Board of Directors Weighs In on 40-Year Anniversary
As we celebrate our 40-year anniversary, our company leadership is also looking forward to the future of the firm. We asked a couple members of Kaw Valley Engineering’s Board of Directors their thoughts on reaching the 40-year milestone.
Company President Leon Osbourn, PE, PS, is celebrating Kaw Valley Engineering’s 40-year anniversary not only as a Board member, but also as a co-founder of the firm. Leon, John Sheets and Greg Christiansen founded Kaw Valley Engineering in 1982 in Junction City, Kansas after the firm they were working for was about to go out of business.
“We sat down over a beer and decided it’s time we try and do something,” he said. “So we just got our heads together forty years ago and started the firm.”
Leon has worked hard to keep the company growing and moving forward since the beginning.
“I just always had a drive that there’s work out there and we can do it,” Leon said. “Work’s not going to come to us.”
Over the past 40 years, Kaw Valley Engineering is proud to have grown to six offices and over 170 employees. In the future, Leon plans to continue moving forward.
Every year, you’ve just got to change and look ahead and hope for the best. It’s been a long haul.”
As Office Director of the Lenexa office, Gary Leeds, PE, is responsible for the daily operations of the office. Gary has been at the firm for 23 years. In the future, he would like to see the Lenexa office and company grow by building relationships with existing clients.
“I believe that by continuing to build and foster our relationships with our existing clients and provide them with the best service possible we will experience our greatest growth,” Gary said. “With that being said, KVE is continually looking for new talent to allow us to expand our current capacity of services as well as expand into areas of new work.”
When asked how he felt about the company’s 40-year milestone, Gary said:
40 years is an impressive accomplishment for any business and being a part of that accomplishment for 23 years has been amazing.”
Director of Surveying Services Jason Loader, PS, has been at Kaw Valley Engineering since he was 19 years old. As Director of Surveying Services, Jason communicates with survey department managers in all of the offices and maintains consistency in procedures and equipment company-wide.
“I’m here to support them, to help them be successful in any way I can,” Jason said. “I’d say the most of it is just make sure we all work as a team, and we have the tools that we need and know how to use them.”
In the future, Jason hopes to grow the surveying department, mentor surveyors and expand technology at the firm:
I want to make sure in the future we’re maintaining our mentorship and building good surveyors. I think that’s what makes us as successful as we are, and our repeat clients come back to us.”
Jennifer Lindsley, Director of Drafting Services, recently joined the Board of Directors, but has been at Kaw Valley Engineering for almost 25 years. Jennifer has been at the company since high school and since then, she has grown her career from intern to Director of Drafting Services to Board member.
“During the stockholders meeting, a respected colleague nominated me and the shareholders voted me in,” Jennifer said. “I think a lot of that is hopefully based on trust and trusting that I’ll do right by them and work hard for them.”
Jennifer was elected to the Board of Directors the same year Kaw Valley Engineering is celebrating our 40-year anniversary as a company. Jennifer’s election to the Board not only influences her career path, but also the future of the company.
What I really hope is that I make a positive impact on the Board and a positive impact for the company. I hope at the end of my career I’m able to look back and see all the changes I was able to help implement.”
Salina Office Director Justin Owens, PE, is also a recently elected member of the Board. He has been at the firm for five years. In those five years, Justin has tackled challenges at the firm and progressed faster than he anticipated. He and Jennifer were elected to the Board in March and bring advantages to the Board.
“I’ve seen perspectives outside of Kaw Valley,” Justin said. “I’ve worked for a couple other firms. I’ve seen how they do it, I see how Kaw Valley does it. I guess bringing a perspective of somebody that’s worked outside of Kaw Valley—that’s one advantage that I bring to the table.”
As we reach the company’s 40-year anniversary, Justin said he’s looking forward to the future of Kaw Valley Engineering.
I’m just really looking forward to the future. I think things are going well now for us, and I want to make sure we keep that going.”
Kansas City Office Director Marty Arling, PE, came to Kaw Valley Engineering in 1999. What brought him to the company was the opportunity to be more involved in projects from start to finish. He became Office Director of the Kansas City, Missouri office in 2019.
Marty’s future goals are to grow the Kansas City office. For the future of the company, he said he looks forward to the continued growth of the firm in terms of employees and projects.
I have to believe Leon and the co-founders could never have imagined where the company is today. I’m proud to be a part of the growth.”
We appreciate hearing from these members of the Board of Directors as we celebrate our 40-year anniversary. Kaw Valley Engineering looks forward to the future of the firm with their leadership.
“I am excited to see what the future holds for KVE,” Gary Leeds said. “I believe there are several areas in which significant growth potential exists in our business and I cannot wait to see how we as individuals and a company rally to realize that potential.”