PACE Announces Executive Leadership Succession

PACE Engineers’ CEO Marty Penhallegon, PE, is retiring 32 years after founding the firm in 1992. Ken Nilsen, PE, President, and Phil Cheesman, PE, Executive Vice President, will succeed Marty and continue to lead the business into its next chapter.

Ken joined PACE 26 years ago and currently leads the business’s strategic operations. He has over 40 years of industry experience and has held several key leadership roles at PACE prior to becoming President last year. Ken’s comprehensive background spans various sectors, including infrastructure, transportation, and environmental engineering. His specialty is solving complex stormwater and surface water challenges. Before PACE, he was a pioneer in developing King County’s Surface Water program.

Joining PACE just weeks after its inception, Phil built a regionally recognized land development department specializing in the civil design of commercial business parks, mixed-use developments, K-12 schools, parks, and trails. In 2017, he transitioned to directing all civil engineering activities, and more recently, in 2020, he oversaw all of engineering. He now leads all operations for structural and civil engineering, environmental, and surveying services.

Ken and Phil are backed by a talented team of department leaders, including Chris Anderson, PE, SE, Structural; Darrell Smith, PE, Civil/Environmental; Aaron Blaisdell, PLS, Survey; Karmell Dawson, PHR, SHRM-CP, Human Resources; Myra Sachs, Controller; Eugene Burgy, Technology; and Paula Welly, Business Development and Marketing.