GHA Celebrates Sixth Annual Oktoberfest

GHA Celebrates Sixth Annual Oktoberfest


Gewalt Hamilton Associates, Inc. (GHA) recently hosted its Sixth Annual Oktoberfest event at Park Tavern in Rosemont, IL. This tradition serves as an opportunity to strengthen the relationships between GHA team members and clients, all while enjoying an array of German-inspired cuisine.

This year, the event featured a unique keepsake - alpine hats adorned with a special "6th Annual Oktoberfest" button. These hats not only added a festive touch but will also serve as a tradition moving forward. Attendees were encouraged to bring their hats back next year to receive a new commemorative button, adding a layer of continuity and camaraderie to future gatherings.

The highlight of the evening was the annual stein holding competition. This test of endurance and strength was won by GHA's own Tymon Maurer, who held his water-laden stein aloft for an impressive ten minutes. The competition was fierce, but Maurer's dedication exemplified the kind of passion that GHA values in its team members.

CEO Todd Gordon expressed his enthusiasm for the event, stating, "Oktoberfest isn't just a social gathering; it's a celebration of the hard work and commitment that each member of the GHA team brings to the table. It's also an opportunity for us to interact with our clients in a more relaxed setting. Plus, the hats are really cool.”

The gathering emphasized both GHA's strong culture and its commitment to building strong relationships with team members and clients. Whether it's through the unique tradition of the alpine hats or the stein holding competition, GHA's Oktoberfest event offers a blend of fun and meaningful engagement for everyone involved.

As the evening drew to a close, it was clear that this year's Oktoberfest had once again succeeded in its aim: to foster a sense of community and shared purpose among GHA's team members and clients. With plans already underway for next year's event, the future continues to look bright for this cherished tradition.

GHA's Drone Strategic Planning Committee: A Visionary Success

GHA's Drone Strategic Planning Committee: A Visionary Success


In 2018, Gewalt Hamilton Associates, Inc. (GHA) recognized the potential of drone technology and soon established the Drone Strategic Planning Committee. Their mission: seamlessly integrate this technology into the firm's operations. Today, GHA stands at the forefront of drone-integrated operations, thanks to the committee's insight.

As Tom Rychlik, P.E., LEED-AP, committee catalyst, recalled, "Putting minds together was exciting. We had a clear vision: drones weren't just future tech; they were now tech." In 2018, GHA took its first steps into the world of drone technology by investing in an introductory model. This allowed for a demonstration that showcased the transformative potential of drone technology for GHA, which highlighted the vast opportunities they could bring to our core operations.

This dedicated group, diverse in its composition of members across different divisions, ages, and experiences, took on the ambitious task of navigating the rapidly evolving world of drone technology. During its tenure, the committee tested and evaluated numerous concepts, weighing the pros and cons of each, and marking out the path for the company's drone initiatives.

Guided by the committee, the firm invested in a state-of-the-art survey grade drone. "We were always looking at new tech, and when we saw the potential drones held, everything moved quickly," shared Andy Szendala, Senior Survey Technician, who served on the committee. After six months of intensive research and strategic planning, GHA's first survey drone took to the skies. Since its inaugural flight, it has been a regular asset, utilized weekly in various projects. The addition of the survey grade drone has significantly enhanced our crew's capacity, allowing us to deliver existing conditions data more efficiently and effectively.

But the committee didn't stop there. The committee, recognizing future needs, evaluated and acquired multiple drones, each with distinct capabilities. “Our committee eagerly embraced technology that helped our colleagues foster the success of each project,” Rychlik emphasized.  Guided by the committee, GHA adeptly navigated the evolving landscape of the drone industry.

As Szendala aptly puts it, "We're excited about the future." Though the Drone Strategic Planning Committee has completed its objectives and is no longer active, its legacy is evident in the skies and in the groundbreaking work GHA continues to do. The committee's journey serves as a testament to the importance of forward-thinking, passion, and dedication to continuous improvement.

GHA Connections: Joe Kafka

GHA Connections: Joe Kafka


It is often said that life has a funny way of bringing us back to where we began. For Gewalt Hamilton Associates Senior Engineering Technician Joe Kafka, this sentiment rings true in more ways than one. A vital part of GHA's Construction Division, Kafka recently found himself back at his old stomping grounds, Rolling Meadows High School, a place filled with nostalgia and memories of his youth.

A proud member of the very first graduating class in 1975, Kafka's connection with the school is deeply personal. Now, he's had the chance to give back to the institution that shaped him, by leading the revitalization of the once-familiar parking lot.

"It's an incredible feeling to be back here after all these years," Kafka reflects. "The school has changed and expanded so much since I was a student. Walking through these halls, I'm struck by how much growth has occurred, not just in the building itself but in the opportunities offered to the students."

