Jeff La Hood, P.E.
Company/Job: Kimley-Horn / Civil Engineer
Biography: My name is Jeff La Hood and I am the President of the Richmond Branch. I hope to continue to keep on the great traditions of the Richmond ASCE Branch while also allowing us to grow. I also encourage all members to provide input on what events they would like to attend! I am a proud Michigan State Alumni where I graduated with a B.S. Degree in Civil Engineering in 2014. I am currently part of the rail and transit team at Kimley-Horn and Associates. In my free time I like to travel, play Ice Hockey, and play with my dog Zoey. I am also an avid fan of all Detroit sports teams and the Michigan State Spartans. Go Green!
Matthew S. Amonette, P.E.
Company/Job: Engineering Consulting Services / Geotechnical Staff Project Manager
Biography: My name is Matt Amonette and I will be serving as a Co-Education Chair for the Richmond Branch. I graduated from Virginia Tech with a B.S. in Civil Engineering in May 2013 and a M.S. in Civil Engineering (with a Geotechnical focus) in December 2014. Following my graduation from Virginia Tech, I accepted a job offer with ECS Mid-Atlantic in Richmond to work as a Geotechnical Project Manager with the Special Projects Group. My time so far with ECS and in Richmond has been a fun and rewarding experience! Also, my boss Randy Wirt, whom many of you know, is the man!
In my time at Virginia Tech, my participation as the outreach chair for the Geotechnical Student Organization (GSO) was a great way to branch out and meet other engineers in our industry as well as host outreach events for kids to stimulate the minds of our future engineers. I had the pleasure of creating a relationship between Virginia Tech’s ASCE chapter and GSO to the point where we held joint meetings. I enjoy hearing everyone’s perspectives on how to approach issues that confront us as Civil Engineers. Being a part of the GSO and now continuing that participation with the ASCE helps me advance in the fundamentals behind the role of Civil Engineers in our society.
I enjoy fishing, golf, running, and pretty much anything out on the water.
Carolyn Desrochers Perry, P.E., S.E.
Company/Job: WSP / Structural Engineer
Biography: : I am happy to step into the role of President-Elect of the Richmond Branch for the 2019-2020 year. I was born in Michigan and grew up in Cherry Hill, NJ. I moved to Richmond, VA in 2013 after obtaining my BS in Civil and Environmental (Structural) Engineering from the University of Maryland and my MS in Sustainable Engineering from Villanova University. I work as a structural engineer for WSP with a current focus on structural bridge design, and enjoy problem solving complicated designs. I hope that as I continue to grow throughout the industry I can incorporate more sustainable design ideas into the structural model. In my free time I love hanging out by the river, playing ice hockey as well as other sports, and just simply being outside (whether it be a hike in the mountains, a trip to the beach, or spending time at a Richmond festival). I am very excited to bring in new exciting presentations and venues this year!
Company/Job: Kimley-Horn / Roadway Engineer
Biography: Hi, I’m Catherine and will be your Treasurer this year! I’ve served as Communications Chair the last few years and have greatly enjoyed getting to know most of you and more about ASCE through that role. I’m proud of the way ASCE Richmond has grown and all the great events we’ve added the last couple years and am very excited to help continue to make this branch the best it can be for our awesome members!
In my spare time I love reading, cooking and competitive powerlifting. I keep busy in the Spring as a volunteer coach of the amazing and strong Special Olympics Area 31 powerlifting team! I am also Vice President of the Special Olympics Young Professionals Board (YPB), which has given me the opportunity to network with many young superstars in the community and give back to an organization I’m very passionate about!
Schuyler Doughtie, E.I.T.
Company/Job: Austin Brockenbrough & Associates, LLP / Site Designer
Biography: My name is Schuyler Doughtie and I will be serving as the Richmond Branch Secretary for 2018-2019. I was born and raised in Richmond and received my B.S. in Civil Engineering from Virginia Tech in 2013. Out of college I worked on transportation projects, specializing in mobile LiDAR data solutions. Today I work at Brockenbrough on a variety of government projects at the local, state, and federal levels with a focus on site development.
