AKRF Names Karen Franz as CEO and Mike Lee as President

Karen Franz, CEO
Mike Lee, President

NEW YORK, June 28, 2018 – AKRF, Inc., a leading environmental, engineering, and planning firm, announced the appointments of Karen Franz to chief executive officer and Mike Lee to president. Franz and Lee are 20- and 30-year veterans of the firm, respectively, and longtime respected leaders of AKRF. 

This is the first time AKRF has separated the two functions. Franz and Lee will collaborate in positioning the firm to continue its strategic, sustainable growth while retaining the unique culture and reputation that make AKRF the company it is today.

“Over the past four decades, AKRF has built its reputation on delivering strategy, quality solutions, and results for our clients, and as we continue to expand, remaining faithful to those principles requires us to evolve as a company,” said Marc Godick, Senior Vice President. “This is an exciting move that reflects where we are today as a firm as well as our vision for the future. Karen and Mike are extraordinary leaders whose expertise and experience will further strengthen our ability to serve existing and new clients in the public and private sectors.” 

Karen Franz has been a member of AKRF’s Board of Directors since 2015. A licensed Professional Engineer in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Maryland, she has managed some of AKRF’s most complex redevelopment and construction projects, and has been a key driver of the firm’s integrated planning, environmental, and engineering practices. As CEO, Franz will lead AKRF’s continued expansion into new service areas and business sectors, while developing a new long-term strategic vision for the firm.

Mike Lee is AKRF’s Chairman of the Board and previously led the firm as CEO and President from 2003 to 2006. He is an experienced environmental engineer whose work in directing technically challenging and groundbreaking environmental assessments for large public policy and infrastructure development projects has resulted in the respect of his colleagues across the industry. 

In returning to the role of President, Lee will oversee company-wide client growth initiatives, including potential geographic expansions, and will continue to mentor and cultivate AKRF’s deep bench of leadership talent. He will also lead the firm’s effort to enhance its delivery of high-quality, integrated services based on the needs of AKRF’s clients and partners.

Since 1981, AKRF has earned its reputation as a sought-after consultant for a broad range of environmental, engineering, and planning services, adding new practice areas while developing and hiring best-in-class talent across a diverse array of market sectors and technical disciplines.

“AKRF has built a remarkable legacy over the last 37 years, having helped shape some of the country’s most consequential development and infrastructure initiatives,” said Franz. “I am honored to lead a firm that consistently delivers for our clients at the highest level, and look forward to working with Mike and all my colleagues to guide our continued growth as an industry leader.”

“AKRF is an incredible success story that I am proud to have been part of for three decades,” said Lee. “Karen and I are committed to developing and implementing a new vision that honors and builds on that history by exploring new ways to serve our clients, and new people, places, and projects that will benefit from our unique breadth of experience and expertise.”