Announcing Five New Partners

February 9, 2022

Speight Marshall & Francis (SMF) is proud to announce it has added five new Partners, Wadetta Saunders, David Carter, PE, Morgan Speight, PE, Jonathan Capozzola, PE, SE, and Earl Inge, PE. Danny Speight, PE, Jonathan Walesczyk, PE, J. Stephen Cowan, PE, and Matt Marshall, PE are excited to welcome these new partners.

Speight Marshall & Francis is a premier structural engineering + special inspections firm headquartered in Virginia Beach, with an office located in Richmond. Founded in 1995, SMF has grown tremendously to now having a total of 8 partners and 38 employees strong. Transitioning leadership to include these five new partners is a result of the hard work and dedication among the SMF staff. These additions have equipped the firm for the future to be the strongest in its history.

Wadetta Saunders

Partner + Office and Human Resources Manager

Wadetta has been a part of the Speight, Marshall & Francis family for the past 20 years starting as a CAD Technician Assistant/Courier in 2002. In 2003, she began her career as an Administrative Assistant working her way up the ladder to Office + Human Resource Manager to now becoming a Partner in the firm. She has continually helped the firm grow through the development and implementation of office policies and procedures, managing office operations and administration, and building continuity through SMF’s operating processes. Wadetta brings tremendous experience to the leadership team since she has helped shape the firm’s culture and held an operations-focused role for the bulk of her career.

“We all need a Wadetta, and I’m so thankful God put Wadetta in my life. She takes care of things and when she identifies a problem, she dives in and tries to solve it wholeheartedly. Wadetta has an old soul and gives the best advice. Not always what you want to hear, but what you need to hear. We all need more people like Wadetta around us,” states Daniel Speight, PE.

David Carter, P.E.

Partner + Principal Structural Engineer

David joined the SMF family in 2013. David graduated with his Bachelor of Science in Engineering Science & Mechanics from Virginia Tech and his Master of Engineering in Civil Engineering from Clemson University. Upon graduation, he studied and passed his Professional Engineering exam to become a registered Professional Engineer in the state of Virginia. David brings expertise in Autodesk Revit Structure as well as AutoCAD. He also brings versatility to the team by writing Design/Build RFP’s, structural analysis, investigations/forensics, value engineering, construction documents, specifications, shop drawings, and construction management for Special Inspections. David is passionate about client relationships and thrives on out-of-the-box engineering challenges. As a result, he has developed extensive experience on a wide range of projects from the federal government to multi-family apartments/mixed-use.

“David just takes care of things, has a great character, and you can always count on him. He stays calm and even-keeled when things get “real.” He has developed into a strong engineer and is always willing to help others inside and outside of the office,” states Daniel Speight, P.E.

Morgan Speight, P.E.

Partner + Principal Structural Engineer

Morgan graduated with her Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering Technology from Old Dominion University in 2014 and immediately joined SMF. In 2019, she became a Professional Engineer and is currently licensed in Washington D.C. and Virginia. She describes engineering as art and loves the creative out-of-the-box thinking her mentors have instilled. Morgan is experienced in a variety of project types including but not limited to hotels, schools, medical buildings, and multi-family apartments/mixed-use. She has built strong client relationships through her dedication to projects and the teams she works with daily. She is passionate about leading by example, producing quality construction documents, client collaboration, and project management.

“How cool is it to have your daughter become a partner with you in the profession you truly love?” says Daniel Speight, PE, founding partner of Speight Marshall Francis. He added “I had no idea Morgan would pursue a career in engineering. I never pushed my children to go into engineering. Honestly, when she told me she was going to study engineering in college, I was a bit skeptical. Well, she blew my skepticism out of the water as she excelled in her classes. It was obvious to me she was a natural engineer. She has that “it.” I still listen to a voice message she left me in January 2016, she was so fired up about her week at work and her love for engineering, it blew me away.”

Jonathan Capozzola, P.E. | S.E.

Partner + Principal Structural Engineer

Jon (Cappy) started at SMF in 2016 and is the Director of Engineering for the Richmond office. From a very young age, Jon loved to construct things, and once he enrolled in an AutoCAD class his career path was born. Jon graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Civil + Environmental Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta. Upon completing his undergraduate work, he continued his education to earn a Master of Engineering in Civil Engineering with a Structural Engineering Concentration. After graduation, Jon was hired as a Project Structural Engineer at Gannett Fleming in New York and spent 6 years refining his skills. Jon is a registered Professional Engineer in the state of New York and Virginia, as well as a registered Structural Engineer in the state of Nevada. At SMF, Jon is responsible for a large array of tasks including project management, preparation of structural design calculations, as well as the complete development of structural plans and specifications. He also conducts field inspections and design services during construction.

Daniel Speight, PE says, “looking back I feel extremely thankful Jonathan came to work with us. He has taken a leadership role in our Richmond office and has done an exceptional job. Cappy has quickly become a very talented technical engineer, forged strong relationships in the community, and is someone you can count on to handle difficult situations.”

Earl Inge, P.E.

Partner + Principal Structural Engineer

Earl joined the SMF family in 2017. Although Earl is one of the newest members of the SMF family, he brings extensive experience and passion to the team. His experience as a Principal and Vice President of Stroud, Pence & Associates made Earl a perfect fit. Earl brings SMF significant business development strategies that are instrumental to the firm’s success. Not only does his leadership round out our partnership, but Earl has also diversified our client base, ultimately expanding our portfolio, including his expertise on DoD projects. His insight into designing anti-terrorism force protection and special forces buildings brings our team an edge in competition. Earl is grateful and excited to be part of a loyal and caring team of dedicated professionals.

Daniel Speight, PE states, “we are very lucky to have Earl running the race with us. Earl is a really good person and a talented engineer. He brings to our firm a tremendous amount of experience in engineering, business, and life. He has experienced a lot over the years, but never lost that ‘Earl thing.’ His perspective is invaluable, and his influence has had a significant impact on our firm.”

As a firm that was built by three founding partners, adding these five new partners allows SMF to gain new perspectives, further firm goals, and expand from all directions. As these new leaders take on newer responsibilities, SMF team members will have the opportunity to further their current roles or move into something new within the team. The entire Speight, Marshall & Francis team is thrilled with these new additions to leadership and looking forward to a bright future.

Please join us in congratulating our new Partners- Wadetta, David, Morgan, Jonathan, and Earl!