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Learn More About NOVA Engineering’s Senior Leadership

At NOVA Engineering, we believe our people make us great. When teams are built on a bedrock of safety, integrity, respect, and responsibility, superior outcomes follow. Our environmental consultants and geotechnical engineers depend on our senior leadership for more than just guidance—every NOVA employee deserves fulfillment, and our senior leaders strive to deliver it each and every day.

Learn more about the minds behind our comprehensive environmental, geotechnical, and engineering services below. When you’re ready to discuss your needs, contact NOVA Engineering today.

EXECUTIVE LEADERSHIP:

Bob Hughes
GC. PSSC | President
Bob Hughes
GC. PSSC | President

Mr. Hughes’ experience has bridged both the Construction and Environmental industries, having provided technical consulting (environmental, construction materials testing, geotechnical engineering, code inspections & plan review, and Threshold/Special Inspection services) on many large and technically challenging projects. Mr. Hughes has over 34 years’ experience in the application and management of contaminated soil & groundwater remediation, municipal and industrial wastewater treatment, process heat and mass transfer optimization, and potable and process water treatment.

Mr. Hughes also previously served as a Regional Construction Qualifier & Manager for hazardous waste remediation, underground and aboveground storage tank system installations and removals as well as general construction services. Bob enjoys activities with his wife and daughters, especially taking time to ski, windsurf and mountain bike (not all of his family enjoys the uphill portion of mountain biking.)

Steve Willenborg
PE | VP of Operations
Steve Willenborg
PE | VP of Operations

Mr. Willenborg’s technical experience over his 34-year career has been in geotechnical engineering, construction materials testing and inspection, and building code services, primarily in the southeast US. He has worked extensively in both the public and private sector, having executed and managed work on a wide range of projects including high-rise buildings, roads and bridges, large warehouse and distribution centers, and power generation facilities including nuclear power plants.

Mr. Willenborg has extensive knowledge of engineering and environmental issues that can impact due diligence, design, and construction as they relate to property development, site work, and buildings and infrastructure. Also, Mr. Willenborg has successfully led efforts to grow a building code services group in Georgia during the past few years that now claims significant market share supporting several municipalities. During the past 11 years at NOVA, Mr. Willenborg has helped lead a talented team of staff in Georgia and throughout the company which has grown organically over five-fold.

Steve has resided in metro Atlanta for his entire career since graduating from Georgia Tech. He enjoys spending his spare time with his wife and two daughters, who have led him into the worlds of club soccer and volleyball, lacrosse, and equestrian activities. And yes he now owns a horse.

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Michele Brown-Rall
VP of Business Development & Strategy
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Michele Brown-Rall
VP of Business Development & Strategy

Michele Brown-Rall, AICP, LEED AP, CQM serves as the Vice President of Strategy and Business Development. Michele is responsible for leading the company’s growth agenda, which includes developing, directing, supporting, and executing the business development strategy of all service lines and market sectors. She collaborates across regions and business units to achieve individual, team and company revenue goals and positions the company for long-term sustainable growth through mergers and acquisitions.

Having been in AEC Management roles for over 30 years, Michele brings a vast resume that reflects experience in business development, environmental planning, program management, project development, facility management, site planning and architectural design. Her broad experience spans public and private organizations from local boutique firms to global AEC firms. After hours, you’ll find Michele watching HGTV. She blames her background in the AEC industry for this obsession.

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Kelli Toth
VP of Finance
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Kelli Toth
VP of Finance

As Vice President of Finance, Ms. Toth is responsible for development and execution of NOVA’s long-term growth strategy, financial business planning to include operating plans, budgets, forecasting and reporting, and accounting services. Passionate During her career, Ms. Toth has worked in various public and private sector organizations in finance leadership positions across manufacturing, supply chain management, engineering, services and building sectors.

Ms. Toth’s extensive finance leadership experience includes business improvement and change management, ERP and SaaS software implementations, developing and implementing financial services strategies, and mergers and acquisitions. In Kelli’s spare time you will find her watching her son and daughter play sports, watching sports on TV (Go Vikings!) or shopping.

