Karpinski Principal Ken Borah, PE, Retires
Oct 28, 2020
Karpinski Engineering Principal Ken Borah, PE, has retired after a 32-year career at the firm.
During Borah’s time at Karpinski, the firm experienced multifaceted growth. The firm opened three regional offices, added new services, and expanded from a staff of approximately 30 to more than 100. Borah was a key contributor. He invested himself in the firm, sharing his leadership skills, engineering expertise, financial acumen, and heart for people.
Borah joined Karpinski in 1988 as an intern while earning his bachelor’s in mechanical engineering from the University of Akron. He became a principal in 1999 and executive vice president in 2003, a position he held until his retirement.
Focus on Engineering Excellence Helps the Firm Grow
Throughout his career, Borah remained focused on technical excellence. He believed great engineering was foundational to the company’s success, and he invested himself in helping the Karpinski team produce quality projects.
“Ken knew the secret to satisfying clients was to give them a well-engineered project,” said Karpinski Engineering President James T. Cicero, PE, LEED AP. “When we decided to grow the firm, Ken was always the leader in technical excellence.”
Borah was active on projects throughout his years at Karpinski, even as he took on more management responsibilities. His areas of expertise were healthcare, laboratory, and large air handling system design. He excelled at projects with intensive requirements, such as minimal downtime and critical systems.
According to Principal Rocco Gallo, LEED AP, Borah’s focus on quality helped move Karpinski “from a small Cleveland firm to one capable of national recognition.”
For Borah, keeping the firm centered on technical excellence is his greatest accomplishment.
“It’s not what I know, but what all our great engineering people know as a group,” Borah said. “The knowledge in the Karpinski team’s minds is astounding. This group has been second to none. It’s truly incredible what we have built here technically.”
Mentoring and Friendships a Priority
One of the defining features of Borah’s career at Karpinski was his care for people. He deeply valued his colleagues and worked to build strong relationships.
“I have always corrected people that have said they work ‘for’ Karpinski or work ‘for’ me,” Borah said. “The correction is you work ‘with’ Karpinski and ‘with’ me. I believe it shows an equal respect for everyone in every position. All are important here!”
Staff training and mentorship were priorities for Borah. He was an advocate for providing ongoing education and opportunities for growth. He helped develop the firm’s mentoring program, and he mentored many Karpinski staff.
“Ken was responsible for developing a lot of careers at KE. He would put everything aside that he was working on to make sure that you had everything that you need to succeed,” said Principal Jeremy Bowers, PE, who was one of Borah’s mentees.
Borah was also known for supporting colleagues outside the office, whether that meant helping someone navigate a home improvement project or a personal issue.
Principal Frank Eisenhower, PE, LEEP AP, described Borah as someone who sincerely cared about people’s well-being. Many of Eisenhower’s favorite memories of Borah are outside of work, such as building houses, installing roofs, and helping others move from one house to the other.
“Ken would give you the shirt off his back if you asked for it,” said Eisenhower. “He’d do anything to see others succeed.”
Now, a New Adventure
Today, Borah is supporting his wife, Carrie, in her new business venture. In 2019, the Borahs bought Wiegand Lake Park, a 104-acre park and event center in Novelty, Ohio. At the park, now called Making Memories at Wiegand Lake Park, the Borahs host corporate events, reunions, weddings, and other events.
“It’s her turn to run a business of her dreams now,” Borah said. “She supported me for years in my career. I want to do the same for her.”
Though COVID-19 disrupted many events, the Borahs were able to host the park’s annual clambake – with plenty of room for social distancing.