New Structure Lets Leadership Focus on Business, Clients and Projects
September 1, 2020–San Francisco, CA–On its 60th anniversary, San Francisco-based structural engineering firm Forell | Elsesser announced today its transition to the firm’s fourth generation of leaders. The incoming team includes CEO Chris Petteys and COO Rene Vignos, as well as four directors: Director of Business Strategy Allen Nudel, Director of Technical Excellence Steve Marusich, Director of Engineering Operations Geoff Bomba and Director of People Development Carolynn Smith.
In keeping with its legacy of thoughtfully orchestrated successions, Petteys and Vignos, who have been members of the firm’s Executive Committee, succeed Simin Naaseh and Paul Rodler, who served as the firm’s CEO and COO respectively for 13 years. “We began this transition process four years ago, and I have huge confidence in our incoming leadership team,” said Rodler. Naaseh and Rodler, who will remain actively involved as Senior Principals and serve clients in project leadership roles, will also provide support to the incoming leadership team and the firm’s strategic initiatives. Naaseh is especially committed to mentoring young leaders and developing more female leadership in the firm.
According to CEO Chris Petteys, “The new structure balances responsibilities across the leadership group. We all really enjoy the project work we do—structural engineering is our shared passion. We don’t anticipate any big changes to our roles leading projects and working with clients.”
“We are fortunate to have a team of demonstrated leaders, who are committed to continuing Forell | Elsesser’s legacy and long-standing reputation for innovation and technical excellence. Their fresh perspectives and complimentary skills and interests will be an asset to the firm’s strategic growth and tradition of recruiting and retaining the best talent”, said Naaseh.
“Staff development is an ongoing priority at Forell | Elsesser where curiosity is a core value”, said Carolynn Smith, Director of People Development, who describes the process as “the Forell | Elsesser lifecycle.”
In addition to the executive leadership transition, Russell Berkowitz has been elevated to the Principal role in recognition of his technical leadership and advisory role with clients over his 21 year tenure with the firm.
About Forell | Elsesser
Founded in 1960 by Nicholas Forell and Eric Elsesser, Forell | Elsesser is a San Francisco-based structural engineering innovator. The firm’s legacy in seismic retrofits of nationally recognized historic structures is complemented by its creative engineering of new complex buildings and other unusual structures across industries and building types. Their work is highlighted in landmarks like LinkedIn’s Middlefield Campus, the retrofit and base isolation of San Francisco and Oakland City Halls, UC Berkeley’s California Memorial Stadium and the retrofit and base isolation of Salt Lake City Mormon Temple. Learn more at www.forell.com
Forell | Elsesser is proud to announce the AIA California Council 2020 award for the Lick-Wilmerding High School Historic Renovation & Expansion project.
View press release here: aiacalifornia.org/15-design-awards-from-prominent-architecture-association/
With EHDD Architecture as the lead, Forell | Elsesser was pleased to provide new structural designs for existing, new, and renovated structures. The project includes a three-story classroom building, a new one-story administration building, and renovation of existing spaces. The project is committed to net-zero energy use, with the target of either Living Building Challenge Petal Certification or LEED Platinum Certification.
The Forell | Elsesser team included Mason Walters, Geoff Bomba, and Lori Jue.
Forell | Elsesser Engineers has a diverse and creative engineering team with broad ranging talent spanning all aspects of structural engineering for the built environment. Our focus on designing resilient and sustainable buildings offers challenging and unique opportunities with our design team!
Please check out our open positions below and send your cover letter and resume to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Forell | Elsesser was fortunate to work on this exciting and challenging project. The East Palo Alto Youth Arts & Music Center is a 24,000 square foot facility. Read more about this project in the link below.