In my free time I enjoy golfing, weekends at Smith Mountain Lake, and going to see the Hokies play!
Paul Johnston, P.E.
Company/Job: Schnabel Engineering / Senior Engineer
Biography: My name is Paul Johnston and I will be serving as the Richmond Branch Communications Chair. I was raised in Charlottesville but have called Richmond home for almost 10 years now. I received my B.S. in Civil Engineering from Clemson in 2009 and my M.S. in Civil Engineering (Geotechnical focus) from Virginia Tech in 2013. I work as a geotechnical engineer for Schnabel Engineering on a variety of private and public projects at the local, state, and federal levels.
In my free time I enjoy traveling, mountain biking, snowboarding and most other outdoor activities.
Community Service Chair
Danielle Nielsen, P.E.
Company/Job: Johnson, Mirmiran & Thompson / Project Engineer
Biography: My name is Danielle Nielsen and I will be organizing volunteer initiatives and donation drives as the Community Outreach Chair. I first become involved in ASCE while serving on the board of the University of Virginia Student chapter and I have been volunteering for as long as I can remember. I have worked with organizations ranging from humanitarian aid relief to the health industry including but not limited to the SPCA, Ronald McDonald House Charities, the James River Association, and various arts and cultural events. After completing my civil engineering degree at UVA, I started working for JMT in Richmond as a water resources engineer where I design and inspect various transportation and environmental projects. I recently obtained my Masters in Water Resources Engineering from the National University of Ireland, Galway, and I enjoyed the extensive travel that living in Europe afforded me. I look forward to brining my passion of philanthropy and the environment to the Richmond branch and providing ASCE with opportunities to give back to our community!
When I’m not volunteering, I am usually traveling the world, petting dogs, kayaking, eating parmesan cheese, or playing with my Camogie team (The Gaelic sport of Hurling), Richmond Battery GAA.
Government Relations Chair
Company/Job: A. Morton Thomas and Associates / Transportation Engineer
Biography: My name is Michael Gulding and I will be serving as the Government Relation Co-Chair for the Richmond Branch. I hail from NOVA but like anyone who grew up there I had to leave. I Joined ASCE as a student at Old Dominion University where I participated in both the Steel Bridge Competition as well as the Concrete Canoe Competition. I graduated from “Old Dirty” in 2018 with a B.S. in Civil Engineering. After graduating I moved up to Richmond and later that year, I joined AMT as a Transportation Engineer.
In my free time I enjoy homebrewing, rooting for the Steelers, and (most importantly) spending time with my best friend and wife, Shelby.
Company/Job: GeoTesting Express / Geotechnical Engineer
Biography: My name is Anna Kotas and I enjoy helping the ASCE Richmond chapter in the Membership Chair Capacity. I was born a world traveler, grew up in Poland, went to middle school in Greece, high school and university in Saskatchewan, Canada and since, 2000, I am a “certified” Southern Belle! I have a B.S. in Geological Engineering from the University of Saskatchewan and my entire career has been spent here in Central Virginia. From day one of moving to Richmond, I have loved the people, climate, geography and geology of Virginia. I’ve also developed a love of our Engineering Community which I’ve been serving in one form or another since my rookie days. I am proud to be a Geotechnical Engineer. I advocate for all Geo-Professions and recently have been nominated to serve on ASCE’s Geo-Institute – Board Level – Outreach and Engagement Committee.
I have the best job in the world for GeoTesting Express (GTX) in Business Development where I get to use my technical knowledge and experience solving fellow geotechnical engineer’s laboratory testing issues all over the United States. I travel, have fun, and meet the crème de la crème of the Geotechnical world. Who could ask for anything more?
I am a proud mama to three boys. I am married to my best friend, soul mate and local structural engineer, Marcin Kotas from DMWPV. Together with my family I am living the quintessential American Dream.
