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Burns & McDonnell Announces Key Leadership Promotions as Power Industry Sees Rapidly Changing Generation Mix

Jan 07, 2021

KANSAS CITY, Missouri — Amid a rapidly changing electric generation mix, Burns & McDonnell is announcing key leadership promotions to help the firm deliver on clients’ biggest challenges. The Transmission & Distribution (T&D) Group of Burns & McDonnell has promoted seven individuals to expand services, depth and capabilities, as Senior Vice President Jim Hogan retires after 37 years with the firm.


“Jim Hogan spent four decades with Burns & McDonnell and T&D, and throughout that time period the power industry has seen huge shifts in the generation mix toward reducing carbon intensity with renewables, battery storage and flexible, fast-start, low hour units,” says John Olander, chief operating officer and president of the T&D Group, Burns & McDonnell. “Beyond that, the industry is undergoing a digital transformation as technology is allowing for better tools and more mobile applications.”

Hogan spent his entire career in the T&D Group, performing design engineering and work on transmission lines, substations and telecommunication projects. He has managed projects, people, departments and programs, and was T&D’s first engineering director. He was promoted to senior vice president in 2014 and will retire in January 2021.

“Given Jim’s impact through his large and diverse set of responsibilities and T&D’s continuing growth, we are making investments to continue to expand how we can help our clients navigate a successful path in a constantly changing market,” Olander says.

As the firm designs, engineers and builds projects around the world, key promotions in the T&D Group include:


Andy Jarvis
Vice President of T&D Operations

In his new role, Andy Jarvis will have oversight of operations of the T&D Group, including projects, technical knowledge and managing employee-owners. The group has substantial investments in a continued focus on quality and training, and Jarvis will maintain direct management of these areas and will work to share and advance best practices across all locations. 

With the firm since 1994, Jarvis has a wide variety of management, engineering design and construction experience in high-voltage substations, overhead and underground transmission lines, and utility telecom projects. His responsibilities have included leading all aspects of T&D project operations including delivery methods, teaming structures, risk management, financial and technical performance, marketing, negotiations, staffing, and development of processes and procedures supporting project execution.


Ken Gerling
Vice President of Program Management

Ken Gerling will lead the group’s efforts with large infrastructure programs, overseeing the teams providing comprehensive services including project management, project controls, and construction management services.

In his 30-year career, Gerling has management and design experience in a variety of engineering areas including high-voltage underground electric transmission lines and high-voltage overhead electric transmission lines. He has managed project teams from 10 to 350 members and managed projects with capital costs up to $1.9 billion.


Gabriel Hernandez
Vice President of Business Line Operations

Gabriel Hernandez will lead T&D’s business lines, supporting substations, transmission lines, networks, pipelines, distribution modernization, cybersecurity and risk. Hernandez has been integral in developing the international expansion of the firm, focusing his efforts in Latin America and the Caribbean. In his new role he will continue to develop and position the group’s businesses globally.

After joining the firm in 1996, Hernandez worked as a substation engineer, project manager and most recently as vice president/director of substations, increasing business year over year, shaping the substation business line as T&D’s largest.


Chris Norquist
Vice President of People & Technology Operations

Chris Norquist will oversee the group’s people, processes and tools. His role will be focused on driving T&D to be on the leading edge of the power industry in both experience and execution. Throughout Norquist’s career, he has helped foster a culture of excellence and successfully delivered electrical transmission projects for clients nationwide.

Previously, Norquist was overseeing more than 600 design professionals providing substation, transmission and communication solutions for electrical utilities across the U.S. He joined the firm in 2002 and has performed a wide range of roles, including lead engineer, project manager, department manager and most recently vice president of engineering.


Shawn Briggs
Managing Director of EPC Projects

Shawn Briggs will oversee the T&D engineer-procure-construct (EPC) business, including execution of projects and pursuits. His responsibilities include participation in all aspects of EPC projects including delivery methods, teaming structures, risk management, financial and technical performance, marketing, negotiations, staffing, and development of processes and procedures.

He has more than 28 years of experience in the development, permitting, engineering, procurement and construction of power generation, electrical transmission, industrial, facility and environmental projects worldwide. Briggs plays a vital role in helping clients in new and growing international markets, including the U.K., Chile and Mexico.


Jake Merriman
Managing Director of Transmission

Jake Merriman will lead the firm’s transmission business, including execution of projects and pursuits. His responsibilities include establishing client development and growth strategy and overseeing risk management, financial performance and execution of transmission services through multiple delivery methods. He will lead the identification and development of key services and resources needed for clients to successfully execute projects and to deliver transmission business operational excellence.

Merriman has 22 years of experience in the consulting, utility and infrastructure industry. He joined Burns & McDonnell in 2011 after working in the transmission engineering business for a major utility. His roles have included structural engineer, transmission engineer, supervisor, project manager, program manager, department manager, account manager and director.


Keegan Odle
Managing Director of Substations

Keegan Odle will lead the entire substation business for the T&D Group, which is the largest substation design group in the country. Odle was previously managing the day-to-day operations of nearly 400 professionals working on substation projects in the firm’s world headquarters in Kansas City.

Odle joined the T&D Group at Burns & McDonnell as an electrical engineer in 2004. Throughout his career, Odle managed substation and power delivery projects across the U.S., amassing a portfolio ranging in voltages from 12.47-kV to 500-kV. He has published numerous industry articles, authored multiple white papers, and presented at industry conferences across the country.

About Burns & McDonnell

Burns & McDonnell is a family of companies bringing together an unmatched team of 7,600 engineers, construction professionals, architects, planners, technologists and scientists to design and build our critical infrastructure. With an integrated construction and design mindset, we offer full-service capabilities with more than 55 offices, globally. Founded in 1898, Burns & McDonnell is a 100% employee-owned company and proud to be on Fortune’s 2020 list of 100 Best Companies to Work For. Learn how we are on call through it all.