Our Founding Month: Catching up with Michael Baker International’s Presidents Q&A with Brian G. May, Col, USAF (Ret), President, Federal Programs and Services

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6/3/2024 2:33:34 PM

Tags: Federal

May is Michael Baker International’s Founding Month. Over the past 84 years, our firm has established a strong tradition of Making a Difference, and we have evolved and grown to ensure we make an even greater impact for future generations. As part of our Founding Month celebrations, we caught up with each of the Presidents of our five distinct Verticals - Infrastructure, Design-Build Services, Federal Programs and Services, Consulting and Technology Solutions (CTS) and Sustainable and Resilient Solutions (SRS) – to discuss Michael Baker’s past, present and future.

As our Founding Month came to a close and we begin to look toward our 85th year, we spoke with Brian May, Col, USAF (Ret), President, Federal Programs and Services at Michael Baker International. In this role, Brian leads the firm’s efforts to accelerate growth in Federal markets by expanding its client roster and relationships with defense and civilian agencies.  He continues the firm’s focus on capturing more of the Federal market and delivering quality projects by bringing the best people and resources to the work for Federal clients, while also promoting collaboration and leveraging the firm’s expertise to win new work.


Michael Baker: What is a significant change that you’ve seen at Michael Baker during your career here?

Brian May: It’s been extremely rewarding to watch Michael Baker grow and evolve its Federal Programs and Services business over the past five years. We have built what I believe is our industry’s best Federal team. I’ve never been part of a more collaborative and unselfish group of professionals.

On the operational side, I’ve seen our team make amazing progress with respect to breaking down geographic silos to ensure we’re putting forward the best solutions for our clients. A series of process and organizational changes have enabled enhanced collaboration across the company and cultivated an enterprise mindset, which is particularly helpful as we work to grow our Federal business.


Michael Baker: What is an important trend happening in our industry where Michael Baker can have a major impact in the future?

Brian May: We’ve seen an increased focus on resilience and sustainability. For our Federal clients, Michael Baker is at the forefront of preparing installations and their communities to be more resilient in the face of evolving military and climate change-related threats.

Our military planners, engineers and technical experts work closely with clients to assess risks and vulnerabilities to installations, operations, systems and assets that may be caused by a wide range of threats such as cyber-attacks or natural disasters. Regardless of the threat, the net result is ensuring facility designs are focused on mission assurance. For example, we’ve seen a proliferation of microgrid projects, which provide a reliable alternative power source to mitigate the effects of a utility outage. Our team is committed to helping our clients meet emerging needs in area of sustainability and resilience.


Michael Baker: What advice do you have for our fellow Wolf Pack members as we continue to write new chapters in our company’s legacy of excellence?

Brian May: Work with our Wolf Pack to make Michael Baker the preferred provider of AE services through a relentless focus on quality. Do everything you can to get things right on the first pass and adhere to our quality control processes. Delivering excellence to our clients is the best way to grow our business.


Michael Baker: What are the biggest opportunities for Michael Baker this year?

Brian May: This year, we will be executing Federal contracts in new locations through several new contracts. Big wins in California (Los Angeles), Alaska and Greenland have put us in position to win work associated with a wide variety of large new mission bed-downs. Meanwhile, a new contract in Alabama (Huntsville) will help make us a leading provider of microgrid design. We will also continue to place emphasis on expanding Michael Baker’s footprint in the strategically important overseas locations in Europe and the Pacific, where the U.S. will continue to make large investments for years to come.


Michael Baker: ‘What’s Next’ for your vertical?

Brian May: We have a lot of momentum with the Department of Defense (DoD) markets, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Department of Energy (DOE). Over the next few years, we will work to leverage this success to gain access to work in support of new Federal clients.


Michael Baker: Tell us about a “Making a Difference Moment” that exemplifies how our Wolf Pack is Making a Difference for our company, our clients and/or our communities.

Brian May: I’ve seen firsthand how our team is “Making a Difference” for clients facing disaster management and recovery. One example of this is the work we are doing alongside our partners in the Baker-Stanley-Cardno Joint Venture (BSC JV) on the Tyndall Air Force Base (AFB) Reconstruction project. The JV is providing program and design integration services in support of work to repair, reshape, and rebuild Tyndall AFB as the Base of the Future on the heels of major damage caused by Hurricane Michael.

The Tyndall Reconstruction Program, valued at $3.8 billion, involves the design and construction integration for 45 Military Construction projects new and dozens of facility renovations basewide. The overarching intent of this effort is to provide technical integration services aimed at ensuring consistency across multiple construction efforts, recognizing and relaying any potential conflicts, identifying potential issues amongst designers or prime contractors, and integrating multiple designs into a unified product for the installation and serve as a model for the future. The positive feedback our team routinely receives from the client make it clear to me that we making a difference at Tyndall AFB.


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