Leadership

Our leadership team instills and fosters a culture of respect while supporting our mission to provide our clients with the best consultant services ever experienced in any industry.

Executive Team

Mike Cook Chief Executive Officer

Mike Cook

Alta Vista Solutions appointed Mr. Cook to the role of chief executive officer in 2016. Mr. Cook had been a mentor and executive coach for Alta Vista’s founders and executive staff, and was instrumental in growing and developing the company’s strategic plan.

Mr. Cook has more than 40 years of industry experience, including time dedicated to a team that was honored with the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, the nation’s most prestigious honor for business excellence. Most of Mr. Cook’s professional expertise involves product and process improvement initiatives, measurement of quality, and management of lab services.

As CEO of Alta Vista, Mr. Cook focuses on developing new service areas, growing existing capabilities and supporting staff needs.

Mr. Cook graduated from Stanford University with a Bachelor of Science in Political Science. He is a Stanford football fanatic and enjoys spending his free time outdoors.

Mazen Wahbeh, Ph.D., P.E. Executive Vice President

Mazen Wahbeh, Ph.D., P.E.

Throughout Dr. Wahbeh’s career, he has managed and contributed to the completion of many mega infrastructure projects, both nationally and internationally, by putting quality first and maintaining the highest regard for technical details.

Dr. Wahbeh’s portfolio has included illustrious ventures that are often first of their class and structurally significant. Some of these projects include, but are not limited to, the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge Self-Anchored Suspension Span, as well as the Alfred Zampa Memorial Bridge, the San Diego-Coronado Bridge, the Vincent Thomas Bridge, the Benicia-Martinez Bridge and the deck replacement of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge.

Dr. Wahbeh continues his commitment to the engineering community by being an active member of several industry associations. These include the American Society of Civil Engineers on both the Structural Bridge Monitoring and Steel Orthotropic Bridge Girder committees and the International Association for Bridge Management and Safety. Additionally, Dr. Wahbeh serves as a Research Professor at the University of Southern California and is an advisory bridge research member at several prominent universities.

In his belief that “the strength of a firm lies in the strength of the minds of its people,” Dr. Wahbeh emphasizes not only the importance of his responsibility, but the company’s obligation to pass along “the lessons we’ve learned.” Whether it’s through mentoring college interns or supporting non-profit organizations such as Math, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA), Dr. Wahbeh believes it is our collective responsibility to pass along our knowledge and skills to advance future generations of engineering professionals.

Patrick Lowry, P.E. Executive Vice President

Patrick Lowry, P.E.

After growing up on California’s Central Coast, Mr. Lowry attended the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York. During his six years with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, he served as a project manager for multiple construction projects including the construction of bridges in Bosnia-Herzegovina, a 2,000-person base camp in Albania, and various mega construction projects in California.

Since founding Alta Vista Solutions, Mr. Lowry has worked closely with owner agencies to revamp their quality management programs and integrate quality-related activities into all business processes. He has fabrication and manufacturing knowledge in various industries and has helped author multiple construction, material and quality specifications.

Mr. Lowry is a registered Professional Engineer in California for Civil and Mechanical Engineering, a Certified Welding Inspector and a member of several transportation committees. In addition to his professional commitments, Mr. Lowry is a Bay Area sports fanatic and a military history buff.

Peter E. Siegenthaler, P.E. Executive Vice President

Peter E. Siegenthaler, P.E.

Mr. Siegenthaler has over 28 years of experience in contract management, design, and maintenance of bridges and transit structures, as well as representing the owner on construction projects for very complex and high profile projects in California.

Mr. Siegenthaler is a registered Professional Engineer in California and has previously worked in the capacity of Resident Engineer, Construction Manager, and Principal Transportation Engineer on the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge for over 12 years.

Mr. Siegenthaler joined Alta Vista to lead the Program Management division. With his extensive knowledge in materials engineering, construction management and contract administration, Mr. Siegenthaler strives to build comprehensive teams that bring value and results to clients.

He has spent his formative years being schooled and raised in Switzerland, and has lived and worked on four continents, including as a volunteer teacher for the Peace Corps in Lesotho, Southern Africa. His interests away from work include skiing, biking, hiking, gardening, ornithology and wildlife photography while traveling.

Jinesh Mehta, P.E. Chief Engineer / Vice President of Quality

Jinesh Mehta, P.E.

