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Krista Bethune Melnar has joined Freese and Nichols as its newest Stormwater Practice Leader. Submitted photo

Freese and Nichols hire new Stormwater Practice Leader

Krista Bethune Melnar
Thursday, January 17, 2019

Freese and Nichols, Inc., welcomes Krista Bethune Melnar, PE, an accomplished project manager experienced with large federal contracts as well as state and local resiliency projects, as the firm’s new Stormwater Practice Leader. She also will manage the Central Texas Stormwater Group, including the Austin and San Marcos offices, to support the needs of clients in that region.

Melnar has more than 19 years of experience in Texas and nationally, providing innovative solutions and managing diverse teams that address water resource challenges in stream and riparian restoration, stormwater management, water planning and flood disaster resilience. She will lead the Stormwater Practice Group’s continuing growth, and she adds depth and breadth to the services the company can offer clients.

Melnar is experienced in geomorphology, flooding alleviation and hydrology and hydraulics study analysis. Her experience spans supporting city, state, river authorities and local municipalities in Maryland, North Carolina and Texas, including the San Antonio River Authority and cities of Austin and Carrollton. She also has directed multiple projects for the Texas Adjutant General’s Office involving stormwater management, erosion repair, pollution prevention and other needs at military installations across the state.

She recently spent three years as deputy director for a $600 million project involving FEMA’s Risk Mapping, Assessment and Planning (Risk MAP), Hazard Mitigation Technical Assistance Program (HMTAP) and Technical Assistance and Research Contracts (TARC) programs, where she worked directly with FEMA Headquarters in Washington, D.C. She was heavily engaged in supporting FEMA following Hurricane Harvey, managing FEMA’s flood frequency analysis, substantial data analytics cell and the development of flood recovery advisory products. The analytics cell project won FEMA Administrator Brock Long’s award for innovation.

“With her fresh perspective and her knowledge of the federal side of stormwater projects, especially on disaster relief, Krista will help us continue to expand the services we provide to clients across the nation,” Freese and Nichols’ Central Division Manager John New said.

Melnar graduated from the University of Maryland with a degree in Biological Resources Engineering and is a Certified Floodplain Manager.

Freese and Nichols, Inc. is a professional consulting firm serving clients across the Southeast and Southwest United States. With sustainability in mind, Freese and Nichols plans, designs and manages infrastructure projects. It is the first engineering/architecture firm to receive the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. Learn more at Freese and Nichols' website.