Steve Knowles, PE | Chief Executive Officer
With more than 30 years of experience in the energy industry, Steve is a proven leader and expert in project delivery. He joined EN Engineering in 2016 after serving as Chief Executive Officer of Wood Group Mustang, Inc. During his tenure there, he was responsible for significantly increasing the company’s geographic footprint, employee base, and revenues.
“EN Engineering has a rich history of delivering great services to customers while creating compelling opportunities for employees. I’m excited to lead this company into its next chapter.”
Steve held a variety of leadership roles at Wood Group Mustang including business unit leader and chief operating officer, and has also worked as a project engineer and project manager for Saudi Aramco in Saudi Arabia and Malaysia. He began his career as an offshore construction engineer with Chevron USA.
With a long family history in the Boy Scouts of America, Steve, his father, his brothers, and his son all earned the prestigious Eagle Scout award. Steve will soon earn his private pilot’s license, and in his free time he enjoys watching football and playing golf. He earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Texas A&M University and attended Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Program.
Barry Nicholls | President
“The EN value proposition is so strong, our potential so great, and our people are so talented that it is exciting to be in the middle of it all.”
He earned an M.B.A. from the University of Pittsburgh and a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. In his first job at age 19, he designed boxes to ship nuclear valves to Brazil. A self-proclaimed “utility geek”, Barry enjoys learning about historical electric equipment, such as meters and generators.
Mitch Hulet | Chief Risk Officer
Mitch works with the senior management team and regional office leaders in the areas of risk management, employee safety, and quality. His goals are to create processes and systems that manage risks for the company and emphasize a safety culture for our employees, while meeting the safety and compliance requirements of our clients.
“We strive to provide excellence from start to finish, every day on every project. We are focused on the safety and training of our employees. We partner with our customers to deliver consistent, quality engineering solutions at competitive prices that exceed our customers’ expectations. Through this partnership, EN Engineering creates opportunities for the company that benefit both employees and our customers. These are my goals for our success.”
Mitch was one of the original employees of the company, serving as the head of the Transmission business unit from 2002 through 2011, when he became Chief Operating Officer. He held the COO post until moving into his current role as CRO in 2019. He earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Bradley University and a MBA from The University of Chicago. In his free time, Mitch enjoys fishing, hiking, camping, and boating.
David Klimas, PE, PMP | Chief Operating Officer
Dave leads the design team, with responsibility for quality, execution, and resources. With more than 25 years of industry experience, he has specialized in designing systems for the transmission, distribution and storage of natural gas. His number one goal is to provide exceptional service and work alongside clients as an extension of their team.
“Our mission statement talks about building long-term, mutually beneficial relationships. And, those relationships are not only with our valued clients, but with our employees.”
Prior to joining EN Engineering, Dave worked for Enron, Kinder Morgan, CalNev Pipeline and Nicor Gas in various engineering and manager roles. He earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology, and an MBA from The University of Chicago. An avid Bears fan, on Sundays during football season Dave proudly takes tailgating to new heights by engineering new recipes and sampling premium beers.
Michael Simpson | Chief Human Resources Officer
Attracting, developing, and retaining employees who create value for customers’ are Michael’s top priorities. His focus is to ensure the company attracts the best talent in the industry and has the infrastructure in place where employees have the resources to build their careers and advance their knowledge and abilities.
“Our product is our people, so the quality of our employees is our competitive advantage. It’s truly a great privilege to be in a role where our HR team can help to realize the growth potential of this great company.”
Michael’s work experience began at age 16 in an iconic pet store in Chicago where he worked with exotic animals like monkeys and tigers. From this experience, Michael learned that it is a true blessing to be engaged in your work. In addition to leading the HR function at a professional services firm, he ran an HR consulting firm and served as an adjunct professor at Loyola and DePaul Universities. Michael received a doctorate in adult learning from Northern Illinois University in 2013, a master’s degree in human resource development from Northeastern Illinois University, and a bachelor’s degree in industrial psychology from the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Anil Arora | Chief Financial Officer
Anil works with the senior management team and oversees the company’s financial functions. His staff is responsible for financial and operational analysis, accounting, cash and capital structure management.
“The company’s collaborative work culture, highly skilled employees, and reputation for excellence in engineering services make EN Engineering an exciting place to work.”
