What are the CEOs of top engineering firms most excited about in the industry’s coming years, and what keeps them up at night? How do leaders achieve success in the engineering profession? What are firms doing to address diversity in the workforce?
Discover the answers to these questions and more by attending this exciting opening session, “Engineering Outlook 2025.”
NSPE is delighted to welcome leaders of top engineering firms for this rare panel discussion. Making up the distinguished panel are Randy Breday, executive vice president of JE Dunn Construction, Ralph S. Davis, P.E., Kansas City Public Works Deputy Director, Steven L. Edwards, P.E., CEO of Black & Veatch, Raymond Kowalick, P.E., CEO of Burns & McDonnell, and Thomas O'Grady, P.E., corporate president of HNTB.
Randy Bredar currently serves as Executive Vice President and Office Director for JE Dunn’s Kansas City office. In this role Randy is responsible for profit and loss, growth strategies and customer service for the company’s largest office, delivering more than $1.3 billion of construction annually. Randy also leads JE Dunn’s national sports facility construction practice.
As a registered architect, Randy practiced for more than 25 years designing some of the largest and most recognizable stadium and arena facilities in the Country. Prior to joining JE Dunn, Randy served as a Design Principal at Ellerbe Becket (now AECOM), 360 Architecture (now HOK), and HNTB. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Architecture from Iowa State University, with post-graduate studies in business at The University of Texas-Arlington.
Randy has been involved in numerous community and civic boards, including the Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City; Downtown Council of Kansas City; Urban Land Institute/Kansas City; Kansas City Sports Commission and Foundation; Bishop Spencer Place; Missouri 100; and the Department of Architectural Studies at the University of Missouri.
Ralph Davis is the Deputy Director of Public Works for the City of Kansas City, Missouri. Ralph has worked for the city for 25 years and has over 30 years of experience in the field of engineering and project management. He was the City's Project Manager for the Kansas City Streetcar Project and his project management resume includes numerous projects including notable ones such as the Downtown Sprint Arena and Kansas City's Historic Music Hall renovation. He is a licensed Professional Engineer in Missouri and Illinois.
Steve Edwards is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Black & Veatch. Edwards assumed this position in November 2013 and has overall responsibility for the company's engineering, consulting, construction and related infrastructure businesses in the power, oil and gas, water, telecommunications, and security markets worldwide. With revenues of $3 billion, Black & Veatch is consistently ranked in the Top 10 categories for power generation, power delivery, water infrastructure development and telecommunications in Engineering News-Record magazine and is ranked in the Top 150 of the Forbes list of Largest Private Companies. The company is the 12th largest employee-owned corporation in the United States, according to the National Center for Employee Ownership.
Since joining Black & Veatch in 1978, Edwards has been responsible for a variety of global projects and business lines. He was named Chief Operating Officer in March 2013 in a transition role before becoming Chairman and CEO. He was appointed to the Black & Veatch Board of Directors in 2012. Edwards is a registered professional engineer and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Missouri.
Mr. Ray Kowalik has been the Chief Executive Officer at Burns & McDonnell, Inc. since December 31, 2016. Mr. Kowalik served as an Executive Vice President and President of Global Practice at Burns & McDonnell, Inc. since January 2015 until December 31, 2016. Mr. Kowalik served as the President of Energy Division at Burns & McDonnell, Inc. since January 1, 2009. He served as Vice President and General Manager for Energy Division at Burns & Mc Donnell, Inc. He serves as the Chairman of Burns & McDonnell, Inc. and has been its a Director since January 1, 2009
Thomas O’Grady is HNTB’s corporate president, responsible for leading the operations, project delivery and corporate support functions of the 105-year-old architectural-engineering firm based in Kansas City, Missouri, which employs more than 4,700 people across more than 60 offices in the U.S. He is also an executive vice president and a member of the firm’s board of directors. In his 27-year career with HNTB, he has served as central and west division president, division operations officer, district leader, office leader, department manager, project manager and project engineer. His experience in civil engineering includes extensive involvement with transportation planning and final design projects. He has worked extensively with multiple state departments of transportation, toll authorities, transit agencies, airports, counties and municipalities. With respect to professional, civic and charitable organizations, Mr. O’Grady is on the board of the American Road and Transportation Builders Association and is the incoming Planning & Design Division President, as well as active with ASCE and ACEC. He is currently active in the KC Civic Council as a co-chair of the KC Global Design initiative, the Greater KC Chamber, and is a graduate of KC Tomorrow. He serves on board of trustees of MRI Global and on the board of the American Heart Association KC Chapter and is the executive champion of HNTB’s United Way campaign.