Lansing, Mich. — The American Council of Engineering Companies of Michigan (ACEC/M) recently presented the 2019 member “Firm of the Year” awards at the Engineering & Surveying Excellence Awards Gala held on March 2, 2019 in Detroit. Both a large firm (more than 30 employees) and a small firm were recognized during the event.
This is the highest ACEC/M honor bestowed and the only award program instituted to recognize ACEC/M member firms for their leadership in professional practice and community service. Recognition is based on actions taken by a member firm to progressively develop its management practices and for assuming leadership roles in community outreach activities and ACEC/M programs that strengthen the profession for all members.
In the large firm category, ACEC/M member firm Fleis & VandenBrink Engineering, Inc., headquartered in Grand Rapids, took the honor. The 2019 ACEC/M small firm of the year award went to RS Engineering, LLC, located in Lansing.
ACEC/M Large Firm of the Year
Two Grand Rapids civil engineers and friends, Larry Fleis, PE and Steve VandenBrink, PE, started Fleis & VandenBrink in 1993. Today the firm has 200 employees, nine offices, and is still growing. The employee-owned, multidisciplined civil engineering and architecture firm has become a one-stop shop for infrastructure planning, design, and construction.
Fleis & VandenBrink Engineering, Inc. (F&V) stands out as a company that helps to advance the consulting design profession, is actively involved in the success and growth of ACEC/M, and continually gives back to the community.
F&V employees are heavily involved in the community through Adopt-A-Highway, Habitat for Humanity, United Way, Toys for Tots, and 100,000 Thank Yous, among others. Time and resources have been donated to the Cedar Marina Project, the Manton Library and to Safe Water International Ministries.
F&V promotes the engineering profession by partnering with universities and high schools, including serving as a liaison, attending career fairs, arranging presentations, and sponsoring many scholarship programs.
The firm also engages in a variety of activities to positively impact the engineering profession and ACEC/M. The President of F&V, Paul Galdes, PE, currently serves on the ACEC/M Board of Directors and is Chair of the Michigan Infrastructure Conference Committee. F&V’s Chairman of the Board, Larry Fleis, PE, has served as the Chair of the QBS Coalition since 2011. Other F&V staff are also involved with ACEC/M committees, for a combined total of 41 years of involvement.
ACEC/M Small Firm of the Year
Owners Robert D. Rayl, PE and Thomas D. Sereseroz, PE launched RS Engineering, LLC (RSE) in 2003. Both have been very engaged in ACEC/M for the past 15 years, serving in various leadership roles. Mr. Rayl currently serves on the ACEC/M board as its National Director and is active in the Political Action Committee at the State and National Levels. Both Mr. Rayl and Mr. Sereseroz serve on the ACEC/M Transportation Committee and participate on industry partnership committees with the Michigan Department of Transportation.
RSE has been purposeful in their efforts to advance the consulting design profession through the review of technical papers, consulting with university programs and capstone courses, mentoring engineers in training, attending conferences and workshops, and working alongside various organizations. As a part of RSE’s culture to actively participate in and give back to the community, the staff of RSE contributes their time, energy, professional expertise, and funds to multiple organizations across Michigan.
The RSE team currently includes over 20 professionals, including 15 licensed engineers. Its company mission is to empower their professionals in their performance of quality engineering related services and to foster long-term partnerships with clients to achieve their infrastructure objectives.