Freese and Nichols Hires Krista Bethune Melnar as Stormwater Practice Leader

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Freese and Nichols welcomes Krista Bethune Melnar, PE, an accomplished project manager experienced with large federal contracts as well as state and local resiliency projects, as the new Stormwater Practice Leader. She also will manage the Central Texas Stormwater Group, including the Austin and San Marcos offices, to support the needs of clients in that region.

Krista has more than 19 years of experience in Texas and nationally, providing innovative solutions and managing diverse teams that address water resources challenges in stream and riparian restoration, stormwater management, water planning and flood disaster resilience. She will lead the Stormwater Practice’s continuing growth, and she adds depth and breadth to the services we can offer clients.

Krista is experienced in geomorphology, flooding alleviation and H&H analysis. Her experience spans supporting city, state, river authorities and local municipalities in Maryland, North Carolina and Texas, including the San Antonio River Authority and cities of Austin and Carrollton, Texas. She also has directed multiple projects for the Texas Adjutant General’s Office involving stormwater management, erosion repair, pollution prevention and other needs at military installations across the state.

She recently spent three years as deputy director for a $600 million project involving FEMA’s Risk Mapping, Assessment and Planning (Risk MAP), Hazard Mitigation Technical Assistance Program (HMTAP) and Technical Assistance and Research Contracts (TARC) programs, where she worked directly with FEMA Headquarters in Washington, D.C. She was heavily engaged in supporting FEMA following Hurricane Harvey, managing FEMA’s flood frequency analysis, substantial data analytics cell and the development of flood recovery advisory products. The analytics cell project won FEMA Administrator Brock Long’s award for innovation.

“With her fresh perspective and her knowledge of the federal side of stormwater projects, especially on disaster relief, Krista will help us continue to expand the services we provide to clients across the nation,” said John New, Freese and Nichols’ Central Division Manager.

Melnar graduated from the University of Maryland with a degree in Biological Resources Engineering and is a Certified Floodplain Manager.