- About Us
After dedicating more than 33 years of his career to growing SEH, Mike Kraemer, PE, recently accepted the position of SEH’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO)/President.
His rise through the ranks of the company demonstrates the importance of creating opportunities for others, recognizing the hard work of everyone, loving what you do, and finding time for things you value. SEH In Sight sat down with the new CEO/President for an in-depth interview regarding his new role.
Q. After 33 years at SEH, how does it feel to hold the top-level position?
A. Actually, being in this position is a humbling experience. Working one's way up through the ranks, you realize how hard everyone works each day to serve our clients and help make SEH successful. I also realized that I'm in this role because of the people that worked with me, supported me, mentored me, and gave me a chance. I hope to expand a culture that provides that same opportunity for others as they progress in their careers.
Q. As CEO/President, what's your vision for the firm?
A. I'm confident that SEH will continue to be a fiscally responsible firm that is focused on creating and pursuing well-conceived opportunities as well as a firm that is known for its creative solutions and tireless implementation. Ultimately, we want to continue to be a firm sought out by clients because of the value created by our service.
Q. How does your role as CEO/President affect clients?
A. I feel that an important role for the leader of any organization is to set the cultural tone for client relations. We have a great tradition of strong client service and a commitment to long-term relationships. I think it is important to perpetuate that tradition. After all, our clients are the key to our success. If we create value for our clients, we create value for ourselves.
Q. What do you see as the greatest opportunities or challenges facing our clients?
A. Balancing funding between competing priorities seems to be the biggest challenge. SEH understands this challenge and works with clients to help prioritize their spending so they get the best environmental and cost-effective solution for every project.
Q. What has kept you a part of the SEH family for so many years?
A. I like what I do and the people I work with. My dream was to be a city engineer and serve communities. SEH has always afforded me the opportunity to pursue that dream. The diversification of our business seems to continually create new challenges and opportunities. I feel very fortunate to have made the decision to come to SEH and fortunate for the many life-long friends I have found here. I have always felt that the culture, established by the SEH founders, of hard work, opportunity, professional integrity, and passion for the business was a good match for me.
Q. Outside of running a firm of more than 750 employees, how do you spend your time?
A. Serving as the CEO for a successful firm such as SEH is a full-time commitment. Coming from a large extended family, my spare time is occupied with life matters, such as college, weddings, graduations, and also church and friends. I am an avid hunter and sportsmen, which rounds out my few remaining moments.
Q. How did your family react when they learned you were named CEO/President of one of the largest engineering firms in the Midwest?
A. Excited! After 33 years, my whole family tends to bleed SEH. My family is very aware of the time commitment that our profession requires and understands that this new role will require even more effort. They are very supportive. They say some of their fondest memories were the Saturdays they would need to follow me into the office so I could baby sit them and work. Let’s just say, the portable TV was put to good use.
Q. Who would you say inspired you to be an engineer and eventually CEO/President?
A. My father influenced me the most. At one time he ran the Power and Light Utility in my hometown. He very much encouraged us kids to stay in the math and sciences and develop a technical profession. Other influences include my high school shop teacher, my college electrical professor, and the founder of Braun Intertech. The rest is sort of history.
Q. Who would you call the greatest known leader of our time and why?
A. Personally, the unyielding nobleness of their approach and their cause, elevate persons like Dr. Martin Luther King and Winston Churchill. I am always impressed by their conviction, ethics, and the effectiveness of their oratory.
Mike Kraemer, PE