JACKSON, Miss. (April 18, 2022) – Neel-Schaffer is pleased to announce that Joey Hudnall, PE, has been named President and Chief Executive Officer of the firm, effective immediately.
Hudnall replaces Hibbett Neel, PE, who co-founded the firm in 1983. Neel will remain active with the company, continuing to serve as the Chairman of the firm’s Board of Directors, where he will continue to direct the firm’s vision and strategy.
Hudnall has served as the firm’s Chief Operations Officer since 2009 and has worked for Neel-Schaffer since 1995.
“I’m very proud of what Joey has accomplished as COO, particularly the leadership he has provided in our strategic planning initiatives,” said Neel. “I’m confident he will do an outstanding job leading the firm as Neel-Schaffer continues to move forward.”
Neel and Gorman Schaffer, who retired in 2012, co-founded Neel-Schaffer in Jackson, Mississippi, in 1983, with one office and 20 employees. With its corporate headquarters still located in Jackson, the firm now operates 38 offices across nine states and has nearly 500 employees. Neel-Schaffer’s operations include two subsidiary firms, True North Emergency Management, which performs disaster recovery services, and Maptech, which offers surveying and mapping services.
Neel said Hudnall’s promotion is the culmination of a succession plan established several years ago and will allow the firm to make a seamless transition. Led by Hudnall, Neel-Schaffer recently launched a five-year Strategic Plan aimed at increasing revenue and expanding market share across the company’s existing footprint and beyond.
“Neel-Schaffer is a growing company that remains committed to providing the very best engineering services to the many clients we serve,” said Neel. “We are also committed to remaining an employee-owned firm that gives back to the communities in which we work and live.”
Hudnall’s first role with Neel-Schaffer was as Engineer Manager of the firm’s Columbus, Mississippi, office. After Hurricane Katrina ravaged the Mississippi Gulf Coast in 2005, Hudnall was instrumental in Neel-Schaffer’s recovery efforts, providing corporate oversight and staffing management for more than $100 million in debris management and infrastructure reconstruction projects.
Among his accomplishments since being named COO in 2009 was helping open Neel-Schaffer operations in Columbia, S.C., Mobile, Ala., and New Orleans, along with engineering acquisitions in Shreveport, La., Houston, Texas, and Arlington, Texas, expanding the firm’s footprint while broadening and strengthening its core disciplines.
Hudnall said he was “extremely humbled by this awesome opportunity” and thanked Neel and the firm’s Board of Directors for the faith they have placed in him.
Said Hudnall: “Neel-Schaffer has been a special place for me for 27 years and I am prepared to help it grow and prosper for many more years to come.”