As chief executive officer (CEO), Rodney Chester is responsible for the alignment of Gresham Smith’s leadership team to execute the firm’s overall strategy and operations in pursuit of smart, sustainable growth that not only creates opportunities for our employees, but also delivers value to our clients. He has served on Gresham Smith’s board of directors since 2015 and as board chair since January 2023.

Through a servant leadership approach—leading with empathy, fairness and respect—Rodney places a focus on building a robust company culture while promoting teamwork and collaboration across the firm’s markets and offices to ensure a “one-firm” perspective. With a steadfast commitment to Gresham Smith’s vision, he actively promotes the firm’s Core Purpose of planning, designing and consulting to create healthy and thriving communities. Externally, Rodney actively supports the industry as a national director for the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC). Additionally, he is committed to improving the local community, taking on roles as a board member of the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce and as board chair at GraceWorks, a local nonprofit focused on helping those in need.

Rodney has spent his entire 27-year career at Gresham Smith. Prior to his role as CEO, he served in a range of leadership positions at the firm, including chief operating officer, senior vice president of firmwide operations, division vice president, office leader, principal, project manager, and engineer of record in the firm’s Transportation market.

Rodney Chester