Meet Our New Principals and Associates

Freese and Nichols has elected 12 new Principals and 28 new Associates. Together, they represent 17 different offices across the firm.

They are recognized leaders who live our LEADS values daily and have proven expertise in one or more of the core company functions: technical excellence, sales and marketing or management and personnel development. Electing Principals and Associates is one of the many ways we recognize the outstanding accomplishments of our employees ​​​​​​​and provide opportunities for growth.


Jared Barber is the Transmission & Utilities Practice Leader in Pearland. With nine years at Freese and Nichols, Jared has been a key driver for our client relationships along the Western Gulf Coast. He has coordinated heavily with W/WW Planning teams to coordinate technical aspects of studies, providing more robust project delivery. Jared has a diverse technical background including potable water distribution, raw water conveyance, wastewater collection, and pump station design. He has developed innovative solutions for our clients including aerial piping over Galveston Bay and solving difficult gravity sewer challenges for College Station, Alvin and Conroe.

JaNette Bridgewater is the Human Resources Director in Fort Worth. JaNette has been instrumental in advancing the HR function during a time of rapid growth. During her five years, she led the implementation of new benefits including paid parental leave, dependent care reimbursement, floating holidays, a new PTO policy and expanded health insurance coverage with no cost increases.

Melissa Brunger is a senior project manager and key technical leader focusing on water and wastewater modeling with unique expertise in water system analysis. She is the Lead Technical Professional for the W/WW Planning Practice and has 18 years with Freese and Nichols. She is dedicated to FLOW and partners with the T&U and Treatment practices, and her knowledge of client water systems and modeling has been a differentiator for us in large design pursuits.  Nationally recognized, she serves as an AWWA Division Trustee, as well as Chair of the AWWA Engineering Modeling Applications Committee.

Bryan Dick serves as Stormwater Group Manager for Freese and Nichols’ Southeast Region, based in Winston-Salem. Bryan is a nationally recognized technical expert in the fields of stormwater, river mechanics, geomorphology, stream restoration and ecological science. Since joining Freese and Nichols in 2017, Bryan established the Fluvial Ecological Restoration Technical Excellence Program (TEP), which engages a wide range of staff across our regions and practices.  Bryan is a regular instructor for ASCE, teaching stream restoration and BMP design, and several projects he has managed have won ACEC state awards.

Murali Erat is an expert in water/wastewater treatment and industrial pretreatment. His ability to apply innovative and “Freese and Nichols first” designs such as primary filtration, Headcell™ grit removal and membrane bioreactor technologies has been recognized. With 18 years at Freese and Nichols, Murali project manages over $15M in effort on some of our most technically challenging projects, successfully leading project teams of 100+ professionals.

Clay Herndon is the Group Manager for Treatment, Transmission & Utilities in Central Plains. With 20 years at Freese and Nichols, Clay’s strength is in municipal client development. He is considered a technical expert in water and wastewater municipal engineering services, with regional expertise in large trunk sewer mains and elevated storage tanks. After working in the Fort Worth and Pearland offices, Clay relocated to Oklahoma City in 2016 to help establish our water/wastewater services in the Central Plains. There, he now manages, coaches and mentors a team of 16 throughout our Oklahoma and Arkansas offices.

Heather Keister is the Group Manager for the Lubbock office. In Heather’s 11 years with Freese and Nichols, she has grown the Lubbock office from 2 employees to 28 across practices including Stormwater, Transportation, Construction Services, and Transmission and Utilities. Her strengths are in building client relationships, exceptional client delivery and coaching and mentoring her staff. Technically, she has a unique skillset in stormwater with West Texas playa systems, making her a “go-to” for clients in the region.

Dustin Mortensen is an Engineer within the Water Resource Design group. Dustin’s technical expertise is hydraulics, helping the firm grow technically in computational fluid dynamic modeling (CFD). During his 20 years at Freese and Nichols, his experience has led to innovative analysis and designs, including state-of-the-art hydraulic rock-scour simulations and complex spillways such as piano keys and labyrinth weirs. Dustin is the Resident Engineer for the Upper Trinity Regional Water District Lake Ralph Hall Project, leveraging his skills as a PM, dam designer and construction manager to provide real-time solutions in the field. Dustin serves as a coach and mentor to many, helping others advance.

