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March 15, 2023
PACE Engineers has a new executive leadership team. Martin Penhallegon, PE, is now CEO and Ken Nilsen, PE, is now president. Phil Cheesman, PE, is now executive vice president and Jon Turcott, PE, is now vice president. Together, they will oversee all work of the four PACE offices, including 135 staff members.
After graduating from the University of Washington in 1971, Penhallegon spent his first 21 years at a Seattle-based civil engineering company, where he progressed to president and CEO. In 1992, he left that company and founded PACE. Under his leadership, PACE has acquired eight firms and was voted one of Zweig's Best Places to Work. In Penhallegon's role as CEO, he will oversee long-term planning (including future acquisitions) and the overall financial performance of PACE.
Nilsen joined PACE 25 years ago where he quickly became a firm leader. Prior to PACE he was a pioneer in developing King County's Surface Water program. Nilsen has more than 39 years of industry experience and has held many roles at PACE, most recently as executive vice president. He specializes in solving complex stormwater and surface water challenges and is known for his ability to understand how new and rehabilitated infrastructure and facilities fit into the built environment. As president, Nilsen will oversee the overall operations of PACE.
Cheesman joined PACE in the first weeks of Penhallegon opening its doors 30 years ago. He started the land development department which today is diverse and regionally recognized for its land development solutions. Cheesman transitioned to oversee all of civil engineering at PACE five years ago. In his development-focused career, he has specialized in the civil design of commercial business parks, K12 schools, and parks and trails. Cheesman has taken on a new role as executive vice president, focusing on collaboration between PACE's four offices and multiple disciplines.
Turcott has over 25 years of civil engineering experience. He joined PACE four years ago with the acquisition of Site Development Associates (SDA). His most recent experience is managing highly collaborative design-build projects. At age 27, Turcott co-founded SDA, a civil engineering firm which PACE acquired in 2019. He is a mentor to young engineers and has focused expertise in stormwater management, utility design, and culvert and fish passage design. Turcott has a track record of solving insurmountable engineering problems to the direct benefit of clients, the public, and the environment, including pushing the state of science in habitat restoration. As vice president, Turcott will lead PACE's Civil Engineering Department.