AREHNA Engineering, Inc. Proudly Welcomes C. John Melendez, III, Director of Business Development

With nearly 15 years of transportation consulting experience in Tampa and throughout the State of Florida, Mr. Melendez will lead AREHNA’s continued efforts to develop business in the private and public sectors including commercial markets, local government and state projects, and the federal opportunities. Graduation from Florida State University with a Bachelors of Science degree in Biological Sciences led to work at Progress Environmental Lab (PEL) in Tampa. He then enrolled in University of South Florida’s College of Engineering and graduated as a proud USF Bull with a B.S. in Civil Engineering, concentrating on transportation and geotechnical engineering. While attending USF, he worked as a co-op student for Tampa Electric and TECO Peoples Gas. After graduation, Mr. Melendez began nearly a decade of transportation engineering consulting across the State of Florida and also in Texas and Maryland. In February of 2012, Mr. Melendez was appointed by the Governor of the State of Florida to the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority (HART) Board where he was recently reappointed for a second term of two years. He also actively supports Alpha House of Tampa and serves on the Tampa Advisory Board of the James Madison Institute, a Florida-based public policy research organization.

AREHNA Engineering Ranks 5th in the Tampa Bay Business Journal’s 2013 Fast 50

The Tampa Bay Business Journal (TBBJ) ranked the Bay Area’s 50 fastest growing companies based upon revenue growth and AREHNA Engineering ranked #5.  The TBBJ article notes the 2013 Fast 50 Awards was sponsored by Shumaker Loop & Kendrick LLP; CBIZ Kirkland Russ Murphy & Tapp; Grow Financial Federal Credit Union; and the Museum of Science & Industry.  The public accounting firm of CBIZ Kirkland Russ Murphy & Tapp of Clearwater verified the revenue growth of all 50 ranked companies.  AREHNA showed a revenue increase of 600% since 2010, with revenues at $6.3 million in 2012.  For a full profile on AREHNA Engineering’s #5 ranking, please visit the TBBJ’s July 19, 2013 editorial.

Engineering firm meets need, prospers

TAMPA — It began with two engineers and the understanding of a need in the marketplace.

During the past four years, Arehna Engineering Inc. has grown from a two-person startup to a 35-person operation based in 9,000-square-foot facilities, and continues to expand.

Founders Jessica McRory, president, and Sonia Florence, vice president, met as co-workers at an engineering consulting firm.

“We got to know each other and found each other’s strengths and from there it made sense to come together and start a company,” Florence said.

They founded Arehna in January 2009. The company provides geotechnical and materials testing services primarily in a sub-consultant role.

As a women-owned firm, Arehna qualifies as a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise, which makes it competitive for certain government projects.

“We knew it was a benefit that we were both women engineers,” Florence said.

The company has also built a staff of seasoned engineers and established a reputation in the local area.

Active marketing and networking helped moved the firm forward during some of the bleakest days in the economy, the founders said… Read more ».

Pursuit of stimulus work a big job for small business

TAMPA — Scarce revenue sources in the private sector continue to lead small business owners to the 407 pages of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in search of opportunities.

The stimulus bill has been a sign of hope for some and a cause for frustration for others, but many Tampa Bay business owners are finally learning that stimulus-related jobs exist beyond laying down asphalt and filling potholes.

The Florida Department of Transportation hired Valerie Ciudad-Real’s Tampa communications services firm The ValErin Group Inc. to provide public information services for several upcoming enhancement projects in the Manatee area.

Finding out about stimulus work requires phone calls, attendance at conferences and information events, and “always asking questions” of clients, Ciudad-Real said.

“You are not going to walk into something making money,” she said. “It takes time. Have patience and develop relationships, get certification, go to as many things as you can.”

FDOT has a goal to commit 8.1 percent of stimulus projects to certified Disadvantaged Business Enterprises that are minority- or female-owned.

DBE certification has opened doors, Ciudad-Real said, and she suggested businesses that qualify obtain the certification.

Jessica McRory, president of Tampa geotechnical engineering firm Arehna Engineering Inc., on Tuesday received her DBE certification after a process she said was thorough and lengthy, which required proof of ownership and personal assets and availability for a site visit… Read more »