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50 Years of Making a Difference

On February 1, 2018, SSR celebrated 50 years of business, a remarkable accomplishment in any era. Achieving a milestone such as this is no easy feat, and such an occasion will be celebrated throughout the entire year, centering around our mission: To make a positive difference for our clients, colleagues, and communities. Take a moment to reflect on our accomplishments and growth over the past 50 years.

In January 1968, four engineers sat around a dining room table in Nashville, TN to lay out the plan for their own engineering firm. By the end of the night, they’d decided on the principles and foundations that would shape the firm in what they called their “magna carta.” Reliability, innovation, and relationships built on trust were key. Weeks later, on February 1, 1968, with these principles already at the heart of the firm’s vision, Smith Seckman Reid, Inc., opened for business.

We’ve spent the last 50 years building on the integrity of that “magna carta.” At SSR, we stay attuned to our clients’ needs because their success is our success. We’ve gone from small, focused beginnings serving one market, and grown into a full-service engineering firm with clients across a variety of industries. We’ve gone from one tiny office outside of downtown Nashville to nine offices located to serve our clients across the country.

Our clients are more than just numbers. They’re people, colleagues, and friends. For us, it’s not just about offering a professional service. It’s about personal service.

SSR has always held to these principles, and they’re just as important to us now as they were in 1968. The difference is that now the dining room table seats nearly 400, all of us employee-owners striving to uphold the tenets upon which we were founded. Compelled by our mission, guided by our vision, bound together by our values.


SSR Celebrates First CEO Change in 30 Years

Nashville based engineering and consulting firm Smith Seckman Reid, Inc. (SSR) has announced changes to its executive leadership in conjunction with the firm’s 50th anniversary. Steve Lane, the firm’s current President and Chief Operating Officer, will succeed Rob Barrick as the firm’s Chief Executive Officer. Barrick will continue to provide senior leadership to the firm as Chairman of the Board and Senior Principal. These changes will take effect February 1, 2018.

“In 2015, we adopted a strategic plan that included ownership and leadership transition goals that we would put in place before our 50th anniversary in 2018,” explained Barrick. “I am pleased that we have accomplished both and have put our firm on solid footing as we begin our next 50 years.”

Lane joined SSR in 1983 as head of the firm’s civil/environmental department. After serving in a variety of operational leadership roles, he was appointed SSR’s COO in 2012 and President in 2015.

Lane and Barrick have been working in tandem over the last six years in executive leadership roles. Under their leadership, the firm has gone through a strategic re-organization, consolidating profit centers and streamlining operations and standards, which has resulted in increased profitability and the retention and engagement of our colleagues.

“Steve and I have been colleagues and friends for over 30 years,” said Barrick. “He has brought passion and exceptional leadership to every role he has played at SSR. Many firms struggle with leadership transitions and we are fortunate to have a proven and capable leader to step into the CEO role. I am looking forward to what I know Steve will bring to SSR and the opportunity for both of us to serve SSR in new roles.”

“I’m excited about the opportunity to continue working with our skilled and experienced leadership team in this new role,” stated Lane. “Recognizing the firm’s history, its culture of service, and the exceptional values of our past and present colleagues, it is truly an honor and privilege to be in this role as we start our next 50 years. I believe SSR is well positioned for future success and will continue to make a very positive difference for our clients, our colleagues, and in the communities in which we work.”

Barrick, who has served as CEO since 1986, has worked with Lane to mentor and prepare him for this transition.

“Rob has been one of only two CEOs our firm has had in the past 50 years,” said Lane. “For him to be in the CEO role for more than 32 years is an amazing accomplishment. Our firm has seen continued growth and diversification over these years as a result of his visionary leadership and personal relationships with so many of our clients and colleagues. Rob has been a great listener, counselor, and influencer to many leaders of businesses and organizations across the country. Rob has been a mentor, teacher, partner, boss, and friend to me for over 35 years. I’m thankful he will continue working with us and focus his many skills and talents to help us provide better solutions to our valued clients.”

Lane graduated from Vanderbilt University with a Bachelor of Engineering degree in Civil Engineering in 1978. In 1991, he earned his Master of Engineering degree in Environmental and Water Resources Engineering from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. He is a registered professional engineer in 15 states.

He is a leader in the environmental engineering field and an expert in wastewater treatment design. His technical and service achievements have been widely recognized by his peers. Lane was named a Fellow by the American Council of Engineering Companies in 2011. In 2008, the Tennessee Society of Professional Engineers named him “Outstanding Engineer of the Year.” He has also been designated as a Diplomat by the American Academy of Environmental Engineers.

An active participant in local community causes, Lane is a graduate of Leadership Nashville and has served in various leadership roles with the American Council of Engineering Companies of Tennessee and the Ronald McDonald House.

Year End Video