In the engineering world, change is the order of business. So, whether it’s widening roads, designing bridges or creating a walkway for city beautification, engineers thrive in the new. The latest change for Vaughn & Melton (V&M), though, is internal; its leadership structure.
“We’ve come a long way in our collective effort in a relatively short amount of time,” said David Harrell, now president of the company, speaking from his Knoxville, TN, office. “We’re coming to the end of a strategic 10-year plan where we’ve brought all of our divisions together, and the next 10 years will be really exciting because of our strong foundation.”
One of the main changes for the firm has been adjusting its leadership roles. After a period of unprecedented growth, V&M had multiple locations throughout the Southeast. In the last decade, the company has grown from just over a hundred employees in a handful of offices across three states to more than 300 professionals across 14 offices in five states.
To avoid disparate and conflicting priorities, the company’s Board of Directors decided to streamline leadership roles. Now, rather than having multiple regional vice presidents across individual states reporting to a CEO, V&M has created a single president, an executive vice president and multiple office leaders to manage day-to-day operations.
Leading the company into the future meant tapping into long-term engineer talent. At the company’s Knoxville office, this includes Harrell as the new president, Chief Marketing Officer Becky Rehorn, Chief Information Officer Robert Andrew, Corporate Safety Director Jennifer Wolery and Regional Vice President Danl L. Hall, who has more than 30 years’ experience, and covers both Tennessee and Georgia operations.
The company’s strategic vision was put in place by CEO Randolph Scott who remains in that role today. He has been credited with spearheading the efforts for the 10-year plan to streamline operations as well as making the company fiscally sound.
Vaughn & Melton has no debt, which is increasingly rare in today’s business climate. It changed the company structure to become an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) rather than breaking it up when founders Bob Vaughn and Nick Melton retired. The company has continually added core services to its offerings since its inception. And, most notably, seven offices have been added in the last decade, more than doubling the company’s size.
Other notable leadership roles moving forward include Brandon Lewis as Project Management Office Director. Vaughn & Melton Consulting Engineers, Inc., offers seven core services including civil design, construction engineering & inspection, right-of-way acquisition, subsurface utility engineering, survey and GIS mapping, transportation & structures and water resources. The company has offices in Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.
“We want our clients to know that no matter how large we get or who is in charge of your project, our focus is the same; world-class professional services delivered as ‘One Company, One Voice,’” says Harrell. “Because ultimately, the goal of civil engineering is to better the lives of the communities where we also live and work. That’s why streamlined roles really made sense. It helps us stay accountable to our customers.”
Vaughn & Melton Leadership
L. DeWayne Brown
Chief Information Officer
Chief Financial Officer
Chief Marketing Officer
Corporate Safety Director
Project Management Office Director
Vice President - Carolinas
Vice President - Kentucky
Dan L. Hall
Vice President - Tennessee/ Georgia