Fleis & VandenBrink announces new president, leadership changes

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John DeVol Courtesy Fleis & VandenBrink

Fleis & VandenBrink Engineering announced Principal and PE John R. DeVol is the new president of the firm among leadership changes announced by its parent company F&V Companies Inc.

The announcement was made last week by the board of directors to staff via a Zoom meeting.

DeVol succeeds Paul R. Galdes, PE, as the firm’s president. DeVol also is the new senior vice president of F&V Companies Inc. (FVCI). DeVol previously served as vice president of both companies. Galdes will remain with the company as a principal and vice president of FVCI and F&V.

“It’s exciting to see the leadership transition team continuing as planned,” Galdes said. “This is a very big step for us, but John is the right person at the right time to lead this company toward the future with continued growth and success. I’ve watched him grow from a young engineer, who worked his way up to a project manager and Traverse City group manager. He’s been extremely successful. He has the temperament and the people skills to be a leader.”

Co-founder Larry J. Fleis, PE, will continue to serve as chairman of the board and president of FVCI, and Craig L. Shumaker, PE, will continue to serve as senior vice president of F&V.

“I’m humbled and very excited to lead F&V and very thankful to Paul and Larry for the leadership they have shown over the years,” said DeVol, who joined F&V in 2004. “The previous management teams have grown F&V Companies from two people into a significant organization of more than 225. I know I have big shoes to fill, but I am up for the challenge. I’m also looking forward to leading our amazing team of professionals, seeing our current staff and company grow to meet the ever-changing business climate that is going on right now.”

F&V initiated its leadership and ownership transition plan in 2006 with the creation of the principal/associate program. DeVol was named an associate in 2010, senior associate in 2017 and a principal in 2019.

“This transition has been well thought out and executed by our leadership team,” added Fleis, who co-founded the company in 1993. “And it’s already been happening for a few years with John joining Craig, Paul and myself on the executive team.”

Galdes said he has been working closely with DeVol in just about everything that is happening at the company.

“My goal is to give back as much as I can and help John and the management team in a strong and successful transition,” Galdes said. “I’ll still be providing counsel and advice where I can.”

F&V will celebrate its 28th anniversary in January. It has grown from a two-person civil engineering firm to over 225 employees with nine offices in Michigan and Indiana.

Earlier this year, F&V was recognized again as one of the “Best and Brightest Companies to Work For” in West Michigan, metro Detroit, as well as in the U.S. It also was recognized in 2020 as the 26th fastest growing firm in the U.S. and Canada.

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