Page Background
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Our firm was originally known as Sowers, Rodes & Whitescarver, dating back to 1959. A partnership was formed when Charles “Dub” K. Whitescarver, Jr. joined the already-partnered, Elmer O. Rodes, Jr. and William A. Sowers, to provide mechanical, plumbing and electrical engineering services in the Roanoke area. These professionals, leaving their old firms behind, began a practice, developing it into a firm, with a unique personality – guided by their own engineering philosophies.

The young firm started performing design services for residences, schools, churches and light commercial projects. It did not take long for the project list to include heavier commercial, educational, institutional and industrial projects. As the firm’s reputation and project resume grew, the staff became extremely adept at educational projects, hospitals and correctional institutions. These project types still comprise work performed by Ascent today.

Sowers, Rodes & Whitescarver cultivated a long list of clients, including architectural firms, private and public owners, and other engineers. The firm offered full Mechanical and Electrical Engineering services and incorporated HVAC, energy conservation, plumbing, fire protection, process piping, electrical power, lighting and specialty electric systems design. All analyses, design engineering and construction administration services were performed out of the Roanoke office.

With the retirement of Elmer Rodes at the end of 1993, the firm set out on a direction of new success with Michael Hurd and J. B. Obenchain, Jr. ascending into Principle ownership, becoming Whitescarver, Hurd and Obenchain, Inc.

Seeing a need for expanding our services, the firm opened our Richmond office in 2001. Michael Hurd led the charge in establishing our Richmond location and broadening our client base. With the retirement of Mr. Whitescarver, in December 2004, Whitescarver, Hurd & Obenchain, Inc. became Hurd & Obenchain, Inc., and the transition was coined: “A new name for a familiar face.”

With the 2011 departure of Mike Hurd, our firm became Obenchain, Linkous, Daniels and Sowick, Inc., O.L.D.S. on July 1, 2011. This latest charge is led by J. B. Obenchain, Jr., our CEO/COB, in our historic Roanoke office, with the help of our President, Benjie Linkous, and our Vice President of Operations, Randy Daniels.  Mike Sowick, our Vice President of Design, who has been with the firm since the opening of the Richmond office, will lead the Richmond location.  For over 50 years, changes in personnel have occurred, but some things do not change. The Firm’s pride, professionalism and rich history, built upon the best engineering practices, has created a firm “Where More Experience Means a Better Experience.”

And now our latest chapter: With J.B. retiring from the firm, on October 1, 2015 our firm became Ascent Engineering Group, Inc. With the help of the remaining members of the board, Randy Daniels and Mike Sowick, our current President Benjie Linkous will lead the company into our latest chapter continuing our excellent client driven service and design. The new name, Ascent Engineering Group, was chosen to demonstrate that while personnel may change, the core ideas of the company, and all of its employees, are what allow us to provide the same level of service and design we have for over 50 years. New Name, Better Results.