STL Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year
Engineering & Consulting
President and CEO
Terracon Consultants, Inc.
David Gaboury doesn’t rest on Terracon Consultants, Inc.’s success, though it could be tempting to do so given Terracon’s history of profitable growth. Instead, since becoming president and CEO 11 years ago, he has continually evaluated changes in Terracon’s market, its clients’ expectations and its business operations, challenging employee owners to embrace a culture of continuous improvement.
He is not afraid to make changes, even big changes, if they will make the company better. Gaboury’s unique ability to take a very complex situation and reduce it to the most fundamental question, the question that will define the outcome, is a rare talent that allows him to make difficult decisions efficiently and effectively.
When Gaboury joined the firm in 1997 as COO, Terracon was a successful Midwest consulting engineering company. The entrepreneurial opportunity and challenge was to scale this up and profitably grow the firm to become a national leader. As an outside hire, his first challenge was to strike a balance between showing appreciation for the firm’s success to date, fitting in and building relationships, while concurrently bringing in new ideas and vision.
This was accomplished by a central emphasis on building strong consensus around the strategic direction for the firm and developing and implementing clear, concise strategic plans. The entrepreneurial building blocks he used to consistently and profitably grow the firm were to build and strengthen Terracon’s existing services while adding adjacencies; emphasize the balance of internal and acquisition growth; build into a core competency of identifying, making and integrating acquisitions; and develop corporate services consisting of best in class corporate functions.
Today, Terracon is the national leader in its market space. In Terracon’s recently completed Strategic Plan 2017, the firm is taking on three key base entrepreneurial strategies for the future — greatly expand adjacencies related to its four core service lines; excel at employee safety, well-being, and engagement; and grow its presence outside the U.S.
How to reach: Terracon Consultants, Inc., www.terracon.com