ESP Associates Expands Power and Utility Infrastructure Capabilities Through Addition of Pickett and Associates and U.S. Imaging Flight Ops

FORT MILL, S.C.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–ESP Associates, Inc. (“ESP”) announced today the completion of its combination with Pickett and Associates, Inc. (“Pickett and Associates”) and U.S. Imaging Flight Ops, LLC (“USIFO” and collectively “Pickett”). Headquartered in Tampa, FL, Pickett is a leading provider of engineering, surveying, geospatial and aerial mapping services to the electric utility, power grid infrastructure, and telecommunication markets. The transaction, which closed on February 2, 2022, expands ESP’s infrastructure and utility service offering while accelerating growth in new and complementary geographic areas.

This combination is a transformative event for both Pickett and ESP,” said ESP President, Joe Hendrick. “The addition of Pickett accelerates ESP’s growth in the power and utility infrastructure services market, an area supported by long-term demand and investment tailwinds. Through our existing teaming relationship and interaction during this process, it became clear that these firms are completely aligned on strategy, culture, and commitment to employees, clients, and the communities we serve.”

For over 60 years, Pickett has delivered high-quality, comprehensive service expertise to public utility, telecom, power, and broader infrastructure clients. Through its multi-faceted service approach and highly technical team, Pickett has established itself as an industry leading solutions provider and value-added partner to its customers. Pickett’s team-first, collaborative approach and emphasis on building lasting relationships, both internally and externally, has translated into significant growth in recent years, and the combination with ESP positions both firms to accelerate their growth trajectory by delivering innovative solutions for emerging energy, infrastructure, and environmental challenges.

With the close of the transaction, Pickett’s organizational structure will remain unchanged under the direction of President Mike Schnell and Chief Operating Officer Mike Leahy. “Pickett is very excited to be partnering with ESP,” said Pickett President Mike Schnell. “In ESP, we found a like-minded, forward-thinking team of professionals who are committed to delivering the best possible outcomes for their clients. This partnership will provide tremendous opportunities for our employees to grow and excel, and we look forward to a highly collaborative, innovative future as a combined team.”

About ESP Associates

ESP Associates, Inc., a portfolio company of Strength Capital Partners, is a multi-discipline engineering design and consulting firm providing clients with civil engineering, surveying and mapping, planning and landscape architecture, geosciences, environmental, subsurface utility engineering, construction engineering inspection, and water resource management services. Built on an entrepreneurial spirit, ESP is structured to stay innovative and adaptive. Since its inception in 1986, ESP has continually expanded its breadth of services, geographic reach, technology capabilities, and organizational talent to deliver complete project solutions that meet the growing needs of its clients. Now with nearly 650 employees in 30 offices across the U.S., ESP is well-equipped to solve the complex challenges for today’s rapidly changing environment. For more information, visit

About Strength Capital Partners

Founded in 2000, Strength Capital Partners is a private equity firm based in Birmingham, MI. They also have offices in Cincinnati, OH and Denver, CO. Strength invests throughout the United States in lower-middle market business with $2M – $20M in EBITDA. They pursue investments in a wide range of industries with a focus on manufacturing, distribution, infrastructure and industrial services. Strength’s core strategy is “Industrial Consolidation” whereby they seek to grow and diversify their platform companies through a combination of strategic acquisitions and organic growth. For more information, please visit


John Barrett, Director of Corporate Development
(248) 593-6871