John P. Fowler, Dewberry’s chief executive officer, will soon assume a new role within the Dewberry organization as an executive advisor and in-house consultant. He will continue to serve on the Dewberry Board of Directors and as president of our PSA-Dewberry operation.

I am also pleased to announce that Ronald L. Ewing, a civil engineer with experience throughout the US, will be named our new chief executive officer. Ron has served as the chief operating officer of Dewberry since 2002, working closely with John and senior managers throughout Dewberry. The official transition of duties will take place at the Board of Directors meeting on May 12, 2005.

This is a long-planned transition for the organization, and we are fortunate to have two highly qualified and committed professionals at the helm of Dewberry. Both John Fowler and Ron Ewing are widely respected in our industry, and have helped Dewberry grow and diversify over the years.

John joined Dewberry in 1983. He came on board with many high-profile projects to his credit, including the design of portions of Interstate 395 and the Capital Beltway in Northern Virginia, and the expressway system in Richmond. Our “Transportation & Structures” operation was very small at the time–just 17 people. Quickly, John helped secure the firm’s first contract with the Virginia Department of Transportation, and major projects such as I-66, Route 28, and the Washington Metro followed. The division soon became one of the strongest and most respected in the region.

A few years later, in 1989, John also assisted in engineering anther milestone project for Dewberry: our acquisition of New Jersey-based Goodkind & O’Dea. This long-established company is today the robust Northeast operating unit of Dewberry, with eight offices and more than 400 employees.

Transportation engineering has grown to represent approximately 40% of our business, thanks to John’s exceptional leadership. But his work has continued in other important areas. In 2001, John was named chief executive officer, and last year, under his direction, the firm also acquired Illinois-based PSA, an award-winning architectural and engineering company. John led the way on this important opportunity and today serves as president of the newly formed building design company, PSA-Dewberry.

Under John’s leadership, Dewberry is today a larger, stronger, and more diverse firm than it would otherwise have been–at 1,650 employees, we are nearly four times larger than when he first joined us. I continue to be impressed with his vision, his creativity in identifying new opportunities for growth, and his steadfast commitment to the professional development of our employees.

As many of you know, Ron Ewing is also a widely respected engineer and an active leader within the profession. As chief operating officer, he has been instrumental in guiding our seven operating units and in overseeing several key contracts for the firm. He has played a critical role in developing strategies for federal programs and supporting the development of state-of-the-art tools in mapping, GIS, and engineering technologies. He has also engineered some of our vital strategic alliances on major national initiatives.

Ron has played a vital role in many professional organizations, including the American Council of Engineering Companies, the National Society of Professional Engineers, and the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying. He also serves on the board of the George Mason University Civil Engineering Institute. He is exceptional in his leadership and commitment–not only to Dewberry, but to the profession at large.

This year, Dewberry advanced another five places on the Engineering News-Record list of the “Top 500 Design Firms,” coming in at #45. I’m proud of our consistent growth over the years–we’ve moved steadily from #67 ten years ago, and this year, for the first time, the firm exceeded $200 million in revenue. With the extraordinary example John Fowler has set for us, and the tremendous promise of Ron Ewing’s leadership as CEO in the years ahead, I look forward to an exciting future.

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