New leadership pledges continued commitment to “people-first” culture and extending the company’s “small-firm” feel.
(Portland, Ore.) PBS Engineering and Environmental Inc., a professional services firm with eight offices across the Pacific Northwest, recently announced the retirement of the firm’s president, Guy M. Neal, PE. Also retiring is Bart Phillips, CFO, who has been with the firm since 1988. The transition sets into motion the firm’s succession plan, originally articulated in 2018.
Guy Neal came to PBS in 1993, when the company consisted of approximately 40 staff in Portland, Eugene, and Seattle. Over the 27 years that followed, Neal was at the helm of major decisions that contributed to the growth of the firm from a small, Portland-based environmental consultancy to a 300-person multiservice regional engineering and environmental firm.
The role of President will be filled by Brian Stanford, who joined the firm as an industrial hygiene technician after responding to a newspaper ad for the position in 1992.
“If I were to attribute our growth over the last three decades to a single characteristic, I’d say it’s been our commitment to ‘golden rule’—toward both our clients and each other,” said Neal. “People come first. That’s something Brian Stanford has embodied over the last three decades, and I know he’ll carry into the future.”
As part of the Seattle office’s initial staff, Stanford helped grow the firm’s Puget Sound operations from a few technicians to more than 50 engineering, environmental, and administrative staff today. For 28 years, Brian’s thoughtful leadership style helped elevate him to Regional Operations Manager, then to Chief Operations Officer and member of the Board of Directors in 2011.
“PBS will continue to be a place where people enjoy coming to work—a place to collaborate, innovate, and grow. A place that is committed to our clients and the communities in which we live and work,” Stanford stated.
The role of Chief Operating Officer will be filled by Mark Leece, PE. Leece started with PBS as a principal environmental engineer in 2013, bringing with him a history in project management of large-scale environmental work in the industrial sector. Since joining PBS, Mark has been a leader in the significant growth of PBS’ Engineering department, which has expanded from 25 employees in 2014 to more than 90 in 2020. Since being elected to the Board of Directors in 2016, Mark has embraced PBS’ consensus leadership model, championing a people-first culture that values safety, appreciation, and understanding.
“My goal is to improve diversity, both in our client base and among employees. To do that, we have to continue to embrace technology and cultivate a workplace that leverages the strengths of individual contributors,” stated Leece.
The role of Chief Financial Officer will be filled by Jennifer Porter, who began with the firm 30 years ago. Over the course of three decades, Porter’s financial acumen carried her through increasingly complex positions as a senior contract administrator, controller, treasurer, and, ultimately, a member of the PBS Board of Directors. By streamlining financial administration within PBS, the company was prepared to weather the economic storms of the 2008 and positioned PBS for rapid expansion over the last decade.
“I, very proudly, will be the first woman in a C-suite position at PBS. In my time at the firm, I have seen us work through difficult economic times, as well as times of rapid expansion. But throughout it all, we’ve retained our small company culture. I look forward to stepping into a role where I can continue to strengthen our financial position so that our unique culture can thrive into the future,” said Porter.
The C-Suite transitions also make way for promotions within the firm’s technical and administrative divisions, including the elevation of Gregory P. Jellison, PE, of the firm’s Vancouver, Washington, location, to the role of Engineering Department Manager. Jason Mattox, PE, of the firm’s Tri-Cities, Washington, operations, will be taking the position of Survey Department Manager. Taking the role of Controller will be Matthew Jones, and the company’s administrative support coordinator role will be held by Linda Kay Norris, both located in the company’s Portland office.
“As you can imagine, one sees a lot of changes over 27 years: expansions, acquisitions, and changes in leadership,” Neal said in his retirement statement. “Despite these changes, one thing has remained consistent, and it’s a source of continuous pride for me: PBS has always strived to put people first. It has been the foundation of every corporate decision, has given us sustaining power during challenging economic times, and will be what ushers us into the next era of success.”
The transition of roles will occur over the course of January 2021.
ABOUT PBS ENGINEERING AND ENVIRONMENTAL INC.
PBS, named a “Top 500 Engineering Firm” by Engineering News Record, mobilizes from Northwest locations throughout Oregon and Washington. Since 1982, PBS’ flexible, multidiscipline teams have provided engineered solutions that balance compliance, sustainability, and practical design. PBS’ core service areas include civil, geotechnical, structural, transportation, and traffic engineering; as well as environmental, industrial hygiene, planning, surveying, and natural resource consulting for public and private clients.