Civil/Environmental Engineering Firm Marks Its 26th Year by Becoming 100% Employee Owned

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AE2S and Its Affiliated Companies Celebrate New Era Through Creation of an ESOP.

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Throughout our history, we can point to where we added staff shareholders and saw a direct correlation to the growth and success we had.

Advanced Elements, Inc., the holding company for Advanced Engineering and Environmental Services, Inc. (AE2S) and its affiliated companies, is starting the New Year by transferring ownership to its 280+ employees across six states with the creation of an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP). Charlie Vein, AE2S President, says it’s amazing that the two-man company he and Steve Burian, AE2S CEO, started in a basement office of the Grand Forks Depot building with borrowed furniture has become one of the largest infrastructure firms in the Midwest. “I know our success has everything to do with the people that make up our company,” says Vein.

AE2S has grown from humble beginnings to part of a group of companies providing public and private water, wastewater, water resources, and other infrastructure design, build, and operation services. Over the years, AE2S expanded beyond civil and environmental engineering to include electrical and structural engineering, as well as adding divisions providing financial, surveying, technology, communications, and more to support its clients’ efforts to create sustainable and resilient infrastructure for communities and industries across the upper Midwest and Rockies region.

“We saw the power of inclusion and employee engagement early on,” says Steve Burian, AE2S CEO. In the late 90’s and throughout the 2000’s, AE2S added approximately 45 shareholders. “Throughout our history, we can point to where we added staff shareholders and saw a direct correlation to the growth and success we had. We knew it was imperative for our company to take this next step. We want to preserve our company’s culture and ensure we continue strengthening the communities and regions where we work and live through employees that share in our success,” says Burian.

Currently, AE2S is working on local, regional, and industrial infrastructure projects that impact over 75 percent of the population of North Dakota, 25 Minneapolis metro area communities, major cities and regional clients in Minnesota, South Dakota, and Montana. The company has also been recently selected for water and technology projects in Texas, Colorado, Utah, and Alberta, Canada. AE2S continues to look for innovative ways to partner with communities, regions, and industries to provide economically and environmentally sustainable infrastructure.

About AE2S and Affiliated Companies

AE2S and its affiliated companies include AE2S Nexus, AE2S Construction, EIM (Electrical Installation and Maintenance), AE2S Operations, AE2S Industrial, and OpWorks. We focus on the planning, funding, design, construction, and operation of public and private infrastructure. The firm and its affiliated companies have offices located in Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wisconsin. For more information, visit the AE2S website at or find us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

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Heather Syverson
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