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MSG Names Dean Niese as President/CEO

MSG Names Dean Niese as President/CEO

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The Mannik & Smith Group, Inc. (MSG) has named Dean M. Niese, PE, as President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the firm, effective May 8, 2020. Niese previously served as Chief Operations Officer (COO) and Chairman of the firm’s Board of Directors. He is replacing President and CEO Richard F. Bertz, PE, PS, who is transitioning into retirement. Brian P. Geer, PE, has been named COO.

“Over the years, Dean has played a key leadership role in the growth of MSG,” said Bertz. “I think it’s an understatement to say that neither Dean nor I foresaw our small company becoming one of the leading engineering and environmental sciences firms in the region! We just knew that hard work, finding great talent and having a vision would, at a minimum, sustain our business,” he added.

Niese joined Mannik & Smith, Inc. in 1984 after graduating from the University of Toledo with a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering. He served as president of the firm’s subsidiary, Midwest Environmental Consultants, Inc., and as a shareholder of both firms until the two firms merged in 2000 to form The Mannik & Smith Group, Inc. He was named COO in 2005 and Chairman of the Board in 2018.

Working with staff and shareholders, Niese helped MSG grow from a single office in Toledo with 15 employees to a regional engineering leader with 14 offices and more than 350 employees in Ohio, Michigan and West Virginia. He is credited with spearheading the firm’s environmental business, which is now MSG’s largest operating unit.

In an announcement to the staff, Bertz said, “After eight years as President / CEO, it is time for me to transition toward my retirement and finding the right person at the right time gives me comfort that the future of MSG is bright.  Dean, together with our Board, our executive leadership team, and you – our valued and talented staff – will take MSG to the next level of success.  I’m proud to have been part of our success and look to the past with fond memories!” 

Niese responded, “I am honored and excited to continue leadership of the firm and our service to our clients and the technical communities in which we live.  Having worked directly with Jaan Mannik, Mike Smith and Rich Bertz for decades, I am confident that our foundation and culture will propel us into the future.  Sure, the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic creates challenges during transition to my new role, but we are blessed to be working on a record high backlog of projects with great clients.  I am committed to build upon our past successes, and lead our team to work together to continue the firm’s technical skill, creative spirit.

A native of Putnam County and a registered Professional Engineer, Niese is involved in numerous professional and civic organizations. He is an active member and former Board member of the Rotary Club of Toledo; and past President of the Toledo Regional Architects, Contractors & Engineers, the Toledo Region of the American Council of Engineering Companies, and Toledo Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers.  Niese resides in Monclova Township with his wife, Cathy. They have three grown children, Nathan (Jaye Marie), Justin (Stacie), Alyssa (Jay) and granddaughter, Peyton.