Barr Engineering Co. appoints CEO

Ward Swanson. Courtesy Barr Engineering Co.

Barr Engineering Co. named Ward Swanson its next president and CEO.

Swanson succeeds John Lee, who was president and CEO for the past eight years. Lee will remain with the company as its senior vice president.

“Barr is known for delivering exceptional client service, fostering a highly engaged internal culture and bringing employees’ passion for excellence to all aspects of our work,” said Board Chair Tina Pint. “We are confident Ward will do an exceptional job in sustaining the Barr our clients know and trust, even as we continue to evolve and innovate to meet the future needs of the industries we serve.”

Swanson has spent 23 years with the firm. He previously served as the vice president and senior environmental scientist. He worked in Michigan on projects to preserve and restore the environment.

Swanson facilitated Barr’s acquisition of Horizon Environmental, an environmental engineering consulting firm in Grand Rapids, in 2015.

Swanson is an expert on per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and led Barr’s assessment and remediation business, working with every other business and industry sector associated with Barr.

He also served as a technical leader in environmental chemistry and led business development, internal initiatives, and staffing and recruiting.

“I am excited about the opportunity to lead the Barr team as we continue to help our clients solve some of the most complex challenges they face,” Swanson said. “Thanks to our outstanding employee owners, as well as John Lee, the board of directors and management team, Barr is in a very strong position as we prepare to make this leadership transition.”

Barr Engineering Co. is an employee-owned engineering and environmental consulting firm based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with offices in Grand Rapids and Ann Arbor.

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