Our Team

Our employees are our greatest asset

KOA presents our clients with talented & diverse multi-disciplinary teams in order to create vibrant and dynamic neighborhoods. We are wholly invested in our employees, our company, and the communities we serve!

Leaders with a Vision

Tom Bacus, PE

Operations Manager, California Region

Mr. Bacus has joined KOA, A Lochner Company, as Operations Manager, California Region. Tom is a highly experienced planning and design professional with over 25 years in the transportation, land development, and sustainability fields. Many of his projects have been large scale and have focused on making positive impacts on communities and the environment through major infrastructure investments. Tom has held various leadership roles throughout his career, including office and market leadership, executive leadership, and companywide operations, and is particularly skilled at developing business strategy, opening new markets and geographies, and implementing business processes.
In his role, he will work closely with our teammates from KOA as we integrate KOA into the Lochner platform as well as support business strategy and implementation, finance/operations, project delivery, and more.

Favorite Book: “No Picnic on Mount Kenya” by Felice Benuzzi
Favorite Word: Perspicacity
Favorite Vacation Location: Anywhere I haven’t yet visited
What did you want to do when you were six years old?: A fireman

“What got you where you are isn’t going to get you where you want to go.”

David Aitken

Min Zhou, PE

California Business Development Manager

Min Zhou has 28 years of transportation engineering and planning experience with both private consultant companies and public agencies. She is knowledgeable in roadway design, traffic design, transportation modeling and studies, non-motorized transportation, database management, and statistical analysis. Min has managed several large-scale projects involving multiple stake holder groups and has a reputation of delivering projects on-time and under budget.

Favorite Way to Spend a Weekend: Hiking, yoga, and afternoon tea with friends
Newest Hobby: Planting/Gardening
Favorite Word: Smile
Favorite Project: 3rd & Broadway Cycle Track Study & Design, Long Beach, CA

A person who feels appreciated will always do more than what is expected.


Giuseppe Canzonieri, PE

Principal | Director of Engineering and Inland Empire Office

Mr. Canzonieri is a Senior Engineer with KOA. He has performed numerous projects for both public and private developments throughout Southern California. He has considerable experience working with roadway design, traffic signal design, signing & striping design, traffic control design, construction specifications and cost estimates. He has served as project manager and project engineer on several civil and traffic engineering design projects for several Cities throughout Southern California. Mr. Canzonieri is also known for his quality control capabilities and providing clients with high quality construction documents.

Favorite Restaurant: Arroyo Chophouse, Pasadena, CA
Secret Talent: I play guitar
Favorite Vacation Location: Sicily
What did you want to do when you were six years old?: Build apartments

Do or do not. There is no try.


Shirjeel Muhammad, MS, PE


Shirjeel Muhammad is a Licensed Traffic Engineer in the State of California with more than 20 years of Traffic engineering, Traffic Safety, Transportation planning and Infrastructure Project management experience with supervisory responsibilities both in private and public sectors. His portfolio involves traffic impact studies, travel demand modeling, traffic operations, corridor studies, simulations, parking demand, internal/external circulation, site access, accident study, warrant studies, traffic signal synchronization, preparation/review of signing/marking plans, traffic management plans, and traffic signal plans. Most recently his work includes managing contracts from preliminary engineering to notice of completion and ITS which includes establishment of citywide GIS system, city traffic management center (TMC) and developing a statewide ITS infrastructure procurement strategy. He also worked for Ashghal (Public Works Authority) in the State of Qatar as a Senior Traffic Engineer to oversee design and operations of Traffic Signal Systems and ITS.

Favorite Band: Beatles, Backstreet Boys
Newest Hobby: Badminton with the kids
Favorite Word: Awesome
Claim to Fame Moment: Winning the City Manager Leadership Award in Costa Mesa, ITE Section President in Inland Empire

If you don’t try, you won’t get!


