WTS International elected Paula Hammond chair of its board of directors. Hammond will guide WTS’s strategic direction and lead national programs and support for 62 chapters and 8,000 members. Hammond previously served a two-year term as WTS’s vice president. Hammond, as WSP USA’s multimodal market leader in Seattle, joined the firm in 2013. She has 34 years’ experience in transportation, including serving as the state of Washington’s secretary of transportation.
Ware Malcomb promoted Alicia Zaro to director, interior architecture and design, where she will oversee all Los Angeles office interiors projects. Zaro joined Ware Malcomb in 2014. Her experience in creative office, renovation, education, retail, hospitality, public, financial and entertainment also includes work in business development, studio management and project oversight. In addition, Samuel Bellomio has joined Ware Malcomb’s civil engineering team as a project manager in the San Diego office. Bellomio previously worked as a project engineer in San Diego and Seattle with experience in public and private land development projects and stormwater analysis.
Rory Linehan has joined Latitude 33 Planning & Engineering’s civil engineering team and will work on projects ranging from infill mixed-use developments to life science and hospitality.
Linehan previously served in the U.S. Navy, most recently as officer-in-charge for the Naval Coastal Warfare Center at NAVSTA Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. He also worked as a construction manager and engineering division officer. Linehan serves in the Navy Reserves.
The California State Senate has confirmed the appointment of Marybel Batjer as commissioner of the Public Utilities Commission. Previously, Batjer served as the California Government Operations Agency’s first-ever secretary. She is a former vice president at Caesars Entertainment Inc. and worked as a cabinet secretary to California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, chief of staff to Nevada Gov. Kenny Guinn and undersecretary at the California Business, Transportation and Housing Agency.
Gordon Phillips rejoined HNTB Corp.’s architecture practice as aviation project director. Based in Bellevue, Wash., Phillips works on design for major aviation clients, including Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. An architect and an engineer with three decades’ experience, Phillips’ recent work has focused on airport terminals. Before rejoining HNTB, he was design manager at another firm, where he worked with Sea-Tac on infrastructure improvements. He also worked as a HNTB project director from 2009 to 2013.
Arup named Scott Russell as its Los Angeles office leader, where he will work on sustainable development and digital transformation. He has 20 years of experience in city and environmental planning, practice leadership, operations and organizational development. He previously served as Arup’s Americas region’s marketing and communications head.
Brown and Caldwell has hired Sebastien Le Scraigne to be its Vancouver, British Columbia, leader as part of its Canadian growth strategy. With a 14-year background in the design, optimization, construction and commissioning of large water and wastewater projects, Le Scraigne is responsible for operations management, client service and regional expansion.
John Hoole has joined Dewberry as a senior project manager in the Rancho Cordova, Calif., office. Previously, Hoole spent 20 years with the California Dept. of Transportation (Caltrans) and eight years with the Federal Highway Administration. He is responsible for managing Dewberry’s projects, coordinating with local agencies, assisting clients through the state and federal processes, and managing business development.
Kitchell CEM Names Wendy Cohen President
Each year, Kitchell CEM’s Wendy Cohen chooses a word to guide her personal and professional life. For 2020, Cohen chose the word “possibility.” And when the firm recently named Cohen president of Kitchell CEM—the first woman named president of one of Kitchell’s five operating companies in its 70-year history—she says she was honored.
“As a young project engineer in the field more than 20 years ago, I never would have imagined that my career would take me here,” Cohen says. “While I have been reluctant in my career to distinguish myself as a ‘woman in construction,’ I acknowledge that this is a big milestone for Kitchell and women in our field.”
In her 26-year career, Cohen has worked as a general contractor, construction manager, consultant and owner. Her experience at Kitchell includes leading large building programs for UC San Diego, MiraCosta Community College District and Los Angeles County’s Dept. of Public Works. She also secured Kitchell’s work with the Richards Boulevard Office Complex, Sacramento’s single-largest state building project to date. Kitchell also manages California’s Dept. of General Services O Street Project and the Sacramento Community Center Theatre.
Cohen joined Kitchell in 2013 as the firm expanded through Southern California. A San Diego native, she previously worked as director of facilities planning and construction with Palomar Health. Kitchell says she is a sought-after internal mentor who supports the development of rising leaders.
“Early on, we knew that the events of 2020 would change us as a company and as individuals,” Cohen says. “My focus moving forward is to reinforce Kitchell’s 70 years of building value in our communities and expand our diversity to reflect the communities that we serve.”
Cohen succeeds Russ Fox, who will retire at year’s end after 34 years with the company and the past 12 years as president.
“She has grown our presence in California, mentored hundreds of industry professionals and demonstrates the potential of women in our industry to lead at the highest levels,” says Jim Swanson, Kitchell Corp. chief executive.