Mr. Mehta received his Master of Science in Construction Materials from Purdue University. He is a registered Professional Engineer in the state of California and has more than a decade of experience working in quality assurance on major bridges and projects.

As a Certified Welding Inspector and a Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute (PCI) Level III Inspector, he maintains a comprehensive understanding of major structural materials. Additionally, he is an active member of several committees including the American Concrete Institute and has taken initiatives in advancing concrete specifications with various clients. He enjoys his role as a voting member of the Research Council of Structural Connection and American Welding Society.

In addition to his professional responsibilities, Mr. Mehta enjoys mentoring new staff and teaching classes for PCI certification. He also has a deep-rooted love of nature and often escapes to national parks whenever he gets the chance.

Michael Bennett Vice President of Operations

Michael Bennett

Mr. Bennett has a vast history in providing quality assurance inspection services on transportation projects throughout the country.

Prior to joining Alta Vista in 2010, Mr. Bennett worked for the California Department of Transportation’s Materials, Engineering and Testing Services in a variety of capacities. He has managed quality assurance inspections on more than 30 new steel bridge fabrication and retrofit projects and is a member of several committees.

Mr. Bennett holds American Welding Society certifications as a Certified Welding Inspector and Certified Radiographic Film Interpreter. He is a NACE Certified Coating Inspector Level 3 and certified Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute Level 2 concrete inspector. Mr. Bennett is thoroughly experienced in the interpretation of the AWS D1.1, D1.3, D1.4, D1.5 and D1.6 welding codes as well as the American Society for Testing and Materials and American Railway Engineering and Maintenance-of-Way Association manuals.

In addition to his work commitments, Mr. Bennett has a deep-rooted passion for youth sports and has coached ice and inline hockey for more than 13 years.

Management Team

Aaron Prchlik, P.E. Senior Engineer

aaron

Mr. Prchlik is a registered Professional Engineer in California and has more than 13 years of combined experience working on major transportation projects both domestically and internationally.

He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. He is a Certified Welding Inspector in addition to being a certified Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute Level I & II Concrete Inspector. He has in-depth knowledge and expertise in the areas of precast/prestressed concrete, structural joints and bolts, American Society for Testing and Materials standards, Steel Structure Technology Center’s Steel Structures Bolting Handbook, American Welding Society D1.5 Bridge Welding Code, California Department of Transportation Standard Specifications and American Institute of Steel Construction Steel Construction Manual.

Additionally, he is also a member of the Research Council on Structural Connections. In his free time, his professional skills come in handy as he volunteers for Habitat for Humanity and creates his own wood-working projects.

Angel Marquez Rail Operations Manager

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Mr. Marquez has 30 years of railroad experience. He has a diverse expertise in rail maintenance, construction, operations, and problem-solving strategies. Through the years, his various roles in maintenance of way, operations, safety, engineering and operating rules practices have developed his specialized knowledge on the needs of railroad projects.

Mr. Marquez’s proven leadership and program management skills, has ensured a safe, reliable, and efficient delivery of transportation maintenance services on various projects.

Currently, Mr. Marquez is in charge of the daily safety and security inspections on the billion dollar California High-Speed Rail construction contract. He contributes to the development of corrective action procedures, conducts safety audits, reports findings and follows up on continuous improvement recommendations.

In his spare time, he relaxes by gardening outdoors, watching sporting events and spending time with his family.

Bahjat Dagher, P.E. Southern CA Regional Manager

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Mr. Dagher is a registered Professional Engineer in the state of California with years of experience working on high profile projects in the capacity of a field engineer, design engineer, materials engineer and project manager. Some notable projects include: The Hermitage Towers in Paris, France; the Wembley Stadium in the UK; the World Trade Center Towers in NYC; and the San Francisco-Bay Bridge in Oakland, CA.

Mr. Dagher holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the American University of Beirut and a Master of Engineering degree in High Performance Structures from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he wrote his thesis on ‘Active Control of Simply Supported Composite Bridges’.

He holds the American Welding Society Certified Welding Inspector certification, Precast/Pre-stressed Concrete Institute Level I & II certifications, the American Concrete Institute Field Grade I certification, and the LEED Accredited Professional certification. He has in depth knowledge and expertise in bridge construction, most significantly, cable system fabrication and erection.

Mr. Dagher holds leadership roles as the acting Director of Volunteer Coordination at the MIT club of Northern California and as a board member on the Network of Arab American Professionals of San Francisco and the Bay Area.