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Shelly Waters
VP of Human Resources
A Close Up Of A Person
Shelly Waters
VP of Human Resources

As the Vice President of Human Resources, Shelly is responsible for leading and directing all human capital functions, including developing and leading strategic initiatives and programs to attract, retain, and engage a thriving workforce. She has over 20 years of experience in human resources and accounting leadership roles in domestic and international organizations and is a certified senior human resource professional. Throughout her career, Shelly has been known as a dedicated employee advocate and a trusted leader. In her spare time, Shelly enjoys following her sons’ sports teams, walking her dogs, and cheering for her hometown football team. Go Steelers!

Jonathan Caylor
VP of Safety
Jonathan Caylor
VP of Safety

Jonathan Caylor joined Nova Engineering & Environmental, Inc. as the Vice President of Safety in January 2020. This new role was created to increase an already robust safety culture and place improved focus on individual employee safety nationwide. Prior to joining the Nova team, Mr. Caylor was employed by the Ely Corporation, located in Cartersville, Georgia from August 2014 to January 2020 as Ely’s Director of Safety and Environmental Compliance. During this time, Mr. Caylor was instrumental in developing and growing the safety department to include a staff of 5 full-time safety professionals located across the southeast, serving in both the commercial construction and mining industries.

During Mr. Caylor’s tenure at The Ely Corporation, several objectives were met or exceeded, including the reduction of the company’s EMR from 1.26 to a record .69 for 2019 and zero lost time injuries for over 3 consecutive years. As a 14-year decorated Coast Guard Veteran, Jonathan has served in the military branch that serves our country in providing rescue, crisis management and front-line response for natural disasters, border threats, and citizen crisis situations. Few other roles provide the exposure to the aftermath of major accidents and injuries. The Coast Guard provides ongoing support and monitoring of safety and leads the way for many gold standard initiatives incorporated into civilian practice.

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Kyle Hougham
VP of Risk Management
A Man Wearing A Suit And Tie Smiling At The Camera
Kyle Hougham
VP of Risk Management

As the Vice President of Risk Management, Kyle is responsible for overseeing and implementing strategies to identify, assess, and mitigate potential risks across our organization. He plays a key role in ensuring that we maintain a strong risk management framework that aligns with our business objectives and core values.

Kyle received his Juris Doctor degree from Campbell University’s – Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law, Raleigh, North Carolina, and his Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Finance from the University of Iowa’s – Henry B. Tippie College of Business, Iowa City, IA. With a proven track record of success in previous roles, he brings a fresh perspective that will undoubtedly contribute to the continued success and growth of our company.

In his spare time you can find Kyle chasing birdies and eagles on the golf course, churning the pavement as he works his way towards that elusive six minute mile, rounding out his Air Jordan shoe collection and traveling to new destinations – foreign and domestic.

REGIONAL MANAGERS:

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Adam Marr
PE | VP & Georgia Regional Manager
A Man Wearing A Suit And Tie Smiling And Looking At The Camera
Adam Marr
PE | VP & Georgia Regional Manager

Adam has over 20 years of experience in the industry. While working in the industry, Adam has gained experience in geotechnical and materials engineering consulting during construction of regional and international airports; retail, warehouses, and manufacturing facilities; water and wastewater treatment facilities; and solid waste landfills. He also has a background in civil engineering and design services pertaining to stormwater and erosion sediment control; pavement evaluations; and development of Quality Assurance/Quality Control plans for large projects.

Adam has demonstrated strong leadership and effective delegation while leading a team of 130+ engineers and technicians in 7 different geographic markets. He oversees daily operations, manages budgets, and sets performance objectives. Adam plans, evaluates, and optimizes operations to be efficient and cost-effective. He ensures products and services comply with regulatory and quality standards.

Adam is proficient in collaborating across departments and communicating effectively with staff members and has a history of building highly functional teams and leading them through operational changes.

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Jason Hill
Executive VP & South Florida Regional Manager
A Man Wearing A Suit And Tie
Jason Hill
Executive VP & South Florida Regional Manager

Jason Hill’s background in the construction industry has been extensive. Jason brings over 30 years of combined professional experience within the consulting engineering field. Starting as a concrete technician in the mid 1980’s, and subsequently expanding into various materials testing and code compliance roles, Jason obtained an extensive knowledge in the materials testing and geotechnical engineering fields.

