John M. DiDonato, P.E.
President / CEO
President / CEO
John M. DiDonato, P.E. is President/CEO of the firm he has been with since 1983.
He obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from SUNY at Buffalo and holds a professional engineering license in New York as well as several other states. Mr. DiDonato provides the overall direction of the firm and ensures all necessary resources are available to staff to successfully complete projects.
He is a member of the New York State Society of Professional Engineers – Erie/Niagara Chapter, National Society of Professional Engineers, the American Public Works Association, the American Society of Civil Engineers, the Association for Bridge Construction and Design, the NY Aviation Management Association, and the NYS Association of Transportation Engineers.
Sr. Vice President – Structural Engineering / Secretary
James A. Frick, P.E. began his engineering career at DiDonato Associates in 1984. In his years at DiDonato, he has been an active design engineer and manager for a wide range of structural and civil projects. He provides structural designs for highway and bridge rehabilitation and replacement projects and commercial/industrial buildings located in the northeast and mid-west United States. He also specializes in the structural design of scoreboard/billboard displays for sporting facilities throughout the Country.
He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from SUNY at Buffalo and holds a Professional Engineering license in the State of New York. As the Sr. Vice President of Structural Engineering, Mr. Frick coordinates all structural design projects.
Sr. Vice President – Civil Engineering / Treasurer
Peter A. Ringo, P.E. has been an employee of DiDonato Associates since 1992. He has extensive experience in both civil and structural projects, including: multi-modal transportation projects, highways, complete streets, airfield facilities, green infrastructure, sewers, drainage, waterlines, site development, retaining structures, and one- and two-story commercial/industrial buildings. Through his design experience, he has developed a broad knowledge of regulations and construction standards on the local, state, and federal levels. Mr. Ringo’s attention to detail and commitment given to each of his projects makes him highly regarded and sought after by many of our Clients.
He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Valparaiso University and holds Professional Engineering licenses in New York and Indiana. Mr. Ringo is a Sr. Vice President of the firm and responsible for overseeing all civil engineering projects.
Vice President – Aviation
Christopher Gardner has been with DiDonato Associates since 1997 with experience in the planning, design, and construction inspection of multiple airfield projects, including runway, taxiway, and apron pavement projects at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport (BNIA) and the Niagara Falls International Airport (NFIA). He has special expertise and knowledge in performing materials testing, including Marshall Mix Designs, P-401 and P-501 Laboratory Quality Control Testing, and in-place asphalt density monitoring. He has presented at the NEC/AAAE Airports Conference in Hershey PA on “P-401 – A Resident Engineer’s Perspective.”
Mr. Gardner is a 1993 graduate of the State University of New York, College of Environmental Science and Forestry, and holds a B.S. degree in Forest Engineering.
Vice President – Structural-Bridges
Jeffrey Blank, PE is a Vice President – Structural-Bridges and has been with the firm since 1999.
He obtained his Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Tri-State University (now Trine University) in 1993 and holds professional engineering licenses in New York and Ohio. Through his extensive experience in bridge rehabilitation/replacement, he has a thorough knowledge of the various codes such as AASHTO, AISC, ACI, and the NYSDOT Standard Specifications for Highway Bridges. He has developed a presentation on the History of Moveable Bridges in Buffalo that he has shared with various industry organizations such as the American Public Works Association, National Association of County Engineers, and American Bridge Construction and Design.
Mr. Blank manages all bridge projects, supervising project and junior engineers.
Vice President – Transportation
Bill Ratka has been with DiDonato since 2000 and leads the Civil-Transportation/Highway group. He has been involved with most of DiDonato’s highway reconstruction/rehabilitation projects as Engineer, Sr. Engineer, and/or Project Manager. He’s worked on many Locally Administered Federal Aid roadway reconstruction projects for Erie County and other local municipalities. Through this experience, he has developed a broad knowledge of regulations and construction standards on the local, state, and federal levels.
Mr. Ratka received his BS degree in Civil Engineering from SUNY at Buffalo and an AAS degree in Civil Engineering Technology from Erie Community College and is a NYS licensed Professional Engineer.
Vice President – Architecture
Michael Banks, AIA, LEED AP has been with DiDonato since 2001. Over the years, Mike has been an integral part of DiDonato’s architectural design team for a variety of projects including educational facilities, recreational facilities, healthcare, residential, and retail/commercial complexes. He has assumed the role as project liaison for the client and drafting personnel to ensure compliance with all applicable codes and project parameters. Mike is the Vice President – Architecture and oversees all architectural projects and coordinates architectural resources.
He received his Bachelor of Professional Services in Architecture from SUNY at Buffalo in 1997. He became a Registered Architect in 2014 and is a certified LEED Accredited Professional.
Vice President – Structural-Buildings
Daniel Schneider, PE, SE is Vice President – Structural-Buildings. Dan started at DiDonato as an Intern while finishing college and stayed on as a full-time employee after obtaining his Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering in 2010. He holds professional engineering licenses in New York, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, and Virginia. He also has his Professional Structural Engineering license in Illinois, Georgia, and Nevada. The Structural Engineering License involves a difficult 16-hour exam using separate vertical and lateral components to test the ability to safely design buildings, especially in areas of high seismicity and high wind.
Mr. Schneider manages all building structural projects, supervising project and junior engineers.
Stephen Aureli started with DiDonato Associates in June of 2019 as Assistant Business Manager. He became Business Manager after the retirement of Susan Berninger in 2021. Stephen is responsible for human resources including coordinating benefits, payroll, accounts payable/receivable, and daily banking.
Stephen has an Associates’ degree in General Studies; Sociology and Psychology from Erie Community College.
Director of Marketing
Julie Stearns has been with DiDonato Associates since 2004 and in the A/E field since 1988. As the Director of Marketing, she prepares all qualification packages, proposals, and ads, and maintains and updates the firm’s marketing files, such as resumes and projects. She manages the website, as well as social media for DiDonato. In addition, Julie attends conferences, political events, and industry outings for the company.
She attended Bryant & Stratton Business Institute and received an Executive Assistant diploma and has taken additional classes in Business at SUNY at Buffalo.
Julie is currently the President of the Buffalo Engineering Awareness for Minorities (BEAM) organization and a Member of the NYS County Highway Superintendent’s Association Membership and Outreach Committee and Conference Planning Committee.
Norman DiDonato founded the company in 1965 as Weber, DiDonato and Renaldo, a well-respected architectural and engineering firm completing such high profile projects as the Erie Basin Marina and the Convention Center. Norman passed away on March 5, 2018. He will always be in our hearts.