In his spare time, Mr. Dagher enjoys early morning crossfit, kettlebell, or TRX suspension training workouts. He also enjoys wind surfing in the summer and snowboarding in the winter.

Bart Ney Chief Communications Officer

Ney Portrait

An urban planner by training, Mr. Ney has made substantial contributions in the field of public communications by developing and implementing strategic communications plans for California’s largest infrastructure projects. He has experience as an independent planning and communications consultant and as an infrastructure analyst for ABC News. Mr. Ney has won numerous international, national and local awards as an innovator in strategic media communications.

Mr. Ney rewrote the book on how to engage the public and inform the media by inventing new communication techniques, such as using 3D simulation tools, interactive applications and broadcast-quality video for outreach efforts. His communications teams have won prestigious awards, such as an international Webby Award for Best Government Website. He has appeared regularly on national and local newscasts and was featured in episodes of CBS’s “60 Minutes”, PBS’s “The News Hour with Jim Lehrer” and garnered positive project awareness on ABC’s hit TV show, “The Bachelor.”

Mr. Ney has appeared in documentaries produced by National Geographic, the BBC, the Discovery Channel and several others. He has produced books and documentary films on infrastructure projects. As a “thought leader” in strategic communication, Mr. Ney has presented on the main stage at Autodesk University in Las Vegas, World Media Day at Industrial Light and Magic in San Francisco and moderated a technology panel at Focus on the Future in the Silicon Valley.

Mr. Ney has led documentary teams and overseen gubernatorial events on three continents. He has served as the communications manager and chairman of a multi-agency communications partnership team, handling stakeholder strategy and emergency communications for over $9 billion worth of infrastructure projects. He holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Southern California in Urban Planning and Real Estate Development. His interests include architecture, film, interactive storytelling, playing outdoor sports and coaching his children’s athletic teams.

Felicia Statkus, P.E. Project Manager

Felicia Statkus

Ms. Statkus is a dynamic program and project manager who has worked within the public and private sector for more than 28 years. She has led joint efforts with consulting engineers and design teams, hired, supervised and mentored staff, managed infrastructure projects to successful delivery, and developed funding and operational programs. Her accomplishments as Project Manager, Senior Manager, Transportation Manager and Branch Chief exemplify the values of leadership, teamwork and integrity.

At Alta Vista, Ms. Statkus works as a Project Manager assisting in establishing and implementing a Quality Management System to a complex organization and program – the California High-Speed Rail. She manages staff, strategizes team deliverables, resolves cross-organizational issues, coordinates with stakeholders, and ensures that the Quality Management System is efficient, effective and provides for continuous improvement and performance excellence.

Ms. Statkus earned her Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Idaho, and is a registered Professional Engineer in California, Idaho, and Oregon.

In her free time, Ms. Statkus enjoys shopping, gardening and spending time with her family.

Frank Cannizzaro, P.E. Northern CA Regional Manager

frank

As a retired Lieutenant Colonel of the United States Army Reserves, Mr. Cannizzaro brings with him over 24 years of experience in the engineering and construction industry, working in both the public and private sectors. He has over 10 years of design and construction management experience working for the California Department of Transportation, where he received the Resident Engineer Award in 1987. In the private sector, Mr. Cannizzaro is an experienced senior project engineer, quality control manager, project manager and operations manager working on the construction of large civil infrastructure, waterways and site remediation projects.

Mr. Cannizzaro received his Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Santa Clara University and his Master of Business Administration degree in Corporate Financing from Golden Gate University in San Francisco. He is a registered Professional Engineer in California for civil engineering and a certified Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan Developer and Practitioner.

Currently, Mr. Cannizzaro supervises quality assurance staff and manages various local agency projects.

In addition, Mr. Cannizzaro holds the position of Treasurer for the Society of American Military Engineers—San Francisco Post; he is also a member of the Knights of Columbus and coaches CYO basketball.

Irina Kassil, C.P.A. Director of Finance

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Ms. Kassil is a Certified Public Accountant with over 16 years of extensive experience in the financial industry.  Her experience includes the oversight of accounting, audit and budget departments, while ensuring compliance.

Ms. Kassil received her Master of Science degree in Taxation from Golden Gate University in San Francisco, CA, and her Certificate of Financial Accounting in Business Administration from the University of California, Berkeley, CA.

