WBK Engineering marks 25 years of service

WBK Engineering, a Bodwé Professional Services company recently certified a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise, marks 25 years of service.

Headquartered in St. Charles, the civil engineering firm founded in 1998 has grown to provide innovative, sustainable solutions to clients in the public and private sectors.

“In 1998, Kane County was really taking off with both development and government initiatives,” said Charles Hanlon, one of WBK’s founding members and current vice president of operations. “We saw the opportunity to locate our new business in Kane County to really capture that upcoming work.”

Establishing the firm in St. Charles was a strategic move to compete for work in Kane County and all of northeast Illinois. One of the first milestone projects was providing technical assistance in writing the first Kane County Stormwater Management Ordinance. The firm’s portfolio began growing to include clients such as the City of Elgin, Village of West Dundee, City of Geneva, Carol Stream Park District, DuPage County Stormwater Management.

“WBK Engineering has become an extension of the city’s public works department,” said Aaron Neal, Elgin’s public works director.

In 2009, the firm acquired another St. Charles civil engineering company that worked in the municipal and transportation markets, including with the Illinois Department of Transportation.

Scott Randall, a water resources expert and current practice manager, has worked at WBK for nearly 20 years. He said the company’s commitment to work-life balance was ahead of its time, with the firm adopting flexible work schedules as early as 2004.

In 2016, WBK developed a partnership with Mno-Bmadsen, the non-gaming investment enterprise and a wholly owned instrumentality of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi, to became one of the only tribal-owned civil engineering firms based in Illinois. This partnership aligned environmental stewardship values and goals to expand beyond northeast Illinois boundaries.

Mno-Bmadsen acquired 100% interest in WBK Engineering in 2019. WBK continued to expand its portfolio including in the federal and Indigenous market sectors. WBK became certified 8(a) by the Federal Small Business Association in 2017 and the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise certification by the state in May.

Today, WBK is part of the Bodwé Professional Services Group of Mno-Bmadsen, offering services in architecture and engineering as well as contract support services for federal agencies.

“I believe our tribal ownership and DBE certification provide access to a broader range of potential projects and markets, while our quality of work and exceptional service makes us competitive as a trusted engineering firm,” said Yemi Oyewole, WBK transportation practice manager.

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