A Note from C&S Companies CEO: Building a Bright Future

We at C&S Companies are dedicated professionals passionate about improving the communities we live and work in – communities that we are proud to call home. We also recognize the immense privilege of being able to contribute to society through our work in planning, designing, constructing, and maintaining the infrastructure that underpins modern life across the nation. With over 600 team members spread across 21 office locations, including remote work settings, our impact is felt far and wide. From the roads and bridges that ensure safe journeys to the airports connecting us to the world, from functional buildings to critical manufacturing facilities and entertainment venues to environmental stewardship, our team has played a vital role in delivering these essential components of society.

Yet, there is more to our work than what meets the eye. Beyond the visible physical infrastructure, we strive to integrate projects seamlessly into communities and protect the environment. These aspects are equally crucial to our mission.

Honored to Lead With Roots of Integrity & Lasting Values

I am profoundly grateful for the opportunity to serve as the Chief Executive Officer of C&S Companies since the beginning of 2023. Striving to always be mindful of our team’s evolving expectations and needs, the communities we serve, and the world at large. The COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped our lives in ways we could never have foreseen, demanding greater flexibility in our work while maintaining our commitment to delivering exceptional outcomes for our valued clients.

My leadership approach is firmly rooted in the core values of C&S, values that resonate closely with my personal beliefs. Integrity, authenticity, teamwork, and an unwavering work ethic are the cornerstones upon which C&S Companies are built. Whenever I face a decision concerning our team or our business, I rely on these values as my guiding principles.

I owe much of my values and work ethic to my maternal grandfather, a dedicated farmer, and my father, a former Marine and New York State Trooper. They instilled in me honesty, integrity, and a determination to exceed expectations. One vivid example of their commitment was our farming operations. While others harvested sweet corn on Friday nights for the Saturday market, my grandfather and father insisted on delivering the freshest corn, which meant very early mornings for me as a teenager. This experience profoundly shaped my values and work ethic, inspiring me to encourage every C&S team member to go the extra mile, just as we consistently provided the freshest corn.

Learning From The Best

Throughout my career, I have been fortunate to learn from the esteemed CEOs who preceded me at C&S Companies, from Mike Calocerinos to Orrin MacMurray, Ron Peckham, and John Trimble. Each left an indelible and positive mark on the company. Their mentorship, along with my commitment to listening, observing, and seeking guidance, has been invaluable.

My leadership style is highly collaborative, following those who have led C&S Companies before me. I actively seek input from team members and external stakeholders when making important decisions, especially when those decisions may directly impact our team. Nothing is more important than caring for our team, ensuring they have the resources to excel and opportunities for personal and professional growth. Sometimes, this means making tough decisions in the team’s best interest or recognizing when C&S may not fit a particular project or client. In any situation, effective, sensitive communication is paramount.

My communication skills owe a lot to the person who hired me as an assistant airport planner at C&S, Frank Kulka. Frank, known for his direct yet caring communication style, assigned me to manage an environmental assessment project in my first year out of college. He even entrusted me with the summary presentation during a public hearing, I was ecstatic to have this opportunity.

Afterward, Frank provided candid feedback, highlighting my lack of preparation and ineffectiveness in conveying critical information. This pivotal moment motivated me to develop communication skills for leadership roles, emphasizing deep listening and impactful expression in various situations, which I’ve found essential in the business world. Unfortunately, few colleges equip students with these crucial skills for their careers.

Committed To Community

At C&S, we are committed to improving communities, a central part of our core purpose. Our leaders, like Mac, Ron, and John, have set a high standard for community service. We celebrate anniversaries through acts of service and support important causes through our C&S Foundation, with decisions made by a separate board of C&S team members.

The spirit of selflessness is ingrained in the C&S culture, and I am humbled and proud to work alongside such exceptional individuals. I have witnessed our team’s dedication to volunteer efforts, mirroring their commitment to our clients.

My career path has been marked by opportunities presented at different junctures, supported by mentors, my family, and my unwavering wife of 32 years. I have always aimed to advance C&S’s capabilities and introduce our talented practitioners to new clients who benefit from the infrastructure we create.

My passions are simple: to surround myself with the best and brightest, those dedicated to making a difference and achieving the seemingly impossible. I enjoy road cycling in my free time and have been fortunate to help others achieve their cycling goals, much like we strive for transformative infrastructure projects. I have absolute confidence in the C&S team, their talent, and their commitment to making a difference in their work and communities.

As CEO, I look forward to collaborating with our exceptional team to achieve outcomes surpassing our wildest imaginations.

Michael Hotaling
Chief Executive Officer

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