CEC is pleased to announce that Harry Dravecky, P.E., has moved into our Chief Operating Officer (COO) role. Harry officially began his new position on July 3 following unanimous approval during a recent Board of Directors meeting. Harry takes over the position from Dan Szwed, P.E., who retired after 23 years with CEC.
CEO Dustin Kuhlman noted that “Harry’s great work and extensive consulting experience have positioned him perfectly for the Chief Operation Officer role. We congratulate Dan on his retirement, celebrate his legacy, and look forward to Harry taking the reins.”
Dan Szwed initiated the transition process and has been working toward Harry’s full assumption of COO duties and responsibilities. “Harry and I have worked closely over the past six months, transitioning the operating relationships and activities of the Chief Operating Officer. Harry’s consulting experience, knowledge of CEC operating activities, and communication skills will help to continue the success of our firm,” says Dan.
Harry joined CEC in 2018 with more than 38 years of experience in civil and environmental engineering, 20 of which were spent in numerous operational management positions, including leading a 500-person environmental engineering and consulting business unit with 20 offices nationwide. He previously served as the lead for our Corporate Manufacturing Market Group before becoming a Vice President of Operations for several of CEC’s office locations. A member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and the American Iron and Steel Institute, Harry has a wealth of expertise in engineering design, plans and specifications, environmental site assessments, site remediation and redevelopment, regulatory permitting and negotiations, and construction management.
Harry says both Dan Szwed and CEC Founder Ken Miller have been extremely helpful since he joined CEC. “Both Ken and Dan have been mentors since day one,” says Harry. “They made me feel part of the family. I have learned from them both about our culture, the way we do business, and what’s important.”
“We want to make sure we are looking out for our employees’ best interests in both their personal and professional lives. For clients, it is establishing lifelong relationships, getting to know them on a personal level, and providing high-quality service to them at all times.”
Culture is a broad, sometimes ineffable term as it differs from company to company. Harry thinks of two main pillars when thinking about CEC’s culture: employees and clients. “We want to make sure we are looking out for our employees’ best interests in both their personal and professional lives.” It’s similar for clients, Harry says. “For clients, it is establishing lifelong relationships, getting to know them on a personal level, and providing high-quality service to them at all times. It’s those two things that are the basis of our culture, and the company was founded on those principles,” says Harry.
But how do you start and maintain lifelong relationships with clients? According to Harry, you must be prepared for every opportunity. “From the beginning, you have to listen to what your client’s needs are. You must understand what they are asking for, why it’s important, and when they need it, then you respond to that. If you meet those needs, you’ve established a relationship. As you continue meeting their needs, understanding their business, and getting to know them personally, trust is established. When you’ve established trust, you’ve built the foundation for a lifelong personal business relationship.”
Harry now looks forward to working more closely with other corporate functions as a team to achieve consistency throughout our entire footprint. “I am both thankful and fortunate to have the opportunity to build on the strong foundation Dan built during his tenure as our COO. Working with my colleagues, we will continue to affirm CEC’s company values, support our team members’ personal and professional development, advance our commitment to quality, and maintain our responsibility of providing client-first service.”
To read our blog post on other leadership transitions that occurred earlier this year, click here.