As a key member of GHA's dedicated team, Kafka is actively shaping this growth, using his expertise to create lasting solutions within the community he knows so well. His role in transforming the school’s parking area is more than just a professional task; it's a personal journey that connects with his own history.  The experience of working at his old high school has not only been a walk down memory lane but also an opportunity for Kafka to apply his expertise and passion to a project close to his heart.

"Working on this project has been more than just another job for me," he says with a smile. "It's fun and fulfilling to be able to contribute to a place that played such a pivotal role in my formative years. I see the dedication that goes into the education here, and I'm honored to be part of enhancing that experience for future generations."

At GHA, we celebrate these unique connections and the personal stories that make our team truly special. Joe Kafka's passion for his work and his connection with Rolling Meadows High School exemplify the values we uphold, as we continually strive to connect with our community and play a role in solutions that enhance quality of life.


Gewalt Hamilton Associates Opens New Branch in Lenexa, Kansas

Gewalt Hamilton Associates, Inc. Opens New Branch in Lenexa, Kansas


Gewalt Hamilton Associates, Inc. (GHA) recently expanded its national footprint, opening a new branch office in Lenexa, Kansas. This expansion is a testament to GHA’s dedication to fostering national partnerships, optimizing process-driven reliability, and propelling the growth of our Traffic Data Collection Division.

“Opening our Lenexa office is a pivotal step in our commitment to efficiency and growth,” reflects Director of Traffic Data Collection Services Bill Klewin. “Strategically positioned, it enables optimal deployment of our staff and equipment, ultimately increasing cost-effectiveness. These savings translate into direct benefits for our clients.”

The new office is conveniently located along Interstate 35 in the southwest region of the Kansas City market, providing easy access to key cities like Omaha, Des Moines, St. Louis, Little Rock, Dallas, Wichita, and Oklahoma City. Aaron Merullo, a recent hire based at the Lenexa office, appreciates the office’s location and the enhanced logistics it provides for GHA. “The office’s location is not only convenient for me personally, but its proximity to key cities significantly simplifies the travel logistics for GHA. Oh, and I’ve even found an exceptional local pizza place.”

The Lenexa office’s primary focus is on GHA’s Traffic Data Collection division. This branch leverages the latest Miovision technology, offering a wide range of services including Turning Movement Counts, Volume/Classification Counts, Speed/Congestion Studies, Origin-Destination/Travel Time Studies, and Parking Counts. This extensive offering ensures GHA is well-equipped to provide solutions to the diverse needs of our clients.

“Join us as we continue to push the boundaries of innovation in the world of traffic data collection,” Klewin encourages. GHA’s passion for growth, technological advancement, and its commitment to serve clients is unparalleled.

The Lenexa office, located at 9765 Widmer Rd, Lenexa, KS 66215, officially opened its doors in May this year. For further information or to explore the broad spectrum of services that GHA offers, please contact the office at 847-478-9700. GHA continues its upward trajectory, marking significant milestones in the world of civil engineering.

Click here to read our article in C+S Engineer Magazine.

GHA Hosts Summer Intern Presentations

Gewalt Hamilton Associates Hosts Summer Intern Presentations


Gewalt Hamilton Associates, Inc. recently celebrated the conclusion of our summer internship program. As part of this special occasion, three of our talented interns were chosen to present their summer experiences at GHA in front of colleagues and team members. The presentations offered valuable insights into the daily life of an intern at GHA, sharing both professional growth and the excitement of new learning experiences.

Dominika Szal, Andy Granath, and Natalie Warren provided a comprehensive view of their summer at GHA. Dominika shared her excitement about using survey equipment for the first time, highlighting her transition from theoretical study to real-world application, and expressing how this hands-on experience strengthened her dedication to the field. Andy discussed his appreciation for GHA’s use of advanced technology, exploring specific projects and tools he had the chance to work with. His presentation demonstrated GHA’s passion for providing cutting-edge solutions that enhance our industry-leading services. Natalie began her presentation by discussing her experience learning Civil 3D. She highlighted the support and mentorship she received, emphasizing how the in-depth training resonated with her professional goals, a testament to GHA’s dedication to supporting personal and professional growth.

Colin Ewert, an intern in the Water Resources division, shared his thoughts, saying, “The behind-the-scenes work shared by my fellow interns was enlightening. It showcased the range of experiences GHA provides.” Echoing these sentiments during her presentation, Natalie stated, “Learning Civil 3D at GHA has been a rewarding challenge that I’ll carry with me in my future career.”

These presentations were more than a recap of the summer; they reflected GHA’s values. They emphasized the real-world experience that underscores GHA’s dedication to practical learning, the use of advanced technology that speaks to our passion for staying at the forefront of the industry, and the hands-on training that reflects GHA’s commitment to integrating integrity and professional development.

