KANSAS CITY, Missouri (Feb. 1, 2017) — Ray Kowalik, chairman and CEO of Burns & McDonnell, announces two key promotions and the elevation of six employee-owners into the firm’s Officer Group.
“Becoming an officer at Burns & McDonnell is a great honor and comes with great responsibility,” Kowalik says. “Each of these leaders has earned both the opportunity and the duty to continue strengthening our firm. These promotions are as much a reflection of each group’s achievements as they are to them personally.”
Promoted within the group are leaders of two of the company’s regional offices:
- Leslie Duke is president and general manager in Houston, Texas, where she leads a regional workforce of more than 500 employees in Houston and Austin, Texas, and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. She joined Burns & McDonnell in 1999 as a project manager and structural engineer in electrical transmission and distribution, and went on to lead the practice in Houston and become a vice president in 2007. In 2010 she opened the firm’s regional office in Dallas-Fort Worth, where she served as general manager, before returning to Houston in 2012 as regional manager. She became a senior vice president in 2014. Duke earned a bachelor’s degree in civil and structural engineering from Texas Tech University.
- Scott Newland is senior vice president and general manager in Chicago, Illinois, where he leads a regional staff of more than 250 employees working out of offices in downtown Chicago and Downers Grove, Illinois. He joined Burns & McDonnell in 1999 as a structural engineer and went on to manage projects and programs before becoming a vice president in the firm’s New England office. In 2012, Newland took over as leader in Chicago. He received a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Nebraska and an MBA from the University of Connecticut.
Joining the Officer Group this year are six employee-owners promoted to vice president:
- Jeff Allen leads the Construction/Design-Build Group in Houston, where he continues his focus on making Burns & McDonnell projects and operations among the safest in the industry. He joined Burns & McDonnell in 2011 and now has more than 19 years of experience in project management, procurement, project controls, field services, and support for engineer-procure-construct (EPC) and program management projects. He received a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and an MBA from the University of Kansas.
- Dave Barr is federal projects director in the Aviation & Federal Group, leading energy resiliency programs — including the Smart Power Infrastructure Demonstration for Energy Reliability and Security (SPIDERS) — and other programs for the U.S. Departments of Energy (DOE) and Defense (DOD). He also works with project managers to grow the firm’s business with the DOE, DOD and other federal agencies. Barr, who joined Burns & McDonnell in 2010, earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from South Dakota State University.
- Chris Baxter leads the firm’s risk review process, manages the firm’s insurance program and serves as general counsel for international business operations. He joined Burns & McDonnell in 1988 as a mechanical engineer, and went to law school while overseeing a development program at Philadelphia International Airport. Baxter earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and master’s degree in engineering management from the University of Kansas, and a law degree from Rutgers University. He is registered as a professional engineer in Kansas, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and licensed as an attorney in Missouri.
- Darin Brickman is national director for municipal water and wastewater projects in the Water Group, providing value-based water and wastewater solutions with a focus on alternative project delivery. Prior to becoming national director, he served as director of municipal water and wastewater for the firm’s Rocky Mountain Regional Office in Denver, Colorado. He joined Burns & McDonnell 20 years ago, and today has more than 24 years of experience. He received a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and a master’s degree in environmental engineering from South Dakota State University.
- Rich Miller leads the firm’s information technology (IT) team. He joined Burns & Mac in 2014, and has brought more than 30 years of diverse leadership experience to the firm. He received a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Missouri State University, and an MBA from the University of Houston.
- Jon Wright leads the Food & Consumer Products team that serves national and international clients from offices in Kansas City, Chicago, Denver and the Northeast by providing pre-capital business consulting, engineering, procurement, construction, startup and commissioning services. Before joining the firm in 2011, Wright worked for companies in the food and consumer products industry in posts including corporate supply chain strategy and operations business management. He earned a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering and a minor in business management from Kansas State University.
About Burns & McDonnell
Burns & McDonnell is a family of companies made up of more than 5,700 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. 16 on Fortune’s 2016 list of 100 Best Companies to Work For.