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Robert Luffy Announces Retirement After 17 Years as American Bridge CEO

Chief executive officer Robert H. Luffy, P.E. has announced his retirement from American Bridge Company effective December 31, 2010. He has been CEO since 1993. The succession plan in place will result in Michael Flowers, P.E., currently chief operating officer of the company, assuming the role of chief executive officer upon Luffy’s retirement.

Luffy began his career at the legendary bridge company as a field engineer on the New River Gorge Bridge in West Virginia in 1972. Since becoming CEO during a troubled time in the company’s history 17 years ago, Luffy engineered a resurgence of the firm followed by sustained growth and operating success. During his tenure the company has constructed numerous internationally recognized bridge projects, including the reconstruction of the Williamsburg Bridge in New York City, the 25th of April Bridge in Lisbon, Portugal, the Lions Gate Bridge in Vancouver, British Columbia, the new Woodrow Wilson Bridge in Washington, DC, the currently in-process Self Anchored Suspension Span of the San Francisco Oakland Bay Bridge in California, and many others. He also began the successful foray into heavy marine construction that has seen the company become one of the largest in that field in the United States, completing major port and naval projects along the eastern and western seaboards, the Caribbean, and the inland waterway system.

Luffy’s legacy is the development of the American Bridge Way. This system incorporates strategic, operating, and developmental features that make American Bridge a uniquely differentiatable and sustainable company, and the leader in the field of complex structural and marine construction. During Luffy’s tenure, this management process has been institutionalized, and has resulted in a 15-fold increase in revenues, a 20-fold increase in profits, a 10-fold increase in shareholder’s equity, and a manyfold increase in the market value of the company. Moreover, through an industry leading training program that focuses on recruiting promising civil engineering graduates and developing them for the special operations of American Bridge, the company is positioned to maintain and build upon its leadership in its important branches of the civil infrastructure industry.   The company today is powered by a strong culture of can-do, which has it uniquely positioned within a small field of competitors who are able to competently and profitably deliver the world’s most challenging bridge and marine construction and reconstruction projects.

While Luffy’s handpicked successor Flowers has large shoes to fill, he has been impeccably prepared through his 35 year career in the business and proven within AB’s system. Mike joined American Bridge in 1975 as a design engineer In the Pittsburgh Regional Engineering Office, working on various industrial, bridge and highrise projects all over the United States. Flowers received his BS and MS in Civil Engineering from West Virginia University and the University of Pittsburgh respectively. In 1994 he was appointed Senior Vice President-Operations, and in 2000 Executive Vice President-Operations and manager of the Structures Group of the company. In 2006 he was appointed Project Director for the $1.6 billion San Francisco Oakland Bay Bridge Self Anchored Suspension Bridge (SAS) project being constructed by the American Bridge/Fluor Joint Venture. In addition to the SAS, Mike’s extensive project experience includes the $100M Kentucky Lakes Bridges, the $400M Woodrow Wilson replacement bridges in Washington DC, the Florida Avenue lift bridge in New Orleans, the Gateway Boulevard arch bridge in Nashville, the $112M Lions Gate Bridge reconstruction in Vancouver, Canada, the $264M 25th of April Bridge rail deck addition in Lisbon, Portugal, the $152M RFK Triborough Bridge rehabilitation in New York City, and many other projects.

Flowers will be supported by the strong senior management team already in place at the company, consisting of Lanny Frisco (Pittsburgh District, Estimating), Pamela Bena (Finance), Jake Bidosky (American Bridge Manufacturing), Michael Cegelis (Special & International Projects District, Business Development), Amr El-Nokali (Administration and Legal), Scott Gammon (Kansas City District), Richard Kermode (Tampa District), Kwadwo Osei-Akoto (New York District), Brian Petersen (SAS, Western District), and David Simmons (Richmond District).