Passion and Pride: GBA Past-President Selected for Professional Practice Ethics & Leadership Award


GBA is thrilled to share that Past-President (2017-2018) Charles “Charlie” L. Head, P.E., P.G. (Sanborn, Head, & Associates Inc.), has been selected as the recipient of this year’s Professional Practice Ethics & Leadership award, presented jointly by GBA and the American Society of Civil Engineers. This award honors the accomplishments of a licensed professional engineer who displays outstanding engineering ethics and leadership.

“I can’t think of an award I’d be more honored to receive than an award for ethics and leadership,” Head said. “It’s been both a thrill and pleasure to serve in a number of leadership roles throughout my career and to give back to the profession wherever and whenever possible.”

Charlie founded Sanborn, Head, & Associates Inc. with three colleagues in 1993 and currently serves as that firm’s Chair of the Board of Directors. Sanborn Head has grown from a company of four to 170 employees. He is proud to have been a champion of the firm’s unique culture all along the way.

   “Throughout my career, I’m constantly amazed at the dedication of the professionals that I meet and work with,” Head said. “Their passion for what they do and the commitment to always doing the right thing has been inspiring. I can’t think of a richer or more rewarding career.”

Mr. Head’s leadership reaches far beyond Sanborn Head, as he has served on multiple non-profit boards  in New Hampshire and is a graduate of the highly selective Leadership New Hampshire, Class of 2017. He volunteered his time for 14 years on the Advisory Board of the University of New Hampshire (UNH) Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and served as the Founder and Chair of the inaugural UNH Alumni Conference in 2010, a biennial event that brings alumni, students, and faculty together for a multi-track conference, and is still successfully being held today.

As GBA President in 2017-18, Mr. Head led the association’s adoption and launch of a new strategic plan that propelled GBA forward. Charlie’s tenure focused on finding ways to create new value in GBA membership; producing highly relevant educational and reference materials; and developing training modules and customized coursework.

Charlie was appointed to GBA’s prestigious Council of Fellows in 2020.

“GBA has provided the strong foundation for what I’ve been able to accomplish throughout my career. My peers – including many GBA leaders – have made the defining difference in my career.”

Recently, Head demonstrated his continued dedication to leadership by developing and facilitating Sanborn Head’s inaugural Leadership Program in 2022-23. He is dedicated to leading the two-year program again beginning in 2025.

“Leadership can be both bold and visible or it can be quieter and more supportive,” Head said. “But either way, it provides an opportunity to really give back and make a difference. And I’ve always found, what you get in return will be as much or more than what you give.”

Mr. Head received his bachelor’s degree in geology from St. Lawrence University, a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of New Hampshire, and a master’s degree in civil and groundwater engineering from Colorado State University.

“This award should be dedicated to the many professionals who have provided me with such great support and mentorship,” Head said. “It should be also dedicated to my family, including my three kids and my wife Lindy, who showed patience, love, and support throughout my career.”