— Gould Engineering merged with Fleis & VandenBrink Engineering, Inc. Aug. 30 to expand its offering of engineering and construction management services in eastern Michigan.
Fleis & VandenBrink is one of the top engineering firms in western Michigan with more than 125 employees. Their headquarters are in Grand Rapids, with a satellite offices in Traverse City, Muskegon, Kalamazoo, Midland and Lansing; the company also has satellite offices in Fort Wayne and Indianapolis, Indiana. Founded in 1916, Gould employs 12 people at its offices in Grand Blanc and Flint. All of the locations will carry the Fleis & VandenBrink banner. Terms of the merger were not disclosed.
“We continue to have opportunities for expanding our work in eastern Michigan. We needed a local office to better compete for work in this key MIchigan market. The Gould merger provides a local office to the area and bring to the firm some quality, local staff to continue to grow our business,” said Larry J. Fleis, president of Fleis & VandenBrink. “We have been looking for the right opportunity to grow in the southeastern Michigan area and Gould is a very good fit for our needs. It’s pretty incredible that some of the Gould clients have been working with them for over 40 years.”
Both firms specialize in providing engineering services on construction projects varying from wastewater treatment plants to urban beautification programs. In addition, Fleis & VandenBrink performs engineering services for the Michigan Department of Transportation, private developers and local municipal agencies. In addition to the various private and industrial clients, Fleis & VandenBrink has more than 150 cities, villages and townships as clients. The firm’s success is also built on their ability to assist communities in securing grants and low-interest loans. Last year along, Fleis & VandenBrink assisted Michigan communities in securing more than $70-million in funding.
Victor Lukasavitz, who was president of Gould and been with the company for 44 years, said the merger coincided with a celebration in honor of Gould’s 94th year in business. “We celebrated our 94th year in the morning with ABC12’s morning mug shot and merged with Fleis & VandenBrink the same day,” he said.
Lukasavitz said the plans to merge the two companies had been in development for the last six months, and is a great fit for Gould. He expressed his excitement that their principals made the business decision to combine with Fleis & VandenBrink, which allows the company to essentially be a one-stop shop for clients. “No other firm offers the full array of services under one roof,” he said.
“They are leaders, utilizing the best technology in our industry and providing a broad scope of services that we can now offer to our clients,” Lukasavitz said. “I really like the things F & V is doing for their clients, and I’m very excited about enhancing the service products we can provide to our clients out of our office.”
Lukasavitz also indicated that he liked the way Fleis & VandenBrink supports their staff with training and the technology to provide a high level of service.
“They have the same kind of values that we have at Gould. It’s no surprise that they received two, recent awards,” he said. Fleis & VandenBrink has been named as the 2010 Firm of the Year by the American Council of Engineering Companies in Michigan, and as a West Michigan 101 Best & Brightest Companies to Work For.
Although the merger took place, Lukasavitz stressed that Gould is not looking to abandon its partners in the field. “This is a different way of operating the business,” he said. “The staff is very excited, I’m very excited and Fleis & VandenBrink is excited about the merger,” he said. “Clients have all been very positive, congratulatory and looking forward tot he expanded services.”
Lukasavitz’s new title with Fleis & VandenBrink is Development, Marketing and Project Manager for Southeastern Michigan.
Fleis said his firm has particular strengths in civil and environmental engineering, transportation, architecture, landscape architecture, homeland security and Geographic Information System programs. An affiliate, F&V Construction Management, Inc., provides further support in the construction management aspects of the projects. These services will be expanded into eastern Michigan through the merger with Gould Engineering.
For more information, call 810-743-9120.