Perry A. Hand
Perry A. Hand has spent nearly 40 years serving the public, using his expertise to better the state of Alabama whether through government service or as a leading engineer.
As chief executive officer and chairman of the board of Volkert, Inc., in Mobile, Hand’s leadership and insistence to advance technology applications to old problems continue to improve the infrastructure industry in Alabama and other areas of the United States.
Hand hit the ground running founding Perry Hand & Associates, Inc., after graduation from Auburn University in 1969 with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering. The company undertook project administration; project design, bids and awards; and inspection for a range of civil engineering projects. In the early 1970s, he designed an innovative system of wastewater treatment that would withstand political opposition and become a helpful tool to developing coastal and rural areas in the state.
He became a public servant when elected to the Alabama Senate in 1983 and again in 1986, and he sold his business in 1989 when he became the secretary of state for Alabama. In 1991, he was appointed highway director for the state with responsibility for all state highway design, construction and maintenance.
As a state senator, secretary of state and director of the Alabama Highway Department, Hand helped deliver billions of dollars of infrastructure projects to the state that not only improved transportation and sanitation issues in the state, but also created a new demand for engineering and construction consultation work to oversee the hundreds of projects he helped create.
He retired from government service in 1993 and joined Volkert. Since taking over leadership roles in Volkert, Hand has been instrumental in securing contracts for many important construction and engineering jobs throughout the region, including some of the most high-profile improvements within the state. They include a $700-million project to replace more than a mile of elevated Interstate 20/59 through downtown Birmingham; preliminary and final design of Corridor “X,” now Interstate 22; and the $125-million Baldwin Beach Express that opened in 2014. Volkert also provided several services to help restore habitats on the Little Bay peninsula, which was severely eroded by Hurricane Katrina. The project received the 2011 Guardian Award from the EPA and the Excellence Award from the Association of Conservation Engineers and was inducted into the Alabama Engineering Hall of Fame.
Before becoming CEO and chairman in 2011, Hand was named chief marketing officer in 2004 and president in 2007. He is responsible for corporate business administration activities and managing the overall growth of Volkert.
Hand is a registered Professional Engineer in eight states and the District of Columbia as well as a Professional Land Surveyor in Alabama and Florida. He is involved in numerous professional organizations including as a life member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, and is heavily involved in professional and economic development organizations in Alabama including chairman for the Business Council of Alabama in January 2018.
His national service includes committee memberships with ASCE, among others, and he also served as vice president of the Southeastern Association of State Highway & Transportation Officials.
He was awarded an honorary doctorate from Lincoln Memorial University, and was recognized with the “Outstanding Alumni Award, Civil Engineering” from Auburn’s Samuel Ginn College of Engineering in 2014.