Prior to joining the company, Anil spent over 15 years at IBM Corporation in a variety of finance and leadership roles, and managed teams of employees across North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia. Anil earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology and an MBA from Emory University. He enjoys yoga, traveling the world, and learning about cultures and cuisines along the way.
Benjamin Newman | Chief of Strategy & Corporate Development
Ben leads EN Engineering’s corporate development activities, which includes overseeing mergers and acquisitions and driving organic growth initiatives. He enjoys building close relationships with business owners and management teams and learning from their experience and perspectives. Ben hopes to contribute to EN Engineering’s growth by extending the company into areas it’s not currently serving today, while retaining the legacy culture of delivering unparalleled customer value.
“The company is very well positioned for growth. Our employees have a high level of energy and a strong orientation towards quality and customer service. Not only is our staff uniquely knowledgeable, but they are also intellectually flexible and curious to find new ways to solve our customers’ demanding challenges.”
Ben was previously a vice president in private equity at Blue Point Capital Partners, and a senior associate in investment banking at Duff & Phelps Securities. He received an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management and a bachelor’s degree in Finance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. An avid fan of the outdoors and an active lifestyle, Ben runs, bikes, and swims in his free time.
Tom Ziegenfuss | Vice Chairman
Tom is responsible for driving the strategic direction of the company and has played a major role in growing the organization from 60 to 1,000+ employees. When he started with the company in 2004, he initiated a satellite office model to strategically position the company in major U.S. markets. His primary focus includes creating a challenging and rewarding work environment for employees.
“Creating opportunities for employees to develop their skills and enhance their careers really motivates me. I’m humbled by the truly talented individuals we employ, and building a culture to keep them motivated is what drives me.”
After college, Tom enjoyed playing in a variety of sports leagues, from flag football to broom ball, until age 30 when he went back to grad school. He attributes his intact body, free of knee and hip replacements, to that lucky decision. He has been an avid fan of the Chicago Blackhawks since age 9 and catches as many home games as possible. Tom earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering with a minor in business from the University of Illinois, and an MBA from DePaul University.
Jesse Rodriguez, PE | Vice President, Business Unit Leader, Oil & Gas
Jesse is responsible for the overall execution of all natural gas transmission related projects, including client management, relationship management, and business development. Each day he focuses on customers—managing existing relationships, developing new relationships, and ensuring his talented team is providing quality work output.
“We truly want to be an extension of our customers’ engineering department. Many come to us because of resource constraints, and our goal is to partner with them, provide the same level of quality work, and build long-term relationships.”
Jesse grew up on the north side of Chicago and is a lifelong fan of the Chicago Cubs. From a young age, he was interested in math and science and knew he wanted to be an engineer. He attended the University of Illinois in Chicago and earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering in 1999. Jesse volunteers as the community development commissioner in his hometown of Bensenville, Illinois, and provides guidance on ordinance variances and codes.
Adam Biggam | Vice President, Business Unit Leader, Utilities
When Adam joined EN Engineering in February 2005, the firm had less than 100 employees in one location. Now, it employs more than a thousand people nationwide. Adam launched the company’s first remote office in Baltimore, Maryland, and currently oversees all natural gas and electric utilities work, including design, consulting, and field service projects. His group is comprised of over 500 team members specialized in servicing utility customers across 25+ offices. He believes the company culture sets EN Engineering apart.
“We are a tight knit group and feel comfortable collaborating and having fun together. Our employees make us who we are, and our leadership takes steps to create a culture of recognition and gratitude for hard work.”
At home and at work, Adam emphasizes the importance of giving 100 percent to every challenge he faces. He lightheartedly summarizes his approach to life with his favorite motto, “Go Biggam or go home!” He earned a bachelor’s degree in general engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign and is a member of the American Gas Association and Midwest Energy Association.
Mark Chadd | Vice President, Automation
Mark never imagined he’d have the opportunity to lead a business unit at a large engineering firm, but he believes his professional experiences have prepared him for the position. Throughout his career, he has enjoyed tackling engineering challenges.
“I get a great sense of accomplishment from developing a project from its early stages all the way thru commissioning. It’s like doing a jigsaw puzzle. You start with a box of individual pieces, find the right ones, and put them all together for a complete picture.”