Michael Nilsson, AICP CTP

Principal, Director of Planning and Orange County Office

Michael Nilsson, AICP CTP, has over 20 years of experience. He understands how to link land use, environmental, and mobility policies to create high-quality sustainable environments. His project experience includes urban/mobility planning, policy, and outreach; CEQA/NEPA environmental review; and project funding/implementation. Working with regional and municipal government agencies, private developers, non-profit organizations, and advocacy organizations, Michael has guided a diverse array of complex, innovative projects from vision to reality, including cap parks, pedestrian plans, and complete/ green street projects. He has participated in the successful adoption of parking management plans, zoning ordinances, and transportation infrastructure projects – many of which have received awards from American Planning Association, American Public Works Association, Southern California Association of Governments, and Westside Urban Forum.

Favorite Movie: Vacation (the original 1983 one)
Newest Hobby: Nature photography
Favorite Word: Happy
Claim to Fame Moment: Michael’s claim to fame moment was when he escorted Bette Midler to the main stage of the National Conference for the American Planning Association in 2000.

There is no such thing as failure. There are only results.

Tony Robbins

Carlos Velásquez, AICP

Principal | Director of Los Angeles Offices

Carlos Velásquez has experience in transportation planning, transit planning/operations, traffic circulation, bicycle/pedestrian planning an economic development. He has worked on projects addressing transit operations, pedestrian circulation and safety, bikeway planning, traffic studies, and economic revitalization and as been involved in the development of numerous bicycle and pedestrian plans, including the City of South Gate Bicycle Plan and the City of Lancaster Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan. He has experience in working with downtown associations and businesses to develop and implement strategies to improve the physical appearance and livability of the commercial district. He also has experience in a number of planning studies that have addressed transportation planning for existing and planned rail transit stations and transit-oriented districts. Carlos is a certified Transportation Planner with the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP), #026845.

Favorite Movie: Batman Begins
What did you want to be when you were six years old? Astronaut
Guilty Pleasure: Pro Wrestling
Claim to Fame Moment: Becoming a dad

Life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react to it.

Charles R. Swindoll

Ali Shahzad, PE

Director of San Diego Office

Ali Shahzad brings to KOA 25 years of experience with a strong working knowledge of traffic and civil engineering, specializing in traffic signal system design and principles, signal operations, Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS), and construction inspection. His project experience consists of project management and oversight from the concept to the design stage and through construction. He has worked on several Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) and Active Transportation Program (ATP) grant applications, administration and design. His experience specifically includes traffic signal design and modification plans, roadway striping and signage design, all types of traffic safety studies, traffic control investigations, accident analysis, traffic calming, signal timing and coordination, street lighting design, signal interconnect, traffic control plan design, and traffic impact studies. Mr. Shahzad is dedicated to utilizing his experience to find creative solutions while completing projects in a timely and cost-effective manner.

Favorite Word: Awesome!
What Did You Want to be When You Were 6 Years Old: A pilot
Favorite Vacation Location: Oahu, Hawaii
Claim to Fame Moment: Being President of ITE San Diego

Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.

Theodore Roosevelt

Chuck Stephan, PE

Director of Construction Management

Chuck Stephan has 38 years of experience in civil engineering design and project management on projects for many municipalities and private firms. He has diverse project experience in planning, design, management, and construction of transportation, educational, institutional, industrial, aerospace, municipal, residential and commercial projects. He works in multiple capacities as Principal-In-Charge, project manager, project engineer, lead engineer, design engineer, and construction engineer in both the civil and construction management disciplines. Chuck specializes in Project Management, Civil Engineering Design, and Construction Management for municipal Capital Improvement Projects, including pavement design and rehabilitation; ADA improvements; water pipelines; storm drain and sanitary sewers; medians and landscaping; parking lots; site improvements; plan checking; NPDES requirements. He provides staff assistance to municipal engineering departments on temporary or part-time basis as needed; provide staff training in project management, design, and construction management skills, and manages various funding sources including local, state, and federal-aid projects; SR2S; SRTS; STPL; various grant applications and reimbursement requests.

Favorite Thing About California: The amazing geography and biodiversity
What Did You Want to be When You Were 6 Years Old: Seven years old
Favorite Vacation Location: Anywhere worth exploring
Favorite Word: Bumptious

Join Our Team

Our employees are our greatest asset

At KOA we know the success of our clients’ projects is determined by the skills and abilities of our people, and we are dedicated to their professional and technical development.

Our Careers