Lee B. Freese Excellence in Mentoring Award: Héctor Olmos

Congratulations to Héctor Olmos, Stormwater, Houston, for receiving this year’s Lee B. Freese Excellence in Mentoring Award.

Héctor champions critical thinking amongst his team.

“Working with Héctor is almost like having a cheat code in a video game,” said Dylan Jammer, Stormwater, Houston. “He has a knack for pushing you out of your comfort zone while providing guidance that facilitates critical thinking.”

Since joining Freese and Nichols in 2005, Héctor has become a key player in our Stormwater Practice. His commitment to sharing his knowledge and expertise has helped countless colleagues grow professionally and personally.

“Staff seek his experience on technical and project-related questions but also feel comfortable approaching him for his guidance and mentorship in their career growth challenges,” said Michael Reedy, Assistant Division Manager, Houston.

What truly sets Héctor apart is his belief in the potential of others. He is the embodiment of our LEADS values. By “Learning Continuously,” Héctor consistently engages in innovative contributions to our Technical Excellence Program (TEP), a systemic program to continuously improve the technical quality of each Freese and Nichols project. He “Engages as Family” by instilling confidence and unwavering support in junior and mid-level staff. Héctor holds his peers to a high-quality standard, “Acting with Integrity,” and facilitates the “Deliver Quality” in every project. Finally, he “Serves Always” by inspiring junior staff to challenge themselves and think about the purpose and “big picture.”

Dylan Jammer, Stormwater, Houston, nominated Héctor for this year’s award. Here’s part of what Dylan said:

“Héctor helped me develop the foundation of my technical skills and provided me with several opportunities to develop my skills, interact with clients and lead different aspects of projects.

“Above all, Héctor taught me how to truly think like an engineer. Keeping quality paramount while also trying to be innovative and efficient are things that he has embodied and passed on to not only myself but also others.

“Héctor was also incredibly helpful and supportive during the time I was pursuing my master’s degree.”

Eight additional coworkers contributed testimonials supporting Héctor’s nomination, illustrating the breadth of his impact. Here are a few more excerpts:

Héctor encourages younger staff to take ownership of their work and deliver high-quality work products for clients.” — Mark Pauls, Stormwater, Houston

“Professionally, Héctor showed me the importance of understanding the client’s ‘why’ in each project and that the effort to understand this is never wasted.” — Jeremy Dixon, Stormwater, Dallas

“Héctor has worked tirelessly to instill in staff and project managers alike the importance of technical excellence and Continuous Improvement.” — Cory Stull, Stormwater, Houston

Freese and Nichols established the Lee B. Freese Excellence in Mentoring Award to recognize outstanding efforts in the mentoring of Freese and Nichols’ staff members. This award exemplifies our LEADS values of Serve Always and Learn Continuously, as we serve each other in everything we do, and we create an environment where employees can thrive and be their best.