Hello, we’re Protean.

We work hard and have fun doing it. That means themed parties, craft beer tastings, employee days, and family events are never too far away.

Our mission, everyday.

At Protean, we think life, and work, should play out a little like a Jimmy Buffett song. We give our employees the latitude they need to make the best decisions for their whole life, not just their work-life. We want them to find their balance, their Zen, the sweet spot, where they can live their best life. We think it starts and ends with attitude. Our attitude says we respect the people around us - our co-workers, clients, collaborators, and community - we value the diversity within us and amongst us. We embrace quality designs for enhancing our every day and our someday. And we want to help others find their own little slice of paradise.

OUR VALUES

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Give latitude.

We give you the space to be yourself, to think differently, to challenge norms, to make decisions, to offer different perspectives. Why? We believe empowerment makes you a happier person, and happy people make a great, productive company to better our communities.

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Cultivate attitude.

We respect each other and value our differences, believing that diversity makes us better. We work hard. We stay positive. We’re passionate about quality design.

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Find your true north.

We care about you and your journey. We’re excited to support you on it, to help you find paradise at home and at work. Are you ready to impact your community?

BROWSE OUR HISTORY

1997

On October 17, 1997, Stephen Y. Chun, PE launched SYC Civil Engineering, Inc., a one-man traffic and land development engineering firm, from his garage.

1998

A year later he hired two employees and opened an office in Downtown Orlando off Robinson and Bumby.

2001

On January 18, 2001, Scott Horlander, PE joined the firm and added roadway and drainage design to the firm’s service portfolio.

On September 12, 2001, we were awarded our first FDOT project: FDOT District 2, SR 10 from Tyler to Main Street, Downtown Jacksonville, FL. It included milling and resurfacing, ADA upgrades, and utility coordination.

2002

Awarded first FDOT District 5 and FDOT District 3 projects from Orlando office location.

Relocated to a larger office at 100 E Pine St, Suite 306. By the end of 2002, the firm had grown to 17 employees.

2004

Kimberly C. Horlander, PE joined as a managing partner, became firm President, and added miscellaneous structures to the firm’s core services.

Rebranded to Protean Design Group, Inc.

David R. Reed, PE joined the firm, bringing his relationships with FDOT District 7, FDOT District 1, and Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise.

Awarded our first FDOT District 4 project and our first FDOT District 5 District-wide Design contract.

2005

Awarded first contract with Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise, a DW Miscellaneous Design contract.

Awarded our first interchange design contract: FTE, SR 570 (Polk Parkway)/Pace Road from US 92 to I-4, Polk County, FL.

2007

Established a traffic engineering group.

Gained FDOT DBE Status

2008

Growth in company led to expansion to the 6th floor at 100 East Pine Street.

Awarded first FDOT District 1 project: DW Minor Design!

2009

Voted as Central Florida Engineers Week Outstanding Small Organization of the Year.

2011

Awarded first FDOT District 7 Project.

Expanded to Tampa to support clients along Florida’s west coast.

2013

Opened Pensacola office to better serve Florida’s Panhandle.

2014

Opened Tallahassee office to service North Florida clients.

Expanded into ITS.

Voted as Orlando Sentinel’s Top 100 Companies for Working Families.

2015

Won first standalone traffic project as a prime consultant.

2018

Opened Punta Gorda office to support service along the west coast of Florida.

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MEET OUR LEADERSHIP

Our leadership brings an expansive amount of diverse engineering experience to large-scale projects across Florida.

In addition to senior management, we have a versatile staff of engineers and technicians who have expertise in a wide variety of transportation, traffic, and study functions.

Kimberly Horlander

Kimberly Horlander

PE

President

Kimberly Horlander

PE

President

Kim serves as Protean’s President and reviews all projects before they’re submitted to the client, ensuring our quality standards have been followed.

Kim specializes in structural design including curved, continuous steel girder, prestressed AASHTO beam, and cast-in-place (CIP) flat slab bridges, as well as miscellaneous structures. She’s versed in drainage and permitting, roadway design, signals, and signing and pavement markings and has worked on numerous major and minor design projects.