In the early 1990’s, he took on the task of project manager where he oversaw as many as 30 projects at a time and his project management skills were honed. For the past 15 years, Jason has served positions as Branch Manager, District Manager, Regional Chief Executive, and now serves as NOVA’s Executive Vice President overseeing operations in Florida.

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Dany Romero
PE | VP & Central Florida Regional Manager
A Man Wearing A Suit And Tie Smiling At The Camera
Dany Romero
PE | VP & Central Florida Regional Manager

As the Regional Manager of NOVA’s services, Dany is in charge of the financial, technical, marketing, and administrative operations in Central Florida. He leads the implementation of NOVA’s expansion plans and works to strengthen its presence and reputation in the area. He has extensive industry experience in working with various clients, such as government agencies, private owners, and non-profit organizations, to deliver high-quality consulting and testing services.

Dany has developed expertise in several fields, such as deep foundation test programs, building code inspections, building enclosure consulting, forensic evaluations and project management. He is also one of NOVA’s Private Provider qualifiers in Florida and holds licenses as an asbestos inspector and project designer. In his spare time, Dany likes to travel with his wife and two daughters and keep his Tampa office energized with Cuban coffee shots every afternoon.

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Steve Bryant
PE | VP & Carolina’s Regional Manager
A Man Wearing A Suit And Tie
Steve Bryant
PE | VP & Carolina’s Regional Manager

Steve has over 31 years of experience in geotechnical engineering, drilling services, and construction materials testing. Steve’s professional experience includes shallow and deep foundations, retaining walls, pavements, and site development recommendations as well as construction materials testing of concrete, soil, and asphalt.

SERVICE LINE LEADERS:

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Marc Johnston
PE | CMT/SI Service Line Leader
A Man Wearing A Suit And Tie
Marc Johnston
PE | CMT/SI Service Line Leader

Since 1992, Marc has been providing geotechnical and construction materials testing services in the Georgia market. His key strengths are in the evaluation of foundation systems for buildings and bridges and in the evaluation of subgrade for pavements and slabs-on-grade. Marc’s field experience encompasses conventional soil, concrete, and asphalt testing techniques, as well as extensive evaluation and monitoring of various foundation systems including drilled piers, auger-cast piles, driven piles, rammed aggregate piers, micro-piles and conventional shallow foundations.

Marc has provided and managed construction materials testing and Special Inspection services for an extensive variety of projects ranging in magnitude from $1 million to over $300 million in total construction costs.

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Jim Keeney
CCC, GC –| VP & Facilities & Building Enclosure Service Line Leader
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Jim Keeney
CCC, GC –| VP & Facilities & Building Enclosure Service Line Leader

Jim has more than 39 years of Facilities Consulting and Testing experience and is NOVA’s Vice President and Facilities Service Line Leader. His expertise is in Facilities investigation, surveys, testing, remediation design and construction project administration. Facilities is a term NOVA uses to reference a property’s major building systems and components, which in general includes building Enclosure, roofing, waterproofing, structural, accessibility, mechanical/electrical/plumbing (MEP), pavement and site flatwork and amenities. He has performed these services for school boards, government divisions, healthcare, financial industry, industrial, multi-family, telecommunications, property owners, property managers, developers and contractors.

Jim is also a licensed roofing contractor, wind/hurricane mitigation consultant and general contractor. Jim has more than 25 years of Property Condition Assessment (PCA) experience, having developed internal procedures for the execution of these services. Additionally, he has conducted many non-destructive and destructive forensic investigative procedures. These investigations have included utilizing specialized equipment such as; infrared, building pressurization fans and software, moisture intrusion racks, chambers and spray nozzles, borescopes, wind up-lift domes, ground penetrating radar and other related equipment.

Over the past 20 years, approximately 5% of Jim’s time has been dedicated to performing expert witness and related services. Jim has worked closely with RCI and has spearheaded the development of internal roof/building Enclosure inspector training and certification programs. Jim also headed up the national Roof and Building Enclosure Consulting & Testing program for Anheuser-Busch and has managed many portfolio property projects.

