About the Chairman's Award

Michael Baker International’s Chairman’s Award, our Company’s highest honor, was established in 2018 to recognize employees who exemplify our Wolf Pack philosophy — that we are stronger together — and who have made exemplary contributions to our Company.

Each of the eight finalists is a stellar member of our Wolf Pack and an example of what we mean when we talk about Michael Baker’s standard of excellence. Congratulations to this year's winners!

Michael Baker Jr

Meet Our Winners

John Alberghini, P.E.

National Federal Lead – Navy
Virginia Beach, VA

John brings an impressive 30-year career, including 20 years serving in the Navy, to his position at Michael Baker, where he exemplifies our Wolf Pack Philosophy daily. He is known for his integrity and following through on his commitments, enabling him to develop stronger relationships and grow our share of the Navy market to move our Company forward. John’s broad commitment and excitement about his work are apparent, and his reach across the organization is highly impactful. Colleagues across the Company consistently praise John’s work and seek him out to work with him as a subject matter expert.

John's enduring relationships and strategic thinking have secured a trusted relationship with several Department of Defense general contractors in pursuit of large multiple-award construction contract (MACC) programs and significant stand-alone opportunities.

It is a great advantage for our Company and part of our legacy to employ veterans, like John, who know the meaning of service and the value that we bring to our military clients.

"In doing Federal work, you need to have the best team in place to win, and John knows how to bring the right people together, build the project and strategize for its success."

Nominated by David Boone, P.E., Chief Growth Officer

Steve Huff, P.E.

Regional Practice Lead – Transportation
Santa Ana, CA

Steve is held in the highest regard because of his integrity and the high standards he applies every day to his work with clients, his projects and his teams. He also is well-respected in the industry for his ability to deliver measured and direct client counsel with a constructive, solutions-oriented approach.

Steve is leading the I-10 Design-Build project — a game changer for the West Region — and led its successful pursuit with the San Bernardino County Transportation Agency in collaboration with the California Department of Transportation. This $673 million construction project win required Steve’s intense focus and dedication for more than two years. He is a recognized leader in the highway transportation industry, among his peers and the employees he has helped guide for more than three decades.

Steve has been a key mentor to countless transportation staff and has helped shape numerous successful careers during his 36 years with the Company. Colleagues want to work with Steve because everything he touches is successful and reflects our Culture of Excellence.

"Steve is a major differentiator for Michael Baker in the transportation business, based on the reputation he has established for himself and our firm industrywide."

Nominated by Mike Conaboy, P.E., Regional Director – West

Joseph J. Romano, P.E.

Regional Practice Lead – Bridge
Hamilton, NJ

Joe is one of the largest contributors to bridge work at Michael Baker. He has a record of superior project execution and is constantly problem-solving on behalf of our clients. Often described as a “Technical Powerhouse,” he is an extremely talented Technical Manager who delights his clients with his innovative ideas and approach to solving project challenges.

Joe’s biggest contribution in 2019 was winning the Route 4 over Hackensack River project, a $12–15 million bridge replacement project where Michael Baker is introducing an innovative technique called Slide-In Bridge Construction (SIBC) for the first time in New Jersey. This innovative technique shortens the construction timeline by building a new bridge on temporary supports, usually parallel to an existing bridge, and sliding the new bridge into place when construction is completed.

Joe has contributed to nearly 40 Michael Baker projects throughout his tenure, including the I-280 Bridge Ramp Improvements, I-280/Route 21 Interchange Improvements and the Tappan Zee Bridge Replacement. He has led an impressive string of award-winning bridge projects, and it is evident that he has contributed to a legacy of excellence for the Region and the Company.

"Our clients continue to give us new work as a result of Joe's leadership – they know he can be trusted to identify a solution to their most complex structural issues."

Nominated by Mike Brescia, P.E., Regional Director – Northeast

Meet Our Finalists

Mohamed Bagha, P.E., PMP, CFM

Department Manager – Water
Houston, TX

Mohamed is the epitome of a collaborator who consistently helps others pursue and execute projects. He looks beyond his own goals and official job duties to help secure new work, not just for the Houston office, but also for offices throughout the Region, including San Antonio, Austin, Baton Rouge and Dallas.

He serves as a mentor for his team, offers technical guidance across the Water practice and actively supports the Gulf Coast Region. His innovative and cost-effective drainage solutions contributed to a winning proposal for the I-2/I-69 Interchange Design-Build project, and his leadership helped the Company receive its first task order under a new contract with the San Antonio River Authority, following a two-year effort pursuing the opportunity — a true testament to Mohamed’s tenacity.

