Business Leader Spotlight: Renita Mollman, Vice President of Burns & McDonnell

Renita Mollman, Vice President of Burns & McDonnell

Renita Mollman, Vice President of Burns & McDonnell

This week, we’re excited to present a business leader spotlight from Renita Mollman, the Vice President of Burns & McDonnell, which is a nationally-recognized engineering, architecture, construction, environmental and consulting solutions firm.

Renita is one of the first female officers at Burns & McDonnell, and – as the initiator of Burns & McDonnell’s Professional Women’s Exchange – she has personally dedicated herself to advancing and mentoring women within the firm. As Vice President, Renita oversees a team of dedicated professionals in Burns & McDonnell’s Southern California offices, and ensures that the firm works to deliver innovative and cost-effective solutions to a wide array of clients.

Renita is a member of the American Council of Engineering Companies, plus the San Diego and Orange County chapters of WTS. In 2015, she was also recognized by WTS as the San Diego Chapter’s Woman of the Year.

Read what Renita had to say below:

What are you most excited about for Burns & McDonnell Engineering this year?

It’s incredibly exciting that we’re engineering new solutions to the same challenges our founders Clinton Burns & Robert McDonnell faced 118 years ago – to build our country’s infrastructure.

Today, innovations are leading to some of the most advanced infrastructure designs our world has ever seen. In fact, we’re doing so much in the fields of renewable energy and aviation, that we’re predicting Burns & McDonnell will grow an unprecedented 15 to 20 percent in California alone.

Renita Mollman Accepting Woman of the Year Award

Renita Mollman Accepting Woman of the Year Award

Wow, that’s really exciting! So, from your experience – what do you see for the future of San Diego business?

Well, California is actually leading the charge for renewable energy across the entire country. We’re making great strides with innovative solar and wind powered systems, as well as microgrids, battery storage and onsite generation. With looming state and city mandates, this will be a huge opportunity for economic growth.

Our clients are always looking for ways to take efficiency, reliability and resiliency to an all new level and we’re proud to have built this as a true area of excellence for our firm. In fact, Engineering News-Record just ranked Burns & McDonnell as the No. 1 engineering design firm in the country serving the electric power industry.

And, for San Diego – the Navy and ports are continuing to serve as the heartbeat of our economy. They’re making exciting investments to their infrastructures, making them more reliable and sustainable than ever before, and this is sure to draw more tourists and businesses to the region.

Great news! Now, since you’re the executive leader of a large and dynamic firm, do you have any advice for young professionals who want to be in your shoes one day?

My advice to young professionals is to continue to grow, take risks to move yourself up, and establish a good network of mentors and managers who can support you along the way.

Also, look for ways to continuously reimagine your career. Find a gap and fill it. Identify a role that can benefit the company and your clients – and show how you run with it and provide value.

I was really fortunate, because Burns & McDonnell is a 100 percent employee-owned firm, so I learned early about taking ownership on projects and everyday tasks, because it’s an extremely entrepreneurial environment and you have the opportunity – and responsibility – to act as an owner. We encourage our employee-owners to get uncomfortable, take risks and try new things. In our view, staying the same is simply a step backwards.

Good to know. So, tell us – what book is currently sitting on your night stand?

What Got You Here Won’t Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful

And, in a parallel universe, what career would you be in?

I have a passion for bringing new life to old Victorian homes and bungalows, so in a parallel universe I would probably be restoring charming 20th Century homes.

And last, which famous person would you like to take out for coffee, past or present?

Mother Teresa

A special thank you goes to Renita Mollman for taking the time to sit with the Chamber team and answer our questions! Do you know a Chamber member with a great story to tell? Nominate them for a business leader spotlight by emailing