Similarly, Mark has put together a winning Automation team. He gets great satisfaction from hiring individuals with skills that enhance his group’s technical abilities, and he is constantly inspired by his team’s passion. Mark earned a bachelor’s degree in petroleum engineering from the University of Kansas in 1984 and a master’s degree in engineering management in 1992. He is an outdoorsman who enjoys boating, fishing, and scuba diving.
Mike Paolell | Vice President, Information Technology
“Basically we’ve grown from a small firm to a large company, but despite the huge growth, the culture remains caring, friendly, and down-to-earth.”
Mike enjoys staying ahead of changing technologies. His number one goal is to ensure the firm’s design teams are backed by the latest hardware, software, and collaboration systems that help them perform engineering tasks as efficiently and accurately as possible. Mike also enjoys “making stuff,” whether it’s a gourmet dinner, a do-it-yourself home brewing system, or a world class computer network, if it involves making something from nothing, count him in.
Jenny Hudson, PE | Vice President, Oil and Gas Consulting Services
Jenny oversees the Oil and Gas Consulting Services group, focusing on pipeline integrity management, regulatory compliance, assessments, risk, corrosion control, metallurgical consulting, GIS analytics, and process safety management. She enjoys the wide variety of projects and people she works with every day, as well as the constantly changing and challenging regulatory environment.
“We are fortunate to employ individuals who are industry leaders and possess exceptional technical expertise. Our employees are active within the industry and have contributed to the company’s outstanding reputation.”
Jenny, who comes from a family of engineers, earned a bachelor’s degree in geological engineering from The Missouri University of Science and Technology. She is also NACE-certified and active in many industry organizations. She enjoys traveling internationally with her husband and experiencing the unique cuisines in the countries she visits. Jenny also employs her engineering expertise at home through her hydroponic garden in the basement and charting out plans for the next season’s outdoor garden.
David Gibson, PE, PLS | Vice President, Product Line Leader, Refining & Chemicals
As head of the Refining & Chemicals product line, Dave’s primary goal is to ensure his team is client-focused and providing customers customized solutions while providing quality service. His team occupies space in six offices across the country, and he is hoping to further expand their footprint.
“Our tremendous growth offers countless opportunities for employees to step up and take on additional responsibilities. I get really excited about the development of our young professionals—it is really satisfying.”
Dave’s devotion to development and team building continues in his free time. For more than 30 years, he has coached youth baseball and basketball, and one of his favorite things is watching teams come together and achieve success. He earned a bachelor’s degree in agricultural engineering from the University of Kentucky and is licensed as both a professional engineer and a professional land surveyor.
Shantley Guidry | Vice President, San Ramon
Shantley heads up the northern California office and focuses on growing the company’s presence on the West Coast by providing a superior product and value to clients. His responsibilities include business development, project management, and customer service.
“This is a very exciting time at EN Engineering. The company is growing smartly, and our growth is creating a lot of opportunities. We have a great future ahead of us, and I believe the best is yet to come.”
In addition to his responsibilities on the West Coast, Shantley is the lead internal ISO auditor and he and his team are constantly reviewing systems for compliance and looking at ways to improve processes and work products. He is also always looking for new recipes and restaurants to try. A self-proclaimed “foodie,” Shantley loves cooking up favorite Creole dishes from his Louisiana upbringing. He earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering in 1980 from Southern University in Baton Rouge.
Keith Johnson | Senior Vice President, Utilities, Eastern Region
Keith has been with EN Engineering since its inception in 2002. In 2006, he accepted the challenge to relocate to Maryland to open the company’s first regional office and embraced the opportunity with enthusiasm. Through the years, Keith has witnessed EN Engineering’s steady growth and expanded his responsibilities to include the oversight of natural gas distribution projects in the Boston, Philadelphia, and Baltimore offices, with more on the horizon!
“Hard work is recognized, valued, and rewarded at EN Engineering. The company employs a diverse group of professionals, including a great balance of young folks and industry veterans who are willing to share the knowledge they gained throughout their career.”
Keith’s exposure to engineering and design began at age 13 when he worked at his father’s janitorial and facility maintenance firm. One of the clients was an engineering firm, and he would chat with the chief engineer and designers, who encouraged him to pursue an engineering career. He went on to earn a degree in architectural technology and construction estimating.
Keith is an active member of the American Association of Blacks in Energy (AABE), a group that is dedicated to ensuring the input of minorities in the discussion of energy policies and regulations.