Sergio “Satch” Pecori, P.E., a licensed professional engineer, is the chairman and CEO of Springfield, Illinois-based Hanson Professional Services Inc., an employee-owned, award-winning engineering, planning and allied-services firm. As the fourth president and CEO in Hanson’s 62-year history, with more than 40 years of experience in the engineering industry, Mr. Pecori has a wealth of knowledge designing and managing complex projects throughout the U.S. He also is highly regarded in the technical field, serving as an ambassador for the engineering profession in numerous leadership roles.
Mr. Pecori is also Chair-Elect of the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC). He is active on ACEC’s Planning Cabinet, International Committee and Design Professionals Coalition. He has served previously on the Executive Committee as Senior Vice Chair and Treasurer.
Low Standards Are the New Normal
…I think that the public and government officials feel as though infrastructure isn’t as critical as it used to be back 20, 25 years ago…They’ll put up with defects in the pavement, they’ll put up with bridge deterioration, where before, and in other countries, transportation is expected to be in very good condition…And here I think we have a new normal. The expectation has really decreased, and there’s a new normal that the expectations are lower.
We’re Too Easy on Our Government
…what used to drive things were that it was an expectation that it was a government duty to provide transportation not only for the traveling public but also for the goods that we transport. It was a government responsibility to do that, and I think people have lightened up on that, and government hasn’t followed through.
Gas Tax Revenue Leads to Real Improvements
…what you see where you have local communities that have a penny or a two-penny gallon tax on fuel, with the money generated from that surcharge they’re doing their own public works projects, and they’re earmarking them for specific projects…And they’re getting things done…And when people see that that progress is being made, they are more accepting of the additional costs.
Millennials and Cars: A Different Outlook
Take a look at millennials: how many millennials want to own a house? how many millennials are interested in a car when they can take Uber wherever they need to go?…And all that causes is less vehicles to be purchased and different modes of transportation, where millennials are more adept at taking public transportation than we were. I think it’s a different outlook.
We Need to be Open to New Transportation Tech
I think a good mindset would be to have a very open mind, and push yourself past your comfort zone, and think futuristic as opposed to what’s happening right now. For instance, this whole issue of driverless cars: I think that’s a very interesting perspective, and how just using that as an example, how that could change our country completely…There are all kinds of changes and I think people just need to look forward and embrace change and be open to it.