F&V Adds 10 Staff, Including New Chief Financial Officer

Fleis & VandenBrink (F&V) has added 10 staff members including a new chief financial officer.

Kate Harms a former director of financial operations for a computer hardware reseller and IT services provider, will oversee F&V’s accounting team and be the main contact with banks and financial institutions.

“Kate will be working closely with the executive team to help set, monitor and meet our financial goals,” said Paul R. Galdes, principal and president of F&V. “Kate brings a wealth of ability and experience as a CFO and controller as well as in the human resources and legal fields that she managed in her last position.”

Additional hires at the F&V headquarters in Grand Rapids include Andrew Filler, landscape architect; Blake Blackford, construction technician, Kirstin Pimental, marketing administrative assistant, and Tyler Wittmann, Lauren Kirkconnell, Bandhan Ayon, all engineers-in-training (EITs).

Additional hires company-wide include: Deepak Gupta, PE, project manager, Micah Burgess, engineer-in-training, West Michigan Group; and MacKenzie Burgelin, Indiana Group, administrative assistant.

“The most difficult aspect of growth in today’s environment is finding qualified people,” Galdes added. “I am extremely proud of our Human Resources group and current employees for finding and attracting so many great new additions to our team.”

Harms has spent most of her career in the accounting/financial world. She is a certified public accountant and has a master’s degree in business administration.

Filler joins the Development and Enhancement Group with enhancement and parks development experience. A graduate of Michigan State University’s landscape architecture program, Filler will be developing parks master plans and construction documents, assisting with 5-year recreation plans and will complement the group’s rapidly growing capabilities in presentation graphics.

Blackford, a Central Michigan University engineering technology graduate, joins the Construction Services Group. His duties include project oversight, daily quantity tracking and record drawing reports. Blackford’s experience as a foreman working for the family’s contracting/masonry company will benefit clients.

Pimental has 20 years of experience in publishing, marketing and graphic design and has a bachelor’s degree in communications from Liberty University. The part-timer brings great energy and interpersonal skills to the marketing team. Her experience in maintaining databases with law enforcement as well as assisting in a variety of different marketing functions will benefit the team.

Wittmann, a recent Michigan Technological University grad with a degree in environmental engineering, joins the Process Group after interning last year. He has previous operations experience in both municipal and industrial wastewater treatment plants. His positive attitude and willingness to take on the next challenge has helped him hit the ground running at F&V.

Kirkconnell, a Michigan Technological University environmental engineering graduate, joins the Process Group. The entry level engineer will assist with water and wastewater design and construction projects and preparing Asset Management Plans (AMPs) for communities. She will also prepare design documents for treatment facilities and administer construction contracts.

Gupta, who has private consulting and road commission experience, has a civil engineering degree from the University of Michigan and a master’s degree in design engineering from Saginaw Valley State University. His unique skillset with managerial experience for regional county Road Commissions will help Gupta in client relationships and overseeing road and municipal projects in East Michigan.

Burgess is a bridge engineer working in the Farmington Hills office. She graduated from Wayne State University with a civil and environmental engineering degrees. She joins F&V with four years’ experience in civil/structural engineering. Her primary duties include bridge design, drafting and analysis.

Ayon is a traffic engineer-in-training with experience in transportation planning and landside operations. He will work out of the Grand Rapids office but will be working to support the Traffic Group, providing traffic, transportation planning and parking services. Avon has two master’s degrees from Western Michigan University, in geographic information science and civil engineering.

Burgelin will assist staff in the Indianapolis and Fort Wayne offices with meetings, proposals, service agreements, technical reports, correspondence, construction administration, project financial reporting and invoicing. She has previous work experience with a major newspaper, managing sales rep clients, appointments and media/artwork.

F&V is a full-service engineering and architectural services firm with specialists in the municipal, private and industrial sectors. It has nine offices including its Grand Rapids headquarters.

In 2019, F&V was named the American Council of Engineering Companies of Michigan (ACEC-M) Firm of the Year and in 2020 one of the Best & Brightest Companies to Work for in the Nation.


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