Dean McRae South changes name

BY EMILY LECOZ

Daily Journal

TUPELO – Rapid growth at Dean McRae Engineering South Inc. during the past few years prompted it to split from its sister company, Dean McRae Engineering, and form its own identity.

Unveiled this week as Engineering Solutions Inc., the civil engineering consulting firm belongs to Mike Falkner, Randy Hathcock and John White. The three bought out stock in the five-year-old company from Tommy Dean and Kirby McRae, who started the first firm in Iuka in 1995.

Although separate, both companies will likely continue to collaborate on certain projects, Falkner said.

Besides the name, nothing else will change about Engineering Solutions, owners said. The firm still employs 15 people split between its offices in Tupelo and Pontotoc. And it still handles roughly 75 active accounts, including Tupelo's Major Thoroughfare Project, which owners have called the “keystone” to their success.

When it bid on Phase III of the project several years ago, DMES was a young company up against two well-known firms, White said. After it won, business exploded in all other sectors thanks, in part, to the recognition earned by the job's notoriety.

Public and private work

Now, the firm does work for numerous private and public entities throughout Northeast Mississippi and in five other states, such as wastewater improvements for the University of Mississippi, regional developments for Bancorp South, a wastewater collection system for the city of Pontotoc and site engineering for several school systems in the area.

“We prepare construction plans and specifications for projects like streets, bridges, water and sewer systems,” said Falkner, who heads the Pontotoc branch. “We also do a lot of environmental work, too, like creating wetlands.”

The company's growth reflects the growth of the community, said Hathcock, who, along with White and Falkner, is a lifelong resident of the area.

Without the constant expansions, improvements and developments shaping Tupelo, he said, the firm would not have amassed more than 600 projects during its five year history.

And whether those projects have been big or small, White said, each gets treated with equal respect – an attitude they attribute to their business' success.

Since announcing name change in a mailing, Falkner said, many of the firm's clients have called to congratulate the partners, who have more than 60 years civil engineering experience combined.

“We are getting a lot of encouragement from our customers,” Falkner said. “Some of them have known this was in the works for awhile. It's a long process – an evolution – and we're always changing to keep up.”

Contact Emily LeCoz at 678-1588 or emily.lecoz@djournal.com