Keen to take over as Chairman and CEO at HDR after Little retires in December

Written by Maggie Lancaster, assistant editor
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HDR Chairman and CEO Geroge A. Little announced his retirement, effective December 31, 2017. The board unanimously agreed with Little's replacement recommendation of Eric L. Keen.

Little joined HDR in 1989 as a project manager at the firm’s Minneapolis, Minn., office. From there, he became local office manager, then operations director for the engineering company, developing its quality assurance and quality control programs. HDR says Little was one of the original investors who bought the company back from foreign ownership in 1996.

Little has more than 35 years of industry experience including extensive experience in project management and design for large power and energy projects. In 2010, he was inducted into the Engineering Hall of Fame at his alma mater, the University of Alabama-Birmingham. He serves on the boards of many industry and nonprofit organizations, is the current past chair of the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce and currently chairs the Design Professional Coalition, an organization of senior executives from leading design/engineering firms.

“I’ve accomplished more than I could have hoped for in my career with HDR,” Little said. “We recently refreshed our brand, transitioned to a modern enterprise business system and our new corporate headquarters is underway. Most importantly, our financials are strong, as is our employee ownership model. This felt like the right time to transition to new leadership and I’m confident in Eric’s ability to lead the company into its next hundred years.”

Keen joined HDR in 1993. As a trained civil engineer, Keen has spent his career helping deliver some of the United States’ most notable infrastructure projects. HDR says he was instrumental in developing the firm’s transportation alternative delivery practice and was previously the director of the firm’s transportation group. In 2012, Keen started the HDR Foundation, an employee-funded and administered charitable giving organization. The foundation has given more than $1 million in grants to date.

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