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Symposium Speakers and Panelists

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Strategy for the modern AE and environmental firm

PANELISTS

James (Jim) Brady, PE

President and CEO
Wilson & Company, Albuquerque, NM (ENR #189)
www.wilsonco.com

Employee-owned Wilson & Company was founded in 1932, and is a 600-plus person multi-disciplinary engineering, architecture, planning, environmental, survey & mapping, and construction management firm with 16 offices in nine states. The firm’s clients include municipal and federal governments; public agencies; railroad companies; industrial and commercial corporations; private developers; institutional, primary, secondary and higher education; health care; and energy companies.

Jim joined Wilson & Company in 2000 and has more than 30 years of experience in transportation planning and design, project management, and construction management. His leadership is defined by creating an environment where everyone can experience a meaningful connection between their career at Wilson & Company and what matters most to them in their personal lives. Before joining Wilson & Company, Jim worked at the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), BNSF Railway Company, and the El Paso County Department of Transportation. He is a graduate of the University of Colorado with an architectural engineering degree.

Kevin Fitzpatrick, PE

President and CEO
Benesch, Chicago, IL (ENR # 112)
www.benesch.com

Kevin Fitzpatrick is Benesch’s president and chief executive officer, responsible for the strategic vision that guides the 75-year-old planning, engineering and professional services firm. Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, Benesch employs more than 900 people in 40 offices across the U.S. He oversees the implementation of Benesch’s strategic plan and works with the executive management team to evaluate strategies and pursue initiatives aimed at achieving the company’s growth goals. Kevin has played an instrumental role in Benesch’s growth in recent years. M&A activity has been a key factor to the company’s success.

Prior to being named President and CEO in 2020, Kevin held several positions within Benesch. The most recent of which was Great Lakes Regional Manager where he was responsible for overseeing the operations and business development functions for the firm’s Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin and Railroad Divisions. Kevin is currently Chairman of the Illinois Road and Transportation Builders Association, Planning and Design Division; a member of Purdue University’s Civil Engineering Advisory Council; and a member of ACEC’s Design Professionals Coalition.

Leslie Moulton-Post

President and CEO
ESA, San Francisco, CA
Ranked #100 on ENR’s Top 200 Environmental Firms
www.esassoc.com

Founded in 1969, ESA is a 100% employee-owned environmental consulting firm 21 offices across California, the Pacific Northwest, and the Southeastern United States. Specializing in community and airport planning, environmental planning, analysis and assessment, natural and cultural resources management, environmental restoration and design, and regulatory compliance—ESA scientists, planners, historians, archaeologists, engineers, designers, and technical specialists provide critical thinking, in-depth analyses, and committed follow-through to guide successful policy development and project planning, and deliver enduring multi-objective solutions.

As president and CEO, and a member of ESA’s board of directors, Leslie works in tandem with internal and external leadership to allocate resources, monitor company performance, and oversee contract compliance while charting the future. Guiding the firm’s strategic direction, she’s committed to using our core values as the touchstone for business decisions, and working daily to achieve our vision as a leading employee-owned, solutions-oriented environmental science and planning firm. In her 35 years with ESA, she has managed dozens of complex environmental impact documents, including those for the California Department of Water Resources, Orange County Sanitation District, Orange County Water District, City of Stockton, Contra Costa Water District, Los Angeles County Sanitation District, and the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission. Recognized as one of the Most Influential Women in Business in 2019 by the San Francisco Business Times, Leslie holds a Bachelor of Arts in Human Biology with an emphasis in Environmental Planning and Marine/Estuarine Science from Stanford University. She is a board member for the Water Education Foundation and is also a member of the Association of California Water Agencies, Association of Environmental Professionals, Water Environment Federation, California Water Environment Association, California Association of Sanitation Agencies, CalDesal, and the WateReuse Association.