As Alta Vista’s Director of Finance, Ms. Kassil advises Executive Management on strategies to maximize the company’s financial position.  In addition, she collaborates with the Executive Management team to develop the annual operating budget along with educating Project Managers on the financial aspects of the budgets.

She is an active member of the California Society of CPAs and the Junior League of San Francisco, where she is currently a financial advisor; however, she previously served as Treasurer and was a member of JLSF Executive Committee and Board of Directors.  Ms. Kassil has been married for 25 years and has two children.  She enjoys spending her free time with her family and traveling around the world.

Jannel Teshera Corporate Quality and Performance Excellence Manager

Jannel

Ms. Teshera has nearly 20 years of experience and has spent her career managing quality and regulatory compliance activities for lab analytical services and manufacturing companies. She is a Certified Manager of Quality/Organizational Excellence, Certified Six Sigma Green Belt, ISO 9001 Lead Auditor, and Radiation Safety Officer.

As Alta Vista’s Corporate Quality and Performance Excellence Manager, Ms. Teshera drives performance imperatives to include alignment to Baldrige Performance Excellence criteria, KPI process improvements, and streamlining of corporate processes through Lean methodology. She leads internal compliance audits across all departments and projects, the corrective and preventive action process, and document/change control.

Ms. Teshera holds a Bachelor of Arts in Biology from Mills College and a Master of Business Administration with a concentration in Organizational Management from the University of Phoenix. In her free time, she enjoys wine-tasting, hiking, and traveling the world.

Jordona Jackson Smith Communications Development Manager

Jordona Jackson Smith

In addition to seven years of strategic communications and public relations experience, Ms. Smith brings passion for the application of strategic communications to infrastructure and public transportation. She has experience in crisis communications, educational outreach programming, strategic communications plan development, and media relations.

Ms. Smith spent five years on the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge Seismic Safety Projects’ award-winning communications team and supported the Dumbarton Bridge seismic retrofit and the Caldecott Tunnel Fourth Bore Project. She has facilitated development of documentary pieces by World’s Toughest Fixes, Build It Bigger, Science Friday and WIRED Magazine. As a spokesperson for the Bay Bridge retrofit, Ms. Smith has worked with, and provided on-air interviews for, ABC, FOX, CBS and NBC television network affiliates. She also has experience providing public relations, branding, marketing, product launches and project management for biotech companies specializing in diagnostics, pharmaceuticals and medical devices.

Ms. Smith holds a Bachelor of Science in Journalism from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and a Master of Public Administration from University of San Francisco. In her spare time, she enjoys gardening, yoga, reading and competitive sports.

Keivan Hassan, P.E. Senior Engineer

Keivan

Mr. Hassan is a registered Professional Engineer in California with more than 14 years of civil engineering experience for public and private projects including tunnels, bridges, roadways and design for residential subdivisions and buildings.

He holds a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Engineering in Civil Engineering. He is a certified welding inspector and a certified Precast/Pre-stressed Concrete Institute Level I & II Concrete Inspector. He is known for his detailed attention to specifications and his problem-solving approach to challenges. His domestic and international experience in quality control and quality assurance range from technical supervision for precast job sites, materials testing and engineering and construction inspection to project and contract management.

He is member of the Society for Protective Coatings (SSPC) and the National Association of Corrosion Engineers (NACE) national committees for corrosion protective and protective coating and has presented peer-reviewed papers in regional conferences. Mr. Hassan volunteers in local communities to support education and community development.

Michael Foerder Senior Task Leader/Corporate Non-destructive Testing Level III Inspector

Michael Foerder

Mr. Foerder holds a certificate in Construction Management from the University of California, Berkeley and more than 22 years of experience in construction management, quality assurance, safety compliance, technical construction inspection and material testing.

He has worked on numerous large-scale infrastructure, public works and building projects in California and Nevada as a Quality Assurance and Quality Control Inspector. He is Alta Vista’s Corporate American Society for Non-Destructive Testing Level III and Certified Welding Inspector.

Additionally, Mr. Foerder has been responsible for the training, testing and certification of non-destructive testing personnel and has an in-depth knowledge of the California Department of Transportation specifications and manuals, along with those of the American Welding Society, American Society for Testing and Materials, Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute and American Concrete Institute.

It also should be noted that Mr. Foerder is an avid motorcycle enthusiast and enjoys leisurely rides through the Bay Area.

