Award Winning! Gillson Park Beach House

Award Winning! Gillson Park Beach House

We’re delighted that AIA Chicago awarded Wilmette Park District’s Gillson Park Beach House a Design Excellence Award at AIA Chicago’s DESIGNIGHT 2022, the premier architectural celebration celebrating the global design achievements of members, was hosted at Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park on Monday, September 12, 2022.

GHA is proud to have worked with the talented team from Woodhouse Tinucci Architects on the project, providing a wide range of civil engineering and support services including survey, conceptual site planning, preliminary and final design, permitting, and construction engineering across the 60-acre shoreline site.

Learn more about GHA’s contribution to this highly successful project.


Greg Newton, GISP Presents at NaTMEC

Greg Newton, GISP Presents at NaTMEC 2022

GHA is excited to return to the National Travel Monitoring Exposition and Conference (NaTMEC). Greg Newton, GISP conducted a presentation outlining the integration of GIS into our Traffic Data Collection services, and the efficiencies created by that integration including meeting project requirements, improving field support, stakeholder transparency, and the distribution of deliverables. Greg brings a unique perspective in his roles as Assistant Director of Data Collection Services and GIS Manager for our firm.

The National Travel Monitoring Exposition and Conference (NaTMEC) provides travel monitoring professionals and transportation data users from around the world opportunities to share knowledge and good practices, exchange ideas, revisit fundamental concepts, learn new processes, procedures and techniques, and see the latest advancements in policy, technology, and equipment.


Burr Oak Area Storm Sewer Improvements

GHA's Mike Warner at Burr Oak Area DCEO project groundbreaking ceremony.

GHA Principal, Mike Warner, P.E., CFM, participated with Lake County and City of Lake Forest officials to celebrate the groundbreaking of the Burr Oak Area Storm Sewer Improvement Project. This project includes the construction of storm sewer upgrades and underground storage facilities for residential and business areas within the north downtown area of Lake Forest.

The Burr Oak Area Storm Sewer Improvement Project is funded in part by federal American Recovery Plan Act coronavirus relief funding distributed through the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.

Mike Warner, Principal of Water Resources, is a key figure in GHA’s project team on this important project. He joined GHA in 2020 following his longtime role as Executive Director of Lake County Stormwater Management Commission where he led the agency in planning, engineering, design and construction of stormwater programs and projects.


GHA Elevates GIS Services

GHA is excited to announce a major overhaul and upgrade to our GIS web servers and data hosting environment. After months of research and discussions, GHA migrated from an on-premises GIS server to a managed cloud-based environment.

As a client, you are not expected to experience any downtime during business hours. This upgrade will allow us to provide better service with faster applications and less downtime.

Migrating to a cloud environment will allow us to provide better service on several fronts:

Faster performance – Web applications will load and run noticeably faster for clients and mobile users. Our current system sits behind layers of firewalls and IT security that cause maps to load slower than we’d like. The new system will run faster for all users, increasing efficiency and decreasing frustration.

Increased Availability & Reliability – GIS in the Cloud can put out information in the public domain, for continuous updates and open access. Down time will be significantly reduced if not eliminated.

Easier Accessibility for Users – Services are available automatically, regardless of the user’s location, and consumers are not required to interact with each service provider. Consumers do not necessarily need technical knowledge of computing services to be able to access and share information.

Unlimited Users – Clients can add unlimited users to access secured services or edit data in the field/office.

Increased Security – The structure of new system reduce the risk of hackers while maintaining GHA’s standard of data security. GIS data will be backed up every 4 hours, meaning your data is always secure.

Scalability – As your GIS database and resources increase in size, our new system will be able to accommodate for years and years to come.

Reduced Maintenance Costs – The new system will require less maintenance and administration time for GHA staff, meaning less cost for clients.

Up-to-Date Technology – The cloud system will allow GHA to more easily upgrade to the latest software meaning clients to the latest GIS solutions and resources.

For more information about GHA’s valuable GIS services, contact Greg Newton, GISP


Todd Gordon Named CEO

Todd Gordon Named CEO

Todd P. Gordon, P.E., was named Chief Executive Officer of GHA. Gordon has been with GHA for over 22 years and has served as Director of Construction and Survey, and Director of Transportation Services. He has brought consistently excellent leadership and vision, and is poised to guide GHA now and into the future with emphasis on an inclusive culture, community involvement, and a wide variety of opportunities for GHA staff growth.

Todd P. Gordon is a Registered Professional Engineer practicing for over 30 years as a Civil Engineer with emphasis on municipal engineering, roadway design and construction engineering. Prior to joining GHA, Mr. Gordon served as Assistant Director of Engineering for the Village of Gurnee.

Contact Todd


Art Penn Adds President to COO

Art Penn Adds President to COO

Arthur J. Penn, P.E. has been named President of GHA and will remain Chief Operations Officer as he has been since 2020. Penn’s focus is on creating and refining processes that enable GHA’s ability to consistently deliver services and deliverables with accuracy, timeliness, and compliance. Art has been with GHA for over 20 years, formerly serving as Director of Data Collection, in which he refined systems that support industry-leading turnaround time and data integrity.