Danny Brahana
PE | Geotechnical Service Line Leader
Danny Brahana
PE | Geotechnical Service Line Leader

In his 38+ years as a staff, senior and principal engineer, Danny has performed geotechnical and construction inspection duties for over 500 new construction and existing projects in the southeastern United States. He has also worked on projects in Asia, the Caribbean and in Africa. During the past 17 years, Danny has overseen the design and/or construction of more than 100 excavation bracing (shoring) and drilled shaft projects in the southeast.

Danny has managed numerous geotechnical explorations for commercial buildings (low to high-rise), stadiums, industrial facilities, dams, harbor structures and water/wastewater treatment facilities. He has also worked in a wide variety of geological settings and performed and reviewed numerous geotechnical calculations for different soil conditions. Many projects have required direction and coordination of employees and subcontractors assigned to various field, laboratory and analytical tasks. Danny has successfully managed specific geotechnical projects in the U.S. and abroad which generated fees in excess of $100,000.

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Chuck Pennington
SCWI, ASNT III | Non-Destructive Testing Service Line Leader
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Chuck Pennington
SCWI, ASNT III | Non-Destructive Testing Service Line Leader

Chuck has been in the industry since 2001 building experience in welding, fabrication and inspection/testing services in a wide range of industries, including, but not limited to Structural Steel Building and Bridge Construction, Reinforced Concrete and Masonry Buildings, Pulp and Paper Manufacturing, Electrical Producing, Food Grade Manufacturing, various types of Piping and Storage Systems, and Amusement Ride Maintenance/Inspection. Other training and experiences include inspection of bridge fabrication and erection, storage vessels, pressure vessels, piping, structural steel fabrication and erection, and large-scale amusement ride inspection/testing.

Chuck has vast experience in reinforced concrete, structural masonry, post-tension cable, and spray-applied fireproofing inspections and testing. He is well versed in evaluating as well as writing welding procedure specifications, procedure qualification records, NDT procedures, and welder performance qualifications. In addition, Chuck is a current member of multiple committees that are responsible for writing and approving the national structural welding codes by which all United States jurisdictions must abide by.

Chuck has performed and overseen many types of Soils and Concrete related testing and inspection activities from strip footings, to deep foundations, including reinforced concrete structures, post-tension structures, roadways, parking lots, and bridges. Chuck holds a wide range of certifications in a wide array of construction materials testing and inspection activities.

SECTOR LEADERS:

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Melissa Caruso
Florida Large Project Sector Leader
A Close Up Of A Woman
Melissa Caruso
Florida Large Project Sector Leader

Melissa has a proven track record in guiding sizable, cross-functioning teams in the development of best practices and business solutions to drive efficiency, growth, client engagement and revenue. Melissa’s love of challenge and competitive nature fuels her drive to succeed–both in and out of the workplace.

Melissa spends her free time giving back to her local community. One of her most rewarding experiences was with Women for Economic and Leadership Development (WELD), where she had the opportunity to work with women of Pittsburgh to develop and mentor young women to become strong leaders within their community. She is also a lover of the great outdoors and spends time hiking, biking and kayaking with her husband, Chris and their blended family of 6 kids and 1 lucky feline.

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John Hinton
Energy Sector Leader
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John Hinton
Energy Sector Leader

John Hinton to our team as our Energy Sector Leader! A seasoned Business Development Executive with over 20 years of proven experience selling professional services in the Energy (Power, Oil & Gas), Engineering and Construction sectors, John is a pillar in our industry. He is well-versed in articulating a firm’s unique value propositions to decision makers to drive significant revenue and margin growth, managing/mentoring teams and expanding account/client relationships.

John is a Registered Energy Consultant and holds a BS/MS in Engineering. During his down time, John is an avid sports fan who can be found cheering on the Pittsburgh Steelers and their dominant defense during the season.

Ready to Grow Your Career? Apply at NOVA Today.

If you have environmental consulting, geotechnical engineering, or materials testing experience, consider advancing your career with NOVA Engineering today. Learn more and apply online.

OUR JOBS

Ready to Grow Your Career? Apply at NOVA Today.

If you have environmental consulting, geotechnical engineering, or materials testing experience, consider advancing your career with NOVA Engineering today. Learn more and apply online.

OUR JOBS
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