Biography: I’m from Missouri originally and have degrees from the University of Central Missouri (Physics) and Missouri University of Science and Technology (Civil Engineering). My wife and I moved to Texas after school and I earned my P.E. working for VSL on long-span bridge projects and commercial post-tensioning applications. We moved to Richmond around 3 years ago and today I work for Contech as a Bridge Consultant, managing the company’s structures portfolio in Virginia and part of North Carolina.
Outside of work I spend most of my time RUNNING, working on my old house and drinking wine. My wife and I also love to travel domestically and internationally. The destinations also frequently involve wine.
Young Member Chair
Company/Job: Kimley-Horn / Roadway Engineer
Biography: Hi I’m Alysa Baird and I’ll be your Younger Member Chair! I can’t wait to get our younger member’s energized and even more involved this year in ASCE! I grew up in Northern Virginia but for 4 years tried out the midwestern lifestyle at Purdue University (Boiler Up!!). Over the summer I interned with Kimley-Horn in Richmond, followed by a short break to work at Walt Disney World as a boat captain. Upon graduation I made my grand return to the greatest state there is and took a full-time position in Kimley-Horn’s Richmond office in the Roadway group. Now I work on a variety of transportation projects from streetscapes to roundabouts to highway interchanges!
In my free time I flex my gold season pass at Kings Dominion and one day hope to get to visit all the amusement parks in the US (and maybe the world!). When I’m home in Richmond I love playing soccer, home improvement projects, and exploring this ever-changing city with my partner and mutt!
Young Member Chair
Brian R. Ditzler, P.E.
Company/Job: Timmons Group / Project Manager
Biography: My name is Brian Ditzler and I will be serving as the Younger Member Chair of the Richmond Branch. I am originally from Somerset County, Pennsylvania, and have been involved with ASCE since attending college where I was involved with concrete canoe. I graduated from the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown with a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering Technology, and have worked in private development and public works since. I started my professional career in Columbus, Ohio before my wife and I relocated to the Richmond area in 2016. We were drawn to Richmond due to the beautiful landscape and variety of local historical sites. We are excited to grow within the Richmond community and take advantage of the many new adventures available here.
In my free time, I truly enjoy spending time with my wife, Erica, and our dogs, Ruger and Jack. I also enjoy hiking, kayaking, traveling, and spending time outdoors.
Ryan Cunningham, E.I.T.
Company/Job: Timmons Group / Project Engineer
Biography: Hello! I was born and raised as a Military Brat and grew up in 10 different cities across 7 states and 2 countries. I graduated from Virginia Tech in May of 2017 with a B.S. in Engineering Science & Mechanics. I am now working as a Project Engineer at Timmons Group here in Richmond, focusing predominantly on residential land development projects.
I first got involved with ASCE by attending a Flying Squirrels Game Outing with my coworkers. After becoming familiar with the organization, I jumped at the chance to get involved as the Webmaster. I look forward to continuing to learn about web design. Please shoot me an email if you have any suggestions on for the website!
In my free time, I enjoy playing drums and guitar, going to see live music, running and camping.
Past President / Advisor
Nancy Lehr, P.E., APMP
Biography: My name is Nancy Lehr and I have been involved with ASCE in some fashion since my undergraduate years in college and I look forward to working with the ASCE Richmond Branch board this year. Since joining this branch last year after relocating from Florida, I found it to be a welcoming group of people and dependable source of rewarding activities. Along with working with the board, I enjoy the opportunity of helping with other ASCE events, such as judging the student Concrete Canoe Competition.
I am a University of Florida graduate with a Bachelor’s in Civil Engineering, focused in structures, and a Master’s in Coastal and Oceanographic Engineering. As an undergraduate, I participated in the Concrete Canoe Competition where I fostered my appreciation for ASCE. I worked for about 9 years in Jacksonville, Florida until my husband and I were relocated to Richmond in the summer of 2014. We have enjoyed learning about this new city and state and look forward to more adventures.
My husband and I spend a great deal of time with our two children and all of their sports and school activities. We enjoy going to the beach, hiking, biking and just relaxing.