Arthur J. Penn, President and Chief Operations Officer, served as GHA’s director of Data Collection Division for 16 years prior to his appointment as COO in 2020, then President in 2021.

Contact Art


GHA Principals Named

GHA proudly announces that several key leaders who have played important roles in developing GHA’s reputation for excellence and dependability are now Principals. In this, each Principal is enabled to be dedicated to further developing specific areas in which they have focused:

Donald Dixon, P.E.

Don has been instrumental in Site Design for many clients in their educational and campus improvements, and has become a leading figure in Data Center site development. In this growing market, he will put his expertise to work with a primary focus on Data Center development clients.

Contact Don

Donald Matthews, P.E., CFM

Don is well-known throughout the Site Design community. He is Vice President of GHA and most recently, Director of Site Design Services where he has played significant parts in designing and managing innumerable projects in Parks and Recreation, and Campus Design.

Contact Don

Michael Shrake, P.E.

Mike, who was GHA’s first-ever intern, has served in a variety of leadership roles, most recently, CEO. He chose to focus entirely on helping clients in special use sites as well as Parks and Recreation, fueled by his extensive experience in all phases of projects.

Contact Mike

Michael Warner, P.E., CFM

Mike joined GHA in early 2020 following his well-known presence as executive Director of the Lake County Stormwater Management Commission. His expertise on both the regulatory and project management sides brings great insight to GHA’s Water Resources work.

Contact Mike

Walter Graft, P.E.

Walt has been with GHA for over 30 years as a Civil Engineer, concentrating his focus on municipal engineering, school, hospital, park, and commercial site development, and stormwater management. He is particularly well-known for his athletic facilities projects both for educational and park district clients.

Contact Walt


Dave Marquardt Received ESOP Award

We celebrate Dave Marquardt for being named The ESOP Association – IL Chapter Employee Owner of the Year! Dave has been an integral part of creating a culture at GHA that values the individual, fosters teamwork, and personal growth in a work environment committed to quality and consistent growth. Congratulations Dave!


Division Directors Promoted

Brian Wesolowski, P.E., CFM - Director of Site Design Services

Brian Wesolowski is a civil engineer with eleven years of industry experience. He began as an intern at GHA in 2007 and joined the firm full-time following graduation in 2010. Brian’s work has been concentrated mainly on municipal engineering and construction phase services. Brian is a highly accomplished design engineer with numerous successful water main and sewer projects. He works closely with clients to design capital improvements and coordinates with contractors to ensure quality results. Brian also often assists with addressing issues that arise during construction.

David Marquardt - Director of Construction and Survey

K. David Marquardt is a Senior Construction Engineer with over 30 years of industry experience, with an emphasis on infrastructure improvements. As the Director of Construction and Survey, Dave is responsible for coordinating and scheduling projects with clients and other Divisions within the firm and provides guidance and support to field staff. He has served as a field engineer for a variety of municipal and private sector projects with responsibility for managing all phases of the construction project. Prior to joining GHA, Dave worked for IDOT in the Bureau of Construction on complex utility, road, and bridge reconstruction projects.

Leo Morand, P.E. - Director of Municipal Services

Leo Morand first joined GHA in 2001 as an intern and after receiving his degree in 2002, he became a full-time project engineer focusing primarily on municipal engineering, site design, construction engineering, and maintenance planning. Leo manages projects directly for numerous government agencies that include municipal capital improvement projects and several school districts whose improvement projects have been lead by Leo for years.

Lucas Deferville - Assistant Director of Construction Services

Lucas Deferville is a Senior Construction Engineer with over 18 years of experience with an emphasis on construction engineering and contract administration. Lucas has been with GHA for 22 years as a full-time employee and for four years prior as an intern. As the Assistant Director of Construction, Mr. Deferville oversees construction phase operations and is responsible for managing all phases of Phase III.

Mei Zhu, P.E., CFM, LEED AP - Director of Water Resources

Mei Zhu is a Registered Professional Engineer and a Certified Floodplain Manager practicing for 25 years as a Civil Engineer. Mei has specialized in site design and regulatory permitting, floodplain and stormwater management, hydrologic and hydraulic analysis, stream restoration, existing drainage assessment and remediation, green infrastructure practices, regulatory ordinance enforcement, and soil erosion and sediment control. Mei has been with GHA since 2000.


GHA Welcomes Michael Warner, P.E., CFM to the Team

GHA Welcomes Michael Warner, P.E., CFM to the Team

GHA is very pleased to announce that Michael Warner, P.E., CFM has joined our Team. We’re looking forward to great things for GHA’s Water Resources Division in 2021 and beyond! Read the Press Release here.

Prior to joining GHA, Mike served as the Executive Director of Lake County Stormwater Management Commission. In his leadership role, Mr. Warner was involved in planning, engineering, design and construction of stormwater programs and projects.