Michael S. Benbow, P.E., Founder
Michael Benbow, who founded M S Benbow & Associates in 1978, sadly passed away in April 2021. Mr. Benbow established the client-centric culture of M S Benbow & Associates and oversaw all corporate initiatives of the company, a top engineering firm based in New Orleans. 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. Mr. Benbow was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Engineering Degree from the University of New Orleans. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University and a Juris Doctor degree from Loyola University and was a member of the Louisiana State Bar Association. He also was registered as a Professional Electrical and Mechanical Engineer in Louisiana and Mississippi, as well as a Professional Control Systems Engineer in California. The MSB Family is deeply grateful for the opportunities Mr. Benbow provided and will continue to honor his vision and memory in all of their efforts.
Leo Holzenthal, Jr., P.E., President and CEO
Leo Holzenthal who has been president of MSB since 2007, succeeded Mike Benbow as CEO of the company in April 2021, assuming the title of President & CEO. Mr. 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 1984, 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.
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.
Marc Chevis, Industrial Cybersecurity Practice Manager
Marc joined MSB in January 2022 to launch a new practice area: Industrial Control System (ICS) Cybersecurity. This new business unit is built upon MSB’s two existing, core skill sets: industrial controls and networking technology. Marc is no stranger to MSB — he has been a friend, client, and partner of MSB dating back to the early 1980s. Marc graduated from the University of New Orleans with a BSME, Engineering and Computer Science degree. He is a lifelong mechanical engineer with a deep understanding of digital technologies who has spent his career focused on business value delivery via industrial automation, process control, information technology, manufacturing application integration, enterprise architecture, and cybersecurity.
Most recently, Marc spent 15 years at Shell to build a digital strategy for their deepwater oil and gas operations. Over the course of several years, he led the transformation of the operating model to realize new value from the effective use of a variety of technology enablers. During this transformation, Marc managed a program that revamped the division’s approach to ICS Cybersecurity.
Scott Uffman, Business Development Manager
Scott Uffman leads MSB’s business development team, which works collaboratively with all stakeholders in the organization to ensure our clients receive the firm’s best resources. In addition, he is responsible for the development and execution of MSB’s marketing strategy. Scott’s primary duties include targeting and cultivating relationships with clients and strategic partners around the country, steering the company’s subject matter experts to help maximize our firm’s visibility, and implementing lessons learned through client engagement.
Scott is an accomplished professional within sales & operations management. An early career with the Credit Bureau of Baton Rouge and APPRO Systems laid the foundation for his expertise. Then, while at the Louisiana Small Business Development Center and the Manufacturing Extension Partnership for ten years, he strengthened his cross-functional collaboration skills within all facets of business. In this role, he achieved the highest level of success while guiding business leaders to reach higher levels of profitability by increasing revenue, creating new jobs, and substantial profits. For over eight years, he was a key leader in developing and implementing CEO Roundtables.
He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Communications Studies, Political Science, and History from Louisiana State University.
Kijafa K. Morris, PMP / Project Controls Department Manager
Kijafa has over 12 years of proven work experience in both project and program management in the Telecom and Software industries. Currently, her portfolio includes leading 4G LTE and 5G nationwide buildouts as well Cellular and Public Safety DAS design and installation for diversified public venues. Before MSB, Kijafa led several process improvement initiatives utilizing her knowledge as a Six Sigma yellow belt. Her expertise in Agile fundamentals has contributed to Kijafa’s proven success in managing team members across numerous disciplines, locations, and subcontractors, all while maintaining a focus on high-quality deliverables, schedule fluctuations, and budget sensitivities.
Nicolette Calder, Controller
Nicolette Calder joined M S Benbow & Associates as Controller in 2021. Nicolette has more than a decade of accounting experience in various industries, both in-house and for accounting firms PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and Wegmann, Dazet and Company. As MSB’s controller, she is responsible for all aspects of the firm’s finance, accounting, and treasury. She is a Chartered Accountant with the Association of Certified Chartered Accountants (ACCA).