John Lazzara, PE, ENV SP
Stanley Consultants, Inc. | Vice President–Transportation Market Leader
What is your current or most recent position held on the Illinois Section board?
I’m currently serving my second term as an ASCE Region 3 Governor. The Region 3 area includes members from Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio, Wisconsin, Manitoba, Ontario, Saskatchewan, and Nunavut Territory.
What ASCE positions have you held in the past, including any technical groups and committees?
I first became involved with ASCE through the local Sustainability Committee and eventually chaired that group. After serving as a Director for two years I joined the Executive Board for the Illinois Section and was fortunate enough to be the Illinois Section President (2016/2017). I truly enjoyed getting to know so many energetic and talented leaders in our organization during my time being involved with the Illinois Section. Most recently I served on the Task Committee on Geographic Assessment of Programs and Support (TCGAPS) for the Society.
Are there any other professional associations or organizations that you have been involved with?
Throughout my career I have been involved with ACEC of Illinois, serving on several subcommittees for the IDOT District 1 Committee. I’ve participated with initiatives for transportation planning, context sensitive solutions, and student outreach. Each time I have been able to work with a different group of professionals and I come away with a better appreciation of our industry.
What has been your most rewarding moment or contribution to the Civil Engineering profession?
I started my career working on the preliminary engineering and environmental impact statement for the south extension of I-355 from Bolingbrook to New Lenox. The project allowed me to learn many aspects of transportation planning and how new roadway facilities can have an important effect on the public. Interacting with government agency decision makers and passionate public stakeholders over a long period of time gave me the opportunity to positively influence transportation mobility in the southwest Chicago region. Attending the ribbon cutting ceremony was a proud moment in my professional career.
Throughout my career I have also been lucky to work with and in some cases mentor incredible young engineers. It’s been great to see so many people I have gotten to know go on to lead government agencies, manage important technical engineering groups, and start their own successful businesses.
What is your favorite thing to do in your free time, when you’re not working or volunteering for ASCE and other organizations?
A favorite hobby is participating in BBQ competitions and enjoying the leftovers. When it’s warm, my wife and I enjoy scenic rides in a classic 1974 Corvette. We also have three grandchildren who are growing like weeds so we take every chance we get to spend time with family.
What is one piece of advice you would give to Student or Younger Members as they start their careers in civil engineering?
Take advantage of every opportunity to build your professional network. It’s a lot easier to start relationships when you are younger, and you’ll likely make good friendships with many of your new contacts. The civil engineering industry is relatively small and you’ll be surprised how often you come across the same people.
John is Vice President and Transportation Market Leader for Stanley Consultants, Inc. The transportation program includes over 250 members providing engineering services in ten states across the country. Prior to joining Stanley Consultants three years ago, he spent 31 years working for a large engineering firm in Chicago. He has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Iowa and is a proud Hawkeye alumni. He and his wife Barbara reside in Arlington Heights where they raised their two adult daughters.
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