Mohammad Fatemi, Ph.D., P.E., PMP Performance Manager

Mohammad Fatemi, Ph.D., P.E.

In his role as the Corporate Quality Assurance Manager, Dr. Fatemi has led Alta Vista to prestigious national and international quality certifications including ISO 9001 and ISO 17025.

He is a seasoned and accomplished engineer with 22 years of experience in civil and construction engineering. He received his Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from Queen’s University in Kingston, Canada and is a registered Professional Civil Engineer in California and Washington.

Dr. Fatemi is a Certified Project Management Professional, a Certified Welding Inspector and is a Level III Concrete Inspector from the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute and has been involved in many high-profile seismic retrofits. He is an experienced bridge design engineer and has led and participated in quality assurance inspections as well as fabrication and manufacturing audits.

Additionally, Dr. Fatemi is very keen on traveling and has journeyed to many countries for both business and pleasure. He also supports and regularly contributes to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and he “looks forward to the day when there won’t be a sick or hungry child in the world.”

Paul Bews Director of Rail Systems

Paul Bews

Mr. Bews has a successful track record in diverse business and consulting environments and supporting clients in the delivery of high value and logistically complex transportation programs. He supports and delivers varied landmark and strategic projects, particularly those with multiple stakeholders and delivery partners in a regulated and project finance environment.

His areas of expertise span risk, assurance, operational planning and integration aspects of projects and programs, regulatory affairs and the delivery of operational and strategic business improvements; all with an operational and benefits focus. He has advised UK and foreign governments, regulatory authorities, transport agencies, operators, infrastructure providers, lenders and bidding consortia on operations and infrastructure related risk. Mr. Bews works with financing and funding issues across a wide range of sectors.

Mr. Bews brings cross sector expertise with a deep commercial understanding to Alta Vista. His broad international experience and success in technical advisory, integration and coordination spans the delivery of the first driverless light rail system in the UK, High Speed Rail in the Netherlands, Portugal and the UK, as well as operational planning and assurance of the London Olympics Transport Program. He uses this broad experience to support the delivery and operational transition for high value, complex and challenging programs to meet and exceed business goals.

Mr. Bews is a Mechanical & Production Engineer by education and training, and has a Masters Degree in Transport Strategy and Policy from City University London (2015). He has fulfilled numerous senior project management and executive roles and has an analytical and strategic ability to facilitate operational planning solutions with a risk and opportunity focus across transport modes and across critical operational interfaces.

Mr. Bews is the Director of Rail Systems at Alta Vista Solutions in Sacramento where he is leading the development of the rail systems consultancy business through focused business development and is providing his expertise to the company globally.

Mr. Bews is a guest lecturer at City University London and in his spare time, he enjoys cooking fine foods, renovating old property and visiting new cities.

Rami Boundouki, P.E. Project Manager

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Mr. Boundouki is a Professional Engineer with close to 10 years of experience in the construction, fabrication, and design of major structures including the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge and the World Trade Center Towers in NYC. Currently, Mr. Boundouki is the Project Manager for quality assurance on the Upper Deck Replacement project at the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge.

He is a Certified Welding Inspector and a Certified Quality Auditor with in-depth knowledge of steel fabrication, non-destructive testing, and structural health monitoring, in addition to specialty material testing including metallurgical analysis of high strength fasteners.

Mr. Boundouki graduated Summa Cum Laude from Columbia University in New York City and obtained his Master of Science degree from the University of California, Berkeley where he specialized in structural behavior and seismic engineering.

In his free time, Mr. Boundouki enjoys spending time in the dark room developing black and white photographs and, as an avid soccer player, participates on various teams around the Bay Area. He has lived in Asia and Europe and loves to explore new cultures.

Tonya Arian Human Resources Manager

Tonya Arian

Ms. Arian has six years of industry experience, having supported human resources as well as accessibility for people with disabilities. Since joining Alta Vista, Ms. Arian held the roles of Recruiting Coordinator and Human Resources Generalist. In these roles, she coordinated and conducted interviews, reviewed timesheets and processed payroll, managed administration of benefits and maintained employee files.

As Human Resources Manager, Ms. Arian selects benefits vendors and plans, implements employee wellness programming and manages workforce hiring and termination processes.

Ms. Arian graduated from California State University, East Bay with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology with emphasis in industrial/organizational psychology. She is also a member of Psi Chi, the International Honor Society in Psychology.