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STV’s Federal BD Director Wins National SAME Award for Mentoring

May 2, 2023
Neal Wright

Senior Vice President and Federal Business Development Director Neal Wright P.E., PMP, F.SAME, F.ASCE, F.NSPE, Lt. Col. U.S. Army (Ret.), was selected as the 2022 recipient of the Society of American Military Engineers (SAME) Gerald C. Brown Mentoring Award. Wright will receive the prestigious national award during this week’s Joint Engineer Training Conference & Expo in San Antonio.

Wright’s selection is particularly noteworthy because he was personally mentored in his early career by the late Brig. Gen. Gerald C. “Jed” Brown, F.SAME, USA (Ret.), the award’s namesake.

“I am honored to receive this mentoring award,” Wright said. “With an unbounded demand for innovation and technical solutions to persistent and emerging engineering challenges, mentoring is more important than ever. We must encourage students to pursue STEM careers and show them how exciting, interesting, and rewarding the work can be. I spend time paying it forward by lecturing and teaching wherever I can make a difference, and I enjoy being a resource for engineering students and transitioning Veterans. As leaders in the industry, we must help guide and support the next generation.”

Wright has been an active member of SAME since 1984 and became a Fellow in the Society in 2004. In 2019, he chaired the Academy of Fellows while serving as one of three SAME national vice presidents.

As a Fellow, he is recognized as a member who has rendered dedicated and outstanding service to the Society, to military engineering, and to our profession. Fellows also take a pledge to help mentor future leaders and give back to SAME and our industry.

“Neal Wright has distinguished himself as a mentor within SAME through his multi-faceted engagement as an advocate, advisor, coach and sponsor for young professionals – military and civilian – and member firms and other groups within the Society and other industry associations,” said Academy of Fellows Vice Chair for Mentoring Philios Angelides, F.SAME. “He champions best practices to achieve success as a well-rounded professional and demonstrates such through his example of a distinguished career.”

Wright has more than 40 years of experience in the civil and environmental engineering field. Prior to joining STV in 2019, he held leadership positions at three top engineering firms and was also chief engineer of the Virginia Port Authority in Norfolk, Virginia. He served for 22 years as an engineer branch officer in the U.S. Army, retiring as a lieutenant colonel and completing his military career as the deputy district engineer for the Baltimore District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

As part of his stewardship to SAME and mentoring, Wright led the development of a comprehensive credentialing program supporting transitioning engineer veterans. He has worked with military engineers ranging from retiring flag and senior field grade officers, to more junior members transitioning to civilian careers. Additionally, Neal has lectured about engineering leadership and career development at universities such as Columbia University and Old Dominion University.

He holds a Bachelor of Science degree with distinction from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and a Master of Science from North Carolina State University. He is a Professional Engineer licensed in Maryland and Virginia and a certified Project Management Professional.

For more about Wright’s thought leadership for our federal clients, please view this Perspectives piece.