Mohamed possesses a broad understanding of the Water marketplace, which helps him focus on key pursuits and teaming opportunities. His positive impact on Michael Baker, as well as our clients, has been clearly evident for several years in Phoenix and Houston. He always works to provide the best solutions for our clients.

"Mohamed has been an integral team member on several strategic wins and project pursuits in the Gulf Coast Region, and always provides the best solutions for our clients."

Nominated by Cory Wilder, P.E., Office Executive – Houston

Larry Bankert, P.E., PTOE

Director – Toll Roads
Harrisburg, PA

Larry’s tireless drive and determination, combined with his unparalleled broad understanding of the issues that impact our business, make him an invaluable member of the Michael Baker Wolf Pack and a critical partner to the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC). Larry is unfaltering in his commitment to his work and to providing the best that Michael Baker has to offer to the PTC and other prospective clients.

When Larry arrived at the PTC, our work was limited to the Engineering Department and program audits, and within one year, colleagues at the PTC realized the additional value our Company could bring through Larry. Michael Baker now serves all 14 departments as a result of his innovative ideas and engagement. He has grown his PTC team from three to 13 and the agreement length from three to seven years.

Larry also is committed to giving back to the community. Along with three colleagues, he started a non-profit foundation, Success with Honor, that has provided scholarships to college students that embody the foundation’s name.

"Larry is unfaltering in his commitment to his work and to providing the best that Michael Baker has to offer to our current and prospective clients."

Nominated by Steve Barber, P.E., Office Executive – Harrisburg

David Liebgold, P.E., P.P.

Department Manager – Traffic / ITS
Newark, NJ

David performs exemplary work and has established himself as an industry expert. He recently stepped into a unique role overseeing a small team of employees specializing in Traffic and Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) design. Through his work ethic, dedication and collaborative nature, David embodies our Wolf Pack Philosophy and has grown his team from four to more than 30 people spanning New Jersey and New York.

Through his commitment to his work, clients place a great deal of trust in him and turn to him for project counsel and advice. David’s expertise, knowledge and client engagement skills allowed him and his team to become the consultant of choice for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ). 

His commitment to developing our people ensures that we have the right talent in place for future projects and challenges and helps the Company secure its legacy of excellence for long-term success.

"David is an extremely passionate professional committed to achieving success for our clients. He knows our people and is highly effective at what he does. He excels daily in his role."

Nominated by Magdy Hagag, P.E., Office Executive – Hamilton

Steven Stuart, P.E., PTOE

Project Manager – Traffic
Pittsburgh, PA

Steve has been a member of our Wolf Pack for more than 13 years, and has always been a strong contributor, whether on the operational or the technical side of a project. He goes above and beyond to help the Company grow and has been instrumental to Michael Baker winning new Design-Build pursuits for the Transportation practice, including the I-405 near Seattle and I-94 in Minnesota.

His expertise and effort, especially over the last several months, when he stepped up to travel across the country and do whatever was necessary to help the Company win new work in Seattle, is going to bring millions of dollars in new revenue to our Company and help grow our business in the Northwestern U.S.

Steve has a keen ability to engage with our clients and to promote a relationship that is based on confidence and trust. He picks up on new ideas quickly, learns as much as he can about them and stays at the forefront to keep our Company ahead of our competitors.

"Steve has a strong reputation as someone who is very knowledgeable, conscientious about his work, dedicated and a leader in his field."

Nominated by John Tricini, P.E., PLS, Practice Executive – Transportation

Julie Thurman, P.E.

Department Manager – Highway
Indianapolis, IN

Julie’s integrity is undisputed, and she works to ensure that Michael Baker is delivering the best projects for our clients. As part of a Design-Build management and delivery team, she has played an integral role in delivering large, high-profile interstate reconstruction projects to multiple state Departments of Transportation that have garnered industry recognition from ENR for Best Global Project and from ACEC for the Texas Engineering Excellence Award.

Julie has nearly 30 years of experience in civil and highway projects and has worked on numerous interstate, interchange and intersection projects both in rural and urban settings in Indiana and around the country ranging in size from $300,000 to $1 billion in construction costs. She recently stepped up to manage two very large Design-Build projects outside of her office, the 30X project in Arkansas and the I-2 project in Texas, a testament to her sense of teamwork and collaboration.

She is actively laying the foundation for the next 80 years of Making a Difference with her dedication to mentoring the next generation of roadway engineers.

"Julie is a talented designer who is willing to embrace innovation and new technology, which will ultimately move the company into the future."

Nominated by Mary Jo Hamman, P.E., Office Executive – Indianapolis