MODERATORS

Mark Goodale

Principal, Morrissey Goodale

Mark has served the AE industry for over 20 years in just about every management consulting capacity that exists. Throughout his professional career, Mark has continually honed his unique sixth sense for helping industry executives deal with some of the thorniest issues the business world can dish out. He is as adept as anyone in the business in creating trusting bonds with his clients—bonds that allow him to, as his clients say, “read their minds.” His specialty is helping industry executives break down communication barriers, overcome fears, and resolve the seemingly unresolvable.

Karen Erger

Senior Vice President & Director of Practice Risk Management
Lockton, Kansas City, MO
www.global.lockton.com

In her role as Director of Practice Risk Management, Karen provides risk management education and resources to Lockton’s architecture, engineering and construction clients. Drawing upon her background as a construction lawyer in private practice and as a Claim Supervisor for a major professional liability insurance carrier, Karen develops and delivers risk management workshops and seminars that help Lockton’s clients manage the risk inherent in professional practice. She is a popular speaker on topics related to practice management, risk assessment and mitigation, and professional ethics, and is a prolific author of white papers and articles on risk management. She graduated from the University of Chicago Phi Beta Kappa at the age of 20 with a degree in Politics, Economics, Rhetoric and Law and earned her law degree from the University of Chicago Law School.

Innovation – from concept to market

PANELISTS

Javier A. Baldor

Chief Executive Officer
BST Global, Tampa, FL
www.bstglobal.com

Javier is Chief Executive Officer and a Principal Shareholder of BST Global. Javier leads a global team of professionals responsible for the market introduction of BST Global’s business software products and cloud solutions. Javier is also instrumental in crafting and implementing the company’s business strategy, overall vision and mission with the BST Global leadership team.

Javier joined BST Global in 1989 and has served in various capacities during his tenure. In 1999, Javier was the primary catalyst in establishing a global vision for BST Global, and since that time, the company has flourished from its roots as a North American-centric business to a prosperous and vibrant global software organization. Today, with the steadfast support of fellow senior leadership and committed professionals globally, BST Global operates across an international network of offices and has clients leveraging BST Global’s solutions in 65 countries on six continents. Javier holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from the University of Tampa in Tampa, Florida.

Eoin Howlett

Vice President, Digital Products
Trinnex, Manchester, NH
www.trinnex.io

In 2022, industry leader CDM Smith (ENR #25) announced the launch of Trinnex, a wholly-owned subsidiary created specifically to help utilities and infrastructure owners embark on their digital journeys. Trinnex is focused on helping its clients achieve digital-first resiliency. As VP of Digital Products, Eoin leads the firm’s efforts to develop market offerings.

Frank Joanlanne

President & CEO
Borton Lawson, Wilkes-Barre, PA (ENR #468)
www.borton-lawson.com

Borton-Lawson is a pioneering firm that combines technology with engineering expertise to deliver solutions in a variety of markets. Frank will discuss how Borton-Lawson and its sister company, Precise Visual Technologies, help clients by optimizing operations through the strategic implementation of visual and virtual tools and delivering a quantifiable Return on Digital Investment (RODI) by assisting clients to navigate the ever-expanding horizon of technology solutions for their businesses.

Jennifer Prescott

Chief Information Officer
Kleinfelder, San Diego, CA (ENR #46)
www.kleinfelder.com

Jennifer is the overall Technology Leader for Kleinfelder and she is the head of the Enterprise wide Innovation program with a multiyear ambition to deliver significant revenue growth by bringing emerging technology solutions to optimize client outcomes. She recently established an R&D program for technology pilots and partners (AI/ML, digital reality capture, 3D, AR/VR, Connected Worker, Drones, BIM, Digital Twins, data and dashboard solutions, etc.) As part of the Kleinfelder leadership team, Jennifer is responsible for innovation strategy development and delivery that is aligned with business strategic goals.

Prior to joining Kleinfelder, Jennifer was VP of IT Strategy and led digital transformation at Molson Coors. She was part of the Growth team with leadership roles in Corporate Venturing, Innovation, Customer Experience, eCommerce, and AI/ML Analytics. She managed a $100M P&L, led numerous large successful programs, and launched Agile across the Globe. Her strategy role covered all industry trends, financial modeling, and innovation stimulus to the company’s Executive team.

