Halff Welcomes Baker Daily, Pylant to New Leadership Roles

January 2, 2024

RICHARDSON, Texas — Stepping into their new respective roles for 2024, Jessica Baker Daily takes the helm as Halff’s president and chief executive officer, accompanied by Ben Pylant assuming the role as chief people officer for the firm.

Baker Daily starts her historic appointment as the firm’s first female president and CEO, placing Halff among a select few of Engineering News-Record’s Top 100 design firms with a woman soley in the top leadership position. She is the sixth leader for Halff, joining Albert Halff (1969-1981), Joe Novoa (1981-1996), Martin Molloy (1996-2013), Pat Kunz (2013-2019) and Mark Edwards (2020-2023).

Baker Daily earned her bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Texas at Austin and has been at Halff exclusively since joining the firm as an intern in 2003. She served as the chief marketing officer beginning in 2021 before assuming the chief people officer position in early 2023. Baker Daily has also served on Halff’s Board of Directors.

Jessica Baker Daily and Ben Pylant January 2024 leadership transition at Halff
Jessica Baker Daily and Ben Pylant stepped into their new Leadership Team roles at Halff on Tuesday, Jan. 2.

Her illustrious career highlights include serving as Halff’s liaison on a joint venture contract with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) worth nearly $600 million and leading a team of more than 100 professionals in delivering flood risk identification and disaster response services for FEMA’s Region 6. She was named to ENR’s national Top 20 Under 40 list in 2018 and received the Outstanding Young Alumna Award at The University of Texas at Austin’s Cockrell School of Engineering in 2014.

Additionally, Baker Daily actively contributes to her community by serving on The University of Texas Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering department’s External Advisory Committee (EAC), by holding a director position on the board of the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) Dallas chapter, and by graduating from the Dallas Regional Chamber’s Leadership Dallas program.

Pylant takes on the CPO role after serving as senior vice president and Water Resources practice leader. Pylant, who also served on the firm’s Board of Directors, has been with Halff his entire career, growing from civil engineer to team leader, director of Water Resources and practice leader. He has focused on the strategic growth of Halff and serving clients with innovative flood mitigation solutions. Additionally, Pylant led Halff’s recruiting and retention task force to improve the firm’s recruiting efforts during a historically challenging talent market. He serves as the executive sponsor for Halff’s nine employee resource groups (ERGs). Pylant is leading Halff’s employee engagement initiative to foster and advance Halff’s people-focused culture.

Halff’s Leadership Team consists of Jessica Baker Daily as president and chief executive officer, Todd Jackson as chief operating officer, Joseph Sagel as chief financial officer, Steven Miller as chief strategy officer and Ben Pylant as chief people officer.

About the Firm

Halff is an award-winning, employee-owned, diverse and multidiscipline professional engineering firm that improves lives and communities by turning ideas into reality. For nearly 75 years, Halff has provided smart solutions for clients throughout the United States. The people-first firm is committed to continuously investing in its employees and fostering a culture of collaboration.

Halff has 32 offices in Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas. The firm was recognized as the 2023 Texas & Louisiana Design Firm of the Year by the Engineering News-Record. Halff is ranked No. 85 in the latest Top 500 Design Firms rankings by ENR. Halff is the No. 15 Top Workplace nationally in 2023 as ranked by Energage for businesses with 1,000 to 2,499 employees.

For more information about Halff, visit halff.com.