Donald Tata, Founder and CEO of Tata & Howard, Passes Away

donald tata
Donald J. Tata, P.E.

The Tata & Howard family is mourning the loss of the company’s co-founder and CEO, Donald J. Tata, P.E., 63. Mr. Tata died at home on March 25, 2017 after a valiant battle with cancer.

Tata & Howard Senior Vice President and co-founder Paul B. Howard, P.E. said, “Don was an incredible person, a brilliant engineer, and a lifelong friend. He dedicated his talents and drive to Tata & Howard for the past 25 years, and his presence is already greatly missed. His determination, integrity, passion for excellence, and commitment to the firm will continue to inspire all of us at Tata & Howard.  On behalf of the entire Tata & Howard team, we send our deepest sympathies to his wife, their two children, and three grandchildren.”

Don Tata founded Tata & Howard in 1992, and he served as President until last November when the company’s Board of Directors named Karen L. Gracey, P.E. and Jenna W. Rzasa, P.E. as Co-Presidents, and Tata as CEO. Under his leadership, Tata & Howard has grown to a nearly 70-person firm with nine offices in seven states, with recent expansion into Ontario, Canada. In 2014, the firm converted to a 100% employee-owned company and has embraced the positivity of ESOP culture. Don was instrumental in determining the firm’s core values of integrity, efficiency, client satisfaction, positive attitude, and teamwork, which the company has upheld throughout its 25 years in business. Don was also a true philanthropist and generously supported the many causes to which Tata & Howard donated, including Water For People, the Navajo Water Project, and the Jimmy Fund. While he dedicated much of his life to the firm he founded, Don always made time for his family and the various activities they enjoyed together.

He earned his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, Massachusetts, and his Master of Science in Environmental Engineering from Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts. He held professional engineer licenses in Arizona, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Texas, and Vermont.  Don received the William H. McGuiness award from Massachusetts Water Works Association for his knowledge, contributions, and accomplishments in the water works industry as well as outstanding service to the Association.

Gracey and Rzasa will jointly oversee daily operations and corporate strategy, and will continue to lead the organization with the same core values and excellence established by Mr. Tata. The firm has also appointed Kenneth M. Fischer, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer, to the Board of Directors.


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