Neel-Schaffer Announces Promotions for Nine Company Leaders

JACKSON, Miss. (Dec. 20, 2019) – Neel-Schaffer, Inc., is pleased to announce that nine leaders within the company have been promoted to the role of Senior Vice President or Vice President for 2020.

Derek Cheatham, PE, Nick Ferlito, PE, PTOE, and Steve Twedt, PE, are now Senior Vice Presidents with the firm.

Russ Bryan, ASLA, John Cunningham, PE, Saunders Ramsey, PE, Dennis Reeves, PE, Lance Taylor, PE, and Doug Wimberly, PE, are now Vice Presidents with the firm.

Senior Vice Presidents

Derek Cheatham joined Neel-Schaffer in 2011 and serves as the Operations Manager for the firm’s North Texas offices in Arlington, Fort Worth and Dallas. He has more than 20 years of experience as a manager, project engineer and project manager, with an emphasis on the design of water, sewer, streets and drainage facilities for public works projects.

Nick Ferlito joined Neel-Schaffer in 1996 and serves as the Engineer Manager in the firm’s Baton Rouge, Louisiana, office. He has more than 25 years of experience and manages a wide range of traffic and transportation projects. He is a certified as a Professional Traffic Operations Engineer by the Institute of Traffic Engineers.

Steve Twedt joined Neel-Schaffer in 2010 after working for the Mississippi Department of Transportation for 23 years. Steve serves as the firm’s South Mississippi Area Manager, coordinating work among the Neel-Schaffer offices in Biloxi, Gulfport, Hattiesburg, Laurel and Pascagoula. He has nearly 30 years of experience and currently serves as the President for the Mississippi Board of Licensure for Professional Engineers and Surveyors.

Vice Presidents

Russ Bryan joined Neel-Schaffer in 2007 and is the leader of the firm’s landscape architect discipline. Based in the firm’s Hattiesburg, Mississippi, office, he has over 15 years of experience in planning, design and construction projects for public and private clients. Russ has also served as an advocate for cycling, hiking and blueways through his involvement with the Pine Belt Pathways and Pine Woods Chapter of the Land Trust for the Mississippi Coastal Plain.

John Cunningham joined Neel-Schaffer in 2007 and has more than 25 years of experience as a project engineer and manager in the design of rural and municipal water supply, treatment and distribution systems, wastewater and collection systems, site development, and stormwater collections and management systems.

Saunders Ramsey joined Neel-Schaffer in 2011 and serves as the Engineer Manager for the firm’s office in Starkville, Mississippi. He has nearly 15 years of experience as a project engineer and manager for a wide variety of projects involving roadway design, civil site, traffic, sewer design, mixed-use development and bicycle and pedestrian multi-use paths and master plans.

Dennis Reeves joined Neel-Schaffer in 2012 and is now responsible for management and operations for the firm’s office in Pascagoula on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. He has more than 30 years of experience as a project engineer and manager, including many years as the Director of Public Works for the City of Gautier, Mississippi, before joining Neel-Schaffer.

Lance Taylor joined Neel-Schaffer in 2018 and manages the firm’s Alabama operations. Based in the firm’s Birmingham office, he oversees some 65 professional, technical and administrative employees working in the Birmingham and Mobile offices. Before joining Neel-Schaffer, Lance served in a variety of roles during his 25-year career with the Alabama Department of Transportation.

Doug Wimberly joined Neel-Schaffer in 2017 and has more than 30 years of experience in a wide variety of civil engineering design disciplines, including civil site, roadway, drainage, water and sewer. Doug is based in the firm’s office in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.


“Congratulations to each of these individuals for what they have accomplished and mean to Neel-Schaffer,” said Hibbett Neel, PE, CEO and President of Neel-Schaffer. “They reflect the values of our company and all do a tremendous job of serving their clients as well as the communities where they live and work.

“We look forward to watching them continue to grow and help others in the company develop as well.”


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