Our Evolution

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We're Proud of Our Long History

Stantec's story is the story of our relationships with our clients. It's the story of how we've continued to improve the quality of life in communities around the world while working behind the scenes through our projects. We take pride in a long history of being part of the communities we serve. We started in 1954 as a one-person firm, and today, the Stantec community unites approximately 22,000 employees working in over 400 locations across 6 continents. This growth has been guided by our founder and first chief executive officer (CEO), Dr. Don Stanley, and our previous CEOs, Ron Triffo; Tony Franceschini; and Bob Gomes. Our fifth and current CEO, Gord Johnston, continues a legacy of tenacious leadership and community focus.

2016 to Present

In 2016, 40 years after completing its first acquisition, Stantec completed its largest-ever acquisition: MWH Global, a 6,800-person engineering, consulting, and construction management firm. MWH added acclaimed industry experience in water design, expanded our geographic presence, and shared in Stantec’s dedication to communities. The transaction marked an important step forward in Stantec’s journey to become a top 10 global design firm. With the addition of MWH, Stantec elevated its water services, offering top-tier design service to water clients around the world.

The Stantec team grew to approximately 22,000 employees designing with community in mind in over 400 locations across 6 continents. In 2017, Stantec reached its goal of becoming a top 10 global design firm (ranked by Engineering News-Record magazine and based on revenue for design services). This major milestone was accompanied by the launch of our enhanced brand and new website, which are reflective of our growth and transformation as a global organization. Our brand also reflects a constant in our business—community is at the heart of all that we do.

Also in 2017, CEO Bob Gomes announced his retirement after nearly 30 years with Stantec—eight of them as the chief executive. On January 1, 2018, Gord Johnston became Stantec’s fifth CEO. Gord brings with him 30 years of experience in the industry—20 of those with Stantec—and a deep understanding of the Company’s culture and strategy.

2009 to 2015

In May 2009, Robert (Bob) Gomes became the Company’s fourth president and chief executive officer. Stantec reaffirmed its business objective to be a top 10 global design firm, and with its proven track record and strong business model, it continued to pursue a prudent growth plan.

The Company continued to grow through acquisition, adding new regions in Atlantic Canada, Northern Canada, US South, and the Great Lakes.

We also to expand internationally to England, India, and the United Arab Emirates. At the end of 2012, employee numbers topped 12,000.

In September 2013, Stantec launched its new brand positioning—centered on its purpose of creating communities and promise to design with community in mind—to the world. The Company also launched a new logo and visual identity.

2004 to 2008

Stantec had a milestone year in 2004: employees celebrated their 50th anniversary and employee numbers grew to 4,000. Growth in the United States continued to be a focus as more offices, regions, and practice areas were added. In 2005, Stantec was listed on the New York Stock Exchange, and in 2006 it added a region in New England to enhance its presence in the eastern United States.

In 2007 it continued to grow its presence in the US East. With these additions and further growth throughout the Company, employee numbers topped 8,700.

1994 to 2003

Milestones and transitions marked 1994 to 2003. In 1994, the Company was listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange. The Company began the decade with more than 800 employees. Tony Franceschini was appointed president and chief executive officer in 1998, and the Company introduced its single-brand identity: Stantec. In 1997, the Company made history with the completion of the Confederation Bridge. Stantec had almost 4,000 employees by 2003 and a strong presence in 10 states, 6 provinces, and Barbados.

1984 to 1993

The decade of 1984 to 1993 saw the continued diversification of the Company's services and geographic locations. For example, it added pavement management, interior design, and structural engineering to develop bridges and sports facilities, thereby creating work with new clients and offering an increased number of services to existing clients.

The Company also completed its first US acquisition in Phoenix, Arizona, in 1991. This addition established a base for specialty services and future growth in the US Southwest.

In 1993, the $1.3 billion Alberta-Pacific (Al-Pac) Forest Industries Pulp Mill codesign project was completed. When commissioned, the Al-Pac mill was the largest of its kind in the world, and the project introduced the Company to the forestry industry. By 1993, the Company had over 800 employees.

1974 to 1983

The Company completed its first acquisition in 1976, adding urban land to its growing list of service areas. In the mid-1970s, the Company also added five regional branch offices and established an International group to focus on overseas projects.

When the economy in western Canada took a downturn in 1983, staff reductions were necessary, and the Company implemented a major strategic redirection. The Company survived because of geographic and practice diversification. This was also a time of organizational transition. In 1983, Ron Triffo was appointed president, and Dr. Don Stanley became chairman and chief executive officer.

1964 to 1973

In 1967, with close to 50 employees, the Company obtained its first international project—a sewerage system for Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Other international projects soon followed, including the installation and rehabilitation of water systems in Jamaica. By 1973 Stanley Associates continued to diversify.

Among other projects, the Company was actively engaged in the expansion of the Town of Fort McMurray, including sanitary and storm sewers, a water distribution system, curbs, sidewalks, and roadways.

1954 to 1963

D. R. Stanley Associates was founded in 1954 in Edmonton by Dr. Don Stanley, a Harvard graduate in environmental engineering. In search of work, Dr. Stanley sent out 600 letters and drove 27,000 kilometers (17,000 miles) in 4 months, visiting small communities in western Canada.

The Company's first decade saw the transformation of a one-person firm—doing water and sewerage projects in small, rural municipalities—into a company with close to 30 employees—working on major projects extending across Alberta and into British Columbia.

While continuing to focus on upgrading water systems in small communities, the Company extended its services to include transportation engineering. In 1958, it was contracted to redesign the Peace River Bridge on the Alaska Highway, a project that, upon successful completion, significantly enhanced the Company’s reputation for bridge engineering.

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