By hosting these presentations, GHA took the opportunity to both celebrate the interns’ accomplishments and reaffirm our dedication to providing opportunities for learning and growth. The insights and reflections shared by the interns stand as a testament to GHA’s approach, emphasizing the integrity of our methods and our dedication to developing the next generation of professionals.

YCC Shadow Day

GHA Hosts Career Day for Youth Conservation Corps/Lake County Forest Preserve District Conservation Summer Program Students

GHA Hosts Career Day for Youth Conservation Corps/Lake County Forest Preserve District Conservation Summer Program Students


YCC Shadow DayGewalt Hamilton Associates, Inc. (GHA) recently hosted a Civil Engineering Career Day, an annual initiative organized by our Emerging Professional Network (EPN). The event welcomed students from the Youth Conservation Corps (YCC)/Lake County Forest Preserve District (LCFPD) conservation summer program for an immersive learning experience in environmental and civil engineering. In line with GHA's commitment to cultivating the future leaders of civil engineering, this initiative aimed to provide an insight into the industry.

The day began with an introduction from Wadee Rafati, PE, who outlined GHA's operations and shed light on the path to becoming an engineer. Rafati emphasized the timeless importance of engineering, linking its historical roots to its crucial role in today's world.

During their visit, students engaged in a variety of presentations, each highlighting a different aspect of civil engineering in which GHA specializes. The Site Design segment focused on GHA's project at Glenbrook North Hospital and emphasized the crucial role of green infrastructure, linking this directly to YCC/LCFPD's mission of environmental preservation. A discussion led by the Water Resources division centered around future green infrastructure trends, exploring all aspects of stormwater management and the importance of echoing natural hydrological processes when designing sustainable projects.

In the Municipal presentation, students got an insight into the community-centric nature of municipal engineering. The presentation included a hands-on Engineer's Opinion of Probable Cost (EOPC) demo, providing them with a glimpse into real-world engineering work. This first-hand experience gave students an authentic view of engineering and its direct impact on improving local communities.

The Transportation Division walked students through the stages of project execution, starting with Phase I - the study phase. Dominic Olesak, E.I., part of the division, emphasized the significance of Phase I, saying, "The initial phase of a state-funded project, which includes an environmental impact assessment, lays the foundation for a successful and sustainable project." The presentation then moved into Phase II's detailed design, supplemented by a traffic signal timing demonstration, further illustrating practical applications in the field of engineering.

Concluding the Shadow Day was a lunchtime Q&A session, giving the students a platform to satisfy their curiosity about the profession and reflect on the day's learning.

Through initiatives like these, GHA remains committed to fostering an understanding and passion for civil engineering among the younger generation. "GHA is deeply committed to guiding the next generation of engineers. Their passion and dedication today can shape a better future," said Rafati, at the close of the event.

CEO Todd Gordon Shares Career Insights and Advice at Emerging Professionals Network Meeting

CEO Todd Gordon Shares Career Insights and Advice at Emerging Professionals Network Meeting

GHA CEO Todd Gordon recently addressed the Emerging Professionals Network (EPN). He discussed his experiences and provided valuable insights from his tenure at GHA. Gordon shared the evolution of his career, recounting the milestones that shaped his professional journey and the lessons learned along the way.

Gordon emphasized an essential part of his work philosophy: “Every project, big or small, is an opportunity to learn something new.” This belief underscores how he approaches his role at GHA, seeing each initiative not merely as a task to be completed, but as a unique occasion to broaden his knowledge and enhance the collective wisdom of the team.

Providing practical advice, Gordon encouraged the EPN members to prioritize networking early in their careers, emphasizing its critical role in fostering innovation and problem-solving. A firm believer in planning and goal setting, he elaborated on the importance of setting clear, achievable goals and designing strategic plans to attain them.

Discussing the inevitable challenges that arise during work, Gordon shared his viewpoint, “When problems occur, they’re not setbacks, but opportunities. The real test is how we address these issues, communicate, and progress.” This perspective aligns with GHA’s commitment to providing personal solutions to each of our client’s needs.

In addition to his insightful business advice, Gordon, an avid movie buff, incorporated his favorite films into the discussion. He drew parallels between plot points from his top movie picks and the world of business, showcasing the diverse perspectives he brings to his role as a leader.

With an eye towards the future, Gordon emphasized the importance of growth and forward-thinking, urging everyone to constantly seek the next challenge. This mindset resonated during a brainstorming session with the EPN, which focused on potential future opportunities for GHA.

Under Gordon’s leadership, GHA’s vision extends beyond business metrics and impressive portfolios. It’s about fostering an environment that values each team member and promotes growth. His vision is one where every individual contributes to a culture defined by a passion for our work and dedication to our collective success.

