AES was founded by Paul Small in 1980 as a small firm providing engineering services for local developers and James City County. Richard Costello, P.E., and Arch Marston, P.E. acquired significant stakes in 1994 and each took leadership positions. Richard served as President until 2014, when Arch stepped in. In 2019, I was proud to continue the tradition of planned leadership transitions at AES, ensuring we remain focused on delivering exceptional client service through commitment to our employees. It’s an honor to work each day to fulfill the role of President.
The two key groups at the center of our business are our clients and employees. I believe that by taking care of our employees, they will pass along this same high level of care to our many clients. We do this by fostering a culture and an environment that ensures our project managers and their teams are motivated, well-compensated, and receive the best mentorship and training. This concept of taking care of our clients by taking care of our employees is our core value at AES.
Both my grandfather and my father were Chief Executives. They owned businesses, managed companies, and invested in ventures ranging from real estate to arena management. Discussions at the dinner table often shifted from sports to business, to return on investment and the merits of a potential deal. I remember so well that each discussion centered on the people involved and the importance of putting together the absolute best team.
Following that example, our leadership team features professionals who understand the importance of being a trusted consultant and client advocate. With over 35 years of experience, Howard Price, Vice President, provides clients with seasoned consulting and our project managers with invaluable mentorship. Sam Bikkers, L.S., Director of Surveying, provides clients with a dedication to responsiveness and quality, based on his 35 years of experience. With more than 20 years of experience with AES, Jason Grimes, P.E., Vice President, guides the Williamsburg Office, leveraging experience in engineering design and entitlement support. Mark Ricketts, P.E., L.S., Office Manager, continues to grow our Chesapeake team, providing Hampton Roads clients with 30 years of experience, most recently for healthcare and residential developments. John Bennett, P.E., LEED A.P., Office Manager, provides Central Virginia clients with more than 20 years of development design experience, especially for retail and commercial centers, and now solar developments across Virginia.
I am fortunate to lead this group of talented and dedicated professionals, providing exceptional client service to our client base of property owners, developers, real estate attorneys, architects, commercial real estate brokers, general contractors, municipalities, home builders, property managers, and many others. I embrace the challenge of attracting the best talent to join such a dedicated and experienced team in the work of serving our clients.