Michael S. Benbow, P.E. / Chief Executive Officer
As CEO and founding partner, Michael Benbow established the client-centric culture of M S Benbow & Associates and oversees all corporate initiatives of the company, a top engineering firm based in New Orleans. All said, Benbow has more than 45 years of experience in engineering, design and project management. Prior to founding his own engineering corporation, Benbow served as a project engineer for Exxon-Mobil and Shell Chemical Co., as well as worked on telecommunications projects for Freeport Chemical, Inc., P.T. Freeport Indonesia and Freeport-McMoran Resource Partners. Along with Leo Holzenthal, Benbow was also integral in the development and implementation of the Region One Interoperable Communications System in the New Orleans metro area, which became the first region in the country to implement a project of this magnitude. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University and a Juris Doctor degree from Loyola University and is a member of the Louisiana State Bar Association. Benbow is also registered as a Professional Electrical and Mechanical Engineer in Louisiana and Mississippi, as well as a Professional Control Systems Engineer in California.
Leo Holzenthal, Jr., P.E., President
Leo Holzenthal is responsible for managing the day-to-day operations at M S Benbow & Associates and ensuring client expectations are exceeded at every turn. Holzenthal has more than 30 years of experience in Power, Control Systems and Telecommunications Engineering and has managed countless projects in all phases, from design and documentation to project execution. Having joined the company in 1994, he takes a hands-on approach to ensuring quality control and providing top-notch engineering services. Holzenthal holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of New Orleans, as well as Master of Science degrees in both Electrical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. He is certified as a Registered Professional Engineer in more than a dozen states, including Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. An experienced expert witness, he recently was awarded status as a Fellow of the American College of Forensic Examiners Institute. In addition to his executive responsibilities at M S Benbow & Associates, Holzenthal is an adjunct professor at the University of New Orleans College of Engineering and has lectured at numerous universities and conferences on control systems design and special topics in telecommunications. He received the 2015 James M. Todd Technological Accomplishment Award from the Louisiana Engineering Society.
Dean Ruiz, P.E. / Director of Engineering
Delivering daily on the corporate mission of client success, Dean Ruiz is Director of Engineering for M S Benbow & Associates and responsible for coordinating and performing technical, administrative, design and analysis activities for the entire company. He has over 22 years’ experience working in the midstream and downstream markets of the oil & gas sector, specializing in electrical engineering technologies that include concept, analysis, design and application of electrical power distribution systems. Ruiz is an important contributor to the firm’s growing reputation as an industry leader in specialty engineering services, bringing great passion and attention to detail to assure project success. In addition to his involvement in a number of professional associations, he is a Registered Professional Engineer in Electrical Engineering in several states, including Louisiana, Texas, Arizona and Wyoming. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering as well as a Bachelor of General Studies, Marketing and Sales of Engineering and completed Basler Protective Relay Application School.
Kenneth M. Wright, P.E. / Director, Telecommunications and Technology
Ken Wright has over 20 years’ experience both as senior consultant and in operations, engineering and executive management capacities for a telecommunications carrier that specialized in Cellular, Satellite and other wireless technologies. Ken has worked in diverse industries including domestic and international oil & gas, private industry, public safety, refineries, petrochemical plants, mining, hospitals, convention centers and hospitality venues.
Ken has project management and design experience with In-building Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS) for Cellular & Public Safety services, Public Safety Radio, Two Way Radio, High-Density WiFi, and Location Based Service deployments. He has experience with vendor contract negotiations, service level agreements, schedule & budget development, drawing and documentation review, technology evaluation, ROI analysis and telecommunication system design. His experience includes executive management, operations, engineering consulting and project management roles. Ken earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering, Master of Business Administration and is a Registered Professional Engineer in Electrical Engineering.