Forell | Elsesser got their feet sandy volunteering for the 36th Annual Largest Sandcastle Competition in Northern California – The Sandcastle Classic! This event takes place every year in the fall on Ocean Beach in San Francisco. Money raised benefits LEAP Arts in Education, a program established in 1979 due to severe budget cuts to art programs in California schools. The program places professional artists in classrooms to teach elementary schools about music, dance, theatre, creative writing, visual arts, and architecture. For the Sandcastle Classic event – teams are mostly made up of architects, engineers, designers and contactors who come together to raise money and promote creativity with kids around the Bay Area by building giant impressive sand sculptures!
This year Forell | Elsesser teamed with Bay City Mechanical, HKIT Architects, Vanir Construction Management, Inc., Tipping Structural Engineers and our partnered school – Lawton Alternative School. The Sunset Shellebrators, our team name, created an amazing sand castle themed Atlantis and raised a total of $6,850! F/E Team Captain and Engineer, Andrew Salber volunteered at the event and thinks, “it’s great to see so many people show up to support the local community and have fun in the process. Being involved in events like this reflect well on our company and remind us how rewarding it can be to come together as a team and build things!”
Forell | Elsesser is committed to helping our community in any way we can by volunteering our time, becoming sponsors and raising money to programs for those in need. We have been involved in the LEAP Sandcastle Classic Event for ten years and are honored to support such a great mission and talented leadership.
On October 4, 2018 Mason Walters, a Principal at Forell Elsesser Engineers, was inducted into the University of California, Berkeley Academy of Distinguished Alumni’s: Class of 2018. UC, Berkeley has one of the top national rankings for civil and environmental engineering programs. The UC, Berkeley Civil and Environmental Engineering Department (CEE) has thousands of successful alumni around the globe that they believe are noteworthy and have contributed greatly to the development both in the US and around the world. We believe this about Mason and so do others! Congratulations on the amazing honor!
DAVID FRIEDMAN (LEFT), MASON WALTERS (RIGHT)
Check out this exciting, state-of-the-art facility. The design is a multi-functional space providing a little something for everyone.
A new 49,000 sf Academic III building brings together the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences on the CSU Monerey Bay campus.
Cal Poly-SEAOC Structural Forum 2017
Steve Marusich and Qudsia Wahab had the opportunity to network with many Cal Poly San Luis Obispo students soon to be transitioning from an educational environment to a career in structural engineering. This year’s Structural Forum was suitably themed, “Framing the Future.” The Structural Forum attracts approximately 40 structural engineering firms and hundreds of students. This annual event is hosted by the student chapter of Structural Engineers Association of California (SEAOC), in conjunction with the Cal Poly Architectural Engineering Department.
Forell | Elsesser is proud to announce the promotion of three key personnel! Steve Marusich to Principal, Lindsey Maclise to Senior Associate, and Susan La Fore to Associate.
Steve Marusich joined Forell | Elsesser in 2002. Steve has participated in a variety of organizations including Structural Engineers Association of California (SEAOC), Structural Engineers Association of Northern California (SEAONC), Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI), and Lean Construction Institute. Additionally, Steve is a Professional Affiliate of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). Steve is currently working on multiple projects for Facebook, the SFSU Recreation & Wellness Center, and UCSF Clinical Sciences Building projects.
Lindsey Maclise joined Forell | Elsesser in 2006. In 2012, she became an EERI Housner Fellow and in 2013 a Structural Engineers Association of Northern California (SEAONC) Zacher Award Recipient. She is also a member of the UC Berkeley CEE Advisory Board. Lindsey has worked on a range of projects including higher education, athletic, and laboratory projects.
Susan LaFore joined Forell | Elsesser in 2007. She is active on the Structural Engineers Association of Northern California (SEAONC) Structural Engineering Engagement and Equity (SE3) and the SEAONC Continuing Education Committees. Susan’s primary focus for the past few years has been in serving as Project Manager for several of Forell | Elsesser’s Facebook projects.
Lindsey Maclise, SE, LEED AP BD+C, Senior Associate
Steve Marusich, SE, Principal
Susan LaFore, SE, LEED AP BD+C, Associate