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Halff Announces Historic Leadership Transition

Jessica Baker Daily
Jessica Baker Daily
Ben Pylant
Ben Pylant
RICHARDSON, TX — Halff, a multidiscipline professional engineering firm, announces the appointment of Jessica Baker Daily as its President/Chief Executive Officer, effective January 1, 2024. Baker Daily currently serves as Chief People Officer on the firm’s leadership team. She succeeds retiring CEO Mark Edwards, who concludes his tenure on December 31, 2023. Simultaneously, Ben Pylant, Water Resources Practice Leader, will transition into the role of Chief People Officer.

Baker Daily’s historic appointment as the firm’s first female President/CEO places Halff among a select few top firms with a woman at the helm.

“Jessica was the unanimous choice by the board to lead Halff into the future," Halff’s Chairman of the Board, Michael Moya, said in a statement. "Her commitment to servant leadership, promoting the growth of others and embodying Halff’s people-first culture is unparalleled. She has a keen awareness of the industry market today and into the future. Jessica’s exceptional communication skills, coupled with unwavering mental fortitude, make her the perfect fit for the job at hand."

Baker Daily’s journey has been exclusively at Halff since joining the firm as an intern in 2003. She holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Texas at Austin and ascended rapidly within Halff, culminating in her recent role as Chief Marketing Officer before assuming the Chief People Officer position earlier in 2023. Baker Daily also served on the firm’s Board of Directors.

Baker Daily’s career highlights include serving as Halff’s liaison on a joint venture contract with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) worth nearly $600 million and leading a team of more than 100 professionals in delivering flood risk identification and disaster response services for FEMA’s Region 6. She received the Outstanding Young Alumna Award at The University of Texas at Austin’s Cockrell School of Engineering in 2014.

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Additionally, Baker Daily actively contributes to her community by serving on The University of Texas Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering department’s External Advisory Committee, holding a director position on the board of the American Council of Engineering Companies Dallas chapter, and graduated from the Dallas Regional Chamber’s Leadership Dallas program.

Pylant takes on the CPO role after serving as Senior Vice President and Water Resources Practice Leader for the past year and as a member of Halff’s Board of Directors. Pylant has been with Halff his entire career, growing from Civil Engineer to Team Leader, Director of Water Resources, and Practice Leader. He has focused on managing complex hydrologic and hydraulic modeling and flood planning efforts. Additionally, Pylant led Halff’s recruiting and retention task force to improve the firm’s recruiting efforts during a historically challenging talent market. He serves as the Executive Sponsor for Halff’s nine employee resource groups and is leading Halff’s employee engagement initiative.

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