(Midland Park, NJ) May 10th, 2023 – Architecture and engineering firm LAN Associates (LAN) today announced the appointment of Thomas Wighard as the firm’s new company President. Wighard, an engineer by trade, joined LAN in 2001, and has held the position of Vice President since 2018. He will be taking over the position from long time LAN President, Ken Karle, who has served in the role since 1996. LAN Associates was founded in 1965 and Mr. Wighard will be the third person to hold the role of company President, a position originally held by LAN’s founder, John Lacz.
This transition is part of a larger strategy designed by LAN to shift leadership responsibilities for key members of LAN’s corporate officer team, who manage the company collectively. Ken Karle will transition into a new role managing special projects and contributing to strategic planning as Senior Vice President and Chairman of the Board of Directors. In his new capacity as President of LAN, Mr. Wighard will assume responsibility for overseeing the vision and strategic direction of the firm, as well as corporate obligations.
Mr. Wighard started at LAN Associates as an intern in 2001 before working his way up through the engineering department. In his capacity as Vice President and head of the Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing (MEP) Department, Wighard regularly worked closely with all LAN branch offices to coordinate various projects. His role encompassed a broad scope of responsibilities, including client collaboration, business development, and management of design teams. Mr. Wighard has proven himself to be a talented leader and an accomplished Officer. He manages complex projects and is well respected by clients and his peers. During Tom’s tenure as Vice President, he oversaw several multi-million-dollar projects, including two senior living complexes, The Vista at Christian Health, and Broadview Senior Living at Purchase College, substantial projects for aerospace manufacturing firm, Pratt & Whitney, as well as hundreds of K-12 and commercial client projects.
“I am filled with confidence and optimism for the future, thanks to the appointment of our new President, Tom Wighard,” said Ken Karle when asked about Wighard stepping into the role of LAN’s President. “With his extensive experience, leadership skills, and commitment to our company’s values, I have no doubt that Tom will guide LAN to even greater heights in the years to come. I look forward to working alongside him to ensure LAN continues to thrive.”
Mr. Wighard grew up in Prospect Park, NJ and attended Wilkes University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering and a minor in Physics. Tom is not only a Professional Engineer, licensed in eight states, but is also in the final stages of obtaining his architecture license. He is also an expert in sustainable design who is LEED accredited and an ASHRAE Certified High-Performance Building Design Professional (HBDP).
“I want to take a moment to thank Ken Karle for his 40+ years of dedicated service to LAN. His leadership and vision have been instrumental in driving LAN’s success and growth,” said newly appointed LAN President, Tom Wighard. “I am honored and excited to take on the role of President and lead our company into its next chapter. Building on the strong foundation that Ken and the other senior officers, Ronald M. Panicucci, Stephen J. Secora, Michael J. McGovern, Steven Ramiza, and Matthew Milnamow have laid, I am committed to continuing our tradition of excellence and innovation, while also pushing the boundaries of what is possible in our industry.”
LAN Associates has been in a period of expansion for the last several years. 2022 was the biggest year in the firm’s 58-year history, and since the start of 2021, LAN has hired more than 40 new architects, engineers, and support staff to collectively bring the firm to 120 professionals across its five offices in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. The success of both LAN’s Voorhees, NJ, and Goshen, NY offices necessitated a recent expansion of their office space, while LAN’s Midland Park, NJ headquarters is expanding nearly all of its divisions of service.
LAN Associates’ leadership team is confident in its continued growth ahead. The firm remains focused on supporting and advancing public school environments, as well as their health and safety, with several multi-million-dollar Energy Savings Improvement Program (ESIP) projects. LAN is also experiencing an influx of industrial/manufacturing projects, as well as a call for adaptive reuse and master planning for entertainment, commercial, and hospitality projects.