Fun Fact: Kim has a small, domestic zoo at home consisting of two dogs, four cats, two bunnies, and some fish. She read about 60 books last year. Most of them fiction. Most of them digital. She has watched the Academy Awards every year since 8th grade and tries to watch all the best picture nominees—though she doesn’t always succeed!

Scott Horlander

Scott Horlander

PE

Vice President/Chief Business Officer

Scott Horlander

PE

Vice President/Chief Business Officer

Having served as project manager or project director for more than 100 projects throughout his career, Scott has developed expertise in a broad range of transportation design components. His diverse background includes roadway design, drainage and permitting, lighting, signalization, and traffic operations engineering. He has worked on numerous major, minor, and limited access projects throughout his career, consisting of widening, reconstruction, milling and resurfacing, interchange design, signalization, signing and pavement markings, sidewalk and ADA improvements, and drainage improvements. Scott has managed numerous mobility and complete streets projects, that bring multiple agencies together (city, county, FDOT, metropolitan planning organizations, and other funding sources) to address all means of transportation applicable to the given network.

Fun Fact: If Scott were to start his college education over again, he would seriously consider becoming a particle physicist.

David Reed

David Reed

PE

Vice President/Chief Operations Officer

David Reed

PE

Vice President/Chief Operations Officer

David oversees all roadway-led projects. He has extensive highway design experience ranging from complex interchanges to pedestrian and ADA improvements. He has led major, minor, and limited access efforts encompassing new interchanges, capacity improvements, resurfacing and innovative pavement failure techniques, design-build request for proposals (RFPs), award-winning roundabouts, temporary traffic control plans (TTCP), and various safety improvements.

Fun Fact: David started working on cars at the age of five, handing wrenches to his father as he worked on his Triumph TR-3A, and he’s been “turning wrenches” ever since. His most recent project was the restoration of a 1968 Corvette that David trailered home from Tampa in pieces.

Ryan Patterson

Ryan Patterson

PE

Director of Highways, North Florida

Ryan Patterson

PE

Director of Highways, North Florida

Ryan has extensive engineering experience in all components of roadway design, including major reconstruction; widening; and resurfacing, restoration, and rehabilitation (3R) projects. In addition, he served as the project manager supervisor for Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) District 3, where he supervised and trained project managers, reviewed technical proposals, and negotiated staff hour estimates for consultant projects.

Fun Fact: Ryan loves to travel. His coolest destination was Australia, where he went scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef. He was never able to locate the dentist that took Nemo though! With six kids, travel often consists of visits to Disney World, theme parks, or any number of his kids’ sporting events. Ryan has convinced his four year old that sasquatches are real, and he looks for them every day.

Alex Hinkle

Alex Hinkle

PE

Director of Traffic Systems

Alex Hinkle

PE

Director of Traffic Systems

Alex oversees all traffic engineering and operation functions. He has provided lighting, signing, pavement markings, signal, and intelligent transportation systems (ITS), as well as roadway and temporary traffic control plans (TTCP). Alex offers clients strong leadership qualities, as seen through his successful management of multiple assignments under our districtwide, design-build, and push button contracts. He has led complex traffic operations projects including safety and intersection improvements, signal reconstructions, systemwide dynamic messaging sign (DMS) upgrades, concept and master signing plans, lighting design, and standard and complex signalization design, which included development of the State’s first modified partial restricted-crossing U-turn intersection. He has developed knowledge of client-specific requirements and preferences and has relationships with key personnel to streamline the decision-making process.

Fun Fact: In his free time, Alex enjoys spending time in the water. His passions include scuba diving and wakeboarding.

Jeff Tuell

Jeff Tuell

PE

Structures Group Leader

Jeff Tuell

PE

Structures Group Leader

Jeff is responsible for leading Protean's structural design group. Whether it is new, widening, or rehabilitation of bridges, retaining walls, or other structures for design-bid-build or design-build delivery methods, Jeff brings his diverse background to provide clients with a unique perspective for their structural needs.

