PAVING THE WAY TO CONTINUED GROWTH: MARIO ECHAGARRUA JOINS WANTMAN GROUP, INC.AS COO
Mario Echagarrua, a highly regarded 37-year transportation engineering veteran, joined Wantman Group Inc. (WGI) as the firm’s Chief Operating Officer. WGI’s exponential growth since 2013, while pioneering internal divisions to expand its scope of services, drove the firm’s president David Wantman to hire Echagarrua, allowing Wantman to focus primarily on mergers and acquisitions and geographic expansion.
“Mario will work with our senior management team, accounting and human resources, and IT professionals to improve operational efficiency and accountability firm-wide.” Wantman noted.
Mario Echagarrua has extensive experience in the overall management and administration of professional service firms’ operations, as well as a strong Florida background. His unique resume covers projects from PD&E, Conceptual Studies, RFP Development, Environmental and Drainage Studies and CE&I. He has amassed over three decades of expertise in interstate corridors, complex interchange highway design, HOV/managed lanes, and signature bridge replacement projects.
“Mario’s broad range of experience throughout Florida, as a firm owner and as a leader in the world’s largest professional services firm, offers WGI new and exciting opportunities that will further advance our commitment to exceptional services and continued growth,” Wantman continued. “We will be working closely together on the daily operations of the firm, and that will allow me to concentrate my efforts on WGI’s strategic vision and growth initiatives.”
Echagarrua is a third-generation business and finance professional with an established client base to broaden horizons for WGI. “I believe that my biggest contribution will be towards the business aspects of the firm,” he stated. “I also intend to keep WGI’s finances running efficiently.”
When asked what type of corporate culture he envisions bringing to WGI, Echagarrua replied, “I was drawn to WGI by David Wantman’s business philosophy of hard work, common sense, and ethics. I can stand by that. WGI’s associates work hard, without complaints, and carry out every project to completion with integrity. I want to preserve that corporate attitude for continued success.”
Mario Echagarrua holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Miami. He began his career in 1978 as an engineer working for the Florida Department of Transportation District Four, Design Section in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.
Since entering the private sector in the 1980s as a design engineer, Echagarrua has moved up the ranks to manage projects statewide as the president and owner of EC Driver, a multi-disciplined firm nationally recognized for its movable bridge design expertise. Following a sale to URS Corporation in the mid ‘90s, Echagarrua continued as president of EC Driver, operating as a wholly owned subsidiary of URS. In 2013, he assumed the role of vice president and office manager of URS’s Boca Raton office, providing general civil engineering, transportation, and environmental services.
Echagarrua will now oversee a WGI corporate structure of 270 talented employees engaged in eight separate divisions housed in multiple office locations across the state of Florida. As a successful leader in a firm of over 100,000 employees, maintaining a smooth and steady course on WGI’s road to expansion will be natural for Echagarrua to engineer.
As a multidisciplinary consulting firm, WGI has seven offices throughout Florida and is comprised of eight separate divisions devoted to the following disciplines: Civil/Municipal Engineering, Transportation Engineering, Surveying and Mapping, Subsurface Utility Engineering, Landscape Architecture, Environmental, Planning and Creative Services. Most recently, WGI was ranked on ENR’s list of the Top 500 Design Firms, and is ranked number 14 in ENR’s Top Southeast Design Firms. Also in 2015, The Zweig Group ranked WGI #39 on the “Top 100 Fastest Growing Companies” list and placed WGI on the “Best Firms to Work For” list. WGI also ranked number 6 on the “Top 25 Engineering Firms in South Florida” list by The South Florida Business Journal. In 2014, WGI ranked #3767 on the Inc. 5000 list of the fastest-growing private companies in America and is among the 437 private growth companies that were Hire Power Awards honorees for 2013, featured in the 2nd annual edition of Inc. Hire Power Awards, recognizing the private businesses that have generated the most jobs since 2012.
Client Services Manager
Alchemy Communications Group
O: 561.935.9953 x.103