Bob Higgins

President/Chief Executive Officer

Bob Higgins has been with the firm since 1996 when he started as an intern following graduation from the School of Engineering at Vanderbilt University with a degree in Civil Engineering. Since becoming President and CEO in 2009, Higgins has led the firm through a successful re-organization into core business units and has directed the development and implementation of key technical, project management, and leadership programs.

Higgins sits on the board for the American Council of Engineering Companies - Nashville Chapter and is a member of the National and Tennessee Society of Professional Engineers (TSPE), as well as the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). He has been named as ASCE Nashville Chapter Engineer of the Year. Additionally, Higgins serves on Vanderbilt University’s School of Engineering (VUSE) Board of Visitors. During his time on the VUSE Board, Higgins has helped establish a civil engineering scholarship that is funded through Barge by matching employee contributions, which will lead to a $100,000 endowment and will continue to grow. Passionate about mentoring and equipping the next generation of engineering professionals, Higgins helped establish a new Leadership Professional Engineer (PE) program in Tennessee for mid-level engineers statewide to learn more about the leadership aspects of engineering.

He is an active member of the community, serving on the boards for the Nashville Downtown Partnership and the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce and Chairing the Saint Thomas Health Foundation Board. The Nashville Business Journal has recognized him as a Veterans Awards Winner for his military service and positive impact on Nashville’s business community and as a Most Admired CEO.


Shannon Lambert

Executive Vice President/Chief Operating Officer

Shannon Lambert joined the firm in 2010 and has previously served in leadership roles inside the Water Services business unit. Lambert was named Barge Design Solutions' Chief Operating Officer in 2018. He has served in multiple project-related roles on water and wastewater treatment plant expansions and upgrades, sewer collection systems, and water distribution systems. His experience includes evaluations, designs, and construction administration.

He holds a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering as well as a Master of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Missouri-Rolla and is a registered Professional Engineer in Alabama, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, and Tennessee.

Shannon serves as Tennessee Vice President for Kentucky-Tennessee Water Environment Association.


Paula Harris

Executive Vice President/Chief Marketing Officer

Paula E. Harris is Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at Barge Design Solutions, Inc. (Barge). As an Executive Team Member, Paula guides the firm’s marketing efforts across six states, including five offices in Tennessee, relative to the Client Experience strategic initiative. This includes civic involvement, business development strategies, proposal development, marketing materials, and public relations.

Paula is a graduate of area leadership programs such as Transit Citizen Leadership Academy, Leadership Middle Tennessee, Leadership Rutherford, and Leadership Franklin, where she has served as Executive Director since 2012. She is an active community volunteer with membership and committee roles with numerous Middle Tennessee organizations, including Urban Land Institute, Rotary Club of Nashville, and Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce. 

Paula is involved in issues that concern the engineering community and greater Middle Tennessee area. She represents Barge in various organizations that seek to provide the mid-state with a better transit solution such as Citizens for Greater Mobility, Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, and Transit Alliance of Middle Tennessee. In 2018, Paula joined the Nashville State Community College Foundation Board and the Board of the Discovery Center in Murfreesboro.

Paula is a Certified Professional Services Marketer (CPSM) and is a Founding Member of the Nashville Chapter of the Society for Marketing Professional Services (SMPS). She is a past recipient of the Chapter’s Lifetime Achievement Award.


Cendy Dodd

Executive Vice President/Chief Financial Officer

Cendy Dodd joined the firm in 2013 as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer and plays a critical role in leading the firm’s financial functions.

Cendy holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Western Kentucky University. She completed courses at Belmont University to receive a Certificate of Management.

She has memberships with both the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and Tennessee Society of Certified Public Accountants, and is a member of the Executive Committee for Camp Habitat of Simpson County, Kentucky, a Christian service camp sponsored by Habitat for Humanity.


Chris Provost

Executive Vice President/Chief Strategies Officer

Chris Provost joined the firm in 2015 and serves as Executive Vice President and Chief Strategies Officer. He has over 30 years of engineering and management experience, specifically with water, environmental, and transportation projects. He has served in all project-related roles throughout the southeastern United States and has managed a multitude of large and small projects for a variety of public and private sector clients.

Chris earned a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Tennessee Technological University. He is a registered Professional Engineer in Florida, Georgia, and Tennessee, and is a Board Certified Environmental Engineer (BCEE).


Michele Herlein

Executive Vice President/Chief Human Resources Officer

Michele Herlein serves as Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer. She joined the firm in 2015 and works to support the company in becoming the best place to work in our field.

Michele graduated from Northern Illinois University with Bachelor of Science in Marketing and a minor in Economics, as well as a Master of Arts in Organizational Communication. She has also earned her Doctorate in Business Administration from St. Ambrose University. Herlein has published and presented articles on competency development, change management, coaching, leadership development, and cultural development.

Michele is an active board member of Impact Nashville where she serves as President.