Our Leadership Team

— Waggoner —

headshot of Joe Waggoner

Joe Waggoner, PE, PLS

CEO and Board Chairman Emeritus

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Emad Al-Turk Headshot

Emad Al-Turk, PE

President and Board Chairman

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Hunter Arnold Headshot

Hunter Arnold, PE

Senior VP of Operations, Central
and Board Member

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Anthony Brister Headshot

Anthony Brister

Senior VP of Operations, South
and Board Member

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Tracy Huffman Headshot

Tracy Huffman, PE, PLS, PTP

Senior VP of Operations, North
and Board Member

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Misty Biard

Misty Biard

Chief Financial and Administrative Officer and Board Member

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Bill McDonald

Bill McDonald, PE

Chief Technical Officer

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William Vaughan

Bill Vaughan, PE

Chief Operating Officer

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Ryan Herndon

Strategic Services
and Senior Client Account Manager

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Scott Phillips, PE

VP of Power and Industry

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Ron Headshot

Ron Thompson, PE

Chief Strategic Services Officer

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Joe Waggoner

Joe Waggoner founded the full-service firm in 1976 with a singular purpose of helping municipalities, cities, states, and regions identify needs, envision solutions, and deliver results. Through this dedication, experience, and expertise, Waggoner has helped society by advancing high-impact, transformational projects that foster economic vitality, building consensus, and sustaining future generations.

Early in his career, Joe thought he might take over the family farm since he loves the country and farming. He transformed that passion to work the land into the founding of Waggoner Engineering, where he cultivated leading-edge urban solutions, planning, and economic development that has budded into a major engineering firm with multiple offices across the Southeast, more than 100 employees and dozens of business partnerships.

With visionary leadership, the firm has blossomed over the past three decades into a full-service engineering, mapping, economic development, and project management firm that discovers innovative infrastructure solutions. Offering a full array of strategic services, in addition to traditional civil engineering design, Waggoner has been recognized as the No. 1 Top Design Firm in Mississippi, and as one of the Top 25 Design Firms in the Southeast.

Those early seeds of farm life have yielded a thriving firm that provides life-enhancing services to millions across the state, region, and country.

Emad Al-Turk

For over 30 years, Emad served as a principal-in-charge, project manager, and senior project manager of the planning, design and construction review and management of numerous infrastructure projects for a total value of over $2 billion, both domestically and internationally. Emad has an entrepreneurial spirit and has served in executive and senior-level positions for the last twenty years. He has also served on a number of boards of directors of business and non-profit organizations. Emad enjoys the development of strategic direction of firms that allow businesses to grow and diversify. 

Emad is also passionate about advocating for world peace and security through education, cultural exchange, and trade. That is one of the reasons he co-founded the International Museum of Muslim Cultures in Jackson, Mississippi which is the first Islamic History and Culture Museum in the US with the goal of educating the American public about Islamic history and culture. Our hope is that our efforts will contribute to reducing tension, bigotry, wars, and conflicts and will lead to a more balanced and fair relationship between America and the Muslim world that is based on mutual respect, tolerance and understanding.

Ryan Herndon

Ryan joined Waggoner Engineering in 2018 and now leads our Strategic Services efforts and serves as a Senior Client Account Manager. He brings over 20 years of experience in project management of new construction, in dealing with water wells, water treatment, tanks, and water lines in MS and LA. Early in Ryan’s career, he went to work in the family business that served water utility needs for municipal, community, and industrial clients for over 60 years.

Ryan started at the very bottom of the business learning all aspects and earning the appreciation of hard work, and firsthand knowledge and experience of the business.  Ryan began managing and operating the business in 2005 after a change in ownership and performed that role until joining Waggoner Engineering. Ryan is passionate and diligent about finding solutions and supporting municipalities, counties, and communities to insure the best possible outcomes of projects that will best serve their needs for many years to come.  

Tracy Huffman

Diligence, creativity, and passion for finding solutions describe Tracy serves as Senior Vice President of our North Region Operations, which is led from our Hernando office.  He is also a member of our Board of Directors.

In his work with regional infrastructure development, Tracy doesn’t shy away from challenges when there’s no apparent solution, he rolls up his sleeves and works with clients to create one.

In an era of limited funding for critical infrastructure, Tracy’s clients agree that he explores virtually every option of funding sources from grants to loans, finding creative ways to develop alternative engineering plans when funds are difficult to obtain.  Tracy uses his experience in design site developments, water and wastewater infrastructure, master plans, transportation plans, roadways, structural and aviation projects. 

Hunter Arnold

Hunter Arnold serves in many key roles, including as Senior Vice President of our Central Region Operations and as Senior Director of Water Resources and Coastal Programs, which are led from our Jackson headquarters. He is also a member of our Board of Directors.

Hunter is passionate about reaching goals, teamwork, and collaboration. A longstanding leader in the engineering industry, Hunter thrives on mentoring others, watching their growth, and building the next generation of engineers to make a positive impact on society.

