Chicago — Primera Engineers announced that Erin M. Inman, PE, is the firm’s new President & CEO. Inman, most recently Primera’s Senior Vice President and Utilities Division Manager, purchased the company from retiring co-founders Michael F. DeSantiago and Pedro Cevallos-Candau in March 2016.
Primera was founded in 1987 as a minority-owned business with a deep commitment to diversity. Firm leadership has continuously promoted and supported diversity both in the workplace and local communities every day since. Inman’s ownership keeps that commitment intact, making Primera one of the largest Women-Owned Business Enterprise (WBE) engineering firms in the region.
In her new role, Inman oversees all areas of firm operations and continues to oversee the daily operations of the Utilities Division. She has nearly 25 years of experience in electrical engineering, project management, business development, strategic planning, talent acquisition, team building, and change management. After joining Primera in 2003, she successfully combined her expertise in engineering, business development and business management to develop and grow her division from inception to more than 120 engineers and designers providing industry-leading service to utilities locally and in the Northeast.
“It is an incredible honor for me to lead and serve this great company,” Inman said. “I joined Primera because I believed it was a quality-focused firm that empowers people to learn, grow, and provide best-in-class expertise and service to our clients. This is the very same inspiration that continues to drive me today.”
While Primera has enjoyed vast success in the past 29 years, the firm is well-positioned to do more. Inman’s vision is to grow Primera into a national firm in the next five years by focusing on quality, unrivaled client satisfaction and promoting an employee culture that puts Primera at the top of the list of best places to work.
“We see the sale of Primera as a win-win-win scenario,” explains Michael DeSantiago. “We get to move on and enjoy our retirements, Erin becomes President & CEO of a remarkable company, and our clients and employees continue to work with and for the same firm they know and love,” DeSantiago continues. “Michael and I are excited to see the firm grow under Erin’s leadership. We’re happy to know that Primera’s story stays the same, the strategy put in place continues, and the legacy we’ve built remains,” adds Cevallos-Candau.
DeSantiago and Cevallos-Candau have slowly moved into supporting roles in the past several years to transition the leadership of the firm and their respective divisions to Erin, Buildings Division Manager Ken Panucci and Transportation Division Manager Ted Lachus. This strategy allows Primera’s three core business units to continue to operate as they have. Ken and Ted will continue to oversee the daily operations of the Buildings and Transportation divisions respectively.