CEI department head retires; successor named

by Paul Gatling ([email protected]) 880 views 

Bentonville firm CEI Engineering Associates Inc. announced the retirement of department manager Tom Oppenheim. His final day was March 31.

Oppenheim is a civil engineering graduate from the University of Arkansas. He joined CEI in 2013 as a project manager in the firm’s local development department. The company promoted him to department manager in 2015, and he led his team to significant growth while completing unique projects throughout Northwest Arkansas. Some included the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art elevator tower and bridge, Scott Family Amazeum, 8th Street Market, Momentary parking garage and corporate campus expansions for J.B. Hunt Transport Services.

Oppenheim was also part of the design team for an award-winning water quality improvement project tied to a trailhead on the Razorback Regional Greenway. In 2015, the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) presented CEI with the Grand Conceptor Award, the organization’s top honor for engineering excellence. The water quality improvement demonstrations were at the trailhead southeast of Mercy Hospital along Rife Medical Lane in Rogers. It began as an initiative from the Illinois River Watershed Partnership, with an initial task to create a water quality demonstration and educational program for the Illinois River Watershed.

The trailhead was identified because of its central location between Bentonville and Rogers and its direct connection to the Illinois River Watershed.

The Mercy trailhead was completed in May 2013 as part of the 36-mile Razorback Regional Greenway, stretching from Bella Vista to Fayetteville.

CEI said Oppenheim promoted several department members to lead new departments within the company during his tenure. Before joining the company, Oppenheim held leadership roles with Cooper Communities and Walmart Inc.

The company has promoted Nate Bachelor to succeed Oppenheim. Bachelor joined CEI in 2005 after graduating from the Missouri University of Science & Technology with a degree in civil engineering. He began his career at CEI in the commercial division, leading the development of projects across the country, spanning sectors that included large retail, mixed-use development, restaurants and fueling stations.

Bachelor moved into the local development department over seven years ago. His projects include the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art expansion, Aurora residential subdivision, Hershey’s Bentonville office, J.B. Hunt Technology Building, Crystal Flats, Momentary parking garage, and Railyard Park in Rogers, which recently won the Grand Conceptor Award.

Bachelor is a CEI board member and a member of the Northwest Arkansas Business Journal’s Forty Under 40 class in 2015.