Mead & Hunt opens 3rd Florida office in Tampa

Posted in: Air Service, Architecture & Interiors, Aviation, Construction, Environmental, Municipal

Tampa airportPeople ask, “What’s the rush on Florida?” And all I can say is that it just makes sense to add aviation services to our water-wastewater, infrastructure and highway and bridge services in the state. We’ve been looking at Florida’s needs for some time and when the opportunity presented itself, we jumped.

As the Group Leader for Mead & Hunt’s Aviation Services, I knew we needed to be in Florida. After all, Florida is the birthplace of commercial aviation and the air transport hub of the Western Hemisphere. Florida is also home to 100+ public use airports. It is a major hub for flight training and MRO, and home to leading manufacturers of all types of aircraft and aircraft components. Florida ranks #2 among states for aviation and aerospace establishments. Florida places great value on their airports by finding ways to provide funding for airport development projects. In fact, the State of Florida provides more funding for aviation infrastructure than many of the Midwest states combined. So, a local office was a no-brainer. Finding the right staff in the right place was the dilemma.

We’ve been looking for the right opportunity in the Southeast to provide the full breadth of Mead & Hunt’s architecture, engineering and planning services locally. It was a combination of years of preparation and luck that meant in just a few months we successfully added our Port Orange team of water-wastewater engineers and the Tallahassee transportation office… and now Tampa with multiple service lines.

The aviation opportunity came in due to two new hires. New to Mead & Hunt are Todd Knuckey and Dave Schmidgall. Todd and Dave are Tampa-locals with substantial aviation engineering experience throughout Florida and the Southeast. Together they will develop the firm’s Florida aviation practice. With the other new hires underway, I’m anticipating the growth of all our Florida offices may be rapid.

Key to Mead & Hunt’s success in Florida’s aviation market

Florida Enterprise aviation marketWith all the healthy aviation growth in Florida, I’m sure we aren’t the only AE firm looking south. But I think we have an edge.

Mead & Hunt provides aviation services to more than 400 airports across the country including airports of all sizes from small general aviation facilities to more than a dozen medium and large hub airports. We have substantial experience in a wide range of aviation consulting services beyond airside and landside civil. Mead & Hunt architectural team works at public, private and military aviation facilities. We have a large team in planning, environmental, sustainability and waste management. And, I must brag, our air service team is the best in the nation (okay, so I’m biased).

There are more than 20 airports within an hour of our new Tampa office that could benefit from the variety of quality services we provide. Mead & Hunt will bring our fresh, new perspective to airports in the Tampa area and throughout Florida. We have the national experience, and now staff who have been working in the Florida market for several decades.

Great aviation industry leaders established early

As I mentioned it was with the onboarding of Todd Knuckey and Dave Schmidgall, that took us from “seriously thinking about it” to “yup we’re opening an office in Tampa.” I can’t say enough good things about this team. They are excited about the challenge. They are talented, skilled and very experienced. And, when we said, “Can you build a great team to serve growing airports?”, they didn’t hesitate.

Todd KnuckeyTodd Knuckey, Florida Aviation Market Leader, will focus on developing our Florida aviation practice. With more than 30 years of experience, Todd will manage the delivery of Mead & Hunt’s complete suite of aviation services – architecture, engineering, environmental and master planning. Prior to joining Mead & Hunt, Todd led the national aviation practice for another consulting firm. He was the principal-in-charge and project manager for airport design projects at Chicago O’Hare, Dallas-Fort Worth, New Orleans International, Nashville International, Memphis International and Knoxville McGhee Tyson.

Dave SchmidgallSoutherner-at-heart and 15 years in the aviation industry, Dave Schmidgall, PE, MBA, is a project and client manager. He will be working on Mead & Hunt aviation projects while helping Todd expand Mead & Hunt’s Florida presence. Dave has managed dozens of airport and airline projects, and to name-drop just a few, at Orlando International and Executive, Tampa International, St. Pete-Clearwater International, Atlanta-Hartsfield Jackson International, Gainesville Regional and Vero Beach Municipal. Dave works closely with airlines such as Southwest, Delta and UPS Air on both landside and airside multidiscipline projects.

These two entrepreneurs are poised to expand Mead & Hunt’s presence in Florida. We do unique design work for great people, and always strive to leave a positive lasting impression. Todd and Dave’s passion for project excellence, innovative solutions and building friendships exemplifies Mead & Hunt’s culture. We foster a work environment that gives employees space to connect, learn, do great work, and have fun doing it.

Florida Airport Council Conference

Florida Airport Council conferenceTodd and Dave will be attending the Florida Airport Council Conference on July 15-18 in Tampa. Stop by and meet them in Booth 65 just outside the exhibit hall doors.

Ask them about the full range of services that Mead & Hunt can bring to the table. While there are niche firms that cover some of our services, few have the wide variety architecture and engineering services that we can provide combined with very strong planning and environmental work.

Ron Engel, PE

About the Author

Ron Engel, P.E., leads our Aviation Group and works with staff across the nation to position us for growth. He takes pride in the fact that ENR ranks Mead & Hunt as Top 25 in Airport design firm. According to Ron, “Successful growth means taking good care of existing clients while looking for new opportunities.” Ron enjoys spending time with and mentoring younger staff. “I want them to enjoy the profession and become strong leaders in the industry.”

Read more posts by Ron Engel, PE

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