MODERATOR

Brendon Cussio

Vice President, Morrissey Goodale

Brendon leads the sell side practice for Morrissey Goodale. With his team he leads confidential firm sale engagements helping clients find the right buyers or investors for their firm and negotiating successful transactions on their behalf. He and his team have advised on over 100 transactions from coast to coast ranging in size from $5 to over $100 million.

2022 M&A Trends Speaker

Jon Escobar, CM&AA

Vice President, Morrissey Goodale

Jon leads Morrissey Goodale’s buy-side practice. With his team he leads acquisition engagements helping clients find the right firms to allow them to grow through by acquisition and negotiating successful transactions on their behalf. Since the beginning of 2021, Jon and his team have successfully closed over twenty transactions for clients. Jon received his bachelors degree in Economics and Psychology from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA. He holds the Certified Merger and Acquisition Advisor (“CM&AA”) designation from the Alliance of Merger & Acquisition Advisors.

2022 M&A Valuations and Deal Prices Speaker

Nick Belitz, CVA

Principal, Morrissey Goodale

Nick heads Morrissey Goodale’s merger and acquisition practice, and is also involved in the firm’s sell-side engagements, financial advisory, and strategic business planning projects. His expertise lies in financial analysis, forecasting, reporting, deal structure and strategic business analysis. Previously, Nick worked as an analyst for Encana Oil & Gas. Prior to that, he developed and oversaw construction of light industrial projects in the Western United States while at Ascendant Development Corporation.

Buyers Best Practices – from deal sourcing to integration

PANELISTS

Neil Churman

Chief Corporate Development Officer
Woolpert, Dayton, OH (ENR #59)
www.woolpert.com

Founded in 1911, Woolpert is an architecture, engineering, geospatial (AEG), and strategic consulting firm, with more than 1,600 employees and 60 offices on four continents. Woolpert has been America’s fastest-growing AEG firm since 2015. Since January 2019, Woolpert has been on an industry-leading growth trajectory, recording double-digit organic growth and acquiring nine firms across the U.S. and around the world to further its vision to become the premier global AEG firm. Last year, MSD Partners made a strategic investment in Woolpert in partnership with management.

As Wooplert’s Chief Corporate Development Officer, Neil is responsible for identifying strategic firms and supporting those acquired through due diligence and integration. In prior roles, he led and advised on numerous mergers and acquisitions across the architecture, engineering, and technology industries, including geospatial services. Neil has an MBA from Carnegie Mellon University and a bachelor’s degree in civil and environmental engineering from the University of Pittsburgh.

Grant Reindl

VP, Corporate Development, Financial Planning & Analysis
Salas O’Brien, Santa Ana, CA (ENR #118)
www.salasobrien.com

Grant leads corporate development and financial planning and analysis for Salas O’Brien. Salas O’Brien is a comprehensive, integrated engineering firm with 55 offices and 1,500 team members, focused on providing sustainable, energy-efficient solutions that meet the unique needs and long-term goals of clients across North America. Prior to joining Salas O’Brien, Grant worked for PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP advising private equity and strategic clients making investments in the AEC industry. Over his career, Grant has served in a number of roles including M&A, strategy, integration, finance, and operations. Grant holds a Bachelor of Accountancy and Master of Science of Accountancy from the University of San Diego, and he is a Certified Public Accountant in the State of California.

Michelle Willis, MBA, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Vice President of Human Resources, M&A Integration Leader
David Evans and Associates, Inc., Portland, OR (ENR #90)
www.deainc.com

Michelle Willis currently serves as Vice President of Human Resources and M&A Integration Leader for David Evans and Associates, Inc. (DEA), headquartered in Portland, Oregon. DEA is an ENR Top 500 Design Firm with more than 1,000 employees serving private- and public-sector clients. As a seasoned professional with 20+ years in human resources, Michelle has applied her capabilities to lead the integration of numerous privately held firms on behalf of DEA. She believes that deals are optimized during integration and is passionate about identifying the unique recipe that will allow each new venture to achieve its potential. Michelle holds a BA in business administration and an MBA from the University of Oregon.

