Chris Underwood

Vice President

About Chris

As general manager of 1898 & Co., Chris leads a growing team of professionals who provide business, technology and cybersecurity solutions to infrastructure clients around the world.

Chris started his career as a transmission planning engineer at Burns & McDonnell more than 20 years ago. A natural entrepreneur, Chris is known for identifying business opportunities that meet a critical industry need. In 2007, he led the launch of a new compliance service to help utilities meet stricter North American Electric Reliability Corp. (NERC) regulations. That effort led to the launch of a new compliance consulting initiative. In fact, 1898 & Co. grew from his observation that infrastructure clients need experienced partners who understand every aspect of a project: technical, financial and political.

Chris possesses a trifecta of skills: engineering expertise, business savvy and management know-how. He calls himself a “social engineer,” mostly because he’ll take a good phone call over an email any day.

How Chris helps clients
Chris leverages his broad skill set to help clients navigate their business objectives within a broader context. He understands the need to consider the bottom line, policy regulations and evolving technologies. Chris brings a pragmatic approach to his work and the 1898 & Co. culture.

What motivates Chris
1898 & Co.’s work helps build communities and make the world a cleaner, safer place, which is what most motivates Chris. As a leader, he loves seeing people realize their potential, find a purpose — and have fun at work. “Growth creates opportunity for everyone,” he says.

A little bit about Chris
Chris has six children. “That usually stops people in their tracks,” he says. He lives with his family in Kansas City, where his children attend the same school his wife, Jessie, attended growing up.

Chris is a huge soccer fan, though he hung up his own cleats in favor of cheering his children on every weekend. He loves live music, his tight-knit group of friends, Jack Stack barbecue and a vacation to anywhere with a beach.

Chris supports several local child-focused charities. He’s been a mentor for 15 years with CenterFriends and serves on the board of Kansas City PBS.


Infrastructure Modernization

Capital Asset Planning

Strategic Asset Management

Transmission & Distribution Planning

Business Case Assessment