Kelly Huben, Director of Operations and Human Resources
Kelly Huben is the Director of Operations & Human Resources and has over 30 years of experience in Human Resources, Safety, Operations and Client Relationship Management. She handles all aspects of human resources, safety policies and training, corporate contracts and negotiations as well as corporate social responsibilities. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations, with an emphasis in Business and Human Resource Management from Tulane University. She is on the Board of NOLA SHRM (Society for Human Resources Management) and involved in various other professional associations.
Ronald J. Ledet, P.E. / Instrumentation & Controls Department Manager
Having been with M S Benbow & Associates for more than a decade now, Ronald Ledet models the client-focused leadership that has become an integral part of the company’s culture for success. With 19 years of diverse engineering experience in the fields of electrical, telecommunications, control systems engineering, software design, research and development, and project management, Ledet has grown extremely proficient in managing complex, highly technical product development projects, including the development of advanced control system designs for high-speed rotating machinery and station/plant automation. In addition, he has accumulated significant programming and operational experience in the development of real-time control of critical systems (algorithmic design, C Programming, etc.), fault tolerant control systems for high availability applications, and communication interface protocols. Before joining MSB Ledet led the development and implementation of automation products for the energy industry, including power generation, as well as oil and gas pipeline. He earned a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering from Purdue University and is a National Science Foundation Grant Recipient for the design of a navigation control system for remote control of robotic vehicles.
Joe Odom, Drafting Department Manager
Joe Odom has over 32 years’ experience in major chemical plants, refineries and naval shipbuilding with responsibilities including coordinating and performing technical, documentation, design and drafting activities. His project experience includes pipe system design, site surveying and documentation of piping instrumentation installation for new and existing equipment, including drawing modification and review, P&ID field verification, and project schedules. Joe has worked at MSB for over 25 years. He is knowledgeable with the following programs, AutoCAD, MicroStation, and I/RASB and holds a Drafting & Design Technology degree.
John C. Carter III, P.E., P.M.P. / Electrical Engineering, Department Manager
John Carter brings over 25 years’ in supervisory, project management and engineering experience in high-profile projects in the energy sector to his position at MSB. John oversees the engineering consultancy’s range of electrical system technical services for industrial, commercial and utility customers, which includes electrical studies, design, analysis, and retrofit of power distribution infrastructure, substations, and control systems. Among his experience, John acted as project engineer for a $600 million nuclear safety-related medium voltage substation design and procurement. His background also includes supervisory, project management and design experience with generator excitation, voltage regulation, fuel oil storage, power transformer replacement, condenser retubing, cybersecurity, control system digital upgrades, protective relaying, and diesel generators.
A certified Project Management Professional since 2005, he is a Registered Professional Engineer in Electrical Engineering in North Carolina and South Carolina. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Clemson University, where he received a National Science Foundation undergraduate research assistantship for his primary studies in power system analysis, complemented by study in digital electronics and robotics.
Paul Schowalter, Manager, Telecommunications & Technology
Paul Schowalter has over 25 years of multi-functional experience, knowledge and skills in engineering, telecommunications, project and financial management, and marketing disciplines. He has held several engineering manager and sales engineering positions with Cox Communications, including regional manager of Master Telecommunications Center Engineering over project engineering, planning and documentation for telecommunications and headend facilities throughout Florida, Georgia and Louisiana. He provided executive management for worldwide deployment of 120 communications and support personnel as Unit Commander and Communications Engineering Officer with the Louisiana Air National Guard, where he retired as a Major after 25 years. Paul is a veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom.
At MSB, Paul manages MSB’s team of engineers and designers that specialize in wireless system design and integration including Cellular and Public Safety Distributed Antenna Systems, Two-Way Radio, WiFi and Location Based Service technologies. Paul earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering and a Master of Business Administration degree from Louisiana State University.
Jennifer Edwards, Controller
Jennifer Edwards joined M S Benbow & Associates as Controller in 2013. Jennifer has more than 20 years of accounting experience in various industries. As Controller, she is responsible for all aspects of the firm’s finance, accounting, and treasury. She is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in the state of Louisiana. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from the University of New Orleans.