With over 24 years of dedicated service in the Geotechnical & Environmental Engineering sector, the Managing Director and Senior Principal of Leighton Group, based in Irvine, California, has exhibited consistent professional growth and a commitment to excellence. Starting her journey in 1999 as a Geologist, she quickly honed her expertise, specializing in geological and geotechnical studies for land development projects across Orange County and Los Angeles. Kristen’s hands-on experience at the staff and senior staff levels provided her with profound insights into the nuances of geotechnical evaluations and its pivotal role in successful land development. With this experience working under other professional geologists, Kristen was able to earn her California Professional Geologist license.
In 2003, Kristen took on a more strategic role and turned her focus to clients and Business Development. Over the course of 20 years in this capacity, she played an integral part in shaping the direction of Leighton Group and positioning it as a leader in the geotechnical and environmental engineering space. Kristen became a Principal leader in the firm during this time.
In 2022, Kristen decided to transition from Business Development and into Operations, becoming the Managing Director of the Irvine office which is one of the company’s largest operations. Kristen’s financial discipline, along with strong connections within her team streamlined the Irvine operation and created a path for a new role within Verdantas.
Since joining Verdantas in March 2023, she has been steering the organization as its Vice President and Senior Principal. The role combines Kristen’s technical acumen with visionary leadership, ensuring that Verdantas remains at the forefront of geotechnical and environmental solutions. Kristen’s tenure and steadfast dedication to the profession underscore her deep-rooted passion and commitment to leveraging geotechnical and environmental expertise for sustainable engineering projects.