Gareth Hanley has stood out since the day he started.

Technically, the Aviation planner is excellent. Professionally, he far exceeds expectations. And personally, he’s able to connect with associates and clients alike.

That’s not news to RS&H leadership, who selected Gareth as the 2019 Young Professional of the Year.

“Soon after Gareth first started at RS&H seven years ago, we realized that this ‘kid right out of school’ was different,” said Senior Aviation Consultant Ken Ibold, who nominated Gareth for the award.

But this year, Gareth reached a new level of professional success.

“He got to the point in his career where he started project management,” said Ken. “He also took the initiative to be RS&H’s champion with the Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP).

“His initiative really set him apart from the pack.”

Personable & Professional

Gareth blends a personable demeanor with a professional manner, says Ken, referencing a client presentation some time ago.

After the meeting, Ken was talking to the client when the subject turned to Gareth.

“I made some comment about how Gareth couldn’t join us that day,” said Ken. “And the client said, ‘I love that guy! It’s amazing to see him present to these groups.’ He was very effusive in his praise.”

Gareth’s positive, can-do attitude spreads not just to clients, but also to his teammates. Even in his very first project, Gareth brought that energy to the team.

“Gareth’s roots are in the Caribbean and South Florida; This is why I was so excited for him to work on the Anchorage, Alaska, airport master plan,” said Aviation Vice President Evan Pfahler.

Gareth might not have been accustomed to the climate, but he didn’t show it.

“Gareth traveled to Alaska during winter’s near total darkness and frigid temperatures with a smile on his face and graced our entire team and our Anchorage client with his outstanding intelligence, professionalism and enthusiasm,” said Evan, who served as project manager for the master plan.

In the years since, he has maintained that attitude while growing his presence in the Aviation group and the industry in general.

Professional Organizations & Internal Groups

Gareth’s resume could best be described as an alphabet soup of distinctions and awards.

He earned an American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) designation from the American Planning Association (APA)  along with a certified member designation from the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE). In addition, Gareth was on the winning team in the Airport Consultant Council’s 2018 ACC Young Professionals Innovation Competition.

He showed further initiative when he became RS&H’s champion with the Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP). Gareth also helped head up a successful mentorship program within the Aviation group.

Whether it’s an internal initiative like the mentorship program or an industry involvement role, Gareth goes all in, said Ken.

Awards Ceremony

At an awards dinner during the company’s annual officers meeting, Gareth turned the praise back on RS&H.

“While this is an individual award, I reject the notion that I have achieved this on my own,” said Gareth.

Rather, Gareth said, it’s indicative of RS&H’s culture, which creates space for a community of professionals to equip the next generation with the tools and knowledge to succeed.

“This egoless and selfless mindset is what makes RS&H so special,” said Gareth. “I can honestly say without it I would not be standing here before you today. And for that, I am eternally grateful.”

RS&H, in turn, is grateful for Gareth and his fellow associates, and the company reinforced that through this recognition, said Ken.

“The bottom line is self-evident,” said Ken. “Gareth stands tall among the finest RS&H has to offer.”

Want to work with Gareth and the rest of our talented Aviation team? Learn how we can bring our hands-on approach to your next project or check out our career opportunities. 

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About the author

Eliza Wireback
Eliza Wireback
In her role as a communications professional, Eliza gets to tell the stories of RS&H associates and the amazing work they do for clients, colleagues and their communities.