SAN ANTONIO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Leading engineering consulting and program management firm Raba Kistner, Inc. announced high-profile leadership transitions, including that Chris Schultz, PE, PMP, assumed the role of president from Gary W. Raba, D.Eng, PE, on January 1, 2021.
Schultz will be only the firm’s third leader since the company’s inception in 1968. The transition serves as the result of years of intentional strategic planning and aims to position the organization for continued growth in Texas and beyond. This significant transition marks the first time in the organization’s 52 years of operation that the top leadership will not be a family member of the original CEO and co-founder, Dr. Carl Raba.
“I am honored to have been selected to serve as president for the organization where I began and built my career, and I am optimistic as I look toward the future,” Schultz said. “Our commitment to prioritizing exceptional service and creating customized solutions for clients with passion and integrity will continue to be the driving force behind our business operations, while providing a great working experience for our employees. I believe it takes a successful team to lead a company to greatness, and I am thankful for the support of Gary, our leadership team and each member of the Raba Kistner staff as we embark on this new journey together.”
Schultz has over 30 years of experience, exclusively with Raba Kistner. In his most recent role as Chief Operating Officer of the Consultants division, Schultz was responsible for scope development, contracting, financial management, and implementation of Raba Kistner’s geotechnical engineering projects across many industries for the entire company. He also served as the firm’s first Marketplace Leader with responsibility for growing the business in the Houston region. After earning a bachelor’s degree from the University of Colorado, Schultz received a master’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Texas at San Antonio. He has served on numerous boards and committees for charitable, technical and professional organizations, including serving in a state board position for Texas Society of Professional Engineers and as president of the Texas Council of Engineering Laboratories. He is currently active in numerous organizations, including but not limited to the ACE Mentor Program, the UTSA College of Engineering and the American Council of Engineering Companies – Texas.
“Our company has been fortunate to experience continued growth over the last several years, particularly this year, which despite challenges from the pandemic has been one of our best,” said former president, Gary Raba. “I’m very proud of where this company is, and I’m even prouder of where I see it going, which is why I believe it is time for a change. Organizational growth and transformation have played a determining role in this decision. I believe that each life cycle of business requires new qualities in a leader, and as we turn to a new chapter, I feel confident that Chris embodies all of the qualities needed to carry the Raba Kistner team to a new level of success, broadening our reach and scope of work throughout Texas and across the country.”
Raba is a recognized leader among infrastructure engineering consultants in the United States. After earning three degrees in civil engineering from Texas A&M University, he embarked on a 39-year career that has involved significant projects for many governmental agencies and departments of transportation around the country. He developed quality assurance software that made Raba Kistner the in-demand partner on some of the largest, record-setting projects across the country. Raba will remain a part of the Raba Kistner leadership team in his new role as Strategic Growth Officer, and will continue to represent Raba Kistner on a national level as Vice Chair with the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC).
Additionally, Gabriel Ornelas Jr. PE, PMP, has been announced as the new COO of the Consultants division, effective immediately. Ornelas served as the first Raba Kistner Marketplace Leader in Austin, expanding the role and title to what it is today, and most recently as the Dallas-Fort Worth Marketplace leader. Ornelas has worked for Raba Kistner for more than 20 years in various positions in San Antonio, starting his career as a laboratory technician with the company. Ornelas has also held positions as Project Manager and Forensics Engineering Manager with Raba Kistner.
Founded in 1968, Raba Kistner, Inc. is a premier engineering consulting and program management firm. Our purpose is to provide professional consulting services with passion and integrity, to help build a better world for our employees, their families, our clients and the communities we serve.
Raba Kistner has grown over our 50-year history, expanding from our corporate headquarters in San Antonio, Texas, to an Engineering News-Record “Top 200 Firm” of more than 500 employees operating across the United States and Mexico. Today we are a company of engineers, geologists, scientists and technologists providing project management and oversight services; environmental consulting; construction materials engineering, testing and observation; geotechnical engineering; building sciences consulting; and infrastructure oversight and quality management. Raba Kistner is an Intega Group company.