OLATHE, KAN. — Ernst & Young LLP announced David R. Gaboury, P.E., president and CEO of Terracon, a winner of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year 2013 Award in the Central Midwest. The award recognizes outstanding high-growth entrepreneurs who demonstrate excellence and success in such areas as innovation, financial performance, and personal commitment to their businesses and communities.
“This is a great honor because it recognized the collective success of our more than 3,000 associates nationwide,” said Gaboury.
Gaboury joined Terracon in 1997 as executive vice president and Chief Operating Officer, and was named president and CEO in 2002. Gaboury has more than 20 years of experience as an engineer with expertise in environmental, geo-environmental, and water resources engineering. He is a graduate of the Harvard School of Business Advanced Management Program and holds a master’s and bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and University of Massachusetts at Amherst, respectively.
When Gaboury joined Terracon, the company was a successful Midwest consulting engineering firm. The entrepreneurial opportunity and challenge for him at the time was to increase Terracon’s success and profitably grow the firm to become a national leader in its industry. As an outside hire, Gaboury’s first challenge was to strike a balance between showing appreciation for the firm’s previous successes and bringing in his new ideas and vision. This was accomplished by developing strong relationships within the company and building consensus around the strategic direction of the firm through the development and implementation of clear, concise strategic plans.
The entrepreneurial building blocks that Gaboury used to consistently and profitably grow the firm included building and strengthening Terracon’s existing services while adding adjacent service lines; emphasizing the balance of internal and acquisition growth; building a core competency of identifying, making, and integrating acquisitions; and developing corporate services consisting of best in class corporate functions (e.g., information technology, legal, finance, and accounting, etc.). He also emphasized a concept that Terracon field offices were the “clients of the corporate office” and should be treated as such, through timely response to requests, quality corporate support, and other various other activities that contributed to the success of these offices.
Gaboury has also built a future entrepreneurial strategy for continued success that is outlined in Terracon’s five-year Strategic Plan 2017. The plan includes three key parts that include expanding adjacent service lines related to the company’s core service lines; emphasizing employee safety, wellbeing, and engagement not as a mere business strategy, but based on genuine care and concern for employees and their families; and expanding Terracon’s business presence outside the United States. He also established and regularly emphasizes Terracon’s purpose of “Delivering Success to Employees, Clients, and Communities.”
Gaboury and the nine other winners in the Central Midwest will now go on to compete at the national level. Award winners in several national categories, as well as the National Entrepreneur Of The Year Overall Award winner, will be announced at the annual awards gala in Palm Springs, Calif., on Nov. 16, 2013.