In 1954, Walter E. Hanson, along with two of his former students from University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, founded Hanson Professional Services in Springfield. The firm’s name has changed throughout the years, but Hanson’s commitment to their clients reflects an allegiance to their most-valued asset – their employees.

“When Walt founded Hanson, he started what would become a legacy of employee pride and ownership,” said Darrel Berry, corporate communications manager. “The company has grown to more than 500 employees in 28 offices across the country.”

Hanson’s current chairman and CEO is Sergio “Satch” Pecori. The president and chief operating officer is Jeff Ball. Together, they lead the company with the same values as Walter Hanson. “The employee stock ownership trust remains a coveted benefit and tangible reward of working for our clients,” Berry said. “We also have many family ties within our ranks, where family members have drawn each other to join the Hanson team. Our paid internship program has attracted some of our legacy employees. It offers college students summer positions to complement their classroom experience and has led to many permanent, full-time jobs upon graduation.”
click to enlarge Hanson Professional Services
Chairman and CEO Sergio “Satch” Pecori, left, with Jeff Ball, president and chief operating officer.
Hanson offers exceptional health and wellness benefits, tuition reimbursement, generous time off and flexible work schedules. These benefits result in lengthy employee tenure and a low turnover rate. “We provide eight paid holidays, including a floating holiday. Our paid time off and family care leave benefits include 10 days of 100% paid maternity or paternity leave and 10 days of elder care in addition to short-term disability benefits,” Berry said. “We’re proud to be employee-owned and offer a company-funded ESOT as an additional retirement vehicle above and beyond our 401(k). The opportunity to participate in exciting projects and be a part of an entrepreneurial environment is another major advantage of working at Hanson.”

In 2023, Workforce Research Group ranked Hanson as the No. 4 Best Place to Work in Illinois in the medium-employer category. They were also ranked No. 2 in the large-employer category by Best Companies to Work for in Florida by Workforce Research Group. Engineering News-Record ranked Hanson No. 186 on its Top 500 Design Firms list.

“We also won a variety of project awards, including the American Public Works Association Illinois Chapter’s Public Works Project of the Year award, in the transportation category for our work on the Pekin, Illinois, Front Street renovation,” Berry said. The company was also a winner in the structures category for improvements to the Stratton-Bolger Lock and Dam. Finally, Hanson was given Special Achievement Awards from the American Council of Engineering Companies of Illinois for each of the projects mentioned.

Hanson hired 121 new employees in 2023, strengthening its dedicated team of employee-owners in locations across the United States. This growth in personnel will only help the company in the future. “Partnering with our clients to meet their goals and exceed their expectations is our primary goal moving forward,” Berry said, “along with maintaining and enhancing the employee culture that has helped us expand and fulfill the needs of clients in a growing range of industries. Finding new ways to show our customers and employees that we value them will always be our highest priority.”

In 2024, Hanson will celebrate its 70th anniversary. The company looks forward to many more years of making a positive difference in the world. “We foster a collaborative team environment in which employees thrive through exciting project work, are supported by leadership and value flexibility in their work schedules,” Berry said.

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