Leading FHI Studio into the Future
May 2023

At FHI Studio, we are committed to empowerment and leadership development. Our corporate culture is centered around nurturing the next generation of trailblazers and paving the way for their success. Starting with just one founder in 1987, we've grown into a thriving team of over 50 passionate individuals, led by a dedicated group of 15 employee owners.

As a testament to our commitment to generational succession, we've taken concrete steps to ensure that new leaders can step up and flourish. We recently reorganized our internal operations, creating multiple opportunities for rising stars to join our management team. We also introduced a new generation of employee owners, expanding the pool of dedicated individuals who are invested in our long-term success.

In addition to these exciting changes, we're investing heavily in our staff through our Leadership Development Program. This program is designed to help each individual recognize and maximize their leadership potential, so they can make a meaningful impact both within our company and beyond.

With our sights firmly set on the future, we're confident that these initiatives will not only drive our strategic vision but also foster a culture of empowerment and leadership that will inspire generations to come.

Introducing Three New FHI Studio Owners

FHI Studio is an employee-owned company that is committed to generational ownership succession. We aim to remain an independently-owned and managed company – where we can set our vision for future generations. We are thrilled to announce three new owners to our shareholder group. Congratulations to our newest owners:

Susan Bemis, AICP, Environmental Planning Manager

“One of the things I value most is FHI Studio’s collaborative approach – combining technical expertise and community knowledge to advance projects and strengthen communities.”

Susan Bemis is a planning professional with a focus on complex, multidisciplinary projects. Her portfolio includes environmental analysis, resiliency planning, feasibility studies, and master plans. She has completed environmental analysis and documentation for multiple national parks and federal facilities. Connect with Susan!

Michael Ahillen, AICP, Transportation Planning Manager

“I’m excited to be part of the FHI Studio ownership team, joining a group of colleagues who not only match my enthusiasm for improving walking, biking, and transit but are also committed to advancing our company’s vision for the future.”

Michael is passionate about enhancing the livability and economic vitality of urban areas across North America and Australia through transportation planning and public involvement. His project experience includes transit studies, bike system design, bike-share feasibility studies, pedestrian planning, parking studies, and economic development plans. In addition to technical planning, he has extensive experience leading innovative and inclusive community engagement efforts. Connect with Michael!

Alexandra Correa, Finance Director

“I chose to become an owner of FHI Studio because I value its core ideals, the mission of the company, and where it is headed. I also enjoy sharing ownership with a group of individuals I admire.”

Alex is an experienced professional in financial management activities. As Director of Finance and the Corporate Assistant Treasurer, she reports directly to the President and provides critical information to the Management Team. Alex guides and oversees all the financial activities and systems of the corporation, including the preparation of current financial reports as well as summaries and forecasts for future business growth and general economic outlook. Connect with Alex!

“Michael, Alex, and Susan have each demonstrated success in business development, client service, corporate development, and business management. They have also shown a strong commitment to FHI Studio and the potential to play an even larger role in the future leadership of the company. Their investment in FHI Studio illustrates their belief in our future and their desire to help shape it.”

- Susan VanBenschoten, FHI Studio CEO

A New Generation of Leaders

At FHI Studio, we're not just striving for growth and success — we're committed to empowering our team members to become the leaders of tomorrow. That's why we recently reorganized our internal operations, putting a focus on promoting new Directors and Managers to lead our studios and discipline areas.

Our leadership team is made up of an incredible group of individuals, each with their own unique strengths and talents. We are proud to have such a diverse and inspiring group of leaders at the helm.

But we're not just relying on our existing leadership team to carry us forward. We've also launched a Leadership Development Program that's open to all staff members. This program is designed to help our managers develop the skills they need to be effective leaders, while also giving every team member the chance to explore their own leadership potential and maximize their strengths.

With a self-awareness assessment of leadership strengths and liabilities, individual coaching, formal training sessions on key leadership topics, and an independent learning resource platform, we're committed to providing our team with the resources they need to become the best versions of themselves.

At FHI Studio, we're not just building a successful company — we're building a community of leaders who will go on to shape the world around them. As we look towards the future, we're proud to be living our commitment to generational ownership succession, empowerment, and leadership development. And as we celebrate our 36th anniversary, we're excited to continue shaping our vision for the future with a team of dedicated, passionate individuals who are all committed to creating a better tomorrow.

“Leaders don’t create followers, they create more leaders.”

- Tom Peters, Co-Author of In Search of Excellence