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State Universities Civil Service System

Merit Board
Member Profile


Dr. Pedro Cevallos-Candau



Governors State University
Appointed: 11/15/2019

Pedro J. Cevallos-Candau has demonstrated progressive executive leadership for more than 30 years. Dr. Cevallos-Candau co-founded Primera Engineers, Ltd. in 1987 and sold the firm in 2016. During this time the firm grew to become one of the largest Latino-owned engineering firms in the country, doing business in multiple states. His transformational leadership helped the company grow while maximizing employee engagement and involvement. The Chicago Tribune named Primera Engineers as one of Chicago’s Top Workplaces several years in a row. He launched his new firm, PECECA Business Consultants, a management consulting firm, in March 2016. Prior to starting Primera Engineers, he was in the faculty of the Department of Civil Engineering at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago.

Dr. Cevallos-Candau has been a leader for the empowerment of Hispanic professionals in the Chicago area. He was a founding member of the Chicago Chapter of the Society of Hispanic Engineers (SHPE) and was involved in the formation of the Hispanic Alliance for Career Enhancement (HACE). He is an active member of many engineering professional societies and has served on the Board of Directors of several of them, including serving as President of the American Council of Engineering Companies of Illinois (ACEC). He is a Past Chairman of the Board of the Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (IHCC), Past-President of the Rotary Club of Chicago and Governor of Rotary International District 6450. He is also a member of the Board of Governors of the Metropolitan Planning Council.

Dr. Cevallos-Candau received a B.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Puerto Rico (1975) and a M.S. (1977) and Ph.D. (1980) from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is a Registered Engineer in Illinois.

Board Experience

  • Rotary International District 6450/District Governor, 2018-2019
  • Metropolitan Planning Council/Infrastructure Planning and Investment Committee Co-Chair
  • Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce/Chairman, 2014-2016
  • American Council of Engineering Companies of Illinois (ACEC)/President, 2010-2011
  • Governors State University/ Trustee, Chairman HR Committee, 2019-Present

Honors and Awards

  • University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, Civil and Environmental Engineering Alumni Association, Distinguished Alumnus Award, 2019
  • Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (IHCC), Legacy Award, 2019
  • University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, Alumni Association, Chicago Illini of the Year Award, 2015
  • University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, Civil Engineering Honor Society, Chi Epsilon (Alpha Chapter), Chapter Honor Member, 2015
  • University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago Area Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame, Inducted in 2015
  • ACEC (American Council of Engineering Companies), Distinguish Service Award, 2012
  • Hispanic Leaders Magazine, Chicago Maestro Award, 2010
  • Chicago United, Business Leaders of Color Award, 2009

Civic Organizations

  • Judicial Appointments Committee, Appointed by Justice Ann Burke. Committee chaired by Justice Ben Miller. This committee evaluates candidates who are applying to fill judicial vacancies in Illinois. Member since 2009.
  • Illinois Legislative Latino Caucus Foundation (ILLCF). Member, appointed by State Representative Jaime Andrade in 2013.
  • Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (IHCC), Chairman of the Board of Directors 2014-2015.
  • Village of Northbrook, Drainage Commission. Member, appointed by Village President Sandy Frum in 2016.
  • Rotary International District 6450. Governor 2018-2019. President Rotary Club of Chicago 2014-2015.
  • Metropolitan Planning Council. Board of Governors. Member since 2011.

Academic Experience

  • Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago. Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering (tenure track). From 1980 to 1986.