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March 4, 2024

Sargent Corp. has named one of its employee-owners to serve as president, only the fifth since the company was founded nearly a century ago.

Eric Ritchie, chief operations officer of the Orono-based construction company, will succeed Herb Sargent on May 9 at the company’s annual meeting.

Ritchie will take on the new role in addition to his current position. Sargent, who has led the company since 1992, will stay on as CEO and board chairman.

“It has been a joy to watch Eric and his team drive the company’s growth in recent years,” he said in a news release. “We are making this transition with great intention and at a measured pace in service of consistency and resilience for our employee-owners and customers.”

Sargent Corp. is the state’s second-largest construction company, according to the most recent Mainebiz Book of Lists, based on 2022 revenue of $201.3 million. The company focuses on infrastructure projects in the transportation, energy, landfill and municipal sectors.

It became employee-owned in 2013, and those owners number more than 475 today. The leadership transition is part of a larger effort to ensure that employee-owners continue to operate Sargent Corp. in perpetuity, the company said.

Ritchie, who will oversee company-wide operations in his new role, joined Sargent in 2018 and has managed business operations over the past four years.

“In the spirit of the Sargent family who preceded me, I am committed to the core values of this organization and will work diligently to continue to achieve success in the field and for our employee-owners while maintaining the values and continuing to strive to execute with excellence,” Ritchie said.

H.E. Sargent Inc. was founded in 1926 and acquired by Razel, of Paris, France, in 1988. Today’s Sargent Corp. traces its roots to 2005, when Sargent & Sargent of Hampden bought H.E. Sargent Inc. of Stillwater.

The two Maine workforces were combined under the Sargent Corp. banner and serve throughout northern New England and the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast regions.