Matthew S. Amonette, P.E.
Company/Job: Engineering Consulting Services / Project Engineer / National Account Manage
Biography: My name is Matt Amonette and I am serving as the President for the Richmond Branch for the year of 2021-2022. 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 with ECS Mid-Atlantic in Richmond to work as a Geotechnical Engineer with the Special Projects Group. My time so far with ECS and in Richmond has been a fun and rewarding experience! Our group specializes in large transportation projects as well as power and utility work.
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.
Company/Job: Virginia Department of Transportation / EDGE Associate
Biography: My name is Andrew Bunn and I am serving as the Vice President this year. I was involved with the Old Dominion University and Norfolk chapters of ASCE as an undergraduate civil engineering student, and graduated in 2018. I am from Virginia Beach but I’m much happier living in downtown Richmond. I interned with VDOT during my undergrad and have continued in their Core Development Program, now the EDGE program, with the goal of working in the transportation planning field. My free time is mostly spent reading up on the various industries I’m interested in, from planning to urban development to global business and finance, and exploring Richmond’s 200+ locally owned restaurants. Ask me about my spreadsheets!
Jeff Huffman, M.S., P.E., F.ASCE
Company/Job: Draper Aden Associates / Vice President and Division Manager of Geotechnical Engineering and Construction Services
Biography: I am as President-Elect for the Richmond Branch. I first became a member of ASCE in 1986 as a student member at Virginia Tech and have remained a member since. Past positions within ASCE include President and VP of the Huntington Branch, two term President, VP, and four-year term Treasure of the West Virginia Section, and Marshall University student chapter faculty advisor for six years. I am currently on The Society (National) Pre-College Outreach Committee. I received the grade of ASCE Fellow Member in 2016.
I am Vice President and Division Manager of Geotechnical Engineering and Construction Services at Draper Aden Associates. I received my BSCE in 1988, my MSCE (Geotechnical) in 1990 and Ph.D. candidate in 2013 at Virginia Tech. I am a native of South Charleston, West Virginia and my bride, Karen (a Richmond native), and I relocated to Richmond in July 2019. Outside of work, I enjoy international travel, walking/running, golfing, and reading technical papers.
If I can provide any assistance to you with ASCE or profession mentoring I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Catherine (Hyland) Sydnor
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!
Biography: I am a Project Engineer I at Timmons Group in Richmond, VA. I graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 2020 with my BS in Civil Engineering where I was a student member of Pitt ASCE and had the role of VP for Pitt Society of Women Engineers. I grew up in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania and after graduation found myself with a job in Richmond Virginia. I enjoy Civil Engineering because I find it to be one of the engineering fields that have an obvious direct impact on society.
Outside of my work life, I enjoy spending as much time with my dog (Fozzie Bear) and the various foster puppies that we foster. I also like to play ultimate frisbee, indoor soccer, and snowboarding.
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
Rob Anderson, EIT
Biography: I am a Project Engineer I at Timmons Group in Richmond, VA. I graduated from Brigham Young University in 2020 with my BS in Civil and Environmental Engineering where I captained the Concrete Canoe Team to Nationals. I started my career while in school as a certified field inspection engineer in Utah and have since switched to the design side here in Virginia. I am married to the love of my life, have one yellow lab, and have a brand new baby boy born July 9th, 2021. Family is the most important thing in my life.
Government Relations Chair
Paige Lazar, EIT
Biography: My name is Paige and I am so excited to be serving as your Governor Relations Co-Chair.
I want to live in a world where everyone feels valued, welcome, and safe. I see civil engineering as a “people serving” field with the opportunity to create such a world through intentional design. And for that reason, I love that I get to be a civil engineer.
I graduated from The University of Dayton in 2017 and then moved to Texas to begin my career. After two years as a structural engineer I chose to pivot into the wild world of transportation engineering. My personal life has since brought me to Virginia in 2020, and I currently work as a Project Engineer at Timmons Group on their transportation design team.
Outside of my cubicle, you can find me and my road bike on the Capital Trail, me and my yoga mat in a hot yoga class (soon to be teaching yoga, too), and me and my deathly fear of bears hiking in Shenandoah National Park. I also have a pet lovebird named Peach, and he is cuter than any dog out there (yes, even those adorable Goldendoodles).
