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SSR Announces Change in Senior Leadership


Nashville based engineering and consulting firm Smith Seckman Reid, Inc. (SSR) has announced changes to its corporate leadership structure. Chairman and CEO Rob Barrick announced that the SSR Board of Directors promoted Steve Lane to President and Chief Operating Officer (COO) and Susan Osterberg to Chief Administrative Officer (CAO). Barrick stated that the moves are an extension of the firm’s leadership succession plan that was initiated earlier this year.

“We are very fortunate to have people of their caliber in their respective roles,” said Barrick. “Both have shown a remarkable ability to bring people together across diverse geography, markets, and service offerings. They’ve been able to bring everyone together as one firm, solidifying SSR One. We have benefited from this in regards to increased efficiency, moral, and profitability.”

Steve Lane, who currently serves as COO, and Barrick have been working in tandem over the last three years in executive leadership roles. “The promotion to President is a natural extension of Steve’s work for the past three years,” Barrick stated. “I am pleased the Board formally recognized his accomplishments by appointing him as President in addition to his existing role as COO.” 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.

“Steve has done an outstanding job driving change in this new organizational structure,” said Barrick.

“For the last two years as COO I’ve been focused on the organizational changes we have made in our firm,” stated Lane. “I’m excited for this opportunity to continue to be part of the growth and change in SSR.”

Lane succeeds Barrick as President of SSR. Barrick has served as CEO and President for the past 29 years and will continue to serve as CEO and Chairman of the Board. “For Rob to serve as CEO and President, providing the leadership that he has for the past 29 years is a testament to his ability, loyalty, and dedication to our firm,” stated Lane.

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 chosen to be SSR’s COO in 2012.

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 fifteen 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 has served in various leadership roles with Leadership Nashville, the American Council of Engineering Companies of Tennessee, and the Ronald McDonald House. In his spare time, Steve is an avid outdoors man, golfer, and sportsman.

Susan Osterberg has served as SSR’s Vice President of Human Resources since joining the firm in 2011. She has overseen a variety of corporate functions including organizational development, recruiting, employee benefits, compensation, internal communications, training and development, and community involvement.

Over the past four years, Osterberg has also taken on additional duties as part of the management team, including facilitating operational restructuring and strategic planning.

“The promotion of Susan to CAO is a way to formalize and recognize the work that she’s already been doing,” said Barrick. “Susan has played an integral role in a shift in our one firm culture; she’s done an exceptional job and will continue to do so.”

As CAO, Osterberg is responsible for support services and encouraging collaboration between the different support groups. Additionally, she will focus on fostering increased employee engagement, organizational development, and leadership succession planning.

“I think I bring a different perspective to SSR,” said Osterberg. “My organizational and operational background, along with experience from a different industry, has allowed me to bring value to how we approach and manage our firm.  Our entire team is strong because of the variety of experiences and knowledge each of us brings to the table.”

Prior to joining SSR, Osterberg worked in management at O’Charley’s corporate headquarters for 22 years. She was Regional Vice President of Operations for the restaurant chain. She also held the positions of Chief Support Officer and Vice President of Human Resources and Training.

Osterberg received her bachelor’s degree in Organizational Communications and Business from Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota. She prides herself on giving back and spending her time outside of SSR doing meaningful activities. Osterberg spends much of her free time volunteering in various positions for her son’s extracurricular activities.

“We have a phenomenal leadership team in place at multiple levels within our organization,” stated Lane. “I’m excited about a chance to see that continue to grow and develop, to help lead and inspire.”