The Associated General Contractors of California hired David Mercer as the director of labor relations for Northern California. Mercer most recently served as district representative for Operating Engineers Local 3 (OE3) in Fresno, where he was also a director on a local Workforce Investment Board. Mercer’s 25 years of construction industry experience include working as a laborer and an operating engineer.


Brown and Caldwell promoted Marc Damikolas, based in Irvine, Calif., to chief operating officer. With 20 years’ experience, Damikolas most recently served as director of operations, with a background in municipal and private-sector water and wastewater infrastructure projects, including major sewer rehabilitations, ocean outfall system overhauls, advanced wastewater treatment plant upgrades and new drinking water systems.


CO Architects has promoted Jennifer Knudsen to managing principal—the youngest architect and first woman at the firm to hold the position. Knudsen, who started at CO Architects in 1998 as a project designer, led the firm’s hiring and growth during the past five years and helped with its early adoption of BIM technology and collaborative project delivery models. Knudsen co-leads the firm’s Women of CO, championing the professional development of women at the firm. 

Andrew Liu has rejoined AECOM to grow the U.S. West region’s transportation practice. Based in Los Angeles, Liu previously led the city’s transportation business, including surface transport, transit and rail, aviation and ports. Liu will focus on regional customer collaboration, strategic growth and business development.


Gary RallsAlston Construction has promoted Gary Ralls to Northern California vice president/general manager. Ralls joined the firm as regional operations manager two years ago and helped grow the Sacramento office. Ralls brings more than 25 years of experience leading high-performance teams.


Felipe ChuangBurns & McDonnell hired Felipe Chuang as a senior project manager. Chuang will lead the preconstruction teams to deliver critical aviation, manufacturing, life sciences and utility infrastructure projects across California. His 20 years of experience include working on projects at Los Angeles International Airport, universities and federal facilities. Burns & McDonnell also promoted Marianne Goldsborough to lead the company’s team in San Diego. She will oversee sales and business development and retention of talent for critical infrastructure projects. She has more than three decades of experience in the electrical utility sector.


Ken ValderTerracon appointed Ken Valder as a senior principal and vice president. He serves as Terracon’s Pacific Northwest regional manager, overseeing operations throughout Washington and Oregon, where he manages 200 employees. Valder has expertise in materials, environmental, geotechnical, and occupational health and safety training. Terracon also promoted Matt Wheaton to senior principal. With more than 20 years of experience, Wheaton also serves as the environmental department manager of Terracon’s Mountlake Terrace, Wash., office, where he oversees all phases of environmental investigations, regulatory compliance and cleanup for redevelopment projects.


Syska Hennessy has promoted Sam Mahdavian to associate partner. Mahdavian, who joined the firm’s Los Angeles office in 2017, has more than 20 years of experience in electrical systems and project management. At Syska, he has served as a project manager and led the electrical design on several large, complex projects.


Naomi Horowitz joined SVA Architects’ Oakland office as a senior project manager. Horowitz has two decades of experience in project management and business strategy roles. She has worked on senior housing, medical facilities and affordable housing projects as well as housing for adults with developmental disabilities. Her expertise includes process improvements, team management, communication, business development, strategy and budgeting.

Mack Conachen has joined Thornton Tomasetti  as vice president and San Diego office director. Conachen has more than 15 years of experience in structural design, analysis and project management of education, health care, biotech and laboratory design, architecturally exposed structures, renovation and rehabilitation and seismic retrofit projects. Before joining Thornton Tomasetti, he was a senior structural engineer at IMEG Corp. in San Diego.

Melissa LogueEnvironmental Science Associates has hired Melissa Logue as transportation director for the firm’s Northern California region. With nearly two decades of experience in delivering public transportation and related infrastructure, Logue is based in ESA’s Sacramento office and oversees transportation projects throughout Northern California. ESA also hired senior airports planner Jean-Christophe (JC) Dick in the firm’s airports practice. Based in Southern California, he has more than 15 years of experience as a multidisciplinary airport consultant and works with ESA’s aviation professionals throughout the West Coast.


WSP USA hired Pooja Jain in the West region as its California and Pacific maritime leader. Jain will champion the firm’s national maritime resiliency, sustainability, innovation and technology initiatives. She has 19 years of experience, including innovative planning, project delivery and design solutions for both public and private clients. She also has developed market expansion strategies, created strategic partnerships and led multidisciplinary teams for clients involved in improving ports and harbors, urban waterfronts and oil and gas and ferry terminals.