Burns & McDonnell Adds New Board Members from Two of Its Fastest-Growing Divisions
Burns & McDonnell Adds New Board Members from Two of Its Fastest-Growing Divisions
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Burns & McDonnell Adds New Board Members from Two of Its Fastest-Growing Divisions
10/09/2014 2 minute read

Burns & McDonnell has appointed John Olander, president of Electrical Transmission & Distribution (T&D), and Paul Fischer, president and general manager of the Regional Office Group, to its Board of Directors. Olander and Fischer represent two of the firm's fastest-growing business divisions.

John Olander, Transmission & Distribution, and Paul Fischer, Regional Office Group, Appointed to the Board of Directors

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Burns & McDonnell has appointed John Olander, president of Electrical Transmission & Distribution (T&D), and Paul Fischer, president and general manager of the Regional Office Group, to its Board of Directors. Olander and Fischer represent two of the firm's fastest-growing business divisions.

"John and Paul lead two of our largest and diverse divisions, that currently do not have representation on our board," says Greg Graves, chairman and CEO of Burns & McDonnell. "The reason we were able to hire more than 2,000 employee-owners over the last five years is due in large part to the enormous demand for project work in T&D and our regional offices across the country."

John Olander joined Burns & McDonnell in 1991 as an electrical engineer specializing in precipitator and continuous emissions monitoring projects. He soon transitioned into the T&D group as a substation engineer and project manager, before becoming general manager of the division in 2013 and president in 2014. Under Olander's leadership, the T&D group has grown to be the firm's largest global practice, increasing the number of employee-owners by 32 percent.

"A strong focus is on strengthening the nation's power grid, and further pursuing and supporting transmission systems across the globe," says Olander, who has helped champion double-digit growth for the T&D division, while earning a No. 1 ranking this year by Engineering News-Record magazine for its engineering design services in the T&D sector. "We just completed an extensive transmission line project in British Columbia that extended nearly 215 miles to reinforce and expand the province's electricity system, and there are many similar projects in Canada, the U.S. and overseas."

Much of the growth of the firm is based out of the regional offices throughout the country managed by Olander's new fellow board member, Paul Fischer. Fischer joined Burns & McDonnell in 1988 after graduating from Colorado State University with a degree in civil engineering. After working in both the Energy and Infrastructure groups at Burns & McDonnell's world headquarters in Kansas City, Fischer relocated to the Denver office to serve as a project manager with a focus on water supply and water treatment.

"I had the opportunity to work on a number of innovative water treatment plants throughout the Rocky Mountain region, many of which employed the design-build delivery method," says Fischer, who was promoted to vice president and regional manager of the Denver office in 2001. He relocated back to Kansas City in late 2008 to lead the Regional Office Group. "After years of working in a regional office, I know how critical it is to build a great team and office within the communities where you are working. We not only want to work there — we want to hire local; improve the quality of people's lives there; serve our local clients exceedingly well; and be a good civic partner and give back to the community."

Under his leadership, the number of employee-owners in the regional offices in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Minneapolis, New England, Orange County, St. Louis and Phoenix has grown by more than 170 percent. Fischer says Burns & McDonnell is committed to making each firm's location a "best place to work," to better serve fellow employee-owners, clients and their communities.

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About Burns & McDonnell
Burns & McDonnell provides engineering, architecture, construction, environmental and consulting services to clients throughout North America and abroad. Nearly 5,000 engineers, architects, scientists, planners, estimators, economists, technicians and other professionals work in more than 30 regional, national and international offices. Founded in 1898, Burns & McDonnell is 100 percent employee-owned and is currently ranked No. 18 on the Engineering News-Record Top 500 Design Firms. For more information about Burns & McDonnell, visit www.burnsmcd.com.

Contact: Kristi Widmar, 816-448-7379, [email protected].

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