Brad Thompson, PE, Adds New PE License

Congratulations to  Brad Thompson, PE, who recently added another Registered Professional Civil Engineer state licensure to his resume. Brad is now licensed in Oregon, Alaska, and Montana. 

Michelle McHam Joins RPA

Michelle McHam has joined Robert Peccia and Associates (RPA) as an Administrative Assistant. Ms. McHam holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Illustration from the Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design in Lakewood, CO. Ms. McHam has eight years of clerical experience, most recently working as an Administrative Project Coordinator, for an architecture firm in Denver, CO. She will provide administrative support to all components of RPA’s civil engineering and land surveying projects. Her extensive experience in the Architect/Engineering Industry, coupled with her exceptional customer service, document organization, and completion of time-sensitive projects, makes Ms. McHam a valuable addition to the RPA team.

Craig Jenneskens, PE, is Named President / Chairman of the Board

RPA is pleased to announce Craig Jenneskens, P.E. as our newly elected President/Chairman of the Board. As President, Craig will be responsible for the management and general operations of the company, with a focus on continuing to attract and retain outstanding employees while providing exceptional professional services to our clients. Craig has served on RPA’s Board of Directors since 2005 and was Chairman of the ESOP Board of Trustees from 2009 to 2017. Since 2017, Craig has held the Vice President of Business Management position. In his 27 years with RPA, Craig has also served as the Water Division Manager and the Site Development Group Manager. A native of Bigfork, Montana, Craig has a B.A. in Mathematics from Carroll College and a M.S. in Environmental Engineering from the University of Notre Dame. He serves on the Board of Directors for the American Council of Engineering Companies of Montana, the Carroll College Engineering Advisory Board, and the Helena Area Chamber of Commerce.

Ryan Mitchell, PE, PLS, is Named Vice President of Business Management

RPA is pleased to announce Ryan Mitchell, PE, PLS, as our newly elected Vice President of Business Management. As Vice President of Business Management, Ryan will be responsible for company-wide financial planning and projections, strategic planning, business development, and marketing strategies. He will also work closely with our President and Corporate Controller in establishing and tracking annual budgets and reviewing corporate insurance policies and standard forms of agreement. Ryan began his career at RPA’s Helena office in 1999 working in the Streets & Highways Group, Site Development Group, and Airports Group. In 2005, Ryan moved to Kalispell to open the Kalispell branch office and was promoted to Branch Operations Manager. Ryan has an A.A.S. in Land Surveying with highest honors from Flathead Valley Community College and a B.S. in Civil Engineering with highest honors from Montana State University.

Sarah Nicolai, PE, PTP, Promoted at RPA

Sarah Nicolai, PE, PTP, was promoted to Transportation Planning and Operations Assistant Group Manager. Ms. Nicolai holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Civil Engineering from Carroll College and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Carleton College. With over 16 years of experience in the transportation industry, Ms. Nicolai has extensive knowledge and background with highway corridor studies, transportation planning and safety assessments, statewide policy documentation, traffic evaluations, and public and stakeholder outreach. In her new role, Ms. Nicolai will continue developing and managing projects and will assist with the group’s business development, marketing, administration, and quality control. Ms. Nicolai is currently assisting the Transportation Planning and Operations Group with the Downtown Whitefish Highway Study, City of Helena Multimodal Traffic Study, and the MDT ADA Transition Plan Update.

Kerry Pedersen, PE, Promoted at RPA

Kerry Pedersen, PE, has been promoted to Transportation Engineer/Planner in the Transportation Planning and Operations Group. Ms. Pedersen recently passed the Principles and Practices of Engineering Examination and is now a registered Professional Engineer in the State of Montana. She joined the Helena office in 2017 and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering and an Honors Degree from Montana State University (MSU). Ms. Pedersen specializes in transportation engineering and planning projects that include transportation plans, traffic studies, urban planning, traffic simulation, corridor studies, and safety projects. She is currently working on the ADA Transition Plan for the Montana Department of Transportation (MDT), the Greater Triangle Area Transportation Plan in Gallatin County, and the MDT Clearwater Junction Intersection Improvements project.

Taylor Schatz Promoted at RPA

Taylor Schatz, was promoted from Administrative Assistant II to Bookkeeper / Human Resources Assistant. In her new position, Ms. Schatz assists both the Corporate Controller and the Vice President of Human Resources with a variety of tasks including recruitment, detailed and confidential record maintenance, accounts payable, timesheet collection, and payroll processing. Ms. Schatz joined the Helena office in 2019 and holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Montana State University Billings.

Central Elementary School

Project Description

As a subconsultant to SMA Architects, RPA provided civil, site and landscape design services for the new Central Elementary School in Helena, Montana. The site posed significant grading challenges, due to an elevation change of nearly 30 feet across the 3-acre site. The design team incorporated site walls and variable building finished floor elevations to ensure usable and accessible exterior spaces. Construction of the new school was completed in August 2019, in time for the 2019- 2020 school year.

Project Details​


Helena, Montana


SMA Architects