Joan Freitag serves as a senior vice president and civil works and federal principal at Hanson. She has 35 years of experience in management, business development, community outreach and communications. She provides strategic direction, client relationship management and leadership for Hanson’s federal, water resources and disaster recovery groups, which include project managers, engineers, scientists and technicians. In this role, she has led the firm to serve more than 30 federal clients, and Hanson holds 15 indefinite quantity contracts with federal agencies.. She was instrumental in creating Hanson's award-winning marketing and business development groups.
As a presenter on risk communication, Joan shares her experience working as the chief of external affairs for FEMA's Long-Term Community Recovery Planning program following hurricanes Rita and Katrina. In this role, she implemented FEMA's marketing, communication and outreach efforts. She also provides listening training to groups of professionals and has presented on various marketing topics, including SF330 creation and Federal Debriefing.
She serves on the board of directors for America’s Watershed Initiative, a collaboration that seeks solutions for meeting the multiple demands placed on the vast and complex Mississippi watershed system by integrating issues, partners and ideas at the full watershed scale. AWI builds and implements a vision based on collaboration and mutually beneficial outcomes in contrast to single-purpose advocacy. In 2015, AWI produced an acclaimed report card on the watershed after facilitating an extensive public input process. The report card provided grades for ecosystem, water supply, flood risk, navigation-transportation, economics and recreation.
She chairs the American Council of Engineering Companies’ Federal Agencies and Procurement Advocacy Committee-Defense Agencies Subcommittee. In this national position, she restructured the committee to focus on key areas and helped develop partnering agreements with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Navy Facilities Engineering Command and the U.S. Air Force. She continues to serve on and contribute to this national committee. Through ACEC, she has advocated for infrastructure funding.
As an active member of the Society of American Military Engineers, she has served as post president and on the board of direction for several posts, including Rock Island, Scott Field and Illini posts. She was chair for two national conferences and awarded numerous commendations, including four RVP medals. She served on the National Board of Direction and as a regional vice president for the Great Lakes Region. In 2011, she was inducted as a fellow, SAME’s highest honor.
University of Wisconsin-Madison: Bachelor’s degree, journalism
University of Illinois at Springfield: Master’s degree, business and communications