Press Release: F&V Names 2 Senior Associates and 2 Associates

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Fleis & VandenBrink (F&V) announces the promotion of two Associates to Senior Associates and two new Associates to its leadership team.

New Senior Associates are Joe Benjamin, PE, and Brian Rowley, PE. New Associates include Ben Kladder, PE, and Stephanie Kozal.

“I’m really excited to see these four individuals step forward in their careers,” said John DeVol, president of F&V and its parent company F&V Companies, Inc. after announcing the new leaders.

Benjamin is a project manager in the Process Group in Grand Rapids. Rowley is a municipal engineering regional manager in Traverse City and oversees nine other staff members. Both Benjamin and Rowley joined F&V in 2014.

Senior Associates are involved in more business initiatives than Associates. Benjamin and Rowley have demonstrated their ability to work well with their teams, clients, and drive the business, DeVol said.

“Joe and Brian have grown tremendously and are actively leading their respective teams and delivering successful projects to our clients,” DeVol said. “Joe and Brian have also demonstrated that they understand how to take care of our clients, and in turn, our business. We are excited to welcome them both into senior leadership roles.”

Kladder, a technical leader in the West Michigan Municipal Group in Grand Rapids, has been with the firm for 16 years.

Kozal joined F&V Operations & Resource Management, Inc. (FVOP) in 2022 as a project manager in Grand Rapids.

Associates are nominated for the position by their peers as recognition that they are excelling in their respective roles. Nominees are evaluated based on their leadership, performance, experience, and dedication.

“Associates not only gain more ownership in the company, it also advances them on the path of managing the business,” DeVol added. “Ben and Stephanie have demonstrated that they have a desire to grow in their professional careers while at the same time help build our business. We are pleased to congratulate them both on this recognition.”

F&V celebrated its 31st anniversary on Jan. 12, and over that time has grown from a two-person civil engineering firm to nearly 300 employees with nine offices in Michigan and Indiana. The firm is headquartered in Grand Rapids.

The Principal/Associate program was started in 2006 to promote leadership and ownership transition. Principals and Associates are nominated by their peers and vetted out by the Principals and Senior Associates.

In 2023, F&V was recognized as one of the “Best and Brightest Companies to Work For” in West Michigan for nine years running, and Metro Detroit, as well as in the Nation. It was also recognized in 2023 as the 78th ranked “Hot Firm” in the United States and Canada by Zweig Group, a leading advisor for the architectural, engineering, planning, and environmental consulting firms.