Pedro J. Cevallos-Candau


In recognition of entrepreneurship in establishing, leading and growing a nationally recognized, full-service engineering design and consulting firm; for a deep and sustained commitment to diversity as one of the founding principles of Primera Engineers; for leadership and service to the Latino community of Chicago; and for dedication to the role of volunteer, supporter and advocate for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

President and CEO, PECECA, Ltd.

  • BS, Civil Engineering, University of Puerto Rico, 1975
  • MS, Civil Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign,1977
  • PhD, Civil Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1980

Pedro J. Cevallos-Candau has demonstrated progressive executive leadership for more than 35 years.Cevallos-Candau co-founded Primera Engineers, Ltd. in 1987 and sold the firm in 2016. During this time the firm grew to become one of the largest Latino-owned engineering firms in the country, doing business in multiple states. His transformational leadership helped the company grow while maximizing employee engagement and involvement. The Chicago Tribune named Primera Engineers as one of Chicago’s Top Workplaces several years in a row.He launched PECECA Business Consultants, a management consulting firm, in March 2016. Cevallos-Candau is also CEO of Betahealth, LLC, an international biotechnology enterprise.

Cevallos-Candau has been a leader for the empowerment of Hispanic professionals in the Chicago area.He was a founding member of the Chicago Chapter of the Society of Hispanic Engineers (SHPE) and was involved in the formation of the Hispanic Alliance for Career Enhancement (HACE).He has been an activemember of many engineering professional societies and has served on the Board of Directors of several of them, including serving as President of the American Council of Engineering Companies of Illinois.He is a Past Chairman of the Board of the Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (IHCC), Past-President of the Rotary Club of Chicago and Past-Governor of Rotary International District 6450.He is a past member of the Board of Governors of the Metropolitan Planning Council and a member of the Board of Trustees of Governor’s State University and Saint Augustine College.

He served as an Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering at the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) in Chicago from 1980 to 1985. He has earned the Distinguished Alumnus Award from University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign’s Civil and Environmental Engineering Alumni Association and Chicago Illini of the Year Award from University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign’s Alumni Association. He was inducted into the Chicago Area Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame from University of Illinois at Chicago and received the Distinguish Service Award from ACEC (American Council of Engineering Companies), the Chicago Maestro Award from Hispanic Leaders Magazine, as well as theBusiness Leaders of Color Award from Chicago United. Cevallos-Candau was appointed and has served on the Judicial Appointments Committee since 2009 and the Illinois Legislative Latino Caucus Foundation (ILLCF) since 2013.

Current as of March 2021