John M. DiDonato, P.E.
John M. DiDonato, P.E. is a Principal and President of the firm he has been with since 1983.
He obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from SUNY at Buffalo and holds a professional engineering license in New York, as well as several other states. Mr. DiDonato oversees engineering design and construction projects in the Western New York Area for the firm’s 40+ person staff.
He is a member of the New York State Society of Professional Engineers – Erie/Niagara Chapter, National Society of Professional Engineers, the American Public Works Association, the American Society of Civil Engineers, the Association for Bridge Construction and Design, and the NYS Association of Transportation Engineers.
Executive Vice President
Gregory T. Hewitt, P.E. joined the firm in 1975 and is in charge of all architectural design projects. He also serves as Project Manager or Principal-in-Charge of numerous bridge design and inspection projects.
He obtained a Bachelor of Professional Studies degree in Architecture and a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from SUNY at Buffalo. He holds a professional engineering license in New York.
Sr. Vice President – Structural Engineering
James A. Frick, P.E. began his engineering career at DiDonato Associates in 1984. In his years at DiDonato, he has been an active design engineer and manager for a wide range of structural and civil projects. Mr. Frick has provided structural designs for more than 50 highway and bridge rehabilitation and replacement projects and more than 200 commercial/industrial buildings located in the northeast and mid-west United States. He also specializes in the structural design of scoreboard/LED displays for sporting facilities throughout the Country.
He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from SUNY at Buffalo and holds a Professional Engineering license in the State of New York. As the Sr. Vice President of Structural Engineering, Mr. Frick coordinates all structural design projects and oversees additional highway, site and utility design projects.
Sr. Vice President – Civil Engineering
Peter A. Ringo, P.E. has been an employee of DiDonato Associates since 1992. He has extensive experience in both civil and structural projects, including: multi-modal transportation projects, highways, airfield facilities, sewers, drainage, waterlines, site development, lift stations, retaining structures, and one- and two-story commercial/industrial buildings. Through his design experience, he has developed a broad knowledge of regulations and construction standards on the local, state and federal levels. Mr. Ringo’s attention to detail and commitment given to each of his projects makes him highly regarded and sought after by many of our Clients.
He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Valparaiso University and holds Professional Engineering licenses in New York and Indiana. Mr. Ringo is a Sr. Vice President of the firm and responsible for overseeing all civil engineering projects.
Vice President – Architecture
Michael Banks, AIA, LEED AP has been with DiDonato since 2001. Over the years, Mike has been an integral part of DiDonato’s architectural design team for a variety of projects including educational facilities, residential housing, recreational facilities, healthcare and commercial complexes. He has assumed the role as project liaison for the client and drafting personnel to ensure compliance with all applicable codes and project parameters. Mike is the Vice President – Architecture and oversees all architectural projects and coordinates architectural resources.
He received his Bachelors of Professional Services in Architecture from SUNY at Buffalo in 1997. He became a Registered Architect in 2014 and is a certified LEED Accredited Professional.
Vice President – Structural-Bridges
Jeffrey Blank, PE is a Vice President – Structural-Bridges and has been with the firm since 1999.
He obtained his Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Tri-State University (now Trine University) in 1993 and holds professional engineering licenses in New York and Ohio. Through his extensive experience in bridge rehabilitation/replacement, he has a thorough knowledge of the various codes such as AASHTO, AISC, ACI, and the NYSDOT Standard Specifications for Highway Bridges.
Mr. Blank manages all bridge projects, supervising project and junior engineers.
Vice President – Structural-Buildings
Daniel Schneider, PE, SE is Vice President – Structural-Buildings. He was with DiDonato as an Intern while finishing college and stayed on as a full-time employee from 2010- 2015. After a brief move to Boston, Dan came back to DiDonato in 2018.
He obtained his Bachelor of Science degree in Civil/Structural Engineering in 2010, and holds a professional engineering license in New York. He also obtained his Professional Structural Engineering license, a difficult 16-hour exam using separate vertical and lateral components to test the ability to safely design buildings, especially in areas of high seismicity and high wind.
Mr. Schneider manages all building structural projects, supervising project and junior engineers.
Christopher Gardner has been with DiDonato Associates since 1997 with experience in the planning, design and construction inspection of multiple airfield projects, including runway, taxiway, and apron pavement projects at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport (BNIA) and the Niagara Falls International Airport (NFIA). He has special expertise and knowledge in performing materials testing, including Marshall Mix Designs, P-401 and P-501 Laboratory Quality Control Testing, and in-place asphalt density monitoring. For the past two years, he has presented at the NEC/AAAE Airports Conference in Hershey PA on “P-401 – A Resident Engineer’s Perspective.”
Mr. Gardner is a 1993 graduate of the State University of New York, College of Environmental Science and Forestry, and holds a B.S. degree in Forest Engineering.
Susan Berninger has been with DiDonato Associates since 2002. Before coming to DiDonato, she ran her own business for 12 years. As Business Manager, Sue takes care of all administrative duties such as Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, Payroll and Contracts. She also performs as Human Resources Manager and handles Employee Benefits.
She is a graduate of Denison University with a Bachelor of Arts in English.
Happily for Sue, she will be retiring in 2021 and has been working with Stephen Aureli to take over as Business Manager.
Stephen Aureli started with DiDonato Associates in June of 2019 and will be taking over as Business Manager after the retirement of Susan Berninger in 2021. Stephen’s previous employment was as the General Manager and Event Coordinator for Bacchus Wine Bar and Restaurant where he was responsible for human resources, payroll, accounts payable/receivable, daily banking, and staff scheduling and coordination. Stephen brings that experience to DiDonato where he is currently training to do those same tasks for the firm under the direction of Susan.
Stephen has an Associates’ degree in General Studies; Sociology and Psychology from Erie Community College.
Director of Marketing
Julie Stearns has been with DiDonato Associates since 2004. She has been in the A/E field since 1988. As the Director of Marketing, she prepares all qualification packages, proposals, and ads, and maintains and updates the firm’s marketing files, such as resumes and projects. She manages the website, as well as social media marketing for DiDonato. In addition, Julie attends conferences, political events, and industry outings for the company.
She attended Bryant & Stratton Business Institute and received an Executive Assistant diploma, and has taken additional classes in Business at SUNY at Buffalo.
Julie is currently the President of the Buffalo Engineering Awareness for Minorities (BEAM) organization and a Member of the NYS County Highway Superintendent’s Association Membership and Outreach Committee.
Norman DiDonato founded the company in 1965 as Weber, DiDonato and Renaldo, a well-respected architectural and engineering firm completing such high profile projects as the Erie Basin Marina and the Convention Center. Norman passed away on March 5, 2018. He will always be in our hearts.