Fun Fact: Jeff is a passionate fan of UCF football and has been a season ticket holder since graduation. He goes to every home game and some away games (including one in Dublin). Plus, Jeff has attended every UCF bowl victory (well, and some of their losses).

Todd Davis

Todd Davis

PE

Project Manager, Transportation Planning Group Leader

Todd Davis

PE

Project Manager, Transportation Planning Group Leader

As the group leader for Protean's transportation planning group, Todd brings experience specializing in traffic operations, transportation planning studies, and concurrency management systems (CMS). Specifically, he has managed and led developments of regional impact (DRIs) and comprehensive plans, corridor- and area-wide planning studies, signal warrants, traffic impact studies, impact fee studies, and data collection efforts.

Fun Fact: Todd knows calligraphy and in his free time he is an avid baker. He is also a sports fanatic, enjoying watching, playing, and coaching all sports.

John Novak

John Novak

PE

Project Manager, Highway Group Leader

John Novak

PE

Project Manager, Highway Group Leader

John leads our Tampa operations and has depth of experience in roadway and structures design, project development and environment (PD&E) studies, construction engineering, value engineering studies, and bridge inspection and ratings. This diverse background affords him the knowledge to perform constructability and biddability reviews on all projects Protean produces.

Fun Fact: John loves to fish for redfish and snook in Tampa Bay. In 2011, a shark turned things around a bit and nibbled John on the leg, resulting in him in the hospital for a week; John not the shark.

Karen Van den Avont

Karen Van den Avont

PE

Project Manager, Highway Group Leader

Karen Van den Avont

PE

Project Manager, Highway Group Leader

Karen is versed in roadway design, drainage design, and permitting; providing her unique insight into any transportation project. She has worked on numerous major, minor, and interstate design projects including drainage, permitting, roadway widenings, reconstructions, milling and resurfacings, signing and pavement markings, shoulder construction, signalization, sidewalk and ADA improvements, and guardrail improvements throughout Florida.

Fun Fact: In her free time, Karen plays on two bowling leagues and participates in bowling tournaments throughout Florida.

Julio Alegre

Julio Alegre

PE, PTOE

Project Manager, Traffic Systems Group Leader

Julio Alegre

PE, PTOE

Project Manager, Traffic Systems Group Leader

Julio is versed in traffic operations/safety studies and traffic engineering design. He has managed several traffic operations and safety contracts for different entities, including the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and municipalities. Additionally, he has provided in-house support. Julio’s traffic operations experience includes conducting intersection qualitative assessments, signal warrant analyses, flashing yellow analyses, speed studies, one-way street circulation evaluation, intersection/segment safety studies, and pedestrian crossing assessments. He has also worked on numerous overhead signing projects where reflectivity and lighting were key issues.

Fun Fact: Julio is originally from Peru. He’s a soccer fanatic and a big fan of Orlando City Soccer Club. He has a D Soccer Coaching License and coaches a 2001 Girls team for Lake County. He loves making a difference in the lives of young athletes and is always proud to be called “coach” when he sees his players years later.

Steve Tomkins

Steve Tomkins

PE

Project Manager, Highways Group Leader

Steve Tomkins

PE

Project Manager, Highways Group Leader

Drew Rossi

Drew Rossi

PE

Project Manager, Highway Group Leader

Drew Rossi

PE

Project Manager, Highway Group Leader

Drew serves as a project manager in our Punta Gorda office. His diverse background includes minor and major roadway design; limited access facilities including new facilities, ramps, interchanges, and design-build RFPs; drainage design for a multitude of projects including resurfacing, reconstruction, new alignments, and private developments; utility coordination; and public outreach programs.

