Fred Derr’s Biography

Frederick M. Derr with the Associated Builders and Contractors award his company won for its innovative beach protection on Casey Key.

Frederick M.Derr
Frederick Derr & Company, Incorporated


Mr. Derr is a graduate of the U. S. Naval Academy. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a Master’s Degree in Civil Engineering from Tulane University. During his ten years of active duty in the U. S. Navy, he gained valuable experience in the design and construction of public works facilities. Mr. Derr retired from the Naval Reserve with the rank of Captain in 1987.


In the State of Florida, Mr. Derr is a Registered Professional Engineer, a licensed Certified General Contractor, and a licensed Underground Utility and Excavation Contractor. He is also a Registered Professional Engineer in New York and Louisiana.


Mr. Derr’s career with Frederick Derr & Company actually began when he joined the Wendel Kent & Company in 1967, as an estimator. As his career progressed, he became the Company President in 1984. Then in 1986, Mr. Derr acquired majority ownership of the Company and subsequently changed its name to Frederick Derr & Company in 1991.


Throughout his career, Mr. Derr has worked in all phases of highway construction, including the building of major interstate projects, city and county roads, subdivisions, golf courses, industrial parks, utility systems, and coastal protection structures.


The Myakka Chapter of the Florida Engineering Society has honored Mr. Derr through the years. In 1989, they named him Engineer of the Year. In February 1999, the Chapter presented him with their Outstanding Technical Achievement Award for design and construction of a coastal protection structure. Their latest tribute was naming him Distinguished Senior Engineer in February 2003.


A concerned and active member of his community, Mr. Derr has served as Vice Chairman of the Sarasota County Board of Building Code Appeals. He is Past President of the Asphalt Contractors Association of Florida, and Past Chairman, Transportation Advisory Board, City of Sarasota. He is currently a member of The Argus Foundation and the Sarasota Rotary Club. He recently completed a three year term as Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Mote Marine Laboratory, and currently remains on the Board as Chairman Emeritus. Mr. Derr also serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors of La Musica, an international chamber music festival. It should also be noted that Mr. Derr is a member of the Board of Directors of the Sarasota Military Academy and serves that organization as Treasurer. He currently also serves as President of the South Tampa Bay Area Transportation Partnerships (STARTUPS).


On November 13, 2013 the Argus Foundation honored Mr. Derr with their Lifetime Achievement Award.