Leadership Transitions at HAWA Incorporated

By Doug Coffey, PE, Chairman

Effective January 1, 2019, Jeff Ortman became the new president of HAWA as I stepped down from the role. Jeff is the fifth president of the company; he is preceded by Art Williams (no surprise there), Dick Payne, Bob Roberts and me – Doug Coffey. Because we are engineers, we value stability, and having just four previous presidents across our 65 years in business is what I’d consider pretty stable. This is a transition that we have been planning for several years and are just now announcing publicly. Because we are process-driven engineers, we have developed extensive spreadsheets detailing the transfer of responsibilities. The timing of the change will allow me to work with Jeff as I approach retirement, as well as infusing a fresh leadership perspective.

My assumption is that the majority of those that receive this newsletter know Jeff Ortman. If not, the following is a brief summary of his career with HAWA: Jeff joined the firm in 1988 as a student mechanical engineering intern working part time until his graduation from Ohio State University in 1990. During his three decades with the company, he has worked his way up from student intern to lead engineer, senior mechanical engineer, project manager and principal-in-charge. Over the past decade, he has been involved with healthcare projects that total more than $750 million in construction costs and has also been involved with corporate, education and infrastructure upgrade projects. He is a longtime vice president in the company and for the past year served as our executive vice president, during which he intensified his understanding of the business of an engineering firm. He also leads our Business Development Leadership Group with a focus on maintaining client relationships. As president, he intends to work hard to maintain our client relationships, maintain project involvement primarily as the principal-in-charge and manage the business interests of the company. Based on his experiences, it was an obvious choice for Jeff to become our fifth president. I have no doubts he will do a great job leading the company.

The other leadership change includes Ned Heminger stepping into the position of executive vice president while also maintaining his role as chief engineer. As executive vice president, he will support Jeff in managing the company business. As chief engineer, he will continue to focus on our operational processes, managing our department managers, assisting with project and company staffing, providing internal quality control reviews and working with our lead engineers on system concepts. He will also continue to work on projects where his expertise can best be applied.

Our overall company officers include Jeff, Ned, Brad Shade and myself (as pictured from left to right in the photo). I look forward to continuing to work full time for the company as chairman, which is an intentionally vague title – it means I will do what I can to help the company succeed, supporting both the management side of the business as well as engineering operations.

Despite this transitional period, there is one thing that won’t change at HAWA: the level of exceptional service that our clients and partners have come to expect from us. If you have any questions about the leadership changes or want to discuss what HAWA can do for your project, reach out to me today.

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