Fun Fact: Drew also passes his time watching, and re-watching, Parks and Rec episodes, where he’s found his newest life motto: “Give a man a fish and feed him for a day. Don’t teach a man to fish…and feed yourself. He’s a grown man. And fishing’s not that hard.” – Ron Swanson

Laura Rossi

Laura Rossi

PE

Project Manager, Highway Group Leader

Laura Rossi

PE

Project Manager, Highway Group Leader

Laura brings a wealth of experience in roadway, stormwater, and stormsewer design. She is skilled in all aspects of geometric design, including vertical and horizontal alignments, rural and high-speed urban designs, temporary traffic control plans (TTCP), and signing and pavement markings. She also has experience with modeling stormsewer systems and the design of wet detention ponds, retention ponds, and floodplain compensation sites in compliance with Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) criteria. In addition, Laura is experienced with conducting traffic impact statements for proposed developments.

Fun Fact: Laura unwinds by watching her favorite shows, Parks and Rec and The Office. Her most relatable quotes include:
"Guys love it when you can show them you're better than they are at something they love."
– Leslie Knope
“You know what they say, ‘Fool me once, strike one, but fool me twice…strike three.’”
–Michael Scott

Kelsea Patterson

Kelsea Patterson

PE

Project Manager, Highway Group Leader

Kelsea Patterson

PE

Project Manager, Highway Group Leader

Kelsea, located in our Tallahassee office, brings her experience in interstate, major, and minor roadway projects; safety studies and design; milling, resurfacing, reconstruction, and widening projects; and traffic engineering, including signing and pavement markings. Her leadership drives project success from concept through construction.

Fun Fact: Kelsea loves to travel. Disney World is her and her family’s favorite vacation spot along with The Great Wolf Lodge water park. Kelsea graduated from Florida State University but is a huge Florida fan. Go Gators!!

Lenny Barden

Lenny Barden

PE

Project Manager

Lenny Barden

PE

Project Manager

Lenny offers clients top-notch service in traffic systems. From ITS to signing and pavement markings, from lighting retrofits/new systems to signalization designs, from traffic operation studies to bus rapid transit concepts and implementation, Lenny goal is to provide the safest condition for all transportation users through innovative designs.

Michelle Melo

Michelle Melo

PE

Project Manager

Michelle Melo

PE

Project Manager

Michelle specializes in project management, 3D modeling, and design of major/minor roadways, limited access facilities, and interchange designs. She brings forth her capabilities to deliver constructible projects for clients statewide.

Fun Fact: Take a close look at the goalie in the Grubhub commercial with Alex Morgan and you will spot Michelle putting her defensive moves to action!

Adam Burnett

Adam Burnett

PE

Project Engineer

Adam Burnett

PE

Project Engineer

Fun Fact: In his free time, Adam races cars and has a NASCAR license.

Emily Wigle

Emily Wigle

PE

Project Engineer

Emily Wigle

PE

Project Engineer

Fun Fact: Emily has been skydiving twice and loved it (but will never go again).

Nicole Henry

Nicole Henry

PE

Project Engineer

Nicole Henry

PE

Project Engineer

Fun Fact: In her free time, she plays on two recreational soccer teams. She also used to be super cool and road race superbikes, but now she just cruises around on her Harley that she turned into a bobber. She did all the work herself.

Ellie Wilson

Ellie Wilson

PE

Project Engineer

Ellie Wilson

PE

Project Engineer

Fun Fact: During college, Ellie completed a semester-long exchange program at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore where she took classes from the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

Courtney Orlando

Courtney Orlando

EI

Project Engineer Intern III

Courtney Orlando

EI

Project Engineer Intern III

Fun Fact: Courtney has traveled to the western most point in Europe.

Brendan McCarthy

Brendan McCarthy

EI

Project Engineer Intern II

Brendan McCarthy

EI

Project Engineer Intern II

Yael Rivera

Yael Rivera

EI

Project Engineer Intern II

Yael Rivera

EI

Project Engineer Intern II

Fun Fact: He lived in France for four months, taking classes, exploring Europe, and learning the joys of delicious French wines and cheeses. A big thing he didn’t do was learn French, after four months he was able to speak one phrase: “Je ne parler pas français.”