MODERATOR

Tricia Washington

Vice President, Morrissey Goodale

Tricia Washington has over 25 years of experience as a market research & marketing communications professional working with hundreds of companies covering a broad spectrum of B2B professional service industries including AEC, leadership development, technology, management consulting, and financial services. Prior to joining Morrissey Goodale, Tricia worked as a consultant designing and executing marketing and business development solutions for AEC firms.

Sellers Best Practices Panel

PANELISTS

Jill Wells Heath, LEED AP

Executive Vice President of Integration
NV5, Hollywood, FL (ENR #27)
www.nv5.com

Jill joined NV5 in 2018 with its acquisition of CALYX Engineers and Consultants, a Southeastern civil engineering and consulting firm at which Jill served as CEO. In her 25 years with CALYX, Jill applied her experience in operations management and strategic planning to establish the company as a regional leader in the industry. Now, as NV5’s Executive Vice President of Integration, Jill uses her own experience integrating CALYX into NV5 to guide newly acquired companies through the NV5 integration process while coordinating human resources, IT, legal/risk management, finance, and brand integration efforts..

Karl Knapp

Director, Land Division Colorado
Westwood Professional Services, Minnetonka, MN (ENR #122)
www.westwoodps.com

Prior to joining Westwood Professional Services, Karl was President of CVL Consultants of Colorado, Englewood, CO—a prominent land development engineering and surveying firm serving public and private sector clients across Colorado. Karl and his team sold their firm to Westwood in 2020.

Kelly Leffler

Local Operations
The Leffler Group, A Salas O’Brien Company, Lakewood, CO
www.salasobrien.com

Prior to leading the sale of The Leffler Group to Salas O’Brien, Santa Ana, CA (ENR #118) in 2021, Kelly was a principal of the firm and its Chief Financial Officer. The Leffler Group is an award-winning structural consulting engineering firm focused on providing value to commercial building projects of all types and sizes including institutional, retail, office, restaurant, public artwork, industrial, residential, golf clubhouses, churches, and more. Ms. Leffler began her career as a civil engineer, working primarily in land development in the Denver area for over 12 years. She was an integral part of the company since its inception in 2001, and became its CFO in 2007.

Gen Oraa

Partner
CohnReznick, New York, NY
www.cohnreznick.com

Gen is a partner with CohnReznick Transactions and Turnaround Advisory, who specializes in providing clients with transaction advisory services. Gen has led and executed due diligence for over 120 merger and acquisition transactions for strategic and private equity buyers and sellers. She has advised middle market clients on M&A transactions with purchase price ranging from $10 million to over $700 million.

Gen has worked on transactions in various industries, including professional services, industrial/manufacturing, government contractors, aerospace and defense, distribution/logistics, corporate housing, media/online advertising, education, textile, retail, life science and health services, and business/staffing services. In addition to financial due diligence, she advised clients on transactions involving letter of interest, net working capital peg, purchase agreements, purchase price adjustments, debt and debt-like items, closing statements and other related assistance.

Prior to joining CohnReznick, Gen served in the transaction advisory services teams of BDO, KPMG, and Grant Thornton in the US. Her professional career began at Arthur Andersen, Philippines (now Ernst and Young), as an auditor and later worked on finance, accounting, and internal audit at a small conglomerate.

MODERATOR

Nate Wentworth, FMVA, CM&AA

Consultant, Morrissey Goodale

Nate supports M&A, strategy, and market research engagements for our clients. He graduated cum laude with his Bachelor of Science in Finance and Accounting with a concentration in finance from Bridgewater State University.

 

500 Club Panelists and Moderator

PANELISTS

George E. Christodoulo

Partner
Lawson & Weitzen, LLP, Boston, MA
www.lawson-weitzen.com

George E. Christodoulo is a corporate lawyer who has spent over forty years in private practice. He has extensive experience in providing legal services to a/e/c firms on a national basis, with an emphasis on ownership transition, mergers and acquisitions, fiduciary duties of directors, professional licensure and termination of principals. He has completed over 285 transactions among AEC firms in the US and Canada, representing both buyers and sellers.

