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Recognizing 100 CEOs & C-level Executives
Steve Donahue Horner & Shifrin, Inc

Steve Donahue


Horner & Shifrin, Inc.

Location: St. Louis, MO

Founded: 1933

Industry: Consulting Engineering

In the last year, since being named a Titan 100, Steve Donahue has learned that in order to grow, he needs to build an organization of direct reports that are capable of working independently and have the authority to carry out their tasks. “We have become too large to have every decision run through me and a few people,” he said.

As a result, as president of Horner & Shifrin, Inc., Donahue has delegated key responsibilities in the company to his direct reports while teaching others how to be a leader. “I have learned that leaders must be willing to be misunderstood, criticized, opposed, accused and even rejected at times,” he said. “One must be able to thoroughly assess an issue, obtain input where appropriate and make a decision that is in the best interest of the organization – from there, the leader must count on the other leaders in the company to carry out the specific directive.”

Horner & Shifrin, Inc. is a 100% employee-owned consulting engineering company currently celebrating its 90-year anniversary. The firm provides civil, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, survey, GIS and construction administration services with a mission to forge innovative, cost-effective solutions with unrivaled talent, integrity and leadership.

Under Donahue’s leadership, after closing on the acquisition of Clarida & Ziegler Engineering Company earlier this year, the company is on track to increase revenue by about $6 million or 23% over the previous year. The firm has grown from 118 employees from the end of 2022 to currently 157, which represents a 33% increase. Horner & Shifrin has also continued expansion into Northwest Arkansas with growth fueled by work in the healthcare and bridge sectors of the business.

Donahue has relied on his agility and willingness to embrace the changes the company is facing. “The world is changing at an ever-increasing rate and businesses must be willing to adapt or risk being left behind,” he said. “I follow the adage of ‘none of us are as smart as all of us’ and organizing a group of people who are knowledgeable is always a way to solve problems and find potential solutions.”

Donahue said the recognition as a Titan 100 has proved to be a successful honor and venture. “It has provided a level of validation in that what I have been trying to accomplish for our company has been successful,” he said.

For his leadership and commitment to enhancing the industry and his employees, Donahue has been named a Titan 100 for the second time.

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