of engineering. The firm offers a Cloud-based platform for sharing construction documents such as blueprints, specs, RFIs and punchlists. According to the firm, its platform has been used on more than 450,000 construction projects, and it stores over 50 million sheets of digital blueprints. PlanGrid says that Copeland led the strategy, product, engineering, and expansion of several wireless projects, including the recently announced Google WiFi. "It's crucial that we have an established engineering leader pushing our technology ahead of the industry," says Ralph Gootee, PlanGrid co-founder and chief product officer, noting Copeland's "track record of leading and scaling engineering organizations."
Rochester, N.Y.-based architect-engineer Bergmann Associates has elevated Pietro “Pete” Giovenco to president from chief operating officer, succeeding Tom Mitchell in that role, who continues as CEO. A firm spokesman says Giovenco also will succeed Mitchell as CEO at the end of 2017. The firm ranks at No. 206 on ENR's list of the Top 500 Design Firms.