Brendon Cussio

Vice President, Morrissey Goodale

Brendon leads the sell side practice for Morrissey Goodale. With his team he leads confidential firm sale engagements helping clients find the right buyers or investors for their firm and negotiating successful transactions on their behalf. He and his team have advised on over 100 transactions from coast to coast ranging in size from $5 to over $100 million.

David M. Sullivan, Jr., CPA

Partner
DGC, a division of PKF O’Connor Davies, Boston, MA
www.dgccpa.com

David leads DGC’s Architecture & Engineering practice and represents firms across the country. David has over 30 years of experience providing tax and financial advisory services to his clients. He and his team have advised on over 100 M&A transactions of AE & environmental consulting firms.

MODERATOR

Mick Morrissey

Managing Principal, Morrissey Goodale

For over 25 years Mick has been advising AE and environmental firm CEOs on strategy, M&A and industry disruption. He is the author of the firm’s weekly Word on the Street newsletter.

REGISTER NOW

Western States
M&A, Strategy and Innovation Symposium

June 8-9, 2022

PRICING

Registration fee ………. $1,595

Register Now

Your registration fee includes the June 8th networking lunch, cocktail reception and the full day of events and materials on June 9th, as well as breakfast, lunch, and a post-symposium cocktail reception.

COVID-19 Protocol/Vaccination Requirement >

Registration rates for industry vendors, consultants and advisors

Posted registration fees are exclusively for (a) principals and employees of AE and environmental consulting firms and (b) principals and employees of private equity funds or family offices. Registration fees for industry vendors and consultants may be obtained by contacting our Events Director Corinne McCanse at [email protected].

"I found the presented content relevant, specific and supported by real data. I also found value in the real life stories of the afternoon panels. The one-day format and ample networking time was well done."

Dan Holte, Chief Development Officer
Braun Intertec Corporation (ENR #120)

"The Western States Symposium was very well organized and provided very valuable information. It provided panel discussions for potential selling firms and potential acquiring firms and several networking times. It was time well spent."

Robert Beccard, President
Aqua Engineering, Fort Collins, CO

"The overview of M&A Trends and presentations on Deal Pricing and Valuations, Deal Structuring and Deal Closing were excellent. They provided great detail while still being entertaining. Excellent speakers!"

John Carrato, President and CEO
Alfred Benesch & Company (ENR #129)

"Very informative. Authoritative and experienced speakers. Great interactive sessions."

Dan Chandler, President, Managing Principal
OAC Services, Inc., Seattle, WA

"Informative. Great buyer panel. Superior contacts."

Randall O’Dell, President
O’Dell Engineering, Inc., Modesto, CA

“If you are in the market as either a buyer or seller, you need to attend this!”

Gary W. Raba, CEO
Raba Kistner Inc. (ENR #234)

“Program was incredibly informative and full of good information. The social portions of the event were unexpectedly helpful as well.”

Todd Kamisky, President
Mid Pacific Engineering, Inc., West Sacramento, CA

“I was happy to be able to
attend and brush up on my M&A knowledge. Mick and his team did a great job presenting in a collaborative and enjoyable way. Thanks.”

John Marrow, President and CEO
Harris Group, Seattle, WA

“Great comprehensive look at M&A from both the buy and sell side.”

Jay Brader, Senior VP & CFO
LEO A DALY (ENR #91)

“Stellar symposium. A must attend event if you are planning or contemplating a M&A activity.”

Harold “JR” Reddish, President / CEO
S&B Infrastructure, Ltd.

“One of the best seminars I have attended in regards to quality and quantity of useful information shared by experienced presenters and panelists.”

Craig H. Bowie, SVP & CAO
SSOE Group (ENR #105)

"Excellent event. Answered all my questions. Met some knowledgeable industry leaders who provided sincere advice for developing acquisition strategies."

Timothy Nichols, Principal Engineer
AECm