February 2, 2023

Westwood’s Ken Hanifan, VP of Strategy Retires  

Image of Westwood's Ken Hanifan, Vice President of Strategy. Image of Westwood's Ken Hanifan, Vice President of Strategy.

The entire team at Westwood would like to congratulate Ken Hanifan, Vice President of Strategy, on his retirement. Ken Hanifan is not only an excellent engineer but a dedicated leader and mentor who is driven to help others succeed. Ken’s consistently supportive style is visible in our Las Vegas office where he readily encouraged team building and recognition for everyone and instilled a positive and engaging culture. 

Ken joined Westwood through the acquisition of Las Vegas-based Slater Hanifan Group, Inc. (SHG) in 2018. Ken and Jerry Slater founded SHG in 2003 and built it to be one of the most respected and recognized engineering firms in Las Vegas and beyond. This acquisition presented many opportunities for both Westwood and the SHG team. Westwood quickly added 145 people, new services, and experienced leadership, which bolstered our west region. To SHG, Westwood provided national opportunities and further diversification across the organization. Westwood is grateful for all Ken and his team have contributed to the company’s success.  

Career Success   

Ken received his BS in Civil Engineering from the University of Nevada, Reno. He kicked off his engineering career at CFA, Inc. in Reno, where he soon became a shareholder. Eight years later, Ken relocated to Las Vegas and became a Senior Vice President at GCW Engineers. There, he met Jerry Slater, Todd Steadham, and Mark Failla, who are now valued Westwood leaders. In 2003, this group collaborated to establish SHG. Always itching to innovate and build businesses, Ken also co-founded Philippines-based Vise Core, Inc., which supported SHG’s domestic production efforts.  

By 2018, Ken and his SHG executive team established their organization as the largest privately-owned engineering firm in Nevada. They had a vision of “50 in 5”, which spoke to growing the firm’s revenue and building strong practices in public infrastructure and land development. Joining forces with Westwood accelerated the achievement of that vision, opened new opportunities for both companies, and brought together people with very similar cultures.  

Ken moved from west region engineering leadership to Westwood’s corporate Strategy team in 2021, directly supporting the development, execution, and monitoring of Westwood’s strategic plan. He also focused on helping to identify and evaluate potential acquisitions, expand service groups, and develop new business units.  

Career Achievements   

During his career, Ken earned LEED AP certification and is a professional engineer in Nevada and California. He has held several Board positions, including the Nevada Chapter of ACEC and Chapter Chair for the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO) and YPO Gold.    

The Next Chapter   

Ken is passionate about helping people be successful and plans to spend his retirement doing just that. Having dedicated more than 32 years to the engineering industry, Ken and his wife, Michelle, will shift gears and focus on their new business, KMH^2, LLC, providing coaching to help people and businesses grow and prosper. Aside from work, they look forward to traveling, skiing, snowboarding, hiking, biking, golfing, family time, and watching their daughter Faith build her career. Ken says, “I am thankful and honored to have worked with so many amazing people over the years.”  

Ken, on behalf of the entire Westwood team, we wish you a wonderful retirement and much success in the future! 

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