Education Outreach Chair
John Myers, P.E.
Biography: I am excited to be serving as the Education Outreach Chair. I am originally from the Baltimore, MD area, but moved to Houston, TX after college. My family recently moved to Richmond in the Summer of 2020. Prior to moving I served on the ASCE Houston Branch board in 2015-2016, and previously served as the Younger Member Chair, and the Golf Tournament Chair. I attended Virginia Tech from 2008 to 2013, where I graduated with a B.S. in Civil Engineering, and subsequently with a M.S. in Civil Engineering with a geotechnical focus.
I am currently the Senior Design Engineer for the Menard’s Southeast Region, along with supervising all design work for both the Southeast and Gulf Coast regions. Prior to Menard, I worked in geotechnical consulting, and have been involved in a large variety of projects, including many in the oil & gas, public, and commercial sectors. Outside of work, I mostly spend my time trying to keep up with a toddler, her younger brother, and two dogs.
Awards and Recognitions Chair
Kohltan Heiter, P.E.
Biography: My name is Kohltan Heiter and I will be serving as the Awards and Recognition Chair. I’m originally from Iowa and attended undergrad at the Missouri University of Science and Technology, where I received my B.S. in Geological Engineering. Upon graduation in 2015, I took a leap and moved to Richmond to begin my career with HDR, where we specialize primarily in large transportation related projects. In 2016, I decided to pursue an online graduate degree through NC State, and after a grueling five years I graduated in the Fall of 2020 with a MSCE (Geotechnical).
I joined ASCE upon moving to Richmond and have really enjoyed getting to learn more about all disciplines of Civil Engineering, the interesting local projects, and networking with those involved. I look forward to meeting members in person again this year and recognizing those who shine in our industry and make our local branch successful. In my free time I enjoy golfing, cooking, attempting to surf, and exploring the never-ending amount of restaurants and breweries in the area.
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 on long-span bridge projects and commercial post-tensioning applications. We moved to Richmond in 2015 and today I work for Contech Engineered Solutions as an Area Engineer for structures (bridge) technology on the east coast. I manage the company’s structural plate and specialty products portfolio in that territory.
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, and/or running.
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.
Young Member Chair
Kyle Hogan, E.I.T.
Company/Job: Timmons Group / Project Engineer
Biography: My name is Kyle Hogan and I will be serving as the Young Member Co-Chair for the Richmond Branch. Originally raised in Moorestown, NJ, I left for the wide-open spaces and mountains of Virginia and graduated with a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Virginia Tech in 2019. After college, I moved to Richmond and joined Timmons Group as a Project Engineer on the transportation design team. My favorite part of being a civil engineer is the opportunity to work on projects that will have a direct impact on the places we live. I look forward to sharing my passion for community service and helping connect young professionals to our ASCE Richmond branch.
Outside of work, I can be found hiking along the James River, playing kickball, and cheering on the Yankees to another playoff run! I’m also an avid runner and plant parent
James Dishner, E.I.T.
Company/Job: JMT / Water Resources Engineer
Biography: My name is James Dishner and I will be serving as the webmaster for the Richmond Branch. I am from West Virginia, graduating from Marshall University in 2020 with my B.S. in Civil Engineering. In college I was involved with ASCE and the concrete canoe. After graduating, I moved to Richmond where I currently work for JMT in the water resources department. I really enjoy the opportunities Richmond has to offer, the ability to help communities as a civil engineer, and I continue to look forward to staying involved with ASCE.
In my free time I enjoy travelling, going on runs or long hikes, and exploring the local breweries.
Past President / Advisor
Carolyn Desrochers Perry, P.E., S.E.
Biography: Thank you so much for sticking with us through a tough year. I am extremely grateful for each of our members and our tireless board who worked hard to continue to bring exciting virtual events throughout the year. I am looking forward to assisting Matt as I step into the role of Past President for the 2021-2022 year. As always, we are here to serve you, so please reach out if you have any input on future events/gatherings particularly as we transition back into in-person gatherings.
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 also have a 2-year old daughter, and I am enjoying watching her grow and experience the world around her.