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Freese and Nichols selects Brian Coltharp as next CEO

February 08, 2016
Brian Coltharp

Freese and Nichols is pleased to announce we have selected Brian Coltharp, P.E., to serve as our next President and CEO. He is serving as Chief Operating Officer for 2016 and will become CEO on Jan. 1, 2017.

Brian most recently served as Water Practice Leader, coordinating Freese and Nichols’ comprehensive approach to delivering across-the-board services to clients. He has established a reputation for outstanding client service throughout his distinguished engineering career, in which he has overseen several billion dollars in design and construction projects. He will maintain that commitment in his new leadership role, focusing on continuing Freese and Nichols’ legacy of responsiveness and top-quality work.

“I’m very pleased that Brian’s going to be our new CEO,” says Bob Pence, P.E., BCEE, current President and CEO. “He brings the leadership and the people skills that are very critical for a CEO. His success as Water Practice Leader and in project management have been outstanding, and he has a really strong background in maintaining client relationships. He’s going to do a great job.”

Brian has been with Freese and Nichols for his entire career, joining the firm in 1992 shortly after receiving a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Texas at Arlington.

Bob will step down at the end of 2016 after serving as CEO since January 2002. Under his leadership, Freese and Nichols has experienced significant growth, nearly doubling its workforce and more than tripling its annual revenue. The company opened nine offices across Texas and expanded into North Carolina and Oklahoma; it also added services in urban planning, oil and natural gas, and coastal engineering. Additionally during Bob’s tenure, Freese and Nichols received national honors for ethics and for employee satisfaction, and in 2010, it became the first engineering/architecture firm to receive the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.

Ron Lemons, P.E., who served as Chief Operating Officer from 2002 to 2015, has transitioned to a new role in Freese and Nichols’ Water Practice. An internationally recognized expert in water resources and dams, Ron will work with water districts and river authorities throughout Texas and nationwide.