Portrait of CEO Brian Coltharp

Brian Coltharp, PE


Brian Coltharp joined Freese and Nichols in 1992, just days after graduating from the University of Texas at Arlington with a civil engineering degree. As he developed his technical expertise, he also absorbed the company’s long-standing culture and values, grounded in integrity and a family atmosphere. He became our President and CEO in 2017.

Brian’s professional philosophy melds tradition with solid business planning for the future, and under his leadership we have grown to more than 1,100 employees in more than 30 offices across the United States. He steadfastly advocates the principles of treating employees well and providing top-notch client service. Brian coordinated Freese and Nichols’ comprehensive approach to delivering across-the-board services to clients, reflecting his practical mindset toward problem solving. As we have grown, he has led a renewed focus on values, to encourage employees both old and new to embody the slogan LEADS: Learn Continuously, Engage as Family, Act with Integrity, Deliver Quality, Serve Always.

As an engineer and water practice leader, Brian was responsible for more than $1 billion in pipeline and pump/lift station projects, including the Tawakoni Water Supply Project for North Texas Municipal Water District and the Central Wastewater Treatment Plant Influent Pump Station for Dallas Water Utilities. His influence has enabled the company to continue building on its reputation as a trusted advisor to clients and a nationally recognized Great Place to Work.

Brian’s service extends to numerous community and professional organizations. He has served on the board of United Way of Tarrant County since 2018 and was Chair of its 2021-22 annual campaign. He serves on the boards of the American Council of Engineering Companies of Texas; the University of Texas at Arlington College of Engineering and Department of Civil Engineering; Downtown Fort Worth Inc.; and North Texas LEAD. He also is a longtime member of the American Water Works Association, for which he has served on national technical committees.