Zachary Freshner, PE
Senior Director of Engineering
Zach’s structured personality is well suited for keeping organized and on top of a project’s details which helps our clients’ projects stay on track and on budget. Zach has over 16 years of experience in the civil engineering field and is currently licensed in 23 states. Possessing a broad background, he takes an active approach to all projects, focusing on meeting the measurable business objectives of our clients. Learn more about Zach below.
What led you to this profession: I had an interest in math and science in high school so I initially pursued construction, but found myself more fulfilled with design. The more I learned about the different types of engineering, I became drawn to civil. The tangibility of seeing something come from nothing within the built environment is what really sparked my interest.
What is the hardest part of engineering work: There are many variations of "the right answer". You really have to dig deep into what the client's objective is and understand government expectations and regulations to perfectly marry everything together. Meeting the satisfaction of all parties involved is challenging but rewarding.
What is your favorite part of engineering work: Obtaining client satisfaction through meeting their expectations, timelines, and budgets, and seeing their project come to fruition. The gratification of getting a design permitted and approved refuels you to move on to the next project with a reenergized passion.
What is the biggest challenge that the engineering industry is facing today: Competition. There are so many talented and successful firms in the field, so separating yourself from the competition is a challenge.
What are some trends that you see on the horizon for the engineering industry: It's always been the perception that you have to be in an office to be a successful and efficient engineer. However, over the last few months, we've seen that it is completely possible to be efficient engineers while working remotely. I think we'll see a lot of remote work in the future.
Are there any technology/processes that differentiate CESO as a leader in the engineering industry: Our approach in managing clients is to be service minded. This builds the relationships that create repeat clients. CESO employees are driven to serve and we recruit employees with that same passion. This trait is the secret sauce that sets CESO apart.
Do you have a favorite book: Start With Why by Simon Sinek changed the entire course of my career. I read it at a very pivotal time in my life and it really transitioned my mindset and gave me a stronger purpose in the work that I do.
Who do you look up to most and why: I've always looked up to my mom. My dad passed when I was young and she unapologetically raised three kids all on her own without a single complaint. My siblings and I are now all well adjusted adults with careers and families of our own, all because of the sacrifices she made and the example she set.
Best advice you could give to up and coming leaders: You owe it to yourself to be openminded and step out of your comfort zone. I can honestly say that all of the aspects of my career that I once felt too uncomfortable to pursue, or just assumed I had no interest in, I ended up trying anyway and loving. I find so much fulfillment in leading people, but at one point in my life, I had zero interest in managing others. Being openminded to try new things is key.
What’s your favorite weekend hobby: I love to golf. I'm an extremely competitive person and golf is unique in that you have to continuously work at it to stay on top of your game. This aspect of continually learning and perfecting your technique is a challenge that I really enjoy.
What’s your favorite travel/vacation spot: My family has been going to Hilton Head since I was a kid and now that we're grown, we make a big family trip of it. I always look forward to getting to go to the beach with my wife and daughter as well as my siblings and their children.