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The History of Stanley Consultants

Central States Engineering

Stanley Consultants traces its beginnings to 1913, when Charles H. Young opened Central States Engineering in Muscatine, Iowa.

Young and Stanley

In 1932, C. Maxwell Stanley, a young civil engineer, joined the firm as a minority partner and the firm was renamed Young and Stanley, Inc. The company specialized in drainage work, municipal projects, bridge work, country work, and engineering reports. In the '30s, the rural electrification program offered a huge boost to Young & Stanley. The firm designed and managed construction of nearly 33,000 miles of original lines for dozens of electric cooperatives in Iowa and adjacent states.

Stanley Engineering Company

Following Mr. Young's retirement in 1939, the firm's name changed to Stanley Engineering Company. With rural electrification, state roads and highways, sanitary systems and running water in demand, Max Stanley pioneered quality service methods for his clients. He formulated the company's operations and practices and recorded them in his book, The Consulting Engineer, published in 1961. It became the foremost sourcebook for engineers and others in the consulting industry.

Following WWII, Stanley Engineering Company was engaged to perform planning, study, design, and field work for diesel plants, steam generating plants, transmission and distribution lines, and substations for rural electric cooperatives throughout the United States. By 1955, the firm had designed more than 65 steam electric and more than 55 diesel electric generating plants for both cooperatives and municipalities. This experience, expertise, and exposure fueled our growing reputation in the electric utility market.

The company entered the international field in 1957, opening an office in Monrovia, Liberia, to design support faculties for an iron ore mill. Since then, international work has become an important part of the company's services. It typically comprises 15 percent to 25 percent of our volume.

Dick Stanley joined the firm full time in 1955, but shortly after left for two years of military service. In 1971 he followed in his father's footsteps to become president of the company.

In 1961, the firm became member-owned. Max referred to employees as "members" and encouraged ownership through the purchase of shares in the company. Today, many of our members are shareholders.

In 1965, Gregs Thomopulos, a recent graduate of the University of Kansas, joined Stanley Engineering Company as a summer intern. The next summer he returned as an intern, then joined full time in 1967. After years in the Liberia and Nigeria offices, in 1978 he returned to Muscatine as Vice President and head of the International Division. In 1987, he succeeded Dick Stanley as the company's fourth President.

Stanley Consultants

In 1966, the company name was changed to Stanley Consultants, Inc., to better reflect the multi-disciplined nature of the services provided. Client needs exceeded pure engineering. Architects, economics, construction managers, and planners were among the many new service providers.

The entire utility industry fell on hard times in the early '80s when the demand for power plant design dramatically declined. This dark period in the company's history reinforced the need for diversification. As a result, our marketing strategy now stresses the importance of serving a wide array of markets. The acquisition of land development firms in Phoenix in 1984 and in Florida in 1986 enhanced the diversification process.

In 1987, Gregs Thomopulos was elected President and Dick Stanley became chairman of the Board of Directors.

In 1991, the company was selected over 1,300 firms to design two air bases in Kuwait. Since then we've repeatedly been selected by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to provide a wide array of services and by the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) to provide engineering services to restore the delicate balance to the Everglades ecosystem.

In 2006, Gregs Thomopulos was elected Chairman of the Board and Dick Stanley was elected Chairman Emeritus. As a result, the process of selecting a new internal president began in early 2007. "In our 93-year-history, we have had only four presidents, and top management stability is important to the company. As a result, the next president will be an individual who will have the opportunity to hold the position for 10 or more years," said Thomopulos in a communication to all members. That individual was Gayle Roberts, an Iowa State University graduate, who joined the company as a chemical engineer in 1981. In 2007, she succeeded Gregs Thomopulos as the company's fifth President and became the nation's first female president of a large international engineering firm.

The 2000s finds a growing demand for power plant design. A rapport established with East Kentucky Power Cooperative by Max Stanley in 1955 weathered the '80s and '90s and remains a valued relationship.

Outside sources confirm - Stanley Consultants is a great place to work. In 2002, CE News magazine named Stanley Consultants the country's best employer for civil engineers, and we've consistently ranked high on the magazine's annual list ever since. Similarly, in 2005, the American Association of Retired People (AARP) named Stanley Consultants the nation's best employer for workers over the age of 50, and we've consistently ranked high on the list ever since.

In 2004, the company was featured in Engineering News-Record magazine with President and CEO Gregs Thomopulos pictured on the cover.

Over the course of several years we served as a program manager for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for master planning the reconstruction of Iraq and rebuilding the hurricane protection system in New Orleans.

In 2009, Gregs Thomopulos becomes President of the International Federation of Consulting Engineers (FIDIC). Its membership includes member associates from over 80 countries, representing over one million professionals worldwide.

With growing experience in Accelerated Bridge Construction, in 2008 we successfully replaced four bridges in 37 hours for the Utah Department of Transportation, setting a precedence in Utah to use Accelerated Bridge Construction over traditional bridge construction techniques.

Today we're ranked among the largest engineering firms in the world with over two dozen offices across the globe. With a focus on energy, water, transportation and the environment, we bring global knowledge, a century of experience, and multi-disciplinary capabilities to serve our private and public clients.

We have long been recognized in the engineering industry for our commitment to client service and our passion to make a difference. We are eager to make a difference in the world for 100 more years.

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