Gewalt Hamilton Associates Appoints LaCitia Johnson as Senior Human Resources Manager

Gewalt Hamilton Associates Appoints LaCitia Johnson as Senior Human Resources Manager

Vernon Hills, Il – Gewalt Hamilton Associates, Inc., a leading provider of engineering and consulting services, is pleased to announce the appointment of LaCitia Johnson as Senior HR Manager. With extensive experience in human resources leadership, strategic planning, and a dedication to fostering a positive work culture, LaCitia brings valuable expertise to the GHA team.

In her role, LaCitia will oversee all aspects of human resources, including talent acquisition, employee experience and relations, benefits management, and workforce development, emphasizing aligning these essential HR functions with GHA’s long-term objectives and initiatives.

“We’re thrilled to welcome LaCitia to the GHA family,” said Todd Gordon, CEO of GHA. “Her understanding and expertise in human resources, coupled with her desire to support our team is a perfect match for our vision.”

Known for her strategic and inclusive approach, LaCitia brings a sense of unity and integrity that resonates with our culture. Her passion for innovative and holistic HR strategies will be instrumental in our continuous efforts to attract, develop, and retain top talent.

“I’m excited to join GHA and work with such dedicated professionals,” said LaCitia Johnson. “The team’s commitment to innovation and growth aligns well with my own values, and I look forward to helping drive the company’s success.”

LaCitia’s focus on people-centric strategies will continue to cultivate an inclusive and supportive work environment at GHA. Her strategic leadership will uphold our commitment to effective HR practices, ensuring the ongoing delivery of exceptional solutions.

Gewalt Hamilton Associates Inc. (GHA) is a Professional Engineering and Land Surveying firm licensed and registered in the State of Illinois. For more than 40 years, GHA has been providing civil engineering and related services to municipal governments, townships, county and state agencies, school districts, park districts, colleges and universities, and private organizations.

Media Contact:

Michael McFarlin
Marketing Manager

Gewalt Hamilton Associates Appoints Matthew Turk, P.E., as Director of Transportation Services

Gewalt Hamilton Associates Appoints Matthew Turk, P.E., as Director of Transportation Services

Vernon Hills, Ill – Gewalt Hamilton Associates Inc. (GHA) is pleased to announce the appointment of Matthew Turk, P.E., as the company’s new Director of Transportation Services. Turk’s diverse background in various transportation fields brings a wealth of experience and expertise to GHA, further enhancing the firm’s capabilities in infrastructure development.

Commenting on Turk’s appointment, Gewalt Hamilton Associates President Todd Gordon said, “We are thrilled to welcome Matt Turk to our team as the Director of Transportation Services. His dedicated track record in transportation engineering and his proven ability to lead complex projects make him the ideal candidate for this crucial role. We look forward to working together and achieving new milestones in transportation infrastructure under his leadership.”

Throughout his career, Turk has passionately excelled in numerous aspects of transportation engineering, including Phase I conceptual engineering and planning, Phase II final design engineering, and Design-Build proposal phase engineering. His comprehensive skillset and proficiency in these areas make him an invaluable asset to GHA and its clients.

With more than 15 years of project experience, Turk has been involved in several high-profile projects across various disciplines, successfully leading their implementation and delivery. Notably, he played a pivotal role in spearheading multiple projects within the Central Tri-State Corridor Program, including crossroad bridge improvements, interim improvements to facilitate traffic staging during construction, and a pedestrian underpass within the Village of Western Springs. Turk’s expertise was also instrumental in delivering roadway improvements such as the US Route 30 at IL Route 50 traffic signal modernization project for the Illinois Department of Transportation and the Arlington Heights Road Reconstruction project for Lake County Division of Transportation.

Additionally, Turk has leveraged his rail design and transit planning experience to deliver projects for Metra and CDOT, including a Metra bridge replacement near the Northbrook Station and Chicago Union Station Master Planning for CDOT.

As the Director of Transportation Services, Turk will oversee and guide the strategic direction of GHA’s transportation projects, ensuring the delivery of innovative solutions that address the evolving needs of clients and communities alike with integrity. His extensive knowledge and leadership acumen will enable GHA to continue its commitment to excellence and client satisfaction, while providing a personal approach to civil engineering.

Turk expressed his enthusiasm for joining GHA, stating, “I am excited for the opportunity to be a part of Gewalt Hamilton Associates, a renowned firm known for its dedication to delivering exceptional transportation solutions. I look forward to leveraging my expertise and passion for innovation to collaborate with the talented team at GHA to provide outstanding service to our clients and implement impactful transportation infrastructure improvements within their communities.”

Gewalt Hamilton Associates Inc. (GHA) is a Professional Engineering and Land Surveying firm licensed and registered in the State of Illinois. For more than 40 years, GHA has been providing civil engineering and related services to municipal governments, townships, county and state agencies, school districts, park districts, colleges and universities, and private organizations.

Media Contact:

Michael McFarlin
Marketing Manager