Freeport-based company acquires Champaign engineering firm

Freeport-based company acquires Champaign engineering firm

CHAMPAIGN — Sodemann and Associates, an engineering firm in Champaign since 1955, has been acquired by Freeport-based Fehr Graham, the companies announced today.

Fehr Graham, founded in 1973 by Allen Fehr and Joseph Graham, in the last year had more than 90 professionals working in five offices in Illinois and southern Wisconsin.

The Sodemann and Associates acquisition will add 18 employees to that number.

That acquisition, along with Fehr Graham's Jan. 1 acquisition of TeKippe Engineering with three offices in eastern Iowa, will bring the total number of Fehr Graham offices to nine.

"We are looking forward to being a part of the Fehr Graham team," said Steve Sodemann, owner of Sodemann and Associates. "Our current clients will reap the benefits of a larger firm, while retaining the local and personal attention that Sodemann is known for."

Sodemann said Fehr Graham's environmental capabilities will supplement Sodemann and Associates' engineering offerings and create business development opportunities for the Champaign office.

"It was the right time and the right circumstances," Sodemann told The News-Gazette. "I'm approaching retirement age. I wanted to make sure the firm prospers in the future, and this was a good way to go about it."

Mick Gronewold, Fehr Graham's chairman of the board, said it became apparent early that the companies' cultures were similar and the operations would complement each other.

He said the merger will provide greater depth of experience and staff qualifications.

"We are excited about the opportunities these acquisitions will create, providing additional resources for our clients, professional advancement for employees and further growth in support of our strategic plan," he said.

A release from Fehr Graham said the addition of the Champaign office will allow the company to build new engineering and environmental relationships in central and southern Illinois, while maintaining partnerships created by Sodemann.

Sodemann and Associates was founded in 1955 by George Sodemann, who sold the firm to his son Steve in 2008.

The firm, based at 340 N. Neil St., C, has done engineering work for residential, commercial, industrial and recreational projects.

In a 2005 interview, George Sodemann said his company had done a lot of work for state and local governments, including water, wastewater, road and storm drainage projects.

Mr. Sodemann died Feb. 19, 2012, at age 85.

Fehr Graham has offices in Freeport, Rockford, Rochelle and Springfield, as well as in Monroe, Wis.

With the acquisition of TeKippe, Fehr Graham picks up offices in the Iowa cities of Cedar Rapids, Manchester and West Union.

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