Hunter embraces ideas that transform communities, add jobs and build upon and move beyond the agricultural heritage of the Southeast – strategies that build partnerships and collaboration that deliver answers to problems and overcome obstacles to build on for future generations. Hunter is past president of the Mississippi Engineering Society and was named Engineer of the Year by the group in 2013. He has also served as chair of the American Water Works Association – Alabama/Mississippi section.

Anthony Brister

A passion for service, integrity, and sound management — all inspire Anthony in his role as Senior Vice President of our South Region Operations, which is led from our New Orleans office.  He is also a member of our Board of Directors.

South Louisiana remains vulnerable to coastal storms and building resilient infrastructure to withstand future storms and attract economic development is key to long-term viability and growth.

Anthony combines his expertise in program management with Waggoner’s holistic approach to help clients identify needs, secure funding, and coordinate implementation of projects like the Saenger Theater in New Orleans.  He has served key roles with local, state, and federal leaders on over $1 billion in disaster recovery projects since 2005.

Bill McDonald

As Waggoner’s Chief Technical Officer and Vice President for Special Programs, Bill oversees all aspects of the engineering, construction oversight, and science elements of our project delivery teams. With the priorities of technical excellence and continuous improvement, he leads our effort in delivering innovative and value-added solutions for our clients.

He has been involved in all facets of public works projects, from conception to implementation, including transportation corridor planning and design, utility planning, analysis and design, environmental reviews, and assessments, to name a few.   Recent key responsibilities include providing quality control and assurance for Mississippi’s Digital Flood Insurance Rate Map (DFIRM) program, a partnership between the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).  These digital map products, as part of FEMA’s Risk MAP program, will increase community and public awareness of current and future vulnerability to floods, a key concern not only for coastal communities but for flood-prone areas throughout the state.

Veronica Porter

Veronica Porter is the Chief Revenue and Marketing Officer at Waggoner Engineering, where she has oversight of strategic market planning, marketing, brand, and corporate business development.

Veronica has 15-plus years of experience leading product and marketing innovation and business transformation in the engineering and construction industry. Before joining Waggoner Engineering, she worked in strategic business development and marketing at several fortune 500 companies, with a strong track record of establishing lasting partnerships, growing organizational visibility, and increasing market share.

She was a member of Leadership Madison County class of 2019 and an active member of PRAM. Veronica holds a Bachelor of Science, Art Education from Mississippi College, Masters in Public Relations from the University of Southern Mississippi, and Master of International Business Administration, Marketing from The Moore School of Business, University of South Carolina.

Misty Biard

Misty has worked as an accountant for engineering and disaster recovery firms for 15 years, joining Waggoner in 2011.  As Waggoner’s Chief Financial and Administrative Officer, Misty provides management and operational support to Waggoner.

Misty also assists the Leadership Team on all strategic and tactical matters related to budget management, cost-benefit analysis, financial and operational forecasting, and cash management. She received her B.A. in Accounting from Mississippi College and M.B.A in Accounting from Millsap’s College.

Bill Vaughan

A longstanding commitment to excellence in client service, project delivery, staff development, and operational effectiveness is what has motivated Bill throughout his 30-plus year in the consulting engineering business. As Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Bill supports Waggoner in our continuous effort to improve in each of these areas.

Bill began his experience in consulting as a project engineer and progressed through the roles of the senior project manager to operations manager for engineering firms in the United States and overseas. Those firms provided a wide range of technical solutions in the disciplines of water, wastewater, energy, and environmental.

Bill works with all aspects of our company – including Accounting/Finance, Human Resources, and Marketing – to support the leadership of our three regions and the project delivery teams who serve our clients. He also supports our President and Chairman of the Board, Emad Al-Turk, in implementing Waggoner’s growth strategy.

Ron Thompson

For more than 40 years, Ronald has worked as a consultant providing solutions for municipal, state, federal, and industrial clients. He has conducted projects across the United States and abroad to address infrastructure and environmental issues facing small and large clients. He has performed in roles of project manager, program manager, and principal-in-charge.

Ronald has focused on evaluating and implementing new technologies to allow improved life cycle management of utility assets and the development of a data-driven decision process for operational and capital investments. This experience has led to his responsibilities as Chief Strategic Services Officer for Waggoner.

For the last ten years, Ronald has supported the development and implementation of training programs for utility asset management. He has served in roles on the Boards of the Buried Asset Management Institutes and the Southeast Society of Trenchless Technology.


Scott Phillips 

Phillips has over 36 years of experience consulting in the civil and environmental engineering industry, including water resources, water treatment, ecological studies and regulations, utilities, and construction.

He served in senior management and executive roles in small and large national and international firms. He led federal and industrial practices that produced over $100 million in annual revenue.


We do more than plan and design infrastructure – we transform communities.