Burns & McDonnell reached a milestone recently by hiring its 5,000th employee. This rapid growth, fueled by an expansion in services and locations, as well as a renewed focus on international business, has prompted the firm's first major organizational change in a decade and a rebranding effort to reflect how the company has evolved and where it's headed.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — After hiring nearly 900 employees in 2014, Burns & McDonnell reached a milestone just days ago hiring its 5,000th employee. This rapid growth, fueled by an expansion in services and locations, as well as a renewed focus on international business, has prompted the firm's first major organizational change in a decade and a rebranding effort to reflect how the company has evolved and where it's headed.
New Executive Leadership
On the heels of achieving a record of more than $2.4 billion in sales in 2014, Burns & McDonnell is positioning itself for new opportunities and continued growth with the appointment of Ray Kowalik as Executive Vice President of Burns & McDonnell and President of Global Practices. The newly created role will provide strategic vision for the future of the firm's service areas.
"As a 100% employee-owned company, we've always prided ourselves on not being too top-heavy and sharing responsibilities evenly across the company. That said, we had been operating with the same organizational structure that was in place when we had 1,500 people," says Greg Graves, Chairman and CEO, Burns & McDonnell. "Now that we've grown to more than 5,000 people, we need someone with the experience and ability to focus on our key areas of opportunity for our company and our clients. And that person is Ray Kowalik, a 27-year veteran of Burns & McDonnell. His steady approach and forward thinking that he's provided the Energy sector is just the type of leadership that will help guide the entire company into our next chapter."
New Brand Debuts
While the company reorganization was being planned, it was a natural time to consider evolving the 117-year-old Burns & McDonnell brand, according to Graves. The most visible part of the change is the logo, which underwent its first major transformation in nearly a quarter-century. The focus is on the ampersand that first cemented an historical partnership with the firm's founders, Clinton S. Burns and Robert E. McDonnell, and spawned thousands of successful collaborations between Burns & McDonnell and its clients.
"The stylized ampersand represents the valued partnerships between our clients and us. Our company and the communities we serve. The ampersand is that constant reminder that we're never quite satisfied — we're always looking for another opportunity to make an impact — to excel at the job and more."
In addition to the new logo, Burns & McDonnell is unveiling a new tagline — Create Amazing. Graves says it not only captures what Burns & McDonnell is, but what the firm does.
"Burns & McDonnell is about creating amazing success for our clients and amazing careers for each of our employee-owners. Our new brand reflects a modern vision of who we are and where we intend to go," says Graves.
The new look and feel of the firm will be rolled out in a phased approach across the globe from the company's website and social media channels to signage at its regional locations and world headquarters.
Opportunities for Growth
As Burns & McDonnell explores new avenues for growth in 2015, its 11 global practices will continue to be strongly linked with all opportunities to create an impact within projects and communities throughout the world. Kowalik will now provide guidance to this entire suite of specialties that include everything from Aviation and Federal to Transmission and Distribution and Construction/Design-Build.
"We're reviewing opportunities to develop even more global practices that will help us achieve our ultimate goal — be where our customers are and provide them and their communities with innovative solutions and expertise to make them successful," says Kowalik, Executive Vice President of Burns & McDonnell, President of Global Practices. "We have some exciting initiatives in the works and anticipate steady growth ahead — particularly in our regional and international offices."
After graduating from the University of Missouri, Kowalik joined Burns & McDonnell as a structural engineer 27 years ago, working on projects for both the Energy and Process & Industrial groups. For the last decade, he has served at the helm of the firm's successful Energy Division, managing critical projects across the globe, including KCP&L's Iatan Generation Station Unit 2 that was named "Plant of the Year," by Power magazine. Kowalik was promoted to president of the division in 2007 and joined the board of directors in 2009.
New Head of Energy Division Named
As part of the executive leadership transition, Rick Halil will succeed Kowalik as general manager of the Burns & McDonnell Energy Division. Halil has spent his entire career in the Energy group since joining Burns & McDonnell in 1989 as a mechanical engineer, just after graduating from the University of Florida. Halil has served in various roles both leading and serving on multidisciplinary project teams, designing and constructing power generation, renewable energy, nuclear, environmental and plant betterment projects. For the past 10 years, he has provided strategic leadership of the division's engineering and project management teams which are responsible for executing client projects around the world. Rick was named an officer of the company in 2005.
About Burns & McDonnell
Burns & McDonnell is a company made up of more than 5,000 engineers, architects, construction professionals, scientists, consultants and entrepreneurs with offices across the country and throughout the world. We strive to create amazing success for our clients and amazing careers for our employee-owners. Burns & McDonnell is 100 percent employee-owned and is proud to be No. 14 on FORTUNE's 2014 List of 100 Best Companies to Work For. For more information visit burnsmcd.com
Note: High-resolution images of the Burns & McDonnell logo, as well as pictures of Greg Graves, Ray Kowalik and Rick Halil are available upon request.