President's Message

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“In any given moment, we have two options for our company: to step forward into growth or to step back into safety.” Over the last 2 years, Over the last two years, we’ve more than doubled in staff and increased revenue by 70%, so clearly as a company we are choosing to step forward. We want to grow not for “growth’s sake” or to say “we’re bigger” but to have the technical depth to solve complex design and construction projects within the water resources industry. However, as we make calculated and measured choices to enhance our depth, we face risks associated with new projects, work elements, and staff. Growth always has risks and the potential for mistakes which requires sacrifices in terms of short-term impact on our investments.

With each progression forward, we encounter new challenges. For example, during COVID we hired new staff that still have never met each other in person. We won and are executing technically challenging work that has pushed our limits all while making us better than we were 2 years ago. None of the steps forward we have taken are seamless but instead come with their own challenges.

In 2021, we chose to make an investment in projects and people that will continue to not only enhance our existing capabilities but position us to better serve our clients’ needs. As the world around us evolves and changes, we must as well. Examples include our expanded capabilities in our marine program with the addition of Dan Mahnke, and project wins including USACE Albuquerque District’s Coolidge Dam, NorthWestern Energy Morony Dam, and Idaho Transportation Department, Pend Oreille Bridge. We are further enhancing our dam program and specifically our hydraulic gates design program with James Boag, Mark Merklein, Matt Hess, and Gavin Smith. We have expanded our capabilities with the addition of Jon Burgi in Oregon, Jeff Lowy, Carol Coates and Thomas Borden in Denver, Marcelo Cerucci in Sacramento, and Brad Irmen in Atlanta. I have not personally met all 146 people that have joined us over the last two years but please know that through your added skills, our company can be prepared for the future and growth in our market. I recognize that we will make mistakes and we will have growing pains, but I firmly believe our investments and sacrifices in 2021 will ensure that we are stronger and more resilient in the future.

Mara McMillen, President – Water Resources Division

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