Alex Bitter

Alex Bitter

EI

Project Engineer Intern II

Alex Bitter

EI

Project Engineer Intern II

Fun Fact: Alex is a UCF Football season ticket holder and attends every home game. Go Knights!

Dillon Skitka

Dillon Skitka

EI

Project Engineer Intern I

Dillon Skitka

EI

Project Engineer Intern I

Dillon is located in our Punta Gorda office, where he supports roadway and drainage design projects and traffic studies.

Mario Texeira

Mario Texeira

Senior Design Technician

Mario Texeira

Senior Design Technician

Fun Fact: Photography is one of Mario's favorite hobbies.

Anna Skeete

Anna Skeete

Director of Marketing

Anna Skeete

Director of Marketing

Anna has spent her entire career specializing in marketing and business development for the A/E/C industry. She is experienced in marketing communications, technical writing, public relations, special events coordination, and graphic design. Anna leads efforts to prepare useful public informational materials, including presentations, informational graphics and boards. She is responsible for firm-wide pursuits and proposal management, including responses to requests for proposals (RFPs)/letters of response (LORs), presentations, schedules, staff-hour estimates, marketing collateral, and research; and maintenance of our customer relationship management (CRM) and proposal-generating databases. She develops graphics for proposals, presentations, and brochures; crafts trade show exhibits and materials; coordinates special events, and creates marketing materials using traditional and electronic publishing techniques.

Fun Fact: Relevant to the industry, Anna’s shocking fact is that she isn’t married to an engineer! More exciting is that she only has 10 more states to visit before she can claim she’s set foot in all 50 U.S. states.

Sonya Howard

Sonya Howard

Accounting Group Manager

Sonya Howard

Accounting Group Manager

Sonya manages the day-to-day office accounting for the firm. She establishes and oversees the firm’s financial status by developing and implementing systems for collecting, analyzing, verifying, and reporting financial information. Sonya supports the preparation of the firm’s annual budget, scheduling expenditures, analyzing variances, and initiating corrective actions. She confirms financial status by monitoring revenue and expenses; coordinates the collection, consolidation, and evaluation of financial data; and prepares special reports for the Board of Directors. Sonya also assists project managers firm-wide with automated fee proposals (AFPs), certified payrolls, and weighting averages for project wins. She reviews all contracts and subcontracts for accuracy. She performs revenue adjustments and updates project budgets, as needed.

Sonya oversees the billing and accounts payable departments, directing staff and providing guidance on best practices for billing functions, such as distributing monthly billing reports and processing labor transfers. Sonya ensures that the team accurately processes invoices to clients. She works with account payable auditing invoices received from vendors and subconsultants. Sonya is responsible for payroll, taxes, annual audits, and filing sales tax.

Fun Fact: Every February, Sonya takes her two-week vacation to volunteer at the Osceola County fair.

Kim Reed

Kim Reed

Human Resources Group Manager

Kim Reed

Human Resources Group Manager

Kim oversees human resources at Protean; her primary responsibilities are all things “people,” including recruiting the best in the business, helping them be successful by supporting their professional development, providing an A-class benefits package, and rewarding peak performance while creating policies that support work-life balance.

Fun Fact: Kim spent several summers as a tour guide at SeaWorld in high school and college. She had to memorize everything from facts about every animal to all four types of grasses in the park and she can still remember most of it. It also provided her the opportunity to meet Burt Reynolds, Pee Wee Herman, Teddy Gentry, the bass player for Alabama, and several politicians and their families while providing VIP tours of the park.

Kimberly Rios

Kimberly Rios

Marketing Coordinator

Kimberly Rios

Marketing Coordinator

Fun Fact: Kimberly met Ice-T and his wife at a meet-and-greet and prides herself with being a celebrity news junkie.

Noel Russell

Noel Russell

Marketing Coordinator

Noel Russell

Marketing Coordinator

Noel supports us in making our ideas come to life through powerful graphics, showcases the daily activities at Protean on our social media channels, and leads proposals and presentations to win work for the firm.

Deborah Wedge

Deborah Wedge

Staff Accountant

Deborah Wedge

Staff Accountant

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