Graef, a Wisconsin-based engineering and consulting firm, has appointed John Kissinger, previously Graef’s Chief Operating Officer, as its new CEO, effective January 1, 2012.
Kissinger, a Wauwatosa native, succeeds Richard Bub, who served as President and CEO since 1995. Bub will be transitioning into a new role as Chairman and leader of special projects for the firm.
“This official announcement comes after years of preparation,” said Bub. “To ensure a smooth transition for all of our clients and employees, John and I have been working closely together since he was selected as my successor in 2010. We wanted to make sure it’s a continuation, rather than change.”
Kissinger joined Graef in 1984 as a structural engineer in the firm’s Milwaukee office. Since that time, he has held positions of increasing responsibility including project engineer, project manager, principal, vice-president, and most recently, COO. Kissinger has also served on the GRAEF Board of Directors since 2002.
Among many notable projects on Kissinger’s resume is the Milwaukee Art Museum addition, on which he served as engineering project manager. For his work on that facility, Kissinger was named one of the “Top 25 Newsmakers for 2001” by Engineering News-Record Magazine. Other notable projects include The Midwest Airlines Center in downtown Milwaukee, The McCormick Place West Expansion in Chicago, and the Lambeau Field renovation in Green Bay, Wisconsin.
Kissinger is also active in the local community, acting as chairman of the Milwaukee Area Workforce Investment Board. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 1979 and his Master of Science in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1983.
“I am thrilled to take on this role at Graef and so thankful to Rich for preparing me for the position,” said Kissinger. “In the 27 years I have been with Graef, I have admired the strong commitment to clients and staff that was set forth by Graef’s founders and carried on by Rich. That commitment has brought the firm great success and I look forward to continuing the tradition.”
In his new position, Bub will focus on mergers and acquisitions, as well as training new managers. He will also teach a leadership in engineering class at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Throughout the company’s 50-year history and Bub’s time as CEO, Graef has worked on many of Milwaukee’s most notable developments and attractions. Most recently, notable project have included the Milwaukee Art Museum addition, Harley Davidson Museum, Frontier Airlines Center, General Mitchell International Airport, Marcus Amphitheater, State Fair Exposition Center, Pettit National Ice Center, Bayshore Town Center, and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s Sandburg Hall Tower and the School of Architecture and Urban Planning.
GRAEF is an employee-owned consulting engineering firm with offices in Milwaukee, Green Bay, and Madison, Wisconsin; Chicago, Illinois; and Orlando, Florida. The firm has been providing consulting services for 50 years.