Chance Sparks is Group Manager for Urban Planning + Design in San Marcos. Chance is an accomplished urban planner with experience in areas including comprehensive plans, downtown plans, codes and ordinances. His group of 35 employees spans 11 offices. In his six years with Freese and Nichols, Chance has established himself as a trusted advisor for the cities of Brownsville, Buda, Canyon and Hutto, and maintains strong relationships with many municipal planning departments across Texas.  He is a past President of the Texas Chapter of the American Planning Association and is a frequent presenter, especially on legislative updates related to City annexation authority.

Chris Trevino is the Assistant Division Manager in San Antonio. In Chris’ five years with Freese and Nichols, he has served as Senior Construction Manager, Central Texas Transportation Group Manager and now is the ADM overseeing four groups. He guides his teams through project issues, helps grow staff and increases retention by fostering positive employee morale – all while delivering exceptional KFI results. His technical background is transportation design, construction management and program management with a wide range of clients including TxDOT and multiple cities and counties.

Jennifer Wasinger is an Account Director for the Central Plains division in Oklahoma City. Jennifer’s strength in building client relationships since starting in 2015 has been instrumental in the growth of our Central Plains business. She is a trusted advisor to the cities of Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Norman, Broken Arrow and Owasso in Oklahoma, in addition to Rogers, Arkansas and Lawrence, Kansas. Jennifer brings technical expertise in funding programs, environmental science and water quality – serving as a strong Project Manager on multiple projects. In the last three years, she helped clients access $180M under various state and federal funding mechanisms.

Brian White is the Water/Wastewater Master Planning Group Manager based in Raleigh. Beyond serving as a Group Manager, Brian is a Project Manager, Senior Advisor and Senior Technical Professional. While his technical expertise includes W/WW planning, it expands into all water and wastewater disciplines. As a senior leader in his six years with Freese and Nichols, Brian teaches our young staff in North Carolina and Georgia, investing in their growth and challenging employees to take the initiative to identify novel solutions. He also served as a national AWWA Engineering Modeling Applications Committee member.


  • Holly Ahumada, Denton, Stormwater
  • Corey Anderson, Dallas, Construction Management
  • Brett Bristow, Denton, Urban Planning & Design
  • Emily Brown, Winston-Salem, Stormwater and Environmental
  • Van Cashen, Fort Worth, Mechanical and Plumbing
  • Charles Cullen, Tampa, Florida Engineering
  • Brian Edmondson, Houston, Stormwater
  • Brad Endres, Fort Worth, Business Development
  • Sandip Faldu, Dallas, Transportation Planning
  • Jonathan Faughtenberry, Tulsa, Treatment, Transmission and Utilities
  • Charles Gaddy, Fort Worth, Environmental Science
  • Brian Glynn, Overland Park, Transmission and Utilities
  • Liz Grindstaff, Austin, Business Development
  • Allison Hage, Dallas, W/WW Treatment
  • Bryan Janhsen, Houston, Landscape Architecture
  • Kevin Kiniry, Houston, Water Resources Design
  • Stephanie Kirchstein, Dallas, Accounting and Contract Services
  • Wendy Martin, Oklahoma City, Contruction Management
  • Michael McBee, Fort Worth, Transmission and Utilities
  • Erin Mills, San Antonio, Treatment, Transmission and Utilities
  • Krista Paredes, Raleigh, Transmission and Utilities
  • Giancarlo Patiño, Austin, Program Management
  • Mark Pauls, Houston, Stormwater
  • David Payne, Atlanta, Construction Management
  • Dustin Pope, Dallas, Program Management
  • Ishita Rahman, Pearland, W/WW Master Planning
  • Michael Schuster, Dallas, Electrical
  